The Iron Giant
Directed by Brad Bird
Starring the voices of Jennifer Aniston, Eli Marienthal, Harry Connick, Jr., Christopher McDonald, and Vin Diesel.
I had to go see this film, simply for the fact that all my movie gossip sites have been raving about this film since November of last year. They kept saying what a grown-up story it had, and how the animation is spellbinding. Well, when my sites started saying how it was suffering from such a bad ad campaign, I’d figure I’d do my part and go see it. Now, I want to tell the whole world to see it.
Our story takes place in a small American coastal town, in the late 1950’s. The Russians have just launched Sputnik, and the entire USA is in the height of cold war paranoia. Things get strange when a fisherman reports that some giant metal monster fell into the sea in front of his boat. This intrigues the young boy Hogarth Hughes (Marienthal), who goes out into the woods in search of this monster. Well, he finds the title Giant (Diesel). It is a 100 foot tall alien robot, who seems to have forgotten his purpose. Hogarth takes the Giant under his wing, looking after it, and trying to hide it from his mother (Aniston). Since the Giant eats metal, Hogarth and the Giant soon befriend Dean (Connick), the local beatnick who runs the local scrapyard. Its not long before government agent Kent (McDonald) is sent to investigate the Giant, and when he discovers it, he is convinced it is a threat that should be blown off the face of the Earth.
This movie is just so amazing. It is the most un-Disney that’s ever been produced. It is so grown-up in thematic matter for an animated film. Unlike so many other animated movies, this one dares to raise questions: do we have to be what others tell us to be? What is life? Do we really have souls? What is our purpose? Why do we fear the unknown? This film had a heart and soul. It raises questions in you about your existence. Someone told me that they saw a film this summer, and it gave them such an emotional overload they felt like they were slugged in the stomach. That’s what I got from this film. It is a powerful experience. It is a film that sticks to your ribs. And that is rare in an animated film. Forget Star Wars: Episode I, this is the best film of the summer. Go see it. And don’t forget, you are who you choose to be.