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|“||Doctor, in any conflict between positive and negative energy, the negative always prevails! Look at human history! Look at me!||„|
|~ President Stone describing his view on good and evil to Dr. Tenma.|
|“||The city elected me! I own it! It's mine!||„|
President Dufus Stone is the main antagonist of the 2009 sci-fi film Astro Boy.
He was voiced by Donald Sutherland, who also portrayed President Coriolanus Snow in the The Hunger Games franchise and Donald McClintock in Outbreak. In the videogame adaptation of the film, he was voiced by Fred Tatasciore and Corey Burton.
Stone is known for being arrogant, xenophobic, power-hungry, and overall villainous in nature. He is a selfish, deceiving, manipulative, and pompous individual who only cares about himself and being reelected as President of Metro City. He is with his friends General Heckler and the soldiers, He appeared to be disgusted with Dr. Packadermus J. Elefun (Dr. Hiroshi Ochanomizu from the manga) and his idea in using the blue core energy to restore the surface, though this only due to him preferring his people to live in Metro City than anywhere else and a personal disdain with Surface Dwellers. He is also shown to be very rash and thoughtless (not thinking things through) such as when he placed the Red Core into the Peacekeeper twice, which resulted in Toby Tenma's death in first and last, the former absorbing him and exposing his malevolent and cruel side. He also despises his political opponent running for election, Robert Logan, whom the former calls him a "hippie".
While seemingly appealing and charismatic, this hardly veils his cruelty and lack of empathy or remorse or even mercy, as shown where he was unsympathetic to Dr. Bill Tenma over the incident that killed Toby that he started (even implied to give the mourning scientist cold shoulder), attempted to destroy Astro (the robotic clone of the boy that he accidentally killed) just for acquiring the Blue Core inside him, reveal his plans to wage war against Surface Dwellers just to boost up his popularity, and also implied in his disgust on Dr. Elefun's idea for using the blue core for sake of everyone whom lived on the surface.
Thought most of these negative side remained less exposed, this was ultimately revealed after Stone merges with both the red core and the Peacekeeper, where he attempts to kill Astro's friends as he fights the robot boy and also causing Metro City to crash.
Plans for Re-election
Throughout the film, Stone is shown to be concerned with only one thing: to win the upcoming Presidential Election. He is even willing to wage a war against the Surface Dwellers to boost his popularity.
Toby's Death and Astro's Birth
During a demonstration of the Peacekeeper, a new robot designed to protect Metro City, Stone becomes intrigued by the space components, the Blue and Red Energy Cores. He shows a degree of disgust with Doctor Packadermus Elefun's idea in restoring the surface world as he only prefers the life of those in Metro City. He demands the Red Core (the negative one) be placed in the Peacekeeper for the demonstration, which inadvertently results in the death of Toby Tenma by the robot attempting to destroy the barrier through disintegration.
Following Toby's death, Stone believes that the Cores were destroyed while he giving cold shoulder over the consequence of actions (or at least that has seemed). However, one night he discovers that Doctor Bill Tenma made an AI robot replacement of Toby, powered by the Blue Core. Stone then ordered the robot boy's capture with flying shuttles utilizing suction tubes, leading to a chase around Metro City which resulted in property damage and accidentally capturing a dog and a woman about to propose; despite trying to fight back, the new Toby (later renamed "Astro") is ejected from the floating Metro City down to the Surface by the "Spirit of Freedom" flagship blasting missiles onto him.
However, seeing the robot falling with the Blue Core, Stone goes to Tenma's home and demands his guards arrest Tenma and his assistant Dr. Elefun for creating Astro and hiding the Core's existence from him. However, Tenma promises to give the Core to Stone after he retrieves Astro.
Later in the film, Stone arrives in his shuttle at the Robot Fighting Ring run by Hamegg, where he and his troops capture Astro. On the way back to Metro City, Stone mockingly offers Astro a "drink" of motor oil and brags of his plans to use the Peacekeeper to wage a war against the Surface to win the Election, wanting to boost up his ratings after losing ground to his political opponent, Robert Logan.
Tenma's Betrayal and Merging with the Peacekeeper
Astro agrees to be shut down, apologizing to Tenma. As Tenma gives up the core to Stone, he tells him that he'll have the funding to build toys once the former is re-elected. However, Tenma, tells Stone that he will have to be killed once Stone has the Blue Core; as soldiers prepare to kill Tenma, Elefun protests that he created the core so he will be killed instead. As Stone demands Elefun to hand over the Blue Core, Tenma, realizing that Astro is still his son, reactivates him, allowing him to escape. Enraged, Stone orders Tenma and Elefun arrested and shot for treason before loading the Red Core into the Peacekeeper, reactivating it. However, the Peacekeeper absorbs Stone, allowing Stone to take control of the Peacekeeper’s body and releases his true, diabolical self. After scaring off most of the personnel at the Ministry of Science, Stone accidentally scares off an entire press conference he was supposed to go to. Stone proceeded to rampage through the city, growing in size, as he absorbed weapons and entire buildings to lure Astro out. Astro was prompted to engage Stone in battle upon sees his rampage. During the battle, Astro Boy used arm cannons to attack him, before managing to lift and throw him to a nearby building like a judo wrestler. Angered, Stone began to become more powerful as he clung on two buildings. However, Astro tricks Stone by having him destroy a building, only for the building to crush Stone instead. He still survives, though, as he grabs Astro by the hand in an attempt to kill him after the latter thanked the people for being saved.
