It always comes up in conversation at some point in the pub, or at a convention or just between myself and the Lovely Lady Fizzle; "what are your favorite Steampunk movies?" Well it's a hard one to answer as it's constantly changing It's like asking what your favourite Steampunk music is or favourite Steampunk food ( I don't think that's actually a thing Oct - Lady Fizzle ). So the list below is totally representative of what I currently like, but is certainly not definitive for the future, I'm always looking for more Steampunk movies to watch, I mean, who isn't? What makes a movie Steampunk? Well I suppose that's very much open for debate and depending on your view point, and that can limit the choices to a very few titles, or a whole range of movies. For me it has to be more than the appearance of cool brass and steamy gadgets, but if that's your thing who am I to disagree.
The movie has to be relevant in theme but also in story line as well, and the characters have to fit the part. The whole package has to be correct for me, and it can't just be Steampunk for Steampunk sake, which seams to be on the increase unfortunately. For me, the perfect Steampunk movie evokes the emotional feeling you had reading adventure stories as a child, an unfettered excitement for quirky hero's that just don't quite fit the mold. Characters that have more flaws than merits but still somehow win through with gall and bodging things together, that's a crucial element for me when picking a movie out of the crowd.
Steampunk can fit any style of movie if approached in the right way; the classic adventure tales from the 50's and 60s are well known, but Steampunk movies crop up modern animation and very visually appealing main stream modern movies. For me there has to be balance between an immense visual display of crazy but practical contraptions, some of which have no scientific grounding ( sometimes all the better ) and an adventurous story line that evokes the classics such as Jules Verne. I think a lot of Steampunk is about merging more modern events and situations with that of the mid to late 19th century and what's more it has to be convincing.
Well, below is my list and I must note that it is in no particular order. Do what you will with it, shout and scream at me, I welcome your criticisms, and as I previously said, this list of Steampunk movies will most certainly change as time goes on.
1 Howls Moving Castle (2004)
2 The League of Extraordinary Gentleman (2003)
3 Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004)
4 The Prestige (2006)
5 City of Ember (2008)
6 20,000 leagues under the sea (1954)
7 The Time Machine (1960)
8 Master of the World (1961)
9 Wild Wild West (1999)
10 Hugo (2011)