on 14 January 2005
I bought this film on DVD when it first came out a number of years ago on a recommendation from my brother. I was a little hesitant at first as i wasn't a huge fan of animated movies but after watching this beautiful film i was converted.
This film along with the recent Incredibles is the BEST animated film ever. The Iron Giant never fails to dissappoint, no matter how many times you have watched it, i must have seen it at least ten times now. It seems that Brad Bird has the midas touch and everything he looks after is magic, just look at early simpsons and the above mentioned incredibles for proof.
I can't quite find the words to describe this film, except that it's funny, thought provoking and sad. I'm a 33yr old married man and everytime i watch this i cry towards the end, as it's so moving, infact just thinking about that scene puts a lump in my throat.
Quite how this film slipped through the net on it's release is beyond me, the marketing men for this little gem should hang their heads in shame as this film deserves so much more credit than it got and should have been nominated for an oscar.
Quite simply if you haven't seen this film then you are missing out.
on 27 May 2007
I'll keep this as short as possible.
I remember around 7 years ago, I watched this for the first time. I was quite young and I was absolutely mesmerized by it. Today, I had a craving to watch it again for the first time in 7 years. I dug out the old dusty VHS from the attic and played it. After watching it once again, I was completely blown away. The animation has not a aged a bit and the story is as touching as ever.
Don't pass the chance up to watch this classic. A legendary film that I shall remember for the rest of my life.
on 17 July 2012
I first saw this when I was about 13, I rented the DVD from a local library, at the time I thought it was a very good film. Fast forward I am now 25, whilst I have been through the eras of American Pie, Matrix, Star Wars and the more recent Batman films, I somehow relate back to the Iron Giant and how much of an influence it had. I decided to buy the DVD and watch it last night, some 12 years later, I was blown away. The animation, the storyline, the soundtrack, everything hit the spot! It was fantastic! Although this is a children's animation, it will have more of an effect on adults than children. It is a beautiful intelligent story about a boy and his metal friend, its also gives a feeling after the film on our behaviours in this society we live in. Stunning film, every school should show this.
on 30 March 2015
One of my all time favourite films and one of the best films ever made in the whole history of cinema.
I was lucky enough to catch this in the Odeon on Glasgow's Sauchiehall Street on its original release in 1999. I say 'lucky' because when it came out on >>ahem<< video, some scenes didn't match upto my memories of seeing it on the big screen and I do feel a wee bit smug about having caught it in the cinema compared to people who've only seen it on their TVs at home.
There were two DVD releases for this film by Brad Bird, an ex-producer on the Simspons for several years, amongst other things (he directed the Do The Bartman video, for example) and since this adaptation of Ted Hughes' The Iron Giant, Bird has written and/or directed The Incredibles, Ratatouille and Mission Impossible 4 and has another live action film out soon called Wonderland, which like this version of The Iron Giant, is also set in the 1950s.
If you've seen the aptly named The Incredibles and The Iron Giant is new to you, then I'd say you are in for a treat; the story is simple - a giant robots from space crash lands in the ocean near an American town called Rockwell (!) and is eventually discovered on dry land by a young boy called Hogarth. They develop a friendship and become very close. However, when a very ambitious and equally idiotic secret service man comes to Rockwell to investigate the mysterious sightings of a giant metal man, things of course begin to go awry.
As in The Incredibles, writer/director Brad Bird has a wonderful knack of writing emotion into his scripts in ways that resonate so strongly and in so subtle a fashion. Reading the other reviews on here have made me realise that The Iron Giant doesn't just appeal exclusively to little boys but mums, dads and daughters too. I promise you, there won't be a dry eye in the house when this film comes almost to the end of its running time.
I don't know what it is that makes Brad Bird's genre work so moving, so exciting and so affecting but I didn't get the same emotion from Ratatouille or his Mission Impossible entry. Animation seems to be Bird's forte; his plotting and dialogue here and in The Incredibles are superlative. Your emotions never feel manipulated watching The Iron Giant and Bird wrings out every ounce of pathos and humour that he can and it's all perfectly believable. The anti-violence message probably means more to Americans than people in Britain and the rest of Europe but it's a good one and leads to a wonderfully moving scene in the forest with Hogarth and his new friend. One of many moving scenes, I might add; this is no cheesy singalong Disney type cartoon. It's very mature and doesn't talk down to the audience at all and that makes the drama all the more affecting.
I particularly appreciated the scenes with the comic books Hogarth reads during his time with the Giant. The Giant lacks an identity of his own and when he finds one for himself, it'll be sure to give you a wry chuckle. The last act of the movie is simply astonishing, however. Mixing computer generated imaging with the film's traditional hand drawn 2D animation, an almost documentary level of realism sets in and completely grounds the action. The Giant is no mere metal man or alien life form, he was made for one very specific devastating purpose and to say any more would be to spoil this gem of a movie for you.
Once you've seen the film for yourself, you'll understand. As a harassed parent, you may feel sitting your kids in front of the television is a bad thing but it's not, not with The Iron Giant. It's amazing. The best few pounds you'll ever spend in your life.
on 18 October 2003
Some animated features will bring out the best in all of us, be we grumpy old sour prouts or innocent young toddlers. They show you things that fuel your dreams and teach you things it can take years to learn from daily experience, and you won't even notice it because of the great entertainment value behind them...
