A Pressure Cooker
Steamboy
Review Review by Ross Anthony

Here is an animated blend of old style hand-painted figures (reminiscent of the old "Speed Racer" series)embellished with computer animation for certain backgrounds or devices.

The story places some of humanity's heaviest dilemmas on the shoulders of a small boy. How can humankind find security from its enemies without building weapons? Can science/technology be kept pure of inventions that kill?

What makes "Steamboy" so strong is the lack of an easily definable enemy. Ray is the son of an inventor, grandson of an inventor. His father and grandfather feud to the death over the purpose of their invention, Ray is left in the middle to decide who is to be trusted with the most powerful technology of their time (late 1800's).

Having spent my morning talking with a US soldier on leave from Iraq, I felt much like Ray. Who's grand ideas about peace and war do I trust? Though opposing, they each make some sense, yet each seem so devastatingly risky. I'm not sure "Steamboy" offers any answers, but I appreciate its pure attempt to reopen the discussion.

Additionally, it's a fine movie. I'd never expected animation of this type to engage in such serious build. The tension, the excitement levels are very disciplined. The steam valve is turned gradient by gradient, until the film pops right on time with its climax. A slow even pressure cooker -- very nicely done.

With an elaborate collection of steam-powered, gear-driven vehicles and machines, the film seems a young viewer's dream. However, parents of younger children be cautioned, there is also quite a lot of violence.

(This review based on the English-dubbed version.)


  • Steamboy. Copyright © 2004.
  • Starring the voices of Anna Paquin, Alfred Molina, Patrick Stewart, Kari Wahlgren.
  • Directed by Katsuhiro Otomo.
  • Screenplay by Katsuhiro Otomo and Sadayuki Murai.
  • Produced by Shinji Komori, Hideyuki Tomioka at Triumph/Steamboy Committee/Sony Pictures.

Grade..........................A- (3/4)

Copyright © 1998-2016 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at HollywoodReportCard.com, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: www.RossAnthony.com or call 1-800-767-7186. Check out his other sites too: Author*Illustrator*Speaker, Motobookothon 2009, M9, Write Triangle, TwT. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 07:54:25 PDT