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Steamboy 2004

3.7 out of 5 stars (57) IMDb 6.9/10

Katsuhiro Otomo's animation epic - a fusion of two-dimensional and three-dimensional graphics, produced with full digital technology - is finally complete! Ten years in the making, with a total budget of $22 million, Steamboy is the most expensive Japanese anime production ever. The director's complete dedication to every detail of the project is evident throughout the film.

Anne Suzuki, Masane Tsukayama
1 hour, 39 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Animated, Anime
Director Katsuhiro Ôtomo
Starring Anne Suzuki, Masane Tsukayama
Supporting actors Katsuo Nakamura, Manami Konishi, Kiyoshi Kodama, Ikki Sawamura, Susumu Terajima, Osamu Saka, Keiko Aizawa, Rosalind Ayres, Mark Bramhall, Oliver Cotton, Robin Atkin Downes, William Hootkins, Peter Lavin, David S. Lee, Alfred Molina, Oliver Muirhead, Paula J. Newman, Anna Paquin
Studio Sony Pictures International
BBFC rating Parental Guidance
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Spider Monkey HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 24 Mar. 2007
Format: DVD
I was sad to see the relatively negative reviews about this film as I found it to be incredible. The animation was outstanding and although the dubbing isn't perfect, i've seen a lot worse on Japanese animation dubs. The English voices fit the characters pretty well, although you can't beat the original Japanese voice and reading the subtitles. The storyline was great and yes it did feel a bit slow for the first half, but this only made the second half race forward at break neck speed and add to the drama and action, which I can only guess was the intention. I agree that this is probably the most visually stunning animation outside of Ghibli films and the level of detail is simply breathtaking. The extras disc is great, with well over an hour of interviews and featurettes that give a great view on the animators, directors and voice stars opinions on this film, as well as providing information on animation layering and other techniques. I also received some postcards, mini comic and thick book on film planning animations included with my box, but I'm unsure if this is included with this version or not, but my box is also the directors cut so I hope so. I have to say it makes for a wonderful overall package. Even if you don't get those additional items, this film more than makes up for it and you will own an amazing piece of Japanese animation that is already classed as a cult classic.

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Format: DVD
I'm still learning the ropes when it comes to anime, which means I can't compare Steamboy to Katsuhiro Otomo's legendary Akira. I can, however, say that I enjoyed Otomo's contribution to the film Memories more than I did Steamboy. Both share the same kind of heavily industrial world of the past, cast in sepia-like tones reflecting an atmosphere of gloom. That was more than okay for Memories' "Cannon Fodder," but the world of Steamboy eventually grew tiresome to me. The animation of this film is excellent, but it consisted of far too many scenes of exploding machinery, to the detriment of character development and storyline. Frankly, I just didn't care about this plot all that much.
You've got a young, inventive boy who finds himself in the middle of a conflict over the nature of science. It's an argument that will erupt in loud, frightening chaos over the city of London. The boy's name is Ray Steam, and steam is definitely the key word in all of this. Ray receives a parcel from his grandfather containing an ultra-powerful "steamball," and almost at once he's forced to honor his grandfather's request to keep it out of the hands of "the Foundation." His father, however, or at least a somewhat mechanized version of him, happens to be in cahoots with the Foundation, and he begins to win his son over to his own version of science. He has used the vast power of steam to take his own father's vision of a Steam Castle and turn it into a well-armed weapon, complete with steam-powered flyers, subs, and mechanized fighters. The grandfather, looking much the worse for wear, shows up to try and sabotage his evil son's efforts, and he confronts Ray with his own peaceful vision of science.
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Format: DVD
After directing "Akira" in 1988, Katsuhiro Ôtomo avoided making another feature length anime for years. In 1991 he did a live action film, the horror-comedy "Warudo apaatoment hora" and then in 1995 he did the "Cannon Fodder" segment for "Memories." He wrote the scripts for Hiroyuki Kitakubo's "Rôjin Z" in 1991 and adopted Osamu Tezuka's manga for Rintaro's "Metoroporisu" in 2001. But it was not until 2004 that Ôtomo helmed "Steamboy" and left himself open to the inevitable comparisons of this two-hour anime with the classics in the field in which he had a major hand.
On the one hand "Steamboy" is as visually stunning as you would expect, albeit in a decidedly different way from "Akira" and "Metroporisu." This time around Ôtomo is not telling a futuristic story, but one set in 1866 in the London of Victorian England, which mandates sepia toned colors rather than working with a palate of bright neon colors. That alone justifies a different look to "Steamboy," and the chief attraction for this anime are the hand-drawn animation, enhanced by computers, of the massive machines of gears and pistons. But there is another interesting consequences to the setting of "Steamboy," which is that for the first time with a Japanese anime I am recommending that you listen to the English audio track rather than the Japanese. Since the characters are actually English, then for once it makes sense to go this route. Besides, we are talking Patrick Stewart as grandfather Dr. Lloyd Steam, Alfred Molina as his son Dr. Eddie Steam, and Anna Panquin as James Ray Steam, who is the film's title figure.
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Comment 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
If you think Japanese animated films are all monsters, unfathomable philosophical mumbo jumbo and dodgy American accents - think again!

Steamboy is a cracking adventure set in Victorian England with a great voice-over cast including Patrick Stewart, Anna Paquin and Alfred Molina all delivering spot-on Northern accents (the characters come from Manchester).

The plot rattles along like a steam train as a boy tries to discover the truth behind the disappearance of his inventor father, fending of the sinister attentions of rival factions using massive machines (steam powered, of course) that would have done credit to the imagination of H.G. Wells.

Yes, it's a cartoon, yes kids will like it, but this is so much more than a children's movie. It's well made, imaginative and good fun. This 45-year old loved it and will love it for many years to come.
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