The first feature Katsuhiro Otomo has written and directed since his watershedAkira(1988),Steamboyoffers a fantastic, sepia-toned vision of the past-as-future. In place of the dystopic Neo-Tokyo ofAkira,Steamboyis set in England in 1866. Young Ray Steam receives a Steam Ball, a mysterious, powerful device, from his inventor grandfather. Governments and businesses covet the Steam Ball, and Ray finds himself in a murderous conflict over its possession. He's also caught between his father, a 19th century Darth Vader who builds terrible weapons for an American arms merchant, and his grandfather, who believes science should improve people's lives. Otomo uses computer graphics to create dazzling visuals that few recent films--animated or live action--can match: monumental systems of gears and pistons; machines that dwarf the Tower of London; antique weapons of mass destruction. But the dazzling imagery can't disguise the lack of a coherent plot and the flimsiness of the characters.
Steamboy is a film directed and co-written by Katsuhiro Otomo. The film was in production for ten years and utilized more than 180,000 drawings and 440 CG cuts. With a production cost of $26,000,000, Steamboy is the most expensive full length Japanese animated movie produced to date. The animation in Steamboy is very well done, and the viewer can tell that a lot of time was taken to produce the film. As you watch, you can also see how torn Ray is when he's having to decide … more