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Katsuhiro Otomo, director of the groundbreaking anime feature Akira (1988), returns with this visually striking fusion of the past and the future. It's the Industrial Age in England, reimagined, and various and sundry inventors and scientists are arriving in Britain to hawk their products while capitalism rears its ugly head. A gadget-happy British lad named Ray (voice of Anna Paquin) receives a mysterious package from his grandfather Lloyd Steam (Patrick Stewart) — a tiny ball that turns out to be an engine toting immense power. As it happens, several of these little balls run the O'Hara pavilion, a massive, mobile fortress. Ray later discovers that his dad and grandfather are located inside of the pavilion; his dad, Eddie, has become mesmerized by O'Hara and subject to their whims, while Lloyd suspects that O'Hara may want to use the balls for nefarious purposes, and tries to put a definitive end to those plans. Indeed, the O'Hara people soon take over the Great Exhibition and turn it into a veritable circus for weapons dealers. Meanwhile, Ray starts to develop feelings for a young girl named Scarlett O'Hara.
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
- Reviews Counted: 88
- Fresh: 52
- Rotten: 36
- Average Rating: 6.1/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: It's nifty to behold, but about the only drama in Steamboy lies in waiting for this colossal hovering machine-monster to blow a gasket.
Fresh: It's a sensationally designed piece of work.
Rotten: Steamboy is breathtakingly detailed and ambitious beyond anything I have ever seen in the realm of animation. But the chase goes on much too long, and Ray and Scarlett are never still long enough to develop any inner resonance or romantic rapport.
Rotten: Its problem is not a lack of things to look at. There's plenty of them, and they're all cool. It's just that, in this world of clanking, hissing machines, even the people seem like robots.
An enjoyable, if somewhat lightweight steampunk fable. The film appears to have been "brightened" from it's original release, when it was (deliberately, I've read) pretty murky. But someone has also sliced an entire scene from the beginning of the film--in which young Ray, engaged as child labor (wasn't illegal in those days) risks his life to stop a machine from falling apart. What, can't bruise American's tender sensibilities with historical accuracy? Might as well take the "n-word" out of "Huckleberry Finn". Oh, wait . . .
An extremely enjoyable film from the director of Alkira, but dougom is right, there are scenes missing from the iTunes version. Several, in fact, and I'm not even halfway through it.
The scene near the opening where Ray saves the factory before it blows is an important dramatic moment which makes light of his extraordinary skills and his ability to act on the moment. Without it, we're left with the bullies who make him out to be just an angry kid who swipes parts from trainyards and factories. We've lost something important there. The next scene I noticed missing before I had to stop was a brief segway from the steamcastle to the exhibition hall with Ray and Scarlet. A minor bit in comparison to the factory scene, but still kind of annoying when you know it's missing. Why can't we have the whole movie? And if you did it with this movie, how many more of these iTunes films are likewise trimmed?
Awesome movie - scenes
I really like this movie but they really need to add the scenes that they cut out. It adds the motive to the movie with out them the movie is pointless. The only upside is that with out the scenes it adds more mystery.