Sunday Feature-Week 20: The Iron Giant (1999)

Title: The Iron Giant

Tone: An often overlooked children’s film with surprising depth, not your average fluff.

Who:

Director-Brad Bird

Cast- Eli Marienthal, Jennifer Anistorn, Harry Connick Jr., Vin Diesel

When: 1999

What: In October of 1957, a giant metal robot crash lands on earth and is befriended by a boy named Hogarth Hughes.

Why:

  • In honor of Kids Day (which just took place here in Burlington,VT), this week’s post profiles an often overlooked kids film, The Iron Giant. The first feature film directed by Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Ratatouille) The Iron Giant is a marvelous throwback to 50’s sci-fi films (War of the Worlds, The Day the Earth Stood Still) and has a refreshing amount of pathos and realistic characters.
  • The Iron Giant is essentially an homage to Superman. The Giant crash lands to earth (like Superman) and establishes his moral compass by reading Superman comics and attempts to emulate him to the best of his ability.
  • There is an excellent cameo in the film by Frank and Ollie, the two Disney animators who were the forefathers of introducing pathos to children’s animation and creating animated characters with depth.
  • One of the most refreshing aspects of The Iron Giant is how it manages to tackle some very serious subjects (The Cold War, The Atom Bomb, Morality, and Death) in a film geared towards children. The clip below is a good example of this, wherein Hogarth and the Giant happen upon a deer in the woods. Enjoy!

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~ by cinematte on May 16, 2010.

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