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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

An animated delight

Author: Tweekums from United Kingdom
28 January 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Set in 1957 when the Cold War was at its height and the Soviets shortly after the Soviets had put Sputnik into orbit people are understandably somewhat paranoid. When a giant robot falls from the sky the only witness is believed to be imagining things at first but young Hogarth Hughes believes him and goes out to investigate; he finds the huge robot devouring the metal at an electricity substation. While he is watching the robot is electrocuted and but he saves it by turning off the power. The robot appears friendly and starts to follow him home; unfortunately he causes a train crash and soon afterwards Government Agent Kent Mansley arrives and sets about searching for the robot; his only clue leads him to the Hughes household where he soon suspects Hogarth knows far more than he is letting on. Hogarth manages to hide the giant in the local scrap yard, which is run by Dean McCoppin; a friendly beatnik who uses the scrap to make his 'art'. Eventually it emerges that while the robot is friendly it has formidable defensive capabilities that could make it extremely dangerous if attacked... which is just what happens when Mansley gets the army in.

This film is a real delight; it has a slightly retro look and nicely captures the Cold War paranoia and childhood innocence. The animation looked great; the characters didn't look 'cartoony' and the scenery looked great. The story is a solid sci-fi drama that, while aimed at children, can be enjoyed by older viewers. The voice actors, who include some big names, do a fine job bringing the characters to life. The story itself had plenty of exciting moments as well as a few laughs. There are also a few poignant moments that deal with death and may cause a tear or two to be shed... and not just by younger viewers! Overall I'd say this is a fine film that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Best Animated Film of All Time

Author: slayerjmk95 from United States
1 December 2011

I watch almost any kind of movie, and when it comes to animated features, they have to be truly heart-warming to capture the real spirit of a family film. There have been plenty throughout the years that deserve immediate and all time praise; Toy Story (1, 2 and 3), How to Train Your Dragon, Aladdin, Sleeping Beauty, Shrek, Wall-E, and Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas (underrated Dreamworks cartoon). But no cartoon deserves more praise and acknowledgment than Brad Bird's The Iron Giant.

The Iron Giant is set in 1957 and stars Vin Diesel as The Iron Giant, an alien machine that crash-lands on Earth and is soon befriended by a little boy named Hogarth Hughes (Eli Marienthal), who discovers that "Giant", as Hogarth calls him, eats metal for food. Not long after all this, a government agent (Christopher McDonald) arrives and begins to cause trouble, and soon chaos as he believes Giant to be a foreign weapon sent to destroy America. I have never seen anything like this movie before; constantly heart-warming, family-fun comedy moments (which are great), and an emotionally shattering climax that is truly memorable. If you really love to watch movie and, not only be entertained, but moved, then The Iron Giant is one you have to watch. I would also have to say, Warner Bros. should be ashamed for the bad marketing they did for this movie; just like Brad Bird said, "They had no idea what they had in their hands." This should have won a few Oscars and Golden Globes; it deserves it. 10/10 Stars***

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Forgotten Jewel

Author: Imdbidia from Planet Earth
13 February 2011

A 2-D animation movie with a great script, characters and old-style animation.

The Iron Giant tells the story of the fall into Earth of an alien giant robot, and his relation with a naughty child who lives with his single mother in a small town in the States.

The movie is set in the 1950s, during the cold war period and the space race, when aliens and robot populated TV shows and comics, and the imagination of the population. The movie is able to reproduce the mood and style of the era, even the animation style, but with all the improvements that technology has brought to animation.

The characters are psychologically drawn with great talent, as it couldn't be otherwise by a Warner Bros's movie, and it is just them, their human qualities, what makes the viewer click with them and believe they are real. Moreover, the cartoons have a superb body movement, facial expression.

The script is engaging and very entertaining, very funny and lovable. At the same time, the film address serious social and political issues in a simple approachable way, without lecturing: You are who you decide to be, if you respond to violence is your option., it is in your hands to make your own destiny no matter what your past is, your heart is always a great power to connect with others, no matter how different they are. Great messages to pass on to children.