As Stone began to eat him, guns begin to activate from Astro's behind and damage one of the eyes of the robot, resulting in him throwing off Astro in pain. Astro began to recover and discovered he had "machine guns in my butt?!" However, Stone lifts a building and flings off Astro like a baseball bat, causing him to crash into several other buildings before landing on the road, weakened. As Stone continued to rampage the city, he attempted to crush Astro. However, Cora, Zane, Sludge, Widget, and Trashcan (who have known about the attack) come to the rescue and save Astro. Stone then attempted to kill them, but ran over and destroyed a power station causing Metro City to fall and resulting Astro attempting to save it. Just as Metro City was saved, Stone was distracted by the presence of the Robot Revolutionary Front (a robot liberating group that Astro met earlier in the movie), who demands him to cease attacking Astro as the laws of robotics say that a robot can't harm a human.
Battle and Defeat
Stone then taunted Astro, telling him to come out since he knows the latter is alive. As Astro came out of the rubble, he then put a metal barrier in the robot's face. Astro then proceeded to punch the robot's face before attempting to escape. In the battle that ensued, Stone was briefly able to detain Astro and attempted to absorb him, but the resulting merging causes both of them agony. Tenma explains to Astro that the merging of the two Cores would destroy both of them. Stone captures Astro's friends and threatens to kill them unless they tell him the location of Astro,. As Tenma is about to take Astro away to their limousine, Astro tells Tenma his destiny; he was created to save Metro City and bids another goodbye to Tenma, saying "onward and upward". Stone prepares for battle, but realizes that Astro intends to sacrifice himself by merging with the Red Core. Before Stone can stop him, Astro flies into the Red Core, destroying the Peacekeeper and seemingly himself in the process.
However, Stone survived the battle, though he was returned to his human form. After awakening from a pile of rubble following the destruction of the Peacekeeper, Stone, apparently has gone insane due to the effect of the core, tries to shoot the the out-lookers in a childish manner with imaginative guns. However, Grace, a little girl from the Surface, kicks President Stone in the leg (presumably as payback for him endangering her friends). Angered, Stone complains that he got kicked by her, but his former troops arrest him for his crimes. As Stone and Heckler are taken away for their crimes, he protests that they can't do that to him because he has an election to win, but is arrested regardless. This action simply ends his rule in Metro City for good, and because of this, it is heavily implied that Stone was sent to prison and relieved of presidential duty for the crimes he caused at Metro City, which would likely result in his political opponent Logan winning the election by default. Nevertheless, despite Astro's sacrifice, he is successfully revived by ZOG, a one hundred-year old construction robot that Astro brought back to life earlier.
- Despite being a movie-exclusive character, President Stone is the darkest villain in the Astro Boy franchise, even worse than the more antagonistic version of Dr. Tenma.
- His troops closely resemble Stormtroopers from the Star Wars franchise, as well as Peacekeepers from The Hunger Games.
- In fact, Donald Sutherland also starred in The Hunger Games, portraying President Coriolanus Snow. However, Stone and Snow aren't similar to each other, but they are both leaders who want to continue ruling their respective city; Snow wanting to keep Panem under totalitarian control, with Stone wanting to be re-elected by waging war on the surface in order to boost his popularity. Also, the Peacekeeper, which is the robot Stone controls during the climax of the film, even possibly foreshadows the minions of The Hunger Games, as Astro Boy was released 3 years before Hunger Games came out in 2012.
- President Stone somehow has a few allusions to what is happening right now within the politics of government of the United States of America, especially with the unstable Republican and Democratic Party along with the political views of the Presidents of the United States.
- Much of his personality and actions seem to reference the American political climate of the era during which the movie was being developed. 2007-2008 was the last two years of the Bush-Cheney presidency, during which an enormous amount of jokes were made in popular media about inept and war-hungry politicians. Some reviewers of the film even have directly equated Stone to the Cheney parodies of the time.
- Stone mentioned having multiple wives, although it is uncertain if they were formerly married to him (and that he has a single wife) or not. This seemingly implies that Stone was a womanizer, similar to the former 42nd President of the United States Bill Clinton and the former 45th President of the United States and former billionaire Donald Trump, although Bill Clinton only had one wife who was the former Secretary of State and 2016 Presidential Candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton but he seemingly had an affair with Monica Lewinsky.
- It is remarked that he dropped out of college, and the official comic adaptation of the movie (as well as the junior novel of the film) contains a scene from the original script that reveals Stone always had trouble in school during his youth.
- Stone bears a slight resemblance to the character Anton Ego from Disney/Pixar's Ratatouille.
- However, his appearance also resembled that of the actor voicing him, Donald Sutherland.
- Dominic Chianese, Victor Garber, Anthony Zerbe, Robert Davi, and John Lithgow were all considered for the role of Stone before Donald Sutherland was cast.
- As the Peacekeeper, due it being loaded with the Red Core, is somewhat an evil representation of ZOG; as while the Red Core made the Peacekeeper cause destruction throughout Metro City and was intended to wage war on the surface, ZOG, having been revived by Astro's Blue Core energy, brought the latter back to life by sparing the last of its energy so Astro could live. Thus, showing that Dr. Elefun was right about the energy of the Red Core being dangerous if handled by Stone.
- His Peacekeeper form is also somewhat similar to the the Iron Giant from the 1999 film of the same name when in attack mode.
- His real age is presumably unknown, but the actor providing his voice was around 74 years old at the time; although, Stone would likely be in his early to mid 60s.