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This gentle reworking of Ted Hughes's 1968 novella was the unseen gem of 1999. Hogarth, a young boy who lives in the Maine woods during the cold war, befriends a giant robot. As with E.T., the iron giant is a misunderstood outsider who becomes a child's best friend, and Hogarth does his best to hide the massive figure from his mom (voiced by Jennifer Aniston) and the local scrap-yard beatnik (Harry Connick Jr.). Soon the suspicions of neighbors and a government agent (Christopher McDonald) spell trouble.

With no songs, no sidekicks, and no cheap ending, The Iron Giant is a refreshing change-- like an off-Broadway production compared to the glitz of Disney's annual animated extravaganzas. Director Brad Bird may have Family Dog and The Simpsons to his credit, but this film doesn't have that brand of scatological humor. As with the best family entertainments, there are gags that adults will howl at while the kids are watching something else (see Bird's interpretation of cold war propaganda). And the star is one cool piece of animated magic. Voiced by Vin Diesel (Saving Private Ryan's hulking Private Caparzo) and filled with more gadgets than a Swiss army knife, the giant is a grand thing to behold. And like another famous cinema tin man, our hero--and the movie--has heart. Superb entertainment for ages 5 and up. --Doug Thomas

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Details

CastJennifer Aniston, James Gammon, Eli Marienthal
DirectorBrad Bird
Genre:  Animation, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Screen WriterBrad Bird, Ted Hughes, Tim McCanlies
DVD Release Date:  November 16, 2004
Runtime:  86 minutes
Studio:  Warner Home Video
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More The Iron Giant reviews
review by . June 20, 2010
No, I am not referring to myself here (although there may be a slight ring of truth therein).  Moreover, this review reflects the wonder of the late English poet laureate and American poet Sylvia Plath widower Ted Hughes's 1968 masterpiece of a children's chapter book entitled, The Iron Giant: A Story In Five Nights.  (Because that book was not listed here on Lunch, I had to use the corresponding movie link to access the appropriate category for this work)        …
Quick Tip by . July 03, 2010
super cute movie
Quick Tip by . June 24, 2010
Great movie! It's been a while since the last time I watched it, but it has a nice plot and great characters who are easy to form attachments to.
Quick Tip by . June 21, 2010
I didn't care for this. Not terribly interesting.
review by . August 31, 2005
posted in Movie Hype
The Iron Giant is a loose adaptation of a wonderful book of the same title, by Ted Hughes (written in the late sixties). In the book the origins of the giant are unknown, and he is initially buried beneath the earth before being attacked and ultimately befriended. The enemy in the book, who becomes a common enemy to both the humans and the giant and the cause of their alliance, was a giant dragon-like creature (as big as Australia!!) who the giant ends up outsmarting.     In …
review by . November 30, 2004
I am always hesitant to give a five-star rating to a film. I always try to compare movies to ones that are in the same genre first, and then to films that have stood the test of time before determining if they are worthy of five stars. "The Iron Giant" towers over the competition in its genre, and I believe that it will be around much longer than many of its modern counterparts. It is full of heart, wonder, and amazement. It has emotional twists that keep you intrigued. It is definitely worthy of …
review by . December 22, 2000
The Iron Giant choked in the box office, buried under a deluge of flashy films, all of which suffered from a serious dearth of heart and soul. It didn't help that the advertising campaign was painfully bad, embedding a pretense of "crappy kids' movie." And, of course, the animated motion picture genre is decidedly handcuffed by Disney, and any non-Disney flick is sure to elicit cynicism from the kids (the prime demographic for a movie like this).But forget all that...The Iron Giant is a fine movie. …
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