So I’m a bit of a Steampunk nerd. I love the style: the Victorian dress with funky gadgets made of brass and way too many cogs and gears, adventure and intrigue, the science…the whole 20,000 leagues! Get it? Anyway…
Steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction with a massive following. The term “steampunk” was coined in the 80’s, but the genre started back in the Victorian era with writers like Jules Verne and HG Wells. Back then, it was used as a glimpse into the future. A possibility. Now, Steampunk is a look into an alternate history.
Still, despite its interesting culture and growing favor, the genre has a small film base. The list includes films like Hugo, Wild Wild West, and the Golden Compass, as well as a number of European films like The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec. Wikepedia lists only 30 films total, and of that list I’ve personally only seen three! I’d never even heard of most of these and the some of the ones I have seen, such as Van Helsing, did not strike me as being part of the Steampunk genre. But I digress…
The point is that the genre itself has a lot of potential! And StudioCanal in France as well as a few Disney animation veterans seem to see this as well.
This year come spring time, StudioCanal is releasing an animated film called April and the Extraordinary World in French. It’s a 2D animation with an art style that feels reminiscent of Hayao Myazaki (at least that’s what I gather from the images I’ve seen). The film has already previewed last year at the Annecy Film Festival at which it received an award for Best feature film. From what I’ve gathered, the film does not appear to be releasing in the US, but rather Canada. It’s not very clear. But don’t sweat it just yet, as there’s always the DVD release. Or Netflix.
Also on it’s way is another 2D animation film called Hullabaloo! Imagined by Veteran Disney animators who believe that 2D art as an animation medium is on the decline, Hullabaloo is expected to give us all the fun and adventure of a Disney movie: Strong female characters, great orchestral music, and an enchanting story. Sadly, the film has no release date yet. Even more sad, the project is being funded through Indiegogo. But that is where the sadness ends. The group working on the project started the crowdfunding campaign to fund a short film to pitch to a studio that would then (hopefully) fund a full length feature film. Currently they’ve raised enough to make that short film, and three others! I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to think there might be a desire out there to see more steampunk on the big screen! One can only hope.
Personally, I find what the animators from Disney are doing to be admiral. Fingers crossed that when Hullabaloo does get released (and I’m sure it will one way or another) that people remember the beauty behind 2D animation. It’s an art form I think we would miss down the line. Plus it’s totally fitting, Steampunk is a revival of the aesthetic of the Victorian era. Hullabaloo wants to start a revival of 2D animation.
In the meantime, I think I’m going to hunt down some of these films I’ve never heard of!
Rose is a casual nerd who has been writing since she was able to form words. She loves anime and anything cute and fuzzy. She’s a casual gamer who plays all her games on the easiest possible setting and still gets terribly stuck. She’s a fan of Disney movies, theatre, superheroes, Star Wars and Star Trek, and making things from other things because making things from scratch is too hard.