All the feels. So this is about a giant robot (Vin Diesel) that arrives off the coast of Maine one day in the 1950’s. A child named Hogarth (Eli Marienthal) befriends him, but the paranoid government only assumes that it is here to destroy us, and that we need to strike first. If you haven’t seen this movie, you don’t know what you’re missing out on. It is a cult classic in the truest sense of the word; it bombed at the box office when it got released, making less than half of its budget back, and it was all because Warner Brothers didn’t know what to do with it. But some of the best movies out there aren’t realized until after the fact, and The Iron Giant is definitely just that.
This is a movie that needs to be seen by all.
The Iron Giant is my favorite boy and his dog story and second favorite animated movie of all time, and speaking as somebody who watches a lot of movies and a lot of cartoons, please believe that this is high praise. It’s so wonderful, it’s awe-inspiring. Brad Bird is a genius who (up until Tomorrowland) only releases masterpieces, and this was the one that launched his career as a director. It’s as emotional as can be, and it is one of maybe a dozen movies where it is perfectly acceptable for a guy to allow tears to be seen. Seriously, if you reach the end of this and you aren’t openly weeping in your seat, you are clearly are a soulless human imitation that is incapable of feeling.
All you have to do is say “Superman” in the right tone, and I am a little ball of emotion.
On top of all that, the Iron Giant is a really solid period piece as well. It is set in Cold War era, when the Red Scare was running rampant in America, and it really captures how people reacted to communism and things that they didn’t fully comprehend (the mindset of “I don’t know what this is, so we should bomb it”). This is an incredible animated movie where a simple character who has about 20 lines of spoken dialogue is as moving as can be, and he is also voiced by Vin Diesel, to impress even further. I am in love with this movie, and if you know what’s good for you, you should be, too.
The Iron Giant (1999) *****
– Critic for Hire