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Streamline Pictures was an American media company that was best known for its distribution of English-dubbed Japanese animation.

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.

Its videocassettes are believed to have been duplicated at Inglewood-based Custom Duplication Incorporated.

Streamline_Pictures_logo

Streamline Pictures logo

Streamline Pictures Logo (1989-1993)

Streamline_Pictures_Distribution_Logo_(later_day)

Streamline Pictures Distribution Logo (later day)

Streamline Pictures Logo (1993-1996)

Background

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.

History

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: The 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.

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). Unlike Totoro, its dub of Kiki's Delivery Service appeared only on the 1990s Japanese laserdisc release.

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. Streamline licensed and dubbed many popular anime series and movies such as Fist of the North Star, Wicked City, Lensman, Vampire Hunter D and Golgo 13: The Professional.

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, as Macek firmly believed that releasing subtitled animation was pointless since the Japanese dialog was also technically dubbed. 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. This, along with Macek's previous notoriety for his work with Harmony Gold, Streamline became one of the early catalysts of the sub vs. dub debate.

Due to issues with their distributor, Orion Pictures, Streamline 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 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. The majority of their anime catalog went to other distributors such as ADV Films, Geneon Entertainment and Urban Vision, while their Studio Ghibli catalog would later be acquired and redubbed by Disney. Other titles such as Zillion have never been re-released due to licensing issues and/or lack of demand.

Dubs

Anime

Series

Specials/OVAs

Films

Live-Action

Films

Documentaries

Licensed Works

Anime works dubbed by other companies, but licensed to Streamline at some point.

Anime Series

Specials/OVAs

  • Birth (1984) (Dubbed by Harmony Gold)

Films

Talent Pool

Voice Actors

Voice Actors frequently utilized in Streamline’s dubs. Most of Streamline's dubs were recorded at Screenmusic Studios in Studio City, with a few recorded at Wally Burr Recording or Intersound, Inc.. This does not include dubs distributed by Streamline, but recorded elsewhere (though most of them use many of the same talent pool as Streamline).

Notable Guests

† deceased

Notes

External Links

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