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The Iron Giant
Warner Bros. Pictures, 1999
Directed by Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Ratatouille)
Executive Producer: Pete Townshend (the guy from The Who that used to destroy his guitars every night...)
Based on the novel The Iron Man by the late Ted Hughes (1930-1998)
Running Time: 86 minutes
Rated PG for sci-fi violence.

Eli Marienthal (Stifler's brother in American Pie 1-2) as Hogarth Hughes
Vin Diesel (Riddick, Dominic Toretto in The Fast and the Furious) as The Iron Giant
Jennifer Aniston (Tory in Leprechaun, Joanna in Office Space) as Annie Hughes
Harry Connick, Jr. (Narrator in My Dog Skip, Jimmy in Independence Day) as Dean McCoppin
Christopher McDonald (Jor-El in Superman: The Animated Series, Superman in Batman Beyond) as Kent Mansley
John Mahoney (Marty in Frasier) as Gen. Rogard

In 1957, a mysterious object from space crashes on a stormy night off the coast of Maine. The next night, in the small town of Rockwell, a boy named Hogarth discovers the object as a giant robotic being with an appetite for metal and the ability to repair itself. He befriends the robot after saving it when it clumsily traps itself between power lines. Shortly afterward, Hogarth has the Giant stay at a junkyard run by a Beatnik named Dean. At the same time, Hogarth must keep the Giant's existence a secret from Mansley, a nosy government agent sent to investigate strange anomalies in the town.

Story: A+
It's such a shame that this film flopped at the box office due to Warner Bros.' inability to properly market it, as this is how an American animated story should be told. The Iron Giant is a classic tale of boy-meets-alien. The Cold War-era works perfectly with the story, as well as the Giant's interaction with its surroundings and its struggle to differentiate good from evil. In addition, outstanding performances are given by the main cast. Yes - even by Vin Diesel, who still has yet to outdo his role as the Giant.

Despite the film failing at the box office, director Brad Bird went on to find greater success in 2004 with Disney/Pixar's The Incredibles.

Animation: A+
This is how a great American story should be animated. The Iron Giant displays some of the best examples of different forms of animation - old-style rotoscoping (which is much better than the style Don Bluth used to kill his career in Titan A.E.) for the human characters mixed with cel-shaded CGI for the Giant and various military vehicles.

Soundtrack: A
The film score by the late Michael Kamen (1948-2003) (Metallica's S&M live album, Pink Floyd's The Wall) is not as loud as his other theatrical works, but it works really well and doesn't detract from the storytelling.

The Bottom Line
Probably the last great American 2D animated theatrical release and undoubtedly one of the best sci-fi stories ever told.

DVD Extras: A
The Special Edition DVD is loaded with extras such as additional scenes cut from the film (in animated storyboard form, with commentary by director Bird), the full "Duck and Cover" song, numerous behind-the-scenes footage that's accessible in the middle of the film, a motion gallery and some trailers. There's also a mini-documentary featuring Vin Diesel - not that anyone cares, anyway.

In addition, the DVD-ROM has some bonuses that may probably crash your computer.

The Iron Giant Official Site

The Internet Movie Database

Edited by areaseven
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A great movie. And I actually felt a tear rising when the Giant took on the nuke and said "Superman..."

I took visiting family members to see this movie back on Dec. '99. To this day I can't forget the face my mother had (before she walked out of the movie, crying) when the giant took on the nuke... :huh:

[as the Giant flies toward the missile]

Hogarth Hughes: [in the Giant's mind] You are what you choose to be.

The Iron Giant: [closes his eyes] Superman...

When an animated flick can move you to tears, you know it's a good one. B))

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Truly one of the best films, animated or otherwise, of all time. Im a MASSIVE Brad Bird fan, and will personally watch anything he ever makes. The Incredibles is still my favourite all time film.

u mentioned Titan AE: I always liked that film. I know a lot of people dont, but i thought it was great! I loved the design of the main ship too, though the name of it eludes me just now (The Valkyrie maybe?)

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  • 2 weeks later...
A great movie. And I actually felt a tear rising when the Giant took on the nuke and said "Superman..."

That is a fantastic movie moment. A very touching scene that is truly heroic. Brad Bird is a great director and its really good that he finally got the recognition he deserved for the Incredibles, but Iron Giant is criminally underrated and quite possibly the LAST great 2D animated film.

Great review too.


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