86 Min. | Animation – Action – Adventure | December 1999
IMDB Rating: 8.0
Director: Brad Bird
Staring: Eli Marienthal, Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Aniston
The Iron Giant Review: Animated movies have long been considered strictly for children. The old Disney classics that
started it all are indeed aimed at kids, but are still very watchable, even for adults. With the advent of Toy Story and its countless mimics, animated feature films have taken long strides to be considered worthy of serious attention. The Iron Giant is just such an animated piece. The 86 minute wonder is, to put it mildly, incredible. Everything about it is good. This is a movie with a heart the size of the title character. A gentle, gigantic robot is rocketed to earth and befriends a 10 year old boy.
The Iron Giant takes place during 1957 in a small town in Maine. The 1950’s was a time when the American public was fearful of atomic bombs and the possibility of alien life off the earth. Live-action sci-fi films of the 1950’s always depicted the arrival of “dangerous” alien life and our efforts to destroy it. The Day The Earth Stood Still is an influence on this film for evident reasons. Ultimately, the characters in that classic learn from the extra-terrestrial being and realize the dangers of the A-Bomb. It is amazing to see an animated feature which can relay this same type of message some 50 years later. A beautiful and touching ode to Bambi is witnessed about halfway through. It also brings back some tearful moments from the key scene in that great, hand-drawn film. Here, we see both hand-drawn imagery coupled with a computer-generated “iron giant”.
The title character is actually a 3D composition done digitally, mixed with the 2D action surrounding him. There are some highly imaginative shots of the robot mixing in with the film’s environment. At one point, he appears to be a lighthouse until the lights begin to blink. Enough analysis. Loved this movie. It is ranked #81 on the top list by other user authors for a reason. Not only is it escapist, fantastic entertainment for kids, adults, and seniors alike, it is an animated picture like no other. It combines the joy of Snow White and Pinocchio, the commentary of 1950’s science fiction, and the wizardry and laughter of Toy Story and its sequel. Do not miss this enchanting flick. Overall, The Iron Giant is a must watch.