The Iron Giant (1999)

The Iron Giant (1999)

1999 | PG | 86 Minutes

Adventure | Science Fiction | Fantasy | Family | Animation

A giant metal machine falls to Earth and frightens the residents of a small town in Maine in 1958, until it befriends a nine-year-old boy named Hogarth and ultimately finds its humanity by unselfis...

Overall Rating

9 / 10
Verdict: Great

User Review

  • The Iron Giant is not as cold as the title would lead you to believe. I remember watching this when it first came out on DVD, I was about 6 years old. To a child, this is a story about a colossal robot wanting to use his powers for good. Nearly twenty years later as I enter adulthood, I view this film completely differently. A story about loneliness, a young boy confiding in the titular character in a bid to teach him his ideologies of anti-warfare. A governmental agency concerned for the welfare and security of their own country, viewing the giant as a weapon from another nation. I cannot emphasise enough how rare it is to find such a multi-dimensional family animation that tells a different story dependent on your own perspective. Bird's directorial debut is a statement and certainly a landmark in the animation genre, garnering a cult status where the giant is often the centre of several pop cultural references ('Ready Player One' anyone?). The steampunk aesthetic appeal, CGI on top of hand-drawn animation and surprisingly dark themes has resulted in a flick that has aged impeccably well. Incredibly minimalistic in its storytelling, particularly the deer death scene, yet utterly powerful. The characters themselves were brimming with personality, from the mischievous boy to his worrying mother, they all brought the pictures to life accompanied by an intelligent screenplay. Voice acting was pretty special also, boasting an A-List cast including Aniston and the deep sounds of Diesel. The pacing was pretty much perfect, quickest hour and a half you'll experience. Let's talk about that heartbreaking ending...perfection. It took everything that the film symbolised and placed them all into one powerful scene. Everything from the themes, metaphors and ideologies. Boom. That scene. It defines the film. Whilst I would've preferred they removed the final minute, it is a family film so I'll let it slide. What I can confidently say is that The Iron Giant is a timeless thematic classic that hasn't shown any signs of rust just yet. One of the most impressive directorial debuts.