In 1985, the 1980 Astro Boy series was adapted into a Canadian English version by Via La Monde Incorporated. This dub ran from 1985 to 1996, exclusively on TV stations owned by media conglomerate Global TV. The dub has never been released on home video, and as a result, very few episodes have resurfaced.
The Canadian English audio was recorded in early 1985, at the Cinélume Postproduction studio in Montreal. The international French version of Astro Boy 1980, retitled as Astro Le Petit Robot, was recorded in the same studio in 1982. This French version and the Canadian English version have the same content edits, removing violence and sometimes changing entire episode endings. Most famously, the "The Light Ray Robot" ending was edited with spliced footage to make it seem as if Light Ray's bomb never went off, with other characters declaring it a Christmas miracle. The "Greatest Robots" episodes completely removed references to Pluto killing the other robots, with edits to make it seem like Pluto disabled or wounded them.
One of the more famous aspects of the Canadian dub was the "Geronimo segment" at the end of each episode. In order to obtain a wider range of broadcast and syndication, Canadian television of the 1980s required a certain amount of "original" material in order to be considered Canadian content. These Geronimo segments were episode recaps, where Astro would fly to the Ministry of Science and recount events in the episode. His recap would contain one error, which a female narrator would encourage the viewer to try and find. To further fulfill the content requirement, the intro to every episode began with a short recap of Astro's origin.
Most of the series voice actors are currently unknown. Canadian dubbed material of the 1980s did not require credits for its actors, and as a result, the only known actors have been either identified from previous roles or have come forward. Astro was played in the series by then 12-year-old Steven Bednarski. Walter Massey has been identified as various characters, and Janice Chaikelson played Becky the Nurse Robot in "The Robots Nobody Wanted."
The Canadian dub uses the opening and ending theme of the American English dub, but trimmed for time. The Canadian version also has "The Birth of Atom" and "Atom vs. Atlas" merged into one episode like the American English dub.
Most of the characters were renamed for the Canadian version. Astro, Atlas, and Kathy from the robot circus are the three known exceptions. These name changes were likely done to distinguish the Canadian dub from the American dub.
|Original Name||Canadian Name|
|Dr. Tenma||Professor Balfus|
|Dr. Ochanomizu||Dr. Cole Green,
later Professor Peabody
|Tobio Tenma||Tommy Balfus|
Because the dub aired before the digital age, episodes could only be recorded on VHS during the original broadcast period. The dub was a Global TV exclusive, and as a result, no other station or country had access to the episodes. Broadcast-ready episodes were stored on beta tapes at Global stations. Unfortunately, these tapes were wiped after the Astro Boy syndication period ended, as per company policy. It is unknown if Cinelume or Via Le Monde still hold original copies of the dubbed episodes.
Resurfacing episodes is an ongoing a fan-run endeavor. From 2008 to 2016, the only episodes to have been recovered are the following:
- #2: Robot Circus
- #15: Astro Fights Aliens
- #22: The Girl From Alsoar
- #26: The Time Machine
- #41: The Robots Nobody Wanted