Of course, i wouldn't waste your time by writing that piece of info if Brad Bird's ( the director of the simpsons a.o.) ' The Iron Giant' wasn't one of these features:
Every kid wants a pet at one time or another in their life, and unfortunately for Hogart Hughes' mother, some seem to prefer the more unorhtodox kind to the traditionals. Hogart for example has already ( unintentionally) wrecked his house with a raccoon and his mother's diner with a squirrel, you can imagine that if these small creatures can cause such havoc, what could happen if he got his hands on something bigger, such as let's say, a fifty foot, metal-eating, iron robot... This, coincedently, is exactly what happens. The boy tries his best to hide it, but unfortunately people tend to notice huge bites of steel been taken out of their cars. As if that wouldn't be freaky in normal times, this was in the middle of the cold war, where paranoia was at it's highest. Soon a federal officer, full of himself and dying to get some credit to his name, is sent in from Washington and well... destroying an enemy giant machine that is 'sent to tae over America' is one way of obtaining that credit.
As for the robot, he lost his memory as he crashed down to earth, and has to start again from scratch. With help from Hogarth he slowly learns that being human is not being made of flesh and blood, but something deeper, and throughout the entire film he strives to come one step closer. That is where the treasure of this film lies: in showing that anyone or thing, even one of the most brutish creatures imaginable can be as wonderful a person as any if he chooses to be.
It is a thrilling adventure, with humour for all audiences, supported by a touching, warm story and perfectly developped characters. The scenery is beautiful and the music matches accompanies the mood and sights of the film perfectly... a true joy to watch... 5 stars !!!
on 21 May 2000
This was one of the best five films released in 1999 (and I'm not restricting that list to kids' films), and is a strong contended for best animated film ever made. It's stunningly good. Eschewing CGI for more traditional animation, it frequently looks gorgeous, and the first-rate character animation and voice actor performances instill the film with enormous vibrancy. You'll laugh, cry and cheer without ever feeling manipulated to do so. One can only hope that word of mouth leads to the success on home video and DVD that sadly eluded the film at the box-office. It's a wonderful movie.
While the story is familiar (kid meets alien/ monster/ outsider, and
befriends them, understanding they're not the threat the grown up world
thinks), Brad Bird brings humor, freshness and heart to the sub-genre
that lets this transcend into a terrific movie.
Set in a cold-war paranoid America of 1957, the titular creature cash
lands from outer- space, with a knock on his giant metal head leaving
him with amnesia about his purpose or history. After being saved by a 9
year old boy, a series of at first comic, then later more serious
There's some very funny jabs at the cold war mentality, and some
terrific, unusual supporting characters, including a mom more
interesting and complex than you find in most cartoons, and a local
wanna-be beatnik artist who joins in to take the giant iron man's
I love the look they designed for the Iron Giant himself, there's
something wonderfully retro and almost art deco about him, and they do
a great job of bringing heart and emotion to this gigantic metal
By the end I was shocked at how moved I found myself. A lovely, well
told, fun fairy tale that is as much for adults as for kids.
on 13 April 2008
Please note that this review contains spoilers.
The Iron Giant is a film that is almost totally unique in the history of contemporary animation. It is a provoking and poignant story that is exciting without being brainless and thoughtful without being condescending.
I won't go into the particulars of the story itself since that is probably summarised by Amazon and most other reviewers. Instead I will say that this film has a particular gift which is to teach children by treating them as adults and to entertain adults in a child-like way. It is moving and funny and entertaining; never straying too far from the habits of its characters in order to thrust a moral lesson home, nor suspending story for the sake of a joke and, perhaps most importantly, not afraid to expose its audience to very frightening issues.
This is no fairy tale, so far removed from Ted Hughes' fable that I very much treat the two as seperate entities, the world that the Giant finds himself in visceral and real. There could be no more perfect setting than at the height of Cold-War terror, with the attitudes of the American government, perhaps all Western governments, portrayed so faultlessly by the perfectly hateable Kent Mansley. The attitude of "we didn't build it and that's every reason to suspect the worst and blow it to kingdom come" and the locomotive-like momentum of paranoid ignorance being far more effective adversaries to the Giant than any Bat-Angel-Dragon.
The Iron Giant is groundbreaking and not afraid to buck trends, there is no musical interlude of any kind and Kent's treatment of Hogarth when things start to heat up is genuinely scary. Not to mention the flawless, sublime ending; in how many children's films can you say that the climax involves the hero sacrificing himself to save everyone, including the villain?
"I love you" says Hogarth as the Giant prepares to lay down his life. And at that point, I don't think there is anyone who doesn't.
on 21 May 2013
This is a very different film from the usual CGI cartoons like Toy Story or Shrek. It doesn't try for any 'realism', it just accepts it's a cartoon and gets on with the story. It's also set in the 50s, when Sputnik had just gone up and the world was a very different place, so this adds a nice touch.
At first I thought the story was a bit simplistic, but, after two or three watches (my 4 year old was watching it on 'continuous'!) it grew on me and it's now a film I will watch even if my son isn't around. I particularly liked the 50s flavour of innocence, and the characters are well 'drawn' too - especially the super-cool scrap yard owner-cum-sculptor, and the evil FBI(?) agent.
From the educational point of view, the film makes a strong point about violence begetting violence, but does it in a fairly subtle way that kids will absorb, without feeling they are being lectured. There's also (eventually) a happy ending.
Buy this, you won't be disappointed. But give it a chance, don't just dismiss it because it doesn't have all the CGI special effects of the block-buster movies.
on 21 July 2010
My son was seven when he first watched this film. It moved him so much that he hugged the television! I had never seen this film before and to be honest, I only bought it because it was in the "sale" bucket, and 2 weeks into the school summer holidays I was at my wit's end when it came to keeping him occupied!
I am soooo glad I did buy it. It is intelligent, beautifully animated, smartly-scripted, brilliantly acted and has a real message. "You are what you choose to be".
It reduced me to tears in the final scenes.
In summation: just beautiful. My 4 year old daughter has just watched it and as soon ass it finished she said (through her tears) "Mummy, please can I watch it again?" It took me a few seconds to answer because I was weeping too. We are now on the third loop.