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Parents' Guide to


By Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Animated film is too violent for younger kids.

Movie PG-13 2005 126 minutes
Steamboy Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 10+
age 10+

Steam on the Rise!

Beautiful movie about the role of science in war. Steamboy is breathtakingly detailed and ambitious beyond anything I have ever seen in the realm of animation!! I woud put it in the category of Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle. I am very critical of movies and their content and I would say the storyline and characters are good and well-developed. Some say otherwise, but the renowned Spirited Away has almost a non-existant plotline, it's purpose was for entertainment. This is true for Steamboy also, the plot is not as fantastic as it could be but it is obvious the creators took their time during the nine-year drawing and computer-generating process. This has become an instant classic in our household as it will be in yours.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (5 ):

Reportedly the most expensive Japanese-animated cartoon yet made, Steamboy takes place in Charles Dickens' time but is as full of incredible gadgets as any science-fiction epic. This retro-futurist Victorian action movie is like Jules Verne on steroids, with wondrous Industrial-Revolution machinery grown to Tokyo-stomping heights and visually realized by star animator Katsuhiro Otomo. His sci-fi epic Akira, back in 1989, opened the floodgates for Japanese animation in US theaters. Earlier it had been restricted to home-video imports, syndicated TV, and bootlegs. Akira's sprawling cityscapes and intrigues deserved the biggest screens it could get. But Akira was also dark, violent, and pessimistic.

Steamboy is similarly visionary but a little more family-friendly. It's a pretty noisy spectacle, but you can lose yourself in Otomo's sumptuous designs, cathedrals of gears, cogs, screws, flywheels, and pulleys. And this is a too-rare case in movie science-fiction where the special effects make a viewer think, about the onslaught of technology, about where human progress is going, and where it's been.

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