"The Iron Giant"
Review by: Doug Nau
Directed by: Brad Bird
Produced by: Pete Townshend
Screenplay by: Tim McCanlies
Story by: Brad Bird
Based on the novel by: Ted Hughes "The Iron Man"
Starring: Jennifer Aniston
Harry Connick, Jr.
Score composed by: Michael Kamen
'The Iron Giant' loosely based on the 1968 novel "The Iron Man" by Ted Hughes Hogarth (voice of Eli Marienthal), an imaginative nine-year-old boy who daydreams of alien invasions and doing battle with Communist agents. One day, Hogarth hears a local fisherman talk about something that surpasses anything he could dream up: a fifty-foot robot that fell from the sky into a nearby lake. Needless to say, Hogarth's mom, Annie (voice of Jennifer Aniston) finds this a little hard to swallow, but when Hogarth finds the robot (voice of Vin Diesel) and fishes him out of the water, his pal Dean (voice of Harry Connick Jr.), a beatnik sculptor who also runs a junkyard, offers to help by hiding the robot with his salvage. A government agent named Kent Mansley (voice of Christopher McDonald) soon gets wind that there's a mechanical invader of unknown origins in the neighborhood and wants to wipe out the potential threat. However, the robot (which loves to eat metal and is learning to talk) turns out to be friendly, and the boy in turn tries to teach his new pal the ways of humans. (Moviefone.com)
The story of The Iron Giant takes place in 1957 at the height of the cold war is a perfect choose to set the main action during the time of the cold war in the story arc. The title character in the movie the giant is portrayed as a child-like innocents. The have done an incredible job bring the giant to like so convincingly and not over done that we fall in love with the giant character at the end. The film also has a sophistication and good moral themes of prejudice, and fear. The animation is very beautifully exquisite and has an old-fashion retro feel in the landscape and setting. I give high praises to the animators achievement in animating the giant, is so well done and not to over done. He is one of the most memorable cartoon character in an animated film.
The vocal performances by the cast were all fantastic. I especially think Vin Diesel was the standout vocal for his work on the giant who does such a brilliant job giving the character a child-like sense of innocent and not doing over the top and unrealistic performance give the convincing that gives the character such life. Other voice talents that were good is Eli Marienthal as Hogarth Hughes, who captures his curious and energetic spirit of adventure and wonder. Christopher McDonald is also great as the ambitious, but arrogant and paranoid coward who is determined at all cost to destroy the giant even if it means putting the townspeople's lives at stack.
The Score composed by Michael Karmen capture the essential retro feel of the 50's and the music has a lot of sweet, tender, and sentimental moments in the film. One of my favorites is when Hogarth tells the giant "Souls don't die" in which he said his mother told him that all good souls live on forever even after death. There's also some moments in the film when the score becomes more intense and thrilling sequences, like when the trains collides into the giant.
So overall this film is sadly considered underrated animated film is one of the most endearing gems I've come across. The animation is exquisitely beautiful and has such a charming retro feel in the setting and landscape. It is a must see for anyone to enjoy and be touched by this enchanting and wonderful masterpiece in animation history, its a shame this isn't as well known as some of the other animated films. This deserves to be on my list of best animated movies ever made.
"The Iron Giant Plot Summary and Details." Moviefone.com. AOL Inc., 4 Aug. 1999. Web. 120 July 2012.