Eli Marienthal is terrific as the little hero Hogarth Hughes. Jennifer Aniston is extremely lovable as his mother Annie (perhaps Aniston's best performance ever...),.Harry Connick Jr is very likable as the quirky Dean McCoppin, Vin Diesel very sweet as the "brute" Iron Giant, and Christopher McDonald terrific as the annoying paranoid Govt Agent Kent Mansley. In fact all the voice actors are terrific, and the movie is never dull, but cheerful and full of life thanks to them.

The Iron Giant did not have success at the box office when first released, due to poor marketing and a lack of promotion, but it has proved to be one of the most charming, entertaining and lovable animation movies of all times, to be put together with Miyazaki's and other classics of animation because of the quality of its animation and story.

A classic for both children and adults

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Succeeds on all levels

Author: Neil Welch from United Kingdom
29 April 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Let's see:

Story: First rate. Interesting, involving, plenty going on but easy to follow.

Subtext: Subtle but deep. On a personal level, deals with friendship, being a loner, making choices, sacrifice. On an ethical level, the issue of gun control is addressed.

Humour: A lot, but not obvious, and it doesn't beat you over the head with it.

Drama: Throughout, ranging from small domestic dramas to life and death.

Animation: Traditional drawn animation, gorgeous.

Production design: Perfect.

Character design: Perfect.

Voicework: Excellent.

Emotion: Carries a huge, HUGE emotional wallop.

A wonderful film.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

You are who you choose to be.

Author: Spikeopath from United Kingdom
18 July 2009

It's the 1950s and young Hogarth Hughes happens upon a visitor from the form of a giant iron man.

Delightful animation adaptation of Ted Hughes' much beloved 1968 novel The Iron Man. Set during the period of time when Cold War and sci-fi paranoia was prevalent, The Iron Giant embraces these themes and stokes them with lessons of friendship, hatred, death and pertinent reminders of pacifism. Directed by Brad Bird and scripted Tim McCanilies and Andy Brent Forrester, The Iron Giant is one of those rare animation animals that delights the kids as much as it does the watching adults. Tho the actual giant himself, with all his dazzling weaponry, is the star attraction on show, it's the iron colossus' inner conflict that gives the film its heart. Aided by his friend, young Hogarth, good old iron decides he doesn't want to be a big weapon, but the authorities, as is nearly always the way, just can't let it be. The unflinching attitude that ran thru many of the 50s sci-fi schlockers was one of being-"because we don't understand it, lets destroy it"-something that Ted Hughes and the film makers here capture perfectly. Sophisticated and intelligent in its approach and delivery, this is definitely one of the better animated film's from the modern age. 9/10

Voice work comes from Jennifer Anniston, Harry Connick Jr, Vin Diesel, James Gammon, Christopher McDonald, M. Emmet Walsh and Eli Marienthal.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

The Iron Giant is a great cartoon movie

Author: bvcsmlawson from United Kingdom
16 July 2009

(Written by Zakiyah Azam a year 5 pupil) The Iron Giant is a great movie from the start to the end.The funniest part is when Hogorth the boy met this man called Dean and up Dean's trouser's there is a squirrel and when Hogarth asks Dean to jump into the water but Dean dozen't jump into the water the big robot dose!The happiest part is when the robot and Hogarth become friends!The saddest part is when two people kill a deer and Hogarth tells the robot it is bad to kill and when the big robot flied and hit the bomb that was about to kill everyone the robot died and everyone was saved!The scariest part is when the investigator Mr Manly threatens Hogarth that he will kill his mum if he dozen't tell him were the robot is!

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

It's like a live action would-be movie, cept it's animated.

Author: ryanaustinf from Philippines
5 June 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Well, nothing much to say for an introduction here. Simply, about five years before "The Incredibles," was made, Brad Bird was attached to direct one of the most underrated movies of all time, The Iron Giant. I gotta say, I only watched this twice and even though I know what happens the second time, it is still heartwarming and Brad Bird's best. Let me remind you that this is all opinion and zero fact and the only fact that will appear as an event in the movie.

