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14 Inspirations for Steampunk

Wild Wild West (1999) – A classic that is a fantastic and imaginative movie. It acts as a true foundation of what Steampunk can be in wild western civilization. With plenty of fun to be had between the characters and their gadgets and gizmos, Wild Wild West is a joyride.

 League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003) – The very definition of a classic, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen suspends disbelief and creates a universe where myths and legends are completely true. Set in the past, their technology is relatively futuristic and regally ornamented in a sleek steampunk fashion that sets League of Extraordinary Gentlemen aside from all stories.

 Van Helsing (2004) – Using a darker plot and ambience, Van Helsing takes the lore of Frankenstein, Dracula, and the Wolfman, combines them, and throws on Steampunk gear to fight against these forces of darkness. A great movie to watch if trying to figure out how to implement these classic mythologies into a story and even how to effectively combine multiple stories.

 The Golden Compass (2007)– Set in an alternate universe; magic, armored polar bears, airships are abounded. Whirling, whirring, and wonderful technology are throughout the story. For the sheer expanse of the visual aspect, it’s worth the watch.

hansel and gretel 1
Hansel and Gretel

 Hansel and Gretel (2013) – A cult classic if there ever was one. Hansel and Gretel go on Witch Hunts in a style and tone similar to the dark and gritty world of the previously mentioned Van Helsing movie. Hansel and Gretel does a spectacular job of reimagining classic stories into a modern telling that then throws on a grim and dark action packed adventure along the way.

 Tai Chi Hero (2012) – A Chinese martial arts film of a prodigal fighter. An epic adventure spanning two movies, (and a planned 3rd movie) western technology is introduced through a plot that means to destroy the town and build a railway through it. Steam powered war machines and gorgeously designed mechanisms battle against traditional martial artists as the villagers try to combat the power of gunpowder and cannons.

 Stardust(2007) – Through a truly epic adventure involving multiple characters, a king and opposing sons, witches, fencing pirates in airships, falling stars, and a magical wall, you know this movie is an adventure and a half. And every bit of it is worth watching.

 The Time Machine (2002) – An adventure through time with an eccentric chronologist. What’s not to appreciate. Though some may compare and contrast it to its older ancestor, both provide a unique narrative that will make you consider truly traversing time and space.


 Steamboy (2004) – The primary focus and popularity of Steamboy comes from its detailed and dynamic inventions all centered on the power of harnessing steam. Creating a device that condenses steam to such a degree that it holds and produces a near infinite amount of steam, power struggles occur between inventors to utilize the true power of steam.

 Miyazaki – Known for master crafted artwork illustrating genius written stories, Miyazaki often uses steampunk-like technology in his fantastical worlds. This technology allows for unique plethora of aesthetic features in each movie that make each stand-alone from one another, yet still provide an enthralling adventure through each unique world of Miyazaki.

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
Castle in the Sky (1986)
Howls Moving Castle (2004)

Only a few of Miyazaki’s expansive work, these are all near perfect animated movies. Each is completely unique form one another in concept, execution, and drama. Though, each utilizes their own form of intricately imagined technology to effectively guide the viewer through the adventure alongside the strong-built protagonist in each story.

Avatar: The Legend of Korra – following the fantastic world and adventures of the “Avatar: The Last Airbender” series, “Avatar: The Legend of Korra” thrusts the unique world of Avatar into a revolutionary industrial era where steampunk acts as the aesthetic. With bending as the all-time premise of the story, the writers and artists of the series make steampunk seamlessly fit into the many aspects of the series.



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