A young boy befriends a giant robot from outer space and tries to hide
it from a paranoid government agent and the United States military.
The Iron Giant (1999)
Directed by Brad Bird
Written by Tim McCanlies and Brad Bird
Starring Eli Marienthal, Jennifer Aniston, Harry Connick Jr.,
Vin Diesel, Christopher McDonald, John Mahoney,
M. Emmet Walsh, James Gammon
Based on the novel The Iron Man by Ted Hughes
The Iron Giant is a touching animated classic with a heartfelt message about humanity and what it means to be alive. It deals with a lot of seriously grown-up issues like Cold War paranoia and nuclear holocaust, despite being a movie for kids. That's part of why I like it so much. It can resonate with any generation because of its antiwar message and charming voice cast, including a young Vin Diesel in one of his first major roles as the eponymous Iron Giant. I've enjoyed this movie since I was a kid. It's truly become timeless.
The film takes place in 1958, when a killing machine from another planet crashes to Earth and bumps his head, erasing his memory of who he really is. When he wakes up, he befriends a young boy named Hogarth and learns that he can choose his own destiny and not be a weapon. The Iron Giant's journey from death machine to intergalactic hero is not only entertaining, it's inspiring. The Giant's sacrifice at the end always brings me to tears. Leave it to Brad Bird to make me cry over a big robot.
This film is the perfect kids film in many ways. It has enough laughs and gags to make them laugh, but it also teaches them the true meaning of humanity and that you should never judge somebody by what they look like. The Iron Giant remains a true favorite of mine and I hope one day to show it to my own kids. As I said, there's no generation that can't benefit from the message of this film.