Movie mini-review

Steam Boy (Katsuhiro Otomo)

I give this movie about 7/10. The basic plot is a typical alternative-history Victorian setting sci-fi, involving masses of steam-powered war machines. It is an animated move.

I'll get the moaning over with first. The story is not that strong, and some quite severe suspension of disbelief is required for those of us with real knowlege of heavy engineering. Furthermore, the philosophy espoused by the characters is rather simplistic.

With that out of the way, I have to say I did enjoy the movie, mainly because of the visuals. A mixture of CGI and cel animation was used, and I thought it was stunning. There was only one short scene where I thought the CGI detracted from the look (which was where the mechanical hand was grabbing for Steam Boy as he flew around in the boiler room). I'm not sure if all the backgrounds were CGI, or if some of them were hand-painted. But some of the street scenes were simply stunning, and the details of many of the mechanisms were similarly amazing.

I watched this on pay-per-view TV, and I intend to buy the DVD so that I can geek out over the artwork some more.

Comments:

Do you watch a lot of anime? Hayao Miyazaki kicks butt. I've seen Howl's Moving Castle, NausicaƤ of the Valley of Wind, Princess Mononoke amd Spirited Away, all by him. I haven't seen Steam Boy, how does it compare to other anime you've seen?

Posted by Chris Quenelle on September 18, 2005 at 11:10 AM PDT #

Princess Mononoke and Spirited away would be 9+/10 movies for me. Miyazaki's stories are much better. But I think Steam Boy comes close to looking as great as Princess Mononoke. If you enjoy anime you'd probably like this, but it isn't really in Miyazaki's league. Also, if you've seen Akira by the same director, this seems quite different in feel to me.

Hope that helps...

Posted by Terry Heatlie on September 19, 2005 at 12:31 AM PDT #

I'll add Steam Boy to my netflix list. Thanks for the tip, Terry.

Posted by Chris Quenelle on September 20, 2005 at 02:39 PM PDT #

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