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The Iron Giant (1999)

tomatometer

97

Average Rating: 8.2/10
Reviews Counted: 130
Fresh: 126 | Rotten: 4

The endearing Iron Giant tackles ambitious topics and complex human relationships with a steady hand and beautifully animated direction from Brad Bird.

98

Average Rating: 7.9/10
Critic Reviews: 40
Fresh: 39 | Rotten: 1

The endearing Iron Giant tackles ambitious topics and complex human relationships with a steady hand and beautifully animated direction from Brad Bird.

audience

89

liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 200,776

My Rating

Movie Info

"Iron Giant" is based upon the 1968 story,'Iron Man,' by the British poet laureate Ted Hughes. The film is about a giant metal machine that drops from the sky and frightens a small town in Maine in 1958, only to find a friend named, Hogarth, that ultimately finds its humanity and saving the towns people of their fears and prejudices.

Nov 23, 1999

Warner Bros. Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (130) | Top Critics (40) | Fresh (126) | Rotten (4) | DVD (39)

While youngsters will enjoy the film on one level, it reaches out to adults on a completely different plane. They will see an allegory about power and politics and the danger of allowing either to run roughshod over humanity.

August 12, 2014 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is not exactly standard children's fare, but kids (and their parents) should be smitten by its wit and wisdom.

August 12, 2014 Full Review Source: Newsweek
Newsweek
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The Iron Giant's theme of fear of the unknown is craftily balanced against the power of innocent imagination.

August 12, 2014 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
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The Iron Giant is not only the best animated feature to be released this summer, it's the single best film to hit our screens so far this year.

August 4, 2013 Full Review Source: CNN.com
CNN.com
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Brad Bird fills the CinemaScope screen with wit and beauty in this modern fairy tale.

August 4, 2013 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
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It is in the best tradition of animation: an ideal tale for children that offers a lot to adults as well.

August 4, 2013
Associated Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is sharp, sophisticated stuff, appreciated on different levels by both parents and children, and even those who are neither. The film has impish humor, great adventure and more than a few thrills.

August 12, 2014 Full Review Source: Florida Times-Union
Florida Times-Union

Wisely, Bird and company eschew the standard Disney formula of catchy show tunes and cuddly animal sidekicks and lead Warner Bros. toward an animation style the studio can call its own.

August 12, 2014 Full Review Source: Tulsa World
Tulsa World

A magical evocation of a special time in history and a time in everybody's life when the dream and the nightmare quotients are equally high.

August 12, 2014 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

The film isn't as blisteringly satirical as The Simpsons; it's warmer. And while its nostalgia isn't simplistic, it is affectionate.

August 12, 2014 Full Review Source: New Times
New Times

Disney is getting fierce competition in the animated feature department these days.

August 4, 2013 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

A well-told and beautifully drawn tale of friendship and fortitude.

August 4, 2013 Full Review Source: People Magazine
People Magazine

The Iron Giant has a great heart, and I loved its evocation of the days when good old Superman, as uncomplicated a superhero as ever existed, was the height of cool.

August 4, 2013 Full Review Source: Baltimore Sun
Baltimore Sun

This wonderful Warner Bros version of Ted Hughes's The Iron Man is a first-class achievement in cartoon virtuosity that liberally borrows images from 1950s comic-book art and science-fiction movies to stunning effect.

August 4, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

The movie wears its social responsibility with pride, even if it doesn't always know how to put together a coherent public service announcement.

August 4, 2013 Full Review Source: Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)

a cool, charming uniquely American fable done in accessible yet intelligent mode, which makes it suitable for all members of the family.

August 5, 2011 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

The Iron Giant isn't a Cold War allegory so much as an Americana fairy tale.

December 20, 2010 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Great animation, and a great title character will appeal to the kids, while the sharp wit, whacky antics, and kid-friendly messages will appeal to the adults.

April 29, 2009
Cinema Crazed

Audience Reviews for The Iron Giant

Brilliant animated feature, The Iron Giant is an entertaining ride from start to finish, and a real treat for the eyes. I thoroughly enjoyed the film, and it boasts some great animation, effective direction that keeps you entertained with its story, which is pretty simple, and in doing that, we have something quite charming, funny, entertaining and of course memorable. This is a fine piece of animation, a film that really is well done in the way they delivered its ideas, and it is an enthralling, wonderful movie that I recommend to any viewer that enjoys a solid animated feature. The Iron Giant boasts a great cast of varied voice talent, and they brilliantly bring these characters to life. The film isn't your typical animated features such as the computer animated ventures of Pixar, and this one venture more in the cartoon department, but it does it very well that it can appeal to any age group. The film is tailored to anyone that enjoys a fun, entertaining picture that is beautiful to look at and is engaging from start to finish. This is a great movie, one that should be enjoyed by anyone that loves a solid animated feature. The Iron Giant is terrific for what it does, and with its simple ideas, we have a film that accomplishes much more than what we would get than your usual film that overdoes everything in order to grab the viewer's attention. Sometimes all you need is a simple idea, great direction, a well crafted story to make a very good film, and with The Iron Giant, we have such a film.
July 5, 2014
TheDudeLebowski65
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

