Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Movie Vault Review: The Iron Giant [1999]

* To be categorised in the "Movie Vault" section, the film must have been released at least 5 years prior to the current blog posting date.

The Background:
Year of Release: 1999
Directed By: Brad Bird
Written By: Brad Bird, Tim McCanlies
Cast Voices: Eli Marienthal, Jennifer Aniston, Harry Connick Jr, Vin Diesel, Christopher McDonald
In A Nutshell:
Hogarth (voice by Eli Marienthal) is a 9 year old boy who lives with his single mother (voice by Jennifer Aniston). An incident one night sees Hogarth saving the life of a giant alien robot (voice by Vin Diesel). The two of them begin to bond and strike up a friendship. A government agent named Kent Mansley (voice by Christopher McDonald) arrives in town to investigate and destroy the giant. Hogarth in turn seeks the help of a junkyard artist named Dean McCoppen (voice by Harry Conrick Jr.) to hide the giant.
Thumbs Up:
+ Warm and charming story with endearing characters
+ Plenty of laughs throughout the story
+ Beautiful animation despite largely been hand-drawn
+ A good moral message is subtlety planted without being preachy
Thumbs Down:
- I don't have anything bad to say about this movie. Maybe the only negative thing I can think of is that not many people has seen it. And that definitely is not the movie's fault.
Selected Quote:
"Look, its none of my business, but who cares what these creeps think of you? They don't make you what you are, you do. You are who you chose to be."
The Verdict Is In:
In my review for the movie Real Steal [2011], I pointed out the similarities of the boy and robot relationship in that movie with this one. But the truth is, the movie that The Iron Giant has most in common with is E.T [1982]. This is very much an adventure movie with plenty of heart.

I also mentioned in my Favorite Christopher Nolan Movies that The Dark Knight Director is currently the only person with 100% awesome movies. But that is because Brad Bird has so far directed too little movies to be bestowed a similar accolade. That may change this December if Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol is as good as his 3 previous movies, this one included.

Its no coincidence that Brad Bird went along to make 2 movies with Pixar after this one because this movie has all the qualities that have made Pixar movies great. The elements I like to call "the tug of the heart". That deep stir of emotions you get while watching a movie. This is basically the Pixar movie that Pixar never made. It is such a masterclass in the art of storytelling. If you haven't seen this movie yet, go see it now!! I'd definitely put it in a "movies you must see before you die" list.
9.5 out of 10

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