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Steamboy - Director's Cut (DVD Gift Set)

4 out of 5 stars 175 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

From the leader in animé Katsuhiro Otomo (Osamu Tezuka's Metropolis, Memories), comes his first feature- length directorial project since his breakthrough film (Akira). Ten years in the making, witha total budget of $22 million, Steamboy is the most expensive Japanese animé production ever. A retro science-fiction epic set in Victorian England, Steamboy features an inventor prodigy named Ray Steam, who receives a mysterious metal ball containing a new form of energy capable of powering an entire nation, the Steam Ball. Young Ray Steam must use the Steam Ball to fight evil, redeem his family, and save London from destruction. With more than 180,000 drawings and 400 CG cuts, Steamboy is one of the most elaborate animated features ever created. Steamboy will be brought to life with an outstanding ensemble voiceover cast including Anna Paquin (X-Men), Patrick Stewart (X-Men), and Alfred Molina (Spider-man 2).

Additional Features

The many extras on the DVD have been overproduced but underthought. "Animation Onion Skins" shows five scenes in various phases of production, but there are no captions or commentary to explain the significance of the stages or their relationship to each other. Several artists talk about the production in the "Multi-Screen Landscape Study" (a split-screen making-of for an exhibit in Japan), but nothing tells the viewer who they are or what they did. The interview with Otomo is less than a one-quarter as long as the very standard "Revoicing" featurette. The 166-page booklet contains some striking production artwork, but the notes are only in Japanese--as are the captions in the manga by Tony Takezaki. --Charles Solomon

Special Features

  • Director's Cut of the feature film
  • "Re-Voicing Steamboy" Featurette
  • Interview with Katsuhiro Otomo
  • Multi-screen Landscape study
  • Ending Montage
  • Production Drawings
  • Animation Onion Skins
  • 10 Steamboy Collectible Postcards
  • 22 Page Manga
  • 166 Page Booklet containing character designs, mecha designs, and selected storyboard sequences

Product Details

  • Directors: Katsuhiro Otomo
  • Producers: Hideyuki Tomioka, Shinji Komori
  • Format: AC-3, Animated, Color, Director's Cut, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Japanese (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Portuguese (Dolby Digital 2.0), French (Dolby Digital 2.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese
  • Dubbed: French, Portuguese, Spanish, English
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 26, 2005
  • Run Time: 127 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (175 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009P42SC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #152,945 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Steamboy - Director's Cut (DVD Gift Set)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
In Steamboy, Director Otomo turns his attention to the Steampunk genre, and the result is a gripping Victorian era techno-thriller. The macguffin of the plot is a ball that is supposedly able to store steam at enormous pressure and density. It doesn't make much sense, but it manages to drive a plot with a lot of action, engaging steam-puffing war machines, and some moderately sophisticated debate about the uses of science and technology.

The characters are engaging, although hero Ray is the usual somewhat generic plucky adolescent. The spoiled adolescent aristocrat Scarlett is considerably more interesting, as are Ray's father and grandfather, who personify conflicting ideas about the uses of technology.

The animation is, of course, wonderful, as expected from the director of Akira. The film is full of strikingly original action scenes, which are both well conceived and well executed. Destruction abounds. Reputedly, the film used quite a bit of computer graphics, but it is extraordinarily well integrated. The hand-drawn characters do not have the "pasted in" look that has characterized most previous attempts to combine hand drawn and computer generated art, and I was hard put to tell where the traditional animation ended and the computer animation began.

The DVD includes both the original Japanese version (with English subtitles available) as well as an English dubbed version. The English dubbing is extremely well done, with top notch talent including Anna Paquin (Rogue from the XMen movies) as the adolescent boy hero, Patrick Stewart as his grandfather, and Alfred Molina as his father. The English dubbing was overseen by Otomo himself, and is arguably better suited to the story than the original Japanese, as it is set in Victorian England.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase

Steamboy is the first movie directed by a giant from Japanese anime Katsuhiro Otomo since his ground breaking movie Akira from 16 years ago. Unlike most anime fans I saw Steamboy before seeing its more famous partner. If you are expecting another Akira you will be disappointed since Steamboy is a 180 degree opposite in ambiance although both movies explore similar themes. Instead of Akira's dsytopic nihilistic Neo-Toyko Otomo re-creates a romantic optimistic Victorian England. Steamboy has the feel of a more mainstream Hollywood style action/adventure movie. Steamboy presents a fascinating intersection of history and sci-fi as its backdrop. The DVD is the director's cut with your choice of having the dialogue in English, Japanese and various Romance languages. Also, one can have subtitles in English, and the other languages.

Non-spoiler Plot:

Steamboy takes place in Victorian England in 1866. Although Otomo rewrites history by throwing in many elements not yet existing in 1866 but are from that overall period including Tower Bridge and battleships not built till the last decade of the 19th century. The movie is centered on the ownership of a Steam Ball which can generate the power equivalent to a small nuclear reactor. The movie, as typical in many Japanese anime and fantasy movies, centers on the issue of what is the proper use of this new breakthrough technology. This conflict is represented as an intergenerational conflict within the Steam family.
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Format: DVD
Taken on its own, this is a dazzling film. Fans comparing various anime might find reason to cavil, but I probably like it for reasons others don't. It doesn't mix and match CGI effects or use up its bag of tricks. It's not given to constantly shifting camera angles merely because computerized cameras can do that, which still seems a novelty to live action producers. It stays largely to its color palette, the dark, forbidding tones of a Dicknesian Victorian England. By comparison I found the preview for Final Fantasy VII, which some fans probably consider state of the art, extremely boring.

Steamboy plays like a filmed book, very deftly showing more than it tells. When there is speaking, it rarely clears things up, but merely adds more red herrings to the story. The film obviously owes a lot to Sherlock Holmes, as well as the earlier mechanical (as opposed to later electronic) ingenuity of The Wild Wild West TV show. But it draws subtly from these inspirations. Steamboy ends as it has to, in the epic fashion of Jules Verne and all Victorian and Edwardian visionary novels. One scene is also quite similar to the visually arresting opening of Chesterton's 1905 novel, The Ball and The Cross, although the story line is entirely different. I expect that except for The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, the future visions of this era are largely unexplored as film territory. The ending also suggests that a sequel, or even a series could follow. But instead it does something else: depict the "continuing adventure" in poignant scenes behind the closing credits. Choosing one of the extra features runs this imaginative portrayl without the credits.

The main characters are all inventors, and all in the same lineage.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


Topic From this Discussion
differences in versions has more detailed descriptions

The Gift Set has:
"Re-Voicing Steamboy" Featurette
Interview with Katsuhiro Otomo
Ending Montage
Multi-Screen Landscape Study
Production Drawings
End Credits Without Text
Animation Onion... Read More
Apr 27, 2006 by Modena F360 |  See all 2 posts
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