This is the story of a nine-year-old boy named Hogarth Hughes who makes friends with an innocent alien giant robot that came from outer space. Meanwhile, a paranoid U.S. Government agent named Kent Mansley arrives in town, determined to destroy the giant at all costs. It's up to Hogarth to protect him by keeping him at Dean McCoppin's place in the junkyard. Written by
Anthony Pereyra <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"The Iron Giant" is the kind of animated film you wish there was more of. It respects the audience's intelligence, it has genuine emotion without resorting to schmaltz, and best of all it balances fantasy (well, science fiction) with believability. I think Warner Brothers animation has out-Disneyed Disney by adding thoughtful writing to clean, understated animation. What a concept!
The story is deceptively simple: Iron Giant falls from the sky at the dawn of the Space Race and befriends a young boy. But within that framework we get a double story, one for the grown ups and one for the kids, but the message is essentially the same one: paranoia and violence begets violence. I appreciate very much, as others who have commented, that no one burst into incongruous song and that there were no cutesy animal sidekicks. I should add that there were no clever yet implausible plot twists, nor were there any stock characters. The bad guy gets a little overheated, true, but he is never the embodiment of all things evil. The townspeople are your average small town Americans, not bumpkins. Mom is, well, mom-ish, caring but neither shrewish nor prone to whimpering outbursts. And our hero is plucky but not annoyingly precocious.
A BIG plus for this film is how well it weds the computer animation to the hand-drawn animation, a feat that the Big Mouse hasn't mastered yet. Even as recently as "Tarzan" it is glaringly apparent what parts are computer graphics and which aren't, and the contrast is very distracting. "The Iron Giant" makes a virtue of streamlined animation that draws your eye to the beauty of its color and motion.
It was a very VERY distinct and unusual pleasure to be treated to a film such as this. Give us more . . . please!
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