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Streamline Pictures was an American media company that was best known for its distribution of English-dubbed Japanese animation. It had distributed the movies Laputa: Castle in the SkyMy Neighbor Totoro, and Kiki's Delivery Service.


HistoryEdit

Founded in Los Angeles, California, in late 1988, Streamline Pictures was one of the first North American companies that was created primarily with the intention of distributing translated anime uncut and faithful to the original content.[7] The founders of Streamline were television writer and producer Carl Macek, who had worked for Harmony Gold USA on the series Robotech, and animation historians Jerry Beck and Fred Patten. At one point or another, Gregory Snegoff, Steve Kramer, Ardwight Chamberlain, Tom Wyner, and Mike Reynolds, all of whom served as series staff writers (and voice actors) on Robotech, worked as independent writers and voice actors for Streamline.

High profile productsEdit

The first high-profile product distributed by Streamline was its December 1988 release of the anime film Akira. The company was also known for its 1989 theatrical distribution of the film Laputa: Castle in the Sky directed by Hayao Miyazaki, and its 1992 video dubbing of The Castle of Cagliostro. Streamline also dubbed My Neighbor Totoro, and Kiki's Delivery Service, both adapted and directed by Gregory Snegoff, in 1988 for Tokuma Shoten, although these were only used as in-flight films by Japan Airlines at the time. As a fan of Miyazaki's films, Macek did not think Laputa (of which Streamline was the distributor) had received the quality of dubbing that a Miyazaki film deserved. He thought that it could have been done better, so Tokuma Shoten gave him the opportunity to prove his words. For his first project, he asked to dub My Neighbor Totoro, one of his favorite Miyazaki works. The Streamline dub of My Neighbor Totoro was released theatrically in the U.S. by Troma Films in 1993; but its dub of Kiki's Delivery Service appeared only on the 1990s Japanese laserdisc release of that title. (Since then, however, all three afore-mentioned films by Miyazaki at Studio Ghibli have been redubbed by Disney.) Tokuma Shoten was pleased with the quality of the initial work, and it immediately hired Streamline to produce the English language version of Kiki's Delivery Service. Soon after its release, the film was bought by Japan Airlines, who showed it during their flights between Japan and the U.S. (the film has since been redubbed by Disney). Streamline also licensed and dubbed other popular anime series and movies such as Fist of the North Star, Wicked City, Lensman, Vampire Hunter D and The Professional: Golgo 13. Home video market[edit | edit source] Streamline, in being the first company dedicated to making anime accessible to the English speaking world, was notable for releasing a wide variety of anime that fit in a wide variety of genres, many of which do not fit completely in any genre such as Twilight of the Cockroaches. During the 1990s VHS era, before the common availability of hybrid DVDs, anime distributors released anime via subtitled or dubbed tapes with the subtitled editions being noticeably more expensive than the dubs which were expected to sell better. Streamline is also notable in being the only such company to eschew this practice and release only dubs of its anime. The only exceptions were the later Akira subtitled release and their Robotech Collection, which included episodes of the original Macross, Southern Cross and Mospeada episodes on the same tape along with their Robotech counterparts. (Since then, these three titles were re-released by ADV Films through Harmony Gold.)

CriticismEdit

Because of Macek's notoriety with a certain branch of fandom, Streamline became one of the early catalysts of the sub vs. dub debate.[9] Macek's philosophy towards anime dubbing, as stated in several interviews, most notably published Protoculture Addicts and Animag, has become largely synonymous with the negative connotation concerning "Americanized dubs".

Later yearsEdit

Streamline Pictures stopped producing new anime releases in 1997 but continued to distribute its complete library in North America. In 1996 the company began to release foreign films under its "Independent Filmworks" label until 2000 when the company closed. The company's Modelworks division was sold in 1998 and the "Streamline Pictures Modelworks" division became a separate company operating under the name, "Avatar Creations." Today, rights to much of the Streamline film and television library (such as Akira and The Castle of Cagliostro) have either reverted to the Japanese rights holder and licensed to other companies; while others such as Zillion have never been re-released due to licensing issues and lack of demand.

