The Iron Giant

This afternoon Daniel and I watched The Iron Giant, the 1999 movie based off of a Ted Hughes book called The Iron Man.  It was sort of a spontaneous rental, and the multimedia center just happened to have it.  Daniel recently stumbled upon an article about 25 Cartoons You Never Knew Were Voiced By Celebrities, and after discovering that Vin Diesel actually voices the Iron Giant, we decided that we had to see it.

The premise of the movie is that a giant robot seems to crash down from space in a small town in Maine.  The movie is set in 1957 during the Cold War, and right after the launch of Sputnik.

The main character, Hogarth Hughes, finds the robot in some Maine woods, and after freeing it from some power lines, befriends it.  But he knows he must keep it a secret because of people’s natural propensity to overreact.  Dean, the owner of the local junkyard where the robot can live and eat, discovers that the robot reacts negatively to weapons by trying to eliminate them using lasers, etc.  This is very problematic when the military gets involved because, obviously, the military believes in shooting now and asking questions later.  Eventually, the Iron Giant proves that he is good by saving the lives of two young boys who have fallen off of a building in town.  But unfortunately one of the government men seems to have a vendetta against the giant (or, at least, a strong paranoia that it is a weapon from Russia sent to destroy the United States) and launches a nuclear weapon against it, and therefore targeting the small Maine town for destruction.  The giant saves the day and the town by flying into space and detonating the missile, and destroying himself in the process.

The movie ends when Hogarth is sent a package by the Lieutenant General of the Army, with the last piece of the robot that they could find: a small screw.  That night, the screw starts beeping and rolls off of the boy’s nightstand.  The boy realizes that the robot is rebuilding itself; he is the only one that knows it has the power to do this.

The movie features the voices of Jennifer Aniston (Hogarth’s mother), Harry Connick, Jr. (Dean), Christopher McDonald (Kent Mansley), John Mahoney (Lieutenant General Rogard), and of course Vin Diesel as the Iron Giant.

It’s an amazing movie.  I remembered it being a lot more sad, but it actually has a very satisfying ending, and I didn’t even cry.

Here is the trailer:

This photo was taken over spring break:

This was actually taken in Durham in early March. Rochester is just now seeing these starting to bloom.


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