The Iron Giant (1999) Review

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The Iron Giant (1999)

Directed by Brad Bird

Based on The Iron Man by Ted Hughes

Starring:
Eli Marienthal
Jennifer Aniston
Harry Connick, Jr.
Vin Diesel
Christopher McDonald
John Mahoney

Running time: 87 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
The film is about a lonely boy named Hogarth raised by his mother (the widow of an Air Force pilot), who discovers an iron giant who fell from space. With the help of a beatnik named Dean, they have to stop the U.S. military and a federal agent from finding and destroying the Giant. The Iron Giant takes place in October 1957 in the American state of Maine during the height of the Cold War.

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My Opinion:

This is a great film and I don’t understand why it isn’t more well known than it is. Well, maybe it is – It must be popular amongst certain artistic types since there are lots of amazing alternate posters for the film online. Someone collected a bunch of them here – they’re awesome!: geekynerfherder.

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I’m not going to go into this much. I re-watched it last summer after not seeing it for years and it’s the only film that I watched in 2013 that I have yet to review. With over 100 reviews here now, I decided it was time to finally alphabetize them all (You can make me really happy by clicking on this link because it took me ages to do this!: Reviews A-Z). 😉

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The Iron Giant was directed by Brad Bird, the genius behind Pixar greats The Incredibles & Ratatouille. There are two main things that I love about The Iron Giant. The first is The Giant himself. I love the look of him and of course the way he becomes friends with Hogarth and the way he learns about humans and develops a personality. He reminded me a lot of the Laputan robots in Laputa: Castle In The Sky – I loved that movie & the robots are a big part of the reason why. I also absolutely adore WALL-E (one of my all-time favorite films) so I think I may just be a sucker for robots with a heart….

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Secondly, I love the message in this film. I know it’s not one that’s for everyone, though. From what I read on Wikipedia, Bird pitched this film around the idea “What if a gun had a soul?”. The book was written in 1968 but Bird chose to set the film during the Cold War in 1957 and I think this time period works perfectly for the film and its peaceful anti-war, anti-weapon, anti-paranoia message. It also works in that this was a time of great sci-fi B movies and The Iron Giant’s look and feel fits in perfectly with that as well. Its story is like that of many of the great old Twilight Zone episodes (which is a huge compliment as I think that’s the greatest TV series ever). It would be interesting, actually, to see another adaptation of The Iron Giant set in modern times as the paranoia during the Cold War is nothing compared to today’s and gun violence is ridiculously out of control. Oh shit…. Back away from that topic…. Back away…… Slowly….!

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Summary:

The Iron Giant is a classic. Don’t let my talk of its “message” put you off – It doesn’t ram its beliefs down your throat (I hate movies that do that). It keeps things simple & just tells it like it is. Come on – it’s made by Brad Bird, who became a part of Pixar. You know you can trust anything Pixar-related! And you can trust me too. I think all families should sit down and watch The Iron Giant together. If they did, maybe the world would be a better place. 🙂

My Rating: 8/10

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