Movie (1 ep x 126 min)
3.665 out of 5 from 7,005 votes
Rank #3,035

As London prepares for the first World Expo, the young Ray Steam receives a package containing the Steam Ball, a small and incredibly powerful engine containing hyper-pressurized steam. Developed by Ray’s father and grandfather in America under the supervision of (and funded by) the O’Hara Foundation, the Steam Ball could prove to be an asset to civilization or a great danger. But after Ray finds out that the Steam Ball must not fall into the O’Hara Foundation’s hands, he sets forth on a mission to keep the item safe and away from those who would use it to fuel a brutal war...

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I love all things steampunk, so I borrowed Steamboy from the public library recently. Story: The plot had all the elements of a good plot: multiple characters whose actions collided in an exciting and suspenseful way, excellent pacing wherein no scene felt unnecessary or unnecessarily long, and the situation kept getting worse and worse until the climax, which was, admittedly, rather vague. Furthermore, the plot managed to incorporate complex themes, framed through the characters and their struggles with each other because of their beliefs about science and society. And managed to do so without long philosophical lectures. Animation: Steamboy is one of the most expensive anime films ever produced, and it really shows in the art. The backgrounds were unbelievably gorgeous, textured, detailed, dimensional, and had a great sense of depth and perspective. Gears and valves and steam were plentiful. The explosions and things being smashed and broken looked cool. The character design was a little plain, but worked. Sound: Nothing overly groundbreaking. The soundtrack fit comfortably, and the steam and gear noises were fun. Characters: Although most of them fit one trope or another, I liked that their personalities were revealed through the actions they took and through their conversations with one another--instead of through narration or monologue or flashback (which, in my opinion, are much less effective ways to develop characters). [Inner Feminist objected to the lack of female scientists, and the lack of sensible females in general. Sure, you can argue that it makes the film's atmosphere more "historically accurate," (because obviously women never were nor are sensible) but the fact of the matter is that we are in 2012 and rehashing stereotypes in the name of "historical accuracy"--especially considering the license taken with the bounds of scientific reality in this film--gets us nowhere.] Overall: Great Gears of Steam and Fire! This film is completely worth 2 hours of your time.


I'm going to admit, when I first saw the trailer for steamboy I had the shivers. It looked absuletely stunning. I had hoped the movie would be just as gritty and steampowered as possible and it was. 1863, where an alternate nineteenth century Europe has m"In ade tremendous strides in steam-powered technologies, scientist Lloyd Steam and his son Edward have succeeded, after a lengthy expedition, in discovering a pure mineral water. They believe the water can be harnessed as an ultimate power source for steam engines (the main industrial engine of the time). An experiment in Russian Alaska goes terribly wrong, with Edward being engulfed in freezing gases, but results in the creation of a strange spherical apparatus. Three years later, back in England, Edward's son, Ray Steam, is an avid young inventor who works at a textile mill in Manchester as a maintenance boy, often working on a personal steam-powered monowheel at home. While he usually lives alone with his mother, his friend Emma and her brother Thomas have recently been sent over to stay until their mother returns from a business trip. Ray's life is suddenly disrupted by the arrival of a package from his grandfather Lloyd; the metallic ball seen earlier, along with its schematics and a letter instructing him to guadr it." In the beginning I liked how much focus it was on European style industrialism. But the more I watched the movie I started to get annoyed how extremely eurocentric the movie is. I bet this movie was supposed to attract certain people to the audience. If they wanted to have to focus so closely on real life England, why couldn't they brought in more of the colonisation that peaked in the 1900-century? Another thing I had problems with was that the only two women in this movie (that had anything to say, as backround it seems women are a perfect fit!) was either in the movie a few minutes in the beginning (Ray's mother) and the other one was either whining half the movie or just passive to everything around her (Scarlett O'Hara). The only real thing she did in the movie was opening a ventilation and even then she wasn't in any real danger and had to overcome it, instead Ray was in the lower levels of steamtower trying to survive. Strange especially with the fact that the steampunk community isn't exactly a patriarchy with mostly guys. IT IS POSSIBLE TO CREATE FEMALE CHARACTERS WITH MORE OF A PERSONALITY THAN GIGGELING, COMPLAINING AND SHOW LOVE INTEREST TO THE MALE PROTAGANIST! The problem was not that she was a spoiled upperclass girl, the problem was that that was the only personality she had. Apart from this I really enjoyed the movie a lot. The visuals was really amazing with all those gears moving. The mix between CGI and normal animation was also very smooth. The colours shifted through a palette of orange, yellow and brown and gave the whole movie the feeling of old Europe. And you really can say that they've taken the whole steampunk-theme serious. Allmost too serious. Everything was steam! The music was fitting and just as bombastic as it should be in the action sequenses. The voiceactors (I didn't watch the dubbed version) was ok. They didn't stand out in any way and sometimes I thought that the voice didn't fit with the expression of the animation but it was acceptable as a whole, it didn't bothered the rest of the film. Apart from the way the women were porttrayed I really liked many of the characters in this movie. Especially the relationship between Lloyd and Edward steam. The battle for science, what should it be used for? It reminded me of a lot of discussions I've had with people. I also really liked the formal way they talked to each other. A subtle almost casual feeling even though they were father and son. Quite original and for me that gave as much of a emotional saying as if they would performe the usual "Oh I'm so sorry I regrett what I have done"-style.The only thing I missed was that I would have liked to see some more emotion between Ray and his father. I also liked Archibald Simons character as the comical relief. Even in the most dire situation, money can be earned and new products presented to an audience. The plot of the movie was also acceptable. It was some things I had a hard time swallowing but even if the premise was quite unrealistic I can really sympathise with the battle between what science should be, the competition between countries and companies in a free market without protection if you fail and the dream of man, capable of creating wonders. Well let's sumarize: Plot: 6/10 Music: 8/10 Voice-actors: 7/10 Visuals: 9/10 Characters: 7/10 All in all: 7.4

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