Beautifully animated, well-told, and--in typical Brad Bird fashion--mature, smartly written, and funny, The Iron Giant is an underrated animated masterpiece that appeals to both children and adults. Its freshness and charismatic characters foreshadow Bird's eventual direction of Pixar's The Incredibles, while its Cold War-era setting and engaging storyline make it a memorable and emotional cinematic experience that is, truthfully, a hundred times better than any animated film made in the last decade.
August 17, 2013
Matthew Samuel Mirliani

Super Reviewer

This was animation maestro Brad Bird's feature length directorial debut, and, I must say, it is easily one of the best example of how to do an intelligent and thoughtful animated film for kids, and do it very, very well.

Set in a small Maine town in the 1950s, this is the story of Hogarth Hughes- an imaginative 9 year-old who stumbles upon a massive alien robot who crashes lands near his town. Finding himself bonding with this strange, yet fantastical metal behemoth, Hogarth finds that his growing extraterrestrial friendship is tested when pesky government agents come to investigate reports of something potentially dangerous lurking in the area.

Taking cues from E.T. and The Day The Earth Stood Still, this is a magnificent film about friendship, extraordinary circumstances, and tolerance. It's also a very slick and sly satire of 50s culture, with special attention paid to paranoia, McCarthyism, Cold War suspicions, and the sci-fi craze.

Hogarth is a likable kid, and his relationship with the titular character is finely developed. Hogarth's single mom and his friend Dean- a local beatnik artist/junkyard owner are also really good characters, and are more than just one-dimensional cardboard cutouts. The pesky and relentless government investigator is admittedly somewhat less developed compared to the others, but he still comes across as a tad more than a caricature.

As for the voice acting, it's really good. Eli Marienthal is a lot of fun as Hogarth, Jennifer Aniston is surprisingly believable as Hogarth's mom,Harry Connick Jr. is delightful as Dean, and, while it's a case of more typecasting, Christopher McDonald is fun as Kent Manley the government agent. He doesn't have too many lines, but Vin Diesel is also quite good as the Iron Giant, providing an appropriate amount of roboticness, but also managing to bring in some humanity, as the character evolves.

This is a great film for all ages, but especially kids, as it does a wonderful job at addressing some important issues in a clever and creative way. The animation and look are wonderful, the film has a nice mix of humor, heart, and action, and is extremely well paced and balanced. It's quite moving, and I will admit to getting teary at the end, but I feel like it was earned.

My only real gripe is that the film's message, while nice, is perhaps a bit too narrow minded and preachy.

All in all, this is some dynamite stuff. I really wish more entertainment for kids would aspire to the heights of greatness that this film does. Definitely go see it.
May 24, 2013
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

The Iron Giant tackles touchy subjects and complex relationships with a steady hand and beautiful animation direction from Brad Bird. Smart angle of 80's setting
December 2, 2012
    1. Kent Mansley: You think this metal man is fun, but who built it? The Russians? The Chinese? The Martians.....Canadians? I don't care! All I know is we didn't build it, and that's reason enough to assume the worst, and blow it to kingdom come!
    – Submitted by Luke A (5 months ago)
    1. The Iron Giant: Souls...don't...die.
    – Submitted by Luke A (5 months ago)
    1. The Iron Giant: Souls...don't...die.
    – Submitted by Luke A (5 months ago)
    1. Marve Loach: What department is that again?
    2. Kent Mansley: Frankly, I'm not at liberty to divulge the particulars of the agency I work for, and all that that implies.
    3. Marve Loach: You mean, national security?
    4. Kent Mansley: Let me put it this way. Every so often things happen that can't be rationalized in a conventional way. People wanna know their government has a response. I am that response.
    – Submitted by Stefan G (8 months ago)
    1. Hogarth Hughes: You are who you choose to be.
    2. The Iron Giant: Superman...
    – Submitted by David F (22 months ago)
    1. Hogarth Hughes: You go, I stay. No following!
    – Submitted by Robbie N (22 months ago)
View all quotes (25)

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Foreign Titles

  • Der Gigant aus dem All (DE)
  • Le Géant de fer (FR)
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