It took two class sessions, but we finally watched all of Howl’s Moving Castle. What a great movie.
Lots of discussion regarding whether or not the steampunk setting–with the mechanical/magical castle and the old planes and the pre-WWI uniforms–was really necessary for the plot or just nice window dressing.
Spent a bit of time talking about how steampunk lends itself to anime style. As Scott McLoud’s Understanding Comics points out, anime style tends to have iconic, “cartoony” characters but hyper-realistic, detailed backgrounds. Steampunk is all about tiny details that cue us into the industrial, intricate setting. Anime and steampunk are a natural fit.
Also, the student presentations on films have been excellent. They know more movies that borrow steampunk iconography than I do, particularly things they watched as kids like Treasure Planet and Atlantis: The Lost Continent and the Series of Unfortunate Events film.