List of titles dubbed and/or releasedEdit

Year Dubbed/Released Title Previous/Last/Current Licensee or Status
1989 Laputa: Castle in the Sky Tokuma Shoten; Walt Disney Company (as Castle in the Sky)
1989 Akira Geneon Entertainment; Bandai Entertainment; Funimation
1990 Akira Production Report Geneon Entertainment; out of print
1990 Lensman Harmony Gold (as Lensman: Secret of the Lens); out of print
1990 Robot Carnival Discotek Media
1990 Zillion Out of print
1990 Kiki's Delivery Service Tokuma Shoten; Walt Disney Company
1991 Spike and Mike's Festival of Animation Mellow Manor Productions
1991 The Castle of Cagliostro TMS Entertainment (as Lupin III: Cagliostro Castle); Manga Entertainment; Discotek Media/Walt Disney Company
1991 Clutch Cargo Cambria Productions; BCI Eclipse
1991 Colonel Bleep Alpha Video; Public domain
1991 Space Angel Cambria Productions; BCI Eclipse
1991 Comic Book Confidential The Voyager Company; Home Vision Entertainment; Strand Releasing
1991 Fist of the North Star Image Entertainment; Discotek Media (as Fist of the North Star: The Movie
1991 Zillion Special: Burning Night Out of print
1991 Template:Interlanguage link multi Playboy TV; out of print
1992 Planet Busters ADV Films (as Birth); out of print
1992 Robotech II: The Sentinels Palladium Books; ADV Films; A&E Networks Home Entertainment through Harmony Gold
1992 Nadia ADV Films (as Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water); Sentai Filmworks
1992 Windaria Harmony Gold; ADV Films (as Once Upon a Time); out of print
1992 Vampire Hunter D Urban Vision; Sentai Filmworks
1992 Twilight of the Cockroaches Out of print
1992 David Hand’s Animaland Image Entertainment; out of print
1992 The Professional: Golgo 13 Urban Vision; Discotek Media
1992 3×3 Eyes Geneon Entertainment; out of print
1992 Robotech Family Home Entertainment; ADV Films; A&E Networks Home Entertainment through Harmony Gold 
1992 The Super Dimension Fortress Macross ADV Films; A&E Networks Home Entertainment through Harmony Gold 
1992 Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross ADV Films; A&E Networks Home Entertainment through Harmony Gold
1992 Genesis Climber MOSPEADA ADV Films; A&E Networks Home Entertainment through Harmony Gold 
1992 Neo Tokyo ADV Films; out of print
1992 Silent Möbius Bandai Entertainment; out of print
1993 Dirty Pair: Affair of Nolandia ADV Films; Nozomi Entertainment
1993 My Neighbor Totoro Tokuma Shoten; Troma Films; 20th Century Fox; Walt Disney Company
1993 The Speed Racer Show Trans-Lux/Speed Racer Enterprises; Family Home Entertainment (as Speed Racer: The Movie); out of print
1993 Doomed Megalopolis ADV Films; out of print
1993 Wicked City Urban Vision; Discotek Media
1993 Lupin III: Tales of the Wolf (Lupin III's Greatest Capers) Geneon Entertainment (as Lupin the 3rd); Discotek Media (as Lupin the Third Part II
1994 Crying Freeman ADV Films; Discotek Media; out of print
1994 Megazone 23, Part 1 Image Entertainment; ADV Films; out of print
1994 Megazone 23, Part 2 ADV Films; out of print
1994 Dirty Pair: Project Eden ADV Films; Nozomi Entertainment
1994 Great Conquest: The Romance of Three Kingdoms Out of print
1994 Dirty Pair: Flight 005 Conspiracy ADV Films; Nozomi Entertainment
1994 8 Man After Image Entertainment; Discotek Media
1994 Lily C.A.T. Discotek Media
1994 Cyber Ninja Fox Lorber Home Video; out of print
1994 Zeram Fox Lorber Home Video; Image Entertainment; Tokyo Shock (as Zeiram)
1994 8 Man Fox Lorber Home Video; out of print
1995 Template:Interlanguage link multi Image Entertainment; out of print
1995 Lupin III: The Mystery of Mamo Toho (as Lupin III); Image Entertainment; Geneon Entertainment (as Lupin the 3rd: The Movie - The Secret of Mamo); Discotek Media
1995 Casshan: Robot Hunter ADV Films through Harmony Gold; Discotek Media
1995 Babel II Image Entertainment; Discotek Media
1995 Barefoot Gen Geneon Entertainment; out of print
1995 Space Adventure Cobra Tara Releasing; Urban Vision; Discotek Media

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