The Iron Giant (1999) – movie review

The Iron Giant - pic 15

The Iron Giant (1999)

Directed by Brad Bird

Starring:
Eli Marienthal
Christopher McDonald
Vin Diesel
Jenifer Aniston
Harry Connick, Jr.

 

I’m not sure how this animated film faired coming out at the turn of the new century (1999). It was, after all, the animation of the preceding 100 years, not the new 3D CG molded perfection that was taking over modern animation. It was a cartoon. Despite its sharp lines, full rich colors, and expressive shadow-play it was yesterday’s technology. Although the giant itself was rendered with CGI it still has the 2d feel of standard cartoon animation, but it’s a beautiful film to watch.

If you haven’t watched this gem, I’m here to tell you that you are missing a wonderful tale, a visual treat and an entertaining film. It’s based on a 1968 story by British poet, Ted Hughes, called “IronThe Iron Giant 1999 Man” and tells the story of a young boy coming into his own while making new friends and learning he can make a difference in the world. It’s set in 1958 Maine, in a small town called, Rockwell. Hogarth, a boy being raised by a single hard-working mom, befriends a robot when a satellite crash lands in the woods rear of his home. While teaching the robot the ways of the world he also hides and defends him from government men on the hunt to destroy the mechanical beast. In the end will the true nature of the mechanical monster be unleashed upon the unsuspecting small town?

The retro sci-fi robot design is the epitome of what a giant robot should look like in the subconscious mind of man, a powerful technological being crafted from the 1950s sci-fi Hollywood image bank, and earlier pulp magazine era, representative of a time of wonder, awe and inspiration at science and technology itself…and its eyes glow in the dark. Some fantastic action sequences highlight the later part of the film as the Army closes in on the Iron Giant and a final battle threatens the existence of everyone in the town.

The Iron Giant is a sci-fi must-see that sparks on all cylinders creating family entertainment enjoyable for all age groups and genders. It takes the qualities of a Disney princess tale and gives it boy-ish charm, effectively portraying a young hero a young man won’t want to cringe away from, but embrace as one of their own. The film is now regarded as an animated sci-fi classic after years of a growing cult following.


Iron Giant Giphy


Fun little Sci-fi fan cameos:

Action Comics with Superman

The Sputnik crossing the sky in the night

3 tendrils emanate from The Iron Giant in an homage to War of the Worlds (1953)

USS Nautilus, the first atomic powered submarine

Forbidden Planet poster in Hogarth’s bedroom



Parlor of Horror – Creature Features Category

Robots in Film – A Complete Pictorial History

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Calling All Robots!

Robots in Film – A Complete Pictorial History

*If you want to see my top 10, click here: Top 10 Robots in film and TV

1900 to 1960’s

1960’s to 1980’s:

1980’s to present:

The BIG list of film and TV robots:

(more or less in alphabetical order)

Ash from Alien

Astro Boy (anime – Japan)

The Astro-Creeps (unnamed robot w/Bela Lugosi 1940)

Alfie – Barbarella

Bishop from Aliens

BOX in Logan’s Run

Blade Runner – Roy & Rachel

B9 – Lost in Space – Robot B-9

Cylon from Battlestar Galactica

Chani – in The Devil Girl from Mars

The Colossus of New York

CP3O from some obscure sci-fi film 😉

Data from Star Trek: Next Generation

DV8 – from Crash & Burn

Destroyer from Thor

Ed209 and Robocop from RoboCop I & II

Fembots in Austin Powers and Dr. Goldfoot films &
TV shows The 6 Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman

Gog – from Gog

GORT from The Day the Earth Stood Still

Goliath in Virus

Giant Alien Robot in Monsters vs. Aliens

Giant Robo (Japan)

Gigantor (1969 animated – Japan)

The Gunslinger- Westworld

The Golden Army – Hellboy 2

Huey, Dewey, and Louie – Silent Running

The Iron Giant

 Johnny 5 – Short Circuit

John the Robot in the films:

  • Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet (1965)
  • Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women (1968),

Johnny Sokko and Flying Robot (Japan – 1968)

Jet-Jaguar from Godzilla vs. Megalon

Kronos

Mark13 in Hardware

Mogera from the Toho film, The Mysterians

Mecha-Kong

Mechagodzilla

Maria Futura – Metropolis

Maximilian – The Black Hole

Marvin – The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy

Moon Trap – alien robotics

Proteus IV in Demon Seed (1977)

Pacific Rim (2013) various including Gypsy

RoMan from Robot Monster

Robot Boxers in Real Steel

R2D2 from some 70’s flick

Robbie the robot from The Forbidden Planet

Rosey – The Jetsons

Robot in Heavy Metal (1981)

Robot Teachers in Class of 1999 (1990)

Rapist Robots in Flesh Gordon (1974)

Seven of Nine, from Star Trek: Voyager

Sonny from I-Robot

Screamers assorted killer robots

The Sentinels – The Matrix films
Saturn 3 – Robot

Star Crash – assorted Robots

The Shape of Things to Come – various robots

Surrogates – replacement robots

Twiki from Buck Rogers

Target Earth
– Invader robots

Tripods from War of the Worlds (2004)

Terminator Robots:

  • T-800
    T-1000
    Terminatrix – TX
    Harvesters
    Skynet ‘Tank’ Robot
    T-600

Transformers various including Optimus Prime and Bumble Bee

Tobar the Great

Ultraman (Japan)

Wall-E – Wall-E

War Robot – Judge Dread (1995)

Zathbot  – Zathura (2005)

Of course there are a slew of robots in TV and Films such as Dr. Who and the Star Wars saga but I think I’ve mentioned the most memorable and widely known.

If I have missed anybody important, let me know. I will add it to my list!