The Iron Giant (1999)

There is a magic that animation has that a regular film can never capture. It can delve into our imaginations and conjure up emotions and laughter that regular celluloid can rarely get a firm grip on. So why has every animated film this decade fallen under a strict formula that bogs down the quality of the efforts? Now comes a movie like The Iron Giant, which restores faith in all that is good with cinema.

The Iron Giant is reminiscent of E.T., but has a distinct voice of its own. The main question might be, “Is it enjoyable for people other than kids who can’t touch the floor with their feet?” I can answer that question easily: Yes! Adults, teenagers and children will have just as much fun with this picture together. It is a movie for all ages and for all time.

The animation is strikingly brilliant and deserves an ovation of its own. Never have I seen voice-over-to-mouth animations done so fluidly. The sight of the giant itself is awe-inspiring, but never terrifying. The movie also perfectly captures the innocence, patriotism and Cold War hysteria that defined American living in the ’50s.

But the truly biggest thing The Iron Giant has to offer is magic and heart. The characters are all well-developed, and the audience is made to feel great attachment to each one. The script for the feature is right on, and never is a scene wasted. And the tale is very touching as it heads toward its climax. I don’t mind admitting my eyes were quite moist toward the end.

The Iron Giant breaks the common mold of animated flicks. There are no cuddly animals and slapstick sidekicks, no dopey forced love interests, no one-dimensional villain, and thank God, no Grammy wannabe songs breaking up the drama. The Iron Giant sends out a strong message and breaks free of a Disney-controlled industry. I dare say this is the greatest animated film of this entire decade, by far. I urge everyone to go out and experience some of the magic and warmth that is The Iron Giant. This is destined to become a classic, mark my words.

Nate’s Grade: A+

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About natezoebl

One man. Many movies. I am a cinephile (which spell-check suggests should really be "epinephine"). I was told that a passion for movies was in his blood since I was conceived at a movie convention. While scientifically questionable, I do remember a childhood where I would wake up Saturday mornings, bounce on my parents' bed, and watch Siskel and Ebert's syndicated TV show. That doesn't seem normal. At age 17, I began writing movie reviews and have been unable to stop ever since. I was the co-founder and chief editor at PictureShowPundits.com (2007-2014) and now write freelance. I have over 1400 written film reviews to my name and counting. I am also a proud member of the Central Ohio Film Critics Association (COFCA) since 2012. In my (dwindling) free time, I like to write uncontrollably. I wrote a theatrical genre mash-up adaptation titled "Our Town... Attacked by Zombies" that was staged at my alma mater, Capital University in the fall of 2010 with minimal causalities and zero lawsuits. I have also written or co-written sixteen screenplays and pilots, with one of those scripts reviewed on industry blog Script Shadow. Thanks to the positive exposure, I am now also dipping my toes into the very industry I've been obsessed over since I was yea-high to whatever people are yea-high to in comparisons.

Posted on August 6, 1999, in 1999 Movies and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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