The rich visuals of Katsuhiro Ôtomo's earlier animated film Akira made it the standard to which all other anime has been compared. His latest, Steamboy (which was nine years in the making), again shows that he's a true master. Instead of Akira's post-apocalyptic ghetto, Steamboy takes place in England during the industrial revolution. Our hero, Ray Steam, is caught in a battle between his father's and grandfather's ideas of how their mutual "steam" invention should be used. The resulting plot sets up a moral that still rings true today: Science and technology should be used to benefit mankind, not destroy it. Utilizing rotoscoping and CGI without regret, the movie has been painstakingly redrawn in 2-D, giving an overall sense that it was "filmed"; even simple sights like reflections in glass are eye candy of the sweetest order. You'll see things in this film you have never seen anywhere else.
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