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 <email@example.com>
It's nice to see an elegantly crafted piece of animation come out of America. How did they manage it? The writing is great the animation is excellent and the voice acting is superb. I don't think I've liked an English animated film this much since The Plague Dogs. The film doesn't talk down to it's audience, and instead tells a simple story very well. My only complaint would be that Hogarth is somewhat of a smart-alec at times, but I guess this is the era of Leave it To Beaver.
Many of the situations are standard movie-fare, the ex-lax in the food, the helmet on the bed, but it's nice to see them in an animated film for a change. As an anime fan, the realism of the movie didn't impress me as much as the quality of the writing, voice acting, and the music and sound effects. I particularly remember the sound of the power lines snapping and the musical score building up to the climax of the film.
The character design for the giant is excellent, it's amazing how they could draw out very subtle emotions without noticeably distorting the face. I bawled like a baby near the end.
Finally, most importantly for me, there are NO CHEAP LAUGHS in the movie. One of the best moments in the movie for me was when Hogarth is running through the woods and he slams his face into a low branch. The theater full of kids raised on recent Disney crap bursts into laughter, but wait, there's no stupid sound effect, he's not hopping back up to his feet instantly with a ridiculous lump or distorted face or little birds flying around his head, he's still on the ground ... and what's that coming out of his nose.. it CAN'T BE.. it IS, a trickle of BLOOD. The kids (and parents) quickly cease their laughter. I couldn't stop smiling because I knew then that like me, they actually cared about the character on the screen and frankly that doesn't happen very often.
Tarzan was a small step in the right direction, and near the end of the long path beginning with that step is The Iron Giant.
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