Synopsis by Mark Deming
Katsuhiro Otomo, director of the groundbreaking anime feature Akira (1988), returns with this visually striking fusion of the past and the future. It's the Industrial Age in England, reimagined, and various and sundry inventors and scientists are arriving in Britain to hawk their products while capitalism rears its ugly head. A gadget-happy British lad named Ray (voice of Anna Paquin) receives a mysterious package from his grandfather Lloyd Steam (Patrick Stewart) -- a tiny ball that turns out to be an engine toting immense power. As it happens, several of these little balls run the O'Hara pavilion, a massive, mobile fortress. Ray later discovers that his dad and grandfather are located inside of the pavilion; his dad, Eddie, has become mesmerized by O'Hara and subject to their whims, while Lloyd suspects that O'Hara may want to use the balls for nefarious purposes, and tries to put a definitive end to those plans. Indeed, the O'Hara people soon take over the Great Exhibition and turn it into a veritable circus for weapons dealers. Meanwhile, Ray starts to develop feelings for a young girl named Scarlett O'Hara.
energy, gadgets, grandfather, inventor, power, steam-engine