The Iron Giant

Allison Abbate, Des McAnuff
Brad Bird
The voices of Jennifer Anniston, Harry Connick, Jr., John Mahoney
Tim McCanlies
Music By: 
Michael Kamen
Warner Bros.
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Publication Date: 
List Price: 
Short Review: 
An exciting adventure using impressive animation to tell the story of a friendship between a boy and a 100-foot metal robot from outer space. Loosely based on the brief fable The Iron Giant: A Story in Five Nights by British poet laureate Ted Hughes.
Long Review: 

It is 1957 – the Atomic Age – and mysterious things are happening in Maine. A fisherman sees something crash into the sea out of the sky, and soon metal things (like tractors and cars) all over town are disappearing. Is it Sputnik, or can it be aliens from Mars? Young Hogarth, a fan of science fiction B-movies and superhero comic books, discovers the truth when he finds a 100-foot robot with an appetite for all things metal happily munching on parts of the electric power plant in the woods near his home. Hogarth realizes every boy’s dream by befriending it – or “him” as Hogarth soon comes to think of the Iron Giant. Though the robot is an imposing, scary sight, Hogarth quickly learns that The Iron Giant is like a big kid, eager to learn and experience new things. The Iron Giant does harbor fearsome power, and can become a dangerous weapon – but only when he or someone he cares about is threatened. Hogarth tries to keep the Giant a secret from the overzealous G-man who comes to investigate the strange happenings in town. But soon the G-man has called in the army, building to a tense standoff in the center of town. Full of action and excitement, as well as tenderness, this animated film is loosely based on the brief, poetic fable, The Iron Giant: A Story in Five Nights, by British poet laureate Ted Hughes, written in 1968 at the height of the Cold War. Though the Cold War is ancient history to children today, this movie uses that time period as a backdrop to emphasize the senselessness and circularity of violence – how violence begets violence – and the more powerful forces of friendship and love.

Lauren Mayer


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