Outline of Presentation Overview of Steamboy History of Steamboy Synopsis of characters Plot summary Thesis Metaphor in Steamboy Film Clip of Steamboy Steamboy & Technology and Protest Film Clip Relate the film and theme Relate back to thesis Conclusion
Japanese anime film released in 2004
Directed and co-written by Katsuhiro Otomo (who also did Akira)
It is the most expensive Japanese full-length animated movie currently to date.
Took more than 10 years to completely finish the film
Created using 440 CG (computer graphic) cuts and 180,000 drawings.
History of Steamboy On March 18, 2005 English version of Steamboy was released in a limited number of US theaters. Steamboy was released in the US in a subtitled version as well as an English dubbed version. The original Japanese title of Steamboyis Suchîmubôi On March 25th the movie was expanded to a few more theaters in the U.S. The U.S. version featured popular actress Anna Paquin (X-Men), as well as Alfred Molina and Patrick Stewart. In 2004 Steamboy received an award for Best Animated Feature Film at the Catalonian International Film Festival.
Characters James “Ray” Steam: a young boy who has followed in inventor the footsteps of his father and grandfather. Throughout the film he struggles to stay loyal to his father or grandfather’s wishes –all the while trying to figure out what is best for the future of the Steam ball. Scarlett O’Hara: Daughter to the chairman of the O’Hara foundation, Scarlett is a stuck up young girl who is selfish and spoiled. She is based off the fictional character Scarlett O’Hara of Gone with the Wind. Lloyd Steam: Grandfather to Ray, he desires the Steam Ball to be used for good and to help people in need. He has a strained and conflicting relationship with his son Edward/Eddie Steam due to disagreement over the purpose of the Steam Ball.
Characters Edward/Eddie Steam: Ray’s father who is disfigured due to an accident when developing the Steam Ball. The incident left him partly mechanized as well as disillusioned, seeing technology as a means of demonstrating ultimate power. Archibald Simon: Chairman of the O’Hara Foundation and father to Scarlett O’Hara, Archibald seems to have only one goal and objective on his mind: to make money. Robert Stephenson: Edward and Ray’s friend and enemy. He claims he wants to use the Steam Ball to better the British Empire, but does not explicitly say how. A major force in the Industrial Revolution, the character may be based off Robert Stephenson.
Plot Summary Set in 1863, Ray who follows in his father and grandfather’s footsteps as an inventor. Young and naive, Ray is conflicted by the opinions of his grandfather and father, indecisive about the future of the Steam Ball. Ray is then kidnapped and brought aboard the Steam Castle, a airborne vessel owned by Simon O’Hara of the O’Hara Foundation. There, Ray meets Simon’s spoiled, stuck up daughter Scarlett as well as his father, Edward. His father tries to persuade Ray to use the Steam Ball to his advantage, to “better the world,” but Ray quickly sees through the evil ploy and morally questions how to utilize the Steam Ball to help humanity.
Steamboy makes use of plot, character, symbolism, and metaphor within it's social context to discuss the theme of technology and protest.
Technology & Protest in Steamboy Metaphor
Technology & Protest: Innocence and Violence Steamboy uses the juxtaposition of children with elaborate weapons to highlight the tragedy and absurdity of an arms race. The sweetness and sincerity of Steamboy/Ray and the rudeness and spoil of Scarlett compliment and enhance their naivety. (Steamboy/Ray is sweet and should not be put in the position he is put in. Scarlett is spoiled but her rudeness is minimal when compared to human violence). The revelation of the carousel on the side of the castle appears to be a frivolous use of technology, but when contrasted with the competing arms dealers' pointless war, frivolous and wonderful seems far more appealing than frivolous and deadly.
Technology and Protest: Steam Punk and Modern Day The use of steam punk era allows for the viewer to see the world on some level and the warring within the world from a greater distance and therefore more objectively. The use of alternative means to create familiar technology creates a feeling of whimsy and the uncanny. The film contrasts whimsy and applies this feeling of uncanny to the warring between the arms dealers. It suggests that if technological progress is only born from the desire to hurt others, it cannot really be thought of as progress. The father and the grandfather live respectively in the world that has been given to them and the world they wish to create. Steamboy's challenge is find the balance.
Film Clip: Steamboy Click the image to view the film clip
Conclusion Steamboydepicts the use of technology in the hands of selfless and selfish desires. Steamboyasks the viewer to determine whether advances in technology are beneficial or detrimental.
Contributions Melissa Manser: PowerPoint designer, Overview of Module and Film, Character synopsis, Film and Plot synopsis FatuomataKone: Discussion Questions, Film Clip, Audrey White: Metaphor in Steamboy, Steam Punk and Modern Day Moira Luby: History of Steamboy