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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: June 11: The Iron Giant


June 11: The Iron Giant

"A boy makes friends with an innocent alien giant robot that a paranoid government agent wants to destroy."

The Iron Giant is one of the best animated films of all time. Yes, I am opening with a very bold statement but after revisiting the movie today, it's really hard for me to argue that fact. It's incredible how much love, imagination, and very good animation can be squeezed into 86 minutes. It is also a very mature film that actually has threats of death, destruction, and nuclear war, leaving the children in the audience either confused, scared, or just oblivious to what is going on. But even then, the animation is terrific and the 1950s setting gives the whole film a colorful, retro look. Oh, and it should be mentioned that The Iron Giant is directed by Brad Bird. Yes, the Pixar Bird who went on to direct The Incredibles, Ratatouille, and more recently, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. I'm just going to out on a limb and say Bird has a perfect track record, as he clearly is four for four on awesome. 

I think he looks like a genius...?

The Iron Giant follows the story of Hogarth Hughes, a boy with quite the imagination as well as a fascination with sci-fi, superheroes, and comic books. On one of his "excursions", Hogarth comes across a giant robot. The machine has found itself caught up in a bunch of electrical wires after going after a meal (he eats metal) and Hogarth bravely helps the robot out. As all kid's movies involving a boy befriending a strange something, the iron giant turns out to be a gentle behemoth (oddly enough, it is voiced by Vin Diesel before he was fast and furious) and the two begin a one-of-a-kind friendship. Cue the conflict and enter Kent Mansley (Christopher McDonald), a government agent convinced that an "alien" (or Soviet) something crash landed in Hogarth's little town. Mansley will stop at nothing to prove the giant's existence and it's up to Hogarth and a new beatnik friend, Dean (Harry Conick Jr.) to hide the giant from the hands Mansley and the government, who want to use it as a weapon of mass destruction. 

I want one. 

The Iron Giant is worth multiple viewings. The film is full of heart, humor, and even a few scares. It tells the story of a boy wanting a friend and views the giant through his innocent, child eyes. Unlike the government (the adults), Hogarth sees the iron giant as a peaceful creature, wanting to learn about the world and co-exist with his new friend and family. The Iron Giant is a film you can't dislike. It's simple enough to enjoy on a rainy day, but also complex enough to find much more meaning in it. It's meant for all ages as well, having humor, dialogue, and situations that both kids and adults will interpret differently. The Iron Giant is timeless and grows up with you, something a lot of films can never even come close to doing. 

The Good:
an imaginative story with the perfect blend of humor and heart
The Better:
incredible visuals and animation that gives life to a giant metal machine and its story
The Best:
enjoying this movie as much as I did when I was a kid but having entirely new feelings about what the film represented

Overall: 9.1/10


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At June 11, 2012 at 9:39 PM , Blogger Eric said...

One of my favorites but i always forget about it! Perhaps this is on Blu Ray now or something. I feel like it is very underrated.

At June 11, 2012 at 11:04 PM , Blogger Nick said...

Hasn't hit Bluray yet... why, I don't know. But it would look even more amazing then. Even a 3D version would be interesting.

At June 29, 2012 at 3:47 PM , Blogger Bubbawheat said...

This is such a great movie, I always love the bit at the end with him saying "I am Superman" I always forget that it's Vin Diesel doing the voice for the giant too.


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