Our main characters are The Iron Giant (Vin Diesel) and Hogarth Hughes (Eli Marienthal). The relationships in this film are amazing and subtle. They aren't shoving it in your face they just play it naturally and the relationship between these two is no exception. They're both fun characters and The Iron Giant gets his funny moments too. The main villain is probably Kent Mansley(Christopher McDonald). He's just annoying and a jerk but that's what makes him such an awesome villain-ish. He's obsessed with destroying the Giant that he forces Hogarth to tell him where it is and if he doesn't cooperate, he's gonna take him away from his mother! ... YOU SICK TWISTED *******! The supporting characters are, Hogarth's mom, Annie Hughes (Jennifer Aniston) and Dean McCoppin(Harry Connick Jr.). Once again, the relationships here are very subtle and the cross relationships of Hogarth to his mom, Dean, Kent, and the giant are amazing (and all that that implies lol). The action in here is amazing, especially near the last part. Kent gets the AIRFORCE to strike at one giant. Once again, forgive me for this... YOU SICK TWISTED *******! Now the story is simple. A robot crashes on Earth and a kid befriends it. The kid tries to prevent anyone seeing him but A SICK TWISTED *******! ... sorry tries to find out about the robot and tries to get the army to destroy it. Well, this is on my top movies list and I'm proud to give The Iron Giant, 88% awesome!

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A superb animation. And criminally underrated

Author: DAVID SIM from United Kingdom
23 January 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Before Brad Bird found success with The Incredibles and Ratatouille, he directed this little seen film, The Iron Giant. Bird is one of the true auteur's of modern animation. Despite only three films to his name, the man is quite simply a genius. His films represent the finest examples of family entertainment. Ones that appeal to adults and children alike. And he understands what makes a film accessible to a child. You don't talk down to them. Just talk to them.

The Iron Giant was given a curious lack of advertising by Warner Bros. It was just dumped into cinemas with very little advance notice. And not surprisingly, The Iron Giant did next to no business. And that is a real shame. Because its one of the greatest animated films you will ever see.

Taking a leaf out of ET's book, and based on the short story by Ted Hughes, The Iron Giant follows the tale of a 100-foot robot that crashes to Earth in Rockwell, Maine, 1957.

Bird has deliberately set the film in Cold War America. In fact the setting is just days after the Russians launched the Sputnik satellite. So the atmosphere is expectedly tense and paranoid. Most Americans of that era thought anyone who wasn't a member of the USA was their enemy. And its unfortunate The Iron Giant should have to land on Earth during such a dark era.

Hogarth Hughes is a schoolboy obsessed with the stars. He watches all the classic B-movies. Collects all the comics. Has posters of Forbidden Planet proudly displayed on the walls of his bedroom. But when the TV goes on the blink one night, Hogarth goes outside and investigates. Their antenna has been bitten off the roof. Someone has left a trail of destruction behind them. Cars. Wagons. And when Hogarth follows them, he comes across The Iron Giant.

When Hogarth saves him from being electrocuted at a power plant, the two become fast friends. Hogarth sort of adopts him, and has to go to great lengths to conceal him from the outside world. No easy task considering his insatiable appetite for metal. And when a government agent comes snooping around, it isn't long before war breaks out between the townspeople of Rockwell and the innocent Iron Giant.

Anyone who hasn't seen this film must go out and buy it immediately. Because you are missing out on one of the most perfect family films ever conceived. Brad Bird never puts a foot wrong. He strikes the perfect balance between comedy, action and touching sentiment. Its a film where you never feel like you're being patronised or lectured to.

Although ET did spring to mind while I was watching this film (and Bird has worked with Steven Spielberg in the past), I think The Iron Giant is far superior. ET felt (to me anyway) like a calculated attempt on Spielberg's part to push all the right emotional buttons at perfectly timed intervals. I never felt any manipulation during The Iron Giant.

Bird crafts the friendship between Hogarth and his new friend with surprising sophistication. Hogarth's attempts to humanise the machine is conducted with real skill and expertise. Since Hogarth knows they're living in dangerous times, he knows exactly how the people will react if they saw The Iron Giant. They'll only see a monster. Something alien. And in they're minds, anything that's alien must be destroyed.

