The Dream Machine (also known as The Dreaming Machine) is an upcoming anime film by the late Satoshi Kon and long time collaborator Madhouse Studios. The film is Kon's fifth (and final) film; after his sudden death from pancreatic cancer in 2010, the film went into Development Hell as the studio pondered what to do. On November 12 2010, the movie resumed production with an acting director - character designer and chief animation director Yoshimi Itazu - to oversee completion of the film based on the completed screenplay, the already-completed storyboards, and Kon's own directorial tapes and notes. (Madhouse founder Masao Maruyama reportedly told Kon in one of their final discussions about the film that Madhouse would do "whatever it takes" to complete it.)
The anime provides examples of:
- The Big Guy: King fills this role, being a big and loyal robot.
- Expy: Appearance-wise, Ririco is one to Paprika's titular character.
- Lighter and Softer: Compared to Kon's previous works. The film is reportedly more family-friendly, but will be "an adventure that even older audiences can appreciate."
- Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Most likely on the idealistic end of the scale.
- Road Trip Plot: Satoshi Kon described it as "like a 'road movie' for robots," and the cast is shown riding a car in a key visual.