Comfortable and Furious

The Iron Giant

If other children’s movies were as good as The Iron Giant, I might consider having children. Luckily for me, children’s movies suck it across the board. It is not even so much having to take the kids to the theatre to see Toy Story III. I could probably deal with that. What would kill me is that kids tend to get a hold of a movie, like Pocahontas, and watch it three times a day for seven months straight. Some of my friends have kids. This happens. I’ve seen it.

Back to The Iron Giant.

What a great movie. In Iron Giant there are no singing shoes or dancing lobsters. There’s only really one kid. Plus, The Iron Giant is an intelligent movie that never even bothers to insult your intelligence. Hence, it tanked at the box office. I’m sure that the execs at Warner Brothers have already circulated several memos that state from now on, all cartoons henceforth released by WB must have at least $90 million in merchandising riding along with them. The Iron Giant had none of that. I hate to sound like a critic, but this movie was a breath of fresh air. I mean, name the last kid’s movie you watched that
climaxed with an atomic bomb going off?

The plot? It’s a fairly simple plot. Think Frankenstein meets ET meets Slingblade with a touch of Godzilla thrown in for flavor. In other words, a giant robot crashes into the
sea off the coast of Maine. He is from somewhere else – not earth. A little kid (Hogarth Hughes) befriends the Giant and is determined to protect him from the townsfolk and the government who wants to, well, “kill the monster!” A beatnik named Dean (Voiced by
Harry Connick Junior) owns a scrap yard that Hogarth has to take the Giant to because it eats metal. Hogarth quickly convinces Dean that the Giant is in fact a “he,” not an “it.” There is this mean NSA dude named Kent Mansley (Christopher McDonald) that has not only moved into Hogarth’s Mom’s house, but who really, really, really wants to kill The Iron Giant. Turns out he’s the bad guy.

I won’t give any more away, but the movie is great and the ending is downright wonderful. You might even weep a little. And it’s a cartoon! Plus, dreamy Vin Diesel does the voice of the robot. Which is pretty cool in and of itself. My only gripe with The Iron Giant is the very, very end. However, in the movie’s defense, I am almost positive that a studio exec made them tack the last thirty seconds on. I mean, what would happen if kid’s movie had a less than happy ending?

Kids would only want to watch twice a day? Shudder to think! And just in case none of this convinces you, the screen writer and director Brad Bird has worked on the The Simpsons, The Critic and King of the Hill. Funny guy.

Ruthless Ratings

  • Overall: 8
  • Direction: 8
  • Acting: 8
  • Story: 7
  • DVD Extras: Huh?
  • Re-watchability: 8

Special Ruthless Ratings

  • Number of times you wished that all Children’s movies were as good as The Iron Giant: 100
  • Number of times you realized that The Iron Giant was a fluke: 101
  • Number of times you cried: Shut up.