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>
All too often, "family films" are only infantile, simplistic formulas with a few self-referential and pop-culture jokes thrown in to try and keep adults awake. But then along comes something like "The Iron Giant", which is sophisticated enough to demand respect while maintaining a mythic and pure-hearted tone that actually does appeal to the kid in everybody.
"The Iron Giant" is refreshingly non-Disney in no end of ways. Characters seem real and chosen to fit the story, instead of being a superficial reshuffling of an old formula. The animation definitely has its eye-popping moments, but there are also scenes of great wonderment, pathos, and humour that only top-drawer animation can convey. The Giant itself is a great character, who only becomes MORE interesting as the film continues (another huge break from Disney). No scene is wasted in this film, either; every set piece, even the really funny ones, helps either to establish the "world" of the movie, or to advance the plot. At no time do you feel that you are merely waiting for the story to crank up again.
"The Iron Giant" is funny, exhilarating, and touching as well. It's sad to see it failing at the box office, as a blunt reminder that the success of films is often in direct proportion to their publicity budget. Hopefully, though, word-of-mouth will come to its rescue. Go see it! Tell your friends! Then go again! (Repeat as necessary.)
P.S. I find myself comparing the Iron Giant character to Martin Donovan's character in "Amateur". If there is anyone else on earth who has seen both films you may wish to entertain the notion yourself.
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