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Steamboy

From Academic Kids

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Steamboy.jpg
Promotional poster for Steamboy

Steamboy (2004), is director Katsuhiro Ôtomo's second major (anime) release, following Akira. The film was released in Japan on the July 17th, 2004. The Japanese released featured the voices of Anne Suzuki, Manami Konishi and Masane Tsukayama. The United States release, held in a limited number of U.S. theaters on March 18, 2005, and expanded to additional theaters on March 25, was released in two formats: a subtitled release featured in less cinemas, and an English dubbed version cut down by 15 minutes that featured the voices of Anna Paquin, Alfred Molina, and Patrick Stewart. This movie is distributed by Triumph Films. The DVD was released in Japan on the April 15th, 2005, and will be released in Australia on the June 22nd, 2005, the USA on the July 26th, 2005, and the UK in July 27th, 2005. Both the edited English language version and the original Japanese version will be available on DVD, with the longer version being sold as the 'Director's Cut'.

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Steamboy044.jpg
Early production sketch for Steamboy
Contents

Thematic Style

In keeping with the Steampunk subgenre of science fiction, the film employs alternative history: it is set in a factual 19th-century context, yet it features several geopolitical and industrial circumstances that developed differently or at a different pace, sometimes as a result of advanced technological paradigms that were accomplished via the science already present in the given zeitgeist.

As evidenced by one of the early production sketches, Steamboy was envisioned as an amalgam between a Frank Reade Scientific Romance; a swashbuckling Douglas Fairbanks cliffhanger (similar to The Rocketeer); and a Republic Pictures serial (similar to The Wild Wild West and Indiana Jones). An optimistic result which contrasts considerably from the earlier Lang/Tezuka -inspired retrofuturistic dystopia setting of Metropolis.

Nods

Cat's Cradle

There are certain elements that bear a certain similarity to Kurt Vonnegut's 1964 Cat's Cradle, such as a respected physicist who helps develop a new and potentially dangerous source of power, transgenerational relay of techno-political responsibility, an artificial fuel which is an alternative structure of water (and which also catalyzes the molecules of liquid water into a solid ice) and a fictional island as a Deus ex machina.

Laputa

The flying castle is probably also a reference to Laputa, the flying island from the book Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift. The people of Laputa are fond of mathematics and technology, but fail to make practical use of their knowledge. This has long been regarded as a satire on a state ruled by a sort of government Swift personally advocated against.

Rocketeer

The Rocketeer is a comic book created by Dave Stevens.

Characters

Raymond Steam

Ray Steam is a young inventor living in Manchester, England. He is eventually kidnapped and brought to London against his will because of his connection to the Steamball. This mysterious metal ball contains a new form of energy capable of powering an entire nation. Ray must use it to fight evil, redeem his family's name and save London from destruction. After Ray saves London from Edward in the ending, Ray blames the ones that kidnapped him and brought him to London and then Ray returns to Manchester.

Lloyd Steam

Ray's old idealistic grandfather. The original conceiver and developer of the steamball, Lloyd is believed dead because of a mysterious accident.

Edward Steam

Ray's father. The accident that occurred in the development of the Steamball, left Edward in a state where he needed to have machinery replace some of his body. Edward's father calls him Eddy.

Scarlett O'Hara

An industrial titan's misguided, annoyingly spoiled, but not completely heartless tween daughter and Ray's love. When London is under siege, Ray saves her.

Jason

Bio coming soon

Freddie

Bio coming soon

David

The man that is Robert Stephenson's pal.

Robert Stephenson

It is the middle of the 19th century. Ray’s hopes are brightened when he receives a mysterious silver ball from his grandfather in America. Before he can begin to study the mysterious silver ball, two sinister men from the O’Hara Foundation appear at his door, in search of the ball. Within minutes Ray’s grandfather also arrives and quickly urges Ray to flee, taking the silver ball to a man named Stephenson. Ray, who has been kidnapped and taken to the O’Hara Foundation pavilion at the Great Exhibition in London, now meets his captor, Scarlett, the spoiled daughter in charge of the O’Hara Foundation. The mystery of the ball continues when Ray’s father arrives and explains to Ray the true nature of the ball. It is a steam ball, containing high-density compressed steam – a source of unbelievable power. And the pavilion is in fact a steam castle, the ultimate invention, drawing all of its great power from the STEAM BALL.

