Hasn't Gotten Enough Attention
JLFM - wrote on 04/12/12
Brad Bird has directed two Pixar films; The Incredibles and Ratatouille. Both of these are big favorites of mine. Browsing through films, The Iron Giant caught my eye. I could only hope that I enjoyed this film as much as I did Ratatouille or The Incredibles. The verdict is that the film wasn't was good as either Pixar films, but is more than exceptional entertainment. In fact, this is one of the best non-Pixar animated films I've ever seen.
The film opens with a gorgeously animated sequence of a futuristic vehicle flying through space, until it lands in the middle of the ocean where a boat sails nearby. The captain of the boat stares curiously where he saw the flash of light...then a giant 50-foot robot emerges from the ocean.
The film only gets better from there. A young boy named Hogarth is at the diner where his Mom works long hours. The boy overhears a conversation about the Iron Giant, and wonders if it truly exists. His question is later answered when he sees the robot near a power plant, and ends up saving the giant's life.
The two become friends, though the boy has to hide the giant to avoid the government (and his Mom) from finding out (Think E.T.).
The film is quite funny, and it's filled with stunning animation and memorable characters. The story matches up to Pixar quality, in both heart and substance.
There are a lot of tricky issues that are discussed in this film; death namely. The Iron Giant is curious about Earth, and one of his experiences is a deer being shot by hunters. The Iron Giant is traumatized by the experience, and Hogarth explains death as well as he can.
"Death isn't a bad thing," Hogarth says, "Everyone dies."
"You die?" The Iron Giant asks.
"Well, yeah, someday." Hogarth says.
"...I die?" The Iron Giant ponders.
"I...don't know. Maybe..."
The film is very thought provoking, and in some of it's many humorous scenes, laugh provoking. It's even a little tear-jerking at times.
If you understand or appreciate anything about movies, this film should be viewed as a must-see. Something you have to experience at least once.