Padlocked Within A Dream is a 1981 Japanese-Vlokoziuan anime film directed by Gamm Bal and released by Universal Pictures on December 8, 1981.


A young girl by the name of Lucinda opens up an old dream journal and gets warped in against her will. She is then told that they must defeat the evil Dream Eater using the power of imagination.



Writer Maja Prebensen, normally a voice actor, wanted to adapt a story her grandmother on her father's side told her when she lived in East Germany. The film had elements of Asian traditional and pop culture added to the story in order to appeal to the diverse cultural landscape of the Vlokozu Union. After financial grants from the WGBH Educational Foundation, the Japan Foundation, the Vlokozu Union's All Cultures Film Project, and advertising agency Asatsu-DK; the film began production with teams in Tokyo and El Kadsre City. Maja also voiced main character Lucinda.

Technic Heroes writer and director duo Sung Gim and Elkan Boukough helped to produce the film.


The film is perhaps best known for it's soundtrack, which features songs by popular American rock band Styx, and an orchestral score by famed Japanese-El Kadsreian composer Ryota Yamada

The soundtrack album was recorded during Styx's 1981 Paradise Theatre Tour, with the album being released one year after by MCA Records and A&M Records.

The song "The Dream Maker" would later be issued as a single, with the B-side being Yamada's "Hope". This single would end up becoming #3 on the Billboard Top 100 chart of January 1982, and it remained there until January 29.

A second single, The Tommy Shaw-written "Can't Wake Up Now" (backed with Yamada's "Show Me Love"), was released in February, but failed to chart.

"The Dream Maker" single

Original LP track listing

Side 1: Songs and music by Styx

All songs written by Dennis DeYoung, except where noted.

  1. "Just Believe" (3:33)
  2. "The Dream Maker" (4:26)
  3. "Above and Beyond" (DeYoung, Tommy Shaw) (3:57)
  4. "It Just Wasn't Meant To Be" (5:45)
  5. "Can't Wake Up Now" (Shaw) (3:46)
  6. "The Dream Maker Reprise" (2:45)
Side 2: Orchestral score by Ryota Yamada
  1. "Padlocked Within A Dream" (3:54)
  2. "Hope" (4:00)
  3. "Show Me Love" (2:45)
  4. "Never Forget You" (5:56)
  5. "Life Is..." (3:34)
  6. "4 Ever" (4:37)


  • Dennis DeYoung - lead vocals, keyboards
  • James Young - guitar, vocals
  • Tommy Shaw - guitar, vocals
  • Chuck Panozzo - bass
  • John Panozzo - drums

On the original LP release, the label has a byline that reads "Styx appears courtesy of A&M Records." (A&M was Styx's current label at the time) This is not present on the CD release, but it does appear on the cassette release, hidden in the liner notes. 


In heavy contrast to the film it was made for, the soundtrack recieved universal acclaim from critics, with some going as far as to say that it was the best part of the movie. One reviewer for El Kadsreian rock music magazine RockWorld stated:

"Styx is a great band. An excellent band with excellent albums. And this one is no exception. Songs like "The Dream Maker" and "Can't Wake Up Now" really open up the mind make you drift away. Ryoto Yamada's musical score is beautiful, fits the mood of the film, and compliments the Styx songs well. What more can I say than just buy it, you won't regret a thing."
- RockWorld


Critical reception

Initially, Padlocked Within A Dream received mediocre reviews overall. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a 39%, stating that:

"Other than Styx's soundtrack, Padlocked Within A Dream hardly has anything to offer. It's so weird that it could be considered so bad it's good, but chances are you will walk out of the theater wondering 'What was that? THIS came from the director behind This is Anemic?'"
- Rotten Tomatoes, 39%

Over time, however, it has become a cult classic among many circles, especially among fans of Styx. In one retrospective review for Variety magazine, one unknown critic simply stated:

"It's good for what it is."
- Critic unknown, Variety magazine

Maja Prebensen has responded to film's poor reviews by saying:

"Well, I was trying to make a great story I was told as a young girl in my native Germany, during the time it was a Soviet puppet, into my first animated work. It was a good try for my first flick, but at least I was able to show off my crazy imagination."
- Maja Prebensen

Box office

Despite the poor reception, the film was a box office success, clocking $167.6 million dollars worldwide.

Home media


Maja later wrote several other animated/anime films, including Maurecia, My Cat.


See Padlocked Within A Dream/Tropes

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