Ray Steam is a young boy following in the footsteps of his
father, Eddy, and grandfather, Lloyd, scientists dedicated
to advancing technology through the use of steam. When Lloyd
invents a steam ball that has unheard-of possibilities, everyone
wants it - world leaders, wealthy industrialists, and even
the government - but most of them want it for evil purposes.
And so it is up to Ray to protect the fate of the earth while
also choosing who is telling him the truth about the steam
ball's purpose - his father or grandfather?...
Suchîmubôi as it is known in its native Japan) is the
latest animated feature from director Katsuhiro Otomo, who
is most famous for his 1988 classic movie Akira.
years in the making, with a total budget of $22 million, Steamboy
is the most expensive Japanese anime production ever... and
A retro science-fiction epic set in Victorian England, Steamboy
features an inventor prodigy named Ray Steam who receives
a mysterious metal ball containing a new form of energy capable
of powering an entire nation. But science can be dangerous
in the wrong hands and Ray must be careful who he entrusts
with such a powerful invention. The steam ball was sent to
him by his grandfather, to keep out of the hands of the O'Hara
Institute he was working for. But was the O'Hara Institute
really using it for evil purposes, or has Ray's grandfather
this movie is incredible - it really is a film that should
be seen on the big screen. Otomo's vision of 19th century
England is interesting. The designs are as though someone
from 30 years before this movie is set has sat down and conjured
up what marvels the future could hold for mankind. The result
is a futuristic vision where everything is powered by steam.
it's not just eye candy - there's a serious message here,
and plenty of interesting social commentary on the class system
in the UK. I also thought there was an interesting speech,
made by Lloyd, that World leaders would do well to listen
to: "We invent enemies though our own arrogance and vanity
- they come from our own dark souls."
supposedly set in Manchester, the accents are all Yorkshire.
There's plenty of politics interwoven within the English dub
of the movie. Eddy and Lloyd are both from working class backgrounds,
but Eddy is prepared to turn his back on his roots in order
to embrace capitalism - something Lloyd will never do.
particularly loved the inclusion of the Steam Troopers, Air
Troopers and Sub-Mariners - that allowed a nation to dominate
land, air and sea in order to defeat their enemies. And the
end credits are interesting too as they showcase a number
of stills that show a little bit more of the story.
include The Voyage of Steamboy featurette (34 mins)
which interviews staff on the project and original Japanese
cast, as well as looking at the animation process. It also
includes a "special preview" which basically tells
the entire story in a very shortened version. Re-voicing
Steamboy (19 mins) interviews the cast of the English
language dub. There's an interview with writer/director Otomo
(5 mins); multi-screen landscape study (19 mins); The Adventure
Continues (3 mins) end credits without titles. There are
also 5 mins of production drawings; 5 mins of "animation
onion skins" (segments that show how a scene was built
up - the first two were actually included on The
Voyage of Steamboy featurette); and a trailer, which has
the undesired effect of making the film look rather dull.
only problem I found with this disc was that the option for
the DTS soundtrack didn't work - it just reverts to the 5.1
mix. Thankfully, you can change the soundtrack while watching
the movie, and not just from the main menu.
is a remarkable movie, and certainly one that will be enjoyed
by all the family.