Bird also does a great job evoking the atmosphere of 1950's Cold War America. The film has many accurate details that will immediately strike a chord with anyone of that era. Such as the disturbing Duck and Cover programmes. And Bird makes sure the fear and uncertainty of the times are neatly represented too. Like paranoid conspiracy nuts and straight arrow Army Generals.

But the crux of the film is Hogarth's friendship with The Iron Giant. The way these two outsiders find a friend in each other. The film gets a lot of mileage out of the different adventures they get up to. Whether it be slapstick, like Hogarth doing a cannonball into a lake, and when the Giant tries it, he ends up draining all the water. Or sentiment, like when Hogarth discovers what the Giant really is.

The film has a very strong anti-gun statement to make. None more so than the scene when the pair come across a deer in the woods shot by hunters. Hogarth makes a very impassioned speech about how its wrong to kill. And how to make the right choice.

Its genuinely shocking to discover the Giant is a weapon. His crash to Earth has robbed him of that knowledge. But his programming kicks in whenever he feels threatened. Something not helped by the Army coming to take this 'monster' down.

The Iron Giant has to make a choice between being a gun, and being a person. Which will he choose? Or will his programming make the choice for him? Pretty heady material for a so-called kids film.

Brad Bird has a clear love of retro futurism, something he lavishly displayed in The Incredibles, and here too. The Iron Giant is a tall, galumphing behemoth. But Bird does a great job making him seem endearing, especially with a surprisingly animated metal face. And the different weaponry inside of him is pretty inventive too. He's got more add-ons than the Swiss Army!

Things come to a very moving conclusion when the Giant must sacrifice himself for Hogarth and the people who hate him. Its very saddening, and will leave you feeling depressed for days afterwards. Odd to feel such compassion for an animated character isn't it?

The Iron Giant is an unforgettable experience. One of the finest animated movies ever made. And all the more remarkable for having the ability to move and enchant you as much as it does.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

I Should've Listened To My Nephew...

Author: ferbs54 from United States
6 December 2007

Back in 1999, when "The Iron Giant" was first released, several friends of mine, aware of my love for 1950s sci-fi films, urged me to go see this movie. For some reason, I passed. A few years later, another friend's 4-year-old son told me what a great video this was, but I still declined to watch it. And even later, when my own nephew (then 6) told me what a hilarious scene he'd just witnessed in "The Iron Giant" (the one in which young Hogarth drinks espresso and starts talking a mile a minute)...well, even then, I still ignored the advice. Anyway, all the above folk will be happy to hear that I finally DID watch this animated sci-fi film last night, and found it absolutely charming. Featuring wonderful animation, nice touches of warmth and humor, and wry commentary on '50s paranoia and A-bomb lunacy, the film really does have appeal to young and old. Lovers of sci-fi and/or action films should especially enjoy the film's latter scenes, in which the lovable Giant gets ticked off and morphs into an unstoppable killing machine. My hat is certainly off to everyone involved in the making of this most entertaining film. And this "special edition" DVD, filled with more extras than you can imagine, certainly does live up to the advertising. Hmmm...maybe I SHOULD take my nephew's advice and finally rent out his favorite movie, "Toy Story 2"...

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:


Author: jldmp1 ( from United States
21 June 2006

This ran a big risk of going horribly wrong, but Brad Bird shows in his first feature that he knows how craft a new whole out of genre parts, while keeping his eye on the big picture. The opposite of this movie would be the execrable "Independence Day", where the whole decidedly was a good deal less than the sum of the pieces.

Part of his crafting solution is to take a story set in the past, that's about the past, and keeping the feel of the visual and vocal expression in the past -- no referential pop-culture hokum.

Obviously, this is composed from parts of "The Day the Earth Stood Still", "E.T.", "Terminator 2", "Godzilla" and countless 50's B movies. What matters is that this is smarter than all those put together. The way this shatters old perspectives is placed directly in the visual narrative -- the part where the kid watches the brainlessly stupid movie about the man-eating brain -- all intended to point out the superior intelligence of what we have here.

Secondly, the use of the Giant's exaggerated height gives Bird the advantage of exaggerating the perspective of the 'camera'. He gets to play with focus and composition -- this is superbly detailed from every angle and in every trajectory...Anime without the losses in translation.

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