Plot Summary

Set in the 19th century. Ray Steam is a young inventor living in Manchester, England. He is eventually kidnapped and brought to London against his will because of his connection to the Steamball. This mysterious metal ball contains a new form of energy capable of powering an entire nation. The accident occurs in the development of the Steamball, left Ray's father, Edward in a state where he needed to have machinery replace some of his body. Lloyd didn't die in the accident. Edward becomes a villain. Scarlett O'Hara becomes Ray's love.

In the scene, the armored enemies (models for Fullmetal Alchemist's Alphonse in metal) attack the place in London and Scarlett is there. The police then have tanks invented and fire, the large bullet gets past through Scarlett and the bullet explodes and people run. Scarlett gets in danger and Ray (as Steamboy) saves Scarlett.

Towards the end of the movie, the unknown giant ship arrives in London and destroys the Tower Bridge. Ray becomes Steamboy and he goes there to fight Edward. Ray succeeds and saves London. (after redeeming his family's name) The End.

Full Plot Summary/Ray's Story

It is the middle of the 19th century, and London is in the midst of the industrial revolution. At the core of the countries great excitement and anticipation is the first Great Exhibition at Crystal Palace. However, in the heart of the English countryside, a young boy named Ray, born into a family of inventors, spends his days and nights, waiting impatiently for the return of his father Eddie and grandfather Lloyd, who have gone to America to further their research.

Ray’s hopes are brightened when he receives a mysterious silver ball from his grandfather in America. Before he can begin to study the mysterious silver ball, two sinister men from the O’Hara Foundation appear at his door, in search of the ball. Within minutes Ray’s grandfather also arrives and quickly urges Ray to flee, taking the silver ball to a man named Stephenson.

Ray quickly mounts the unicycle he has invented and races away with the ball, chased by the men from the O’Hara Foundation, on their ferocious steam machines. After a dangerous high-speed chase along country roads and up onto a railway track, Ray is saved at the last minute by a stranger, David, who happens to be traveling with the scientist Stephenson. As Ray hands over the steam ball to Stephenson, as his grandfather had instructed, the train window is shattered by a giant iron claw, and Ray, with the ball still in his hands, is captured in a net fired from an airship hovering above.

Ray, who has been kidnapped and taken to the O’Hara Foundation pavilion at the Great Exhibition in London, now meets his captor, Scarlett, the spoiled daughter in charge of the O’Hara Foundation. The mystery of the ball continues when Ray’s father arrives and explains to Ray the true nature of the ball. It is a steam ball, containing high-density compressed steam – a source of unbelievable power. And the pavilion is in fact a steam castle, the ultimate invention, drawing all of its great power from the STEAM BALL.

Ray diligently helps his father work towards the completion of the steam castle until a pressure leak is discovered the day before the official opening of the Great Exhibition. When Eddie sends Ray to check for leaks in the network of pipes in the main steam room, Ray unexpectedly finds his grandfather, who he realizes had also been taken hostage, has escaped and is now opening all the valves, trying to prevent the completion of the steam castle. It is at this point that Ray’s grandfather shows him the multitude of steam weapons lining the walls of the pavilion’s storehouse and condemns the steam castle as an ‘evil invention.’ When Ray questions his grandfather as to the possibility of his father being misled by the O’Hara Foundation , his grandfather entrusts the steam ball to Ray and urges him to investigate the situation and make up his own mind.

Upon trying to escape with the steam ball, Ray is rescued by a stately British warship. Once again, Stephenson and David, who are aboard the warship, have come to his rescue. Although Ray hands over the steam ball to Stephenson, he has begun to question exactly who should possess the steam ball considering the unimaginable power it holds. However, Stephenson assures him that the very survival of the British Empire may depend on their possessing the steam ball.

As the cannons from Crystal Palace announce the official opening of the Great Exhibition by Queen Victoria, a steamboat full of British policemen closes in on the O’Hara Pavilion. It appears that the O’Hara Foundation has gathered the top military leaders from around the world to demonstrate the power of the steam weapons, hoping to sell them to the highest bidder.

Hence the destruction between the British Army and the O’Hara Foundation begins. Ray is shocked and outraged at the scale of the destruction, shouting, “This is not why my Grandfather invented the steam ball!” Ray manages to remove the steam ball from one of the British Army’s steam tanks and invents his very own flying machine. With the O'Hara Foundation Pavilion in danger of destruction Ray must quickly determine what needs to be done in order to save London, his friends, and ensure the future of mankind!

External links

it:steamboy

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