Children's movies are hit 'n miss with me. For example, I thought Miyazaki's Ponyo was awful. And when I was attending university, the college dudes who would have these Disney-marathons freaked me out just a little bit. I'm an adult - and I live in an adult reality. Little Mermaid just doesn't cut it after you've witnessed someone die or had a girlfriend tell you in a dead voice that she'd been raped.
Or does it?
The best children's movies contain elements of both worlds: child-like wonder and a nod toward the sometimes harsh realities of life. Despite the horrid stuff that you and I may have witnessed, we mustn't forget that life is also full of good stuff.
Iron Giant reminds us of just that. It's about an earnest boy who likes comic-books, sci-fi horror movies, and bb-guns. And a giant robot with huge glowing eyes and an honest face. It's hard not to like them both. And impossible to not root against the long-faced (literally) government agent who can only believe that the Iron Giant can be a weapon.
The movie also has an awesome retro feel to it. The film reel demonstrating the proper duck-and-cover response to a nuclear attack drill is especially hilarious.
Final Say: An absolute must-watch if you like animation or giant robots, if just for the scene when the Iron Giant gets angry.
How to Watch It: Just because there's a giant robot, don't go in expecting a ton of action/fighting. You know any movie made today with a giant robot would have tons of that. But this one isn't about explosions so much as... dare I say it? ... relationships.
Trivia: The first film by Brad Bird, who later wrote/directed Pixar's The Incredibles and Ratatouille.