I love The Iron Giant, and I think you will too. This movie was on my radar all the way back in 1999 when it was first released. I heard that it was a great movie that nobody saw. It took me 14 years, but I finally got to see it at my annual movie marathon of 2013. Watching this movie for the first time was a joy. Discovering this movie reminded me of other great discoveries from my past movie marathons like Casablanca, 12 Angry Men, and Goldfinger. Finding movies like this reminds me why I have movie marathons. My kids loved it too, and they still re-watch it as one of their favorites today.
The plot centers around a boy who discovers an alien giant robot who crash-landed on earth. The movie explores themes of heroism, life and death, and choosing who you want to be – even in the face of prejudice from others. It is set right in the middle of the Cold War and nails the paranoia and jittery snap-judgement of authority figures at the time. It also beautifully evokes 1950s era sci-fi design. You see it both in the cheesy films playing on TV during the movie, and with the Iron Giant himself. I can’t tell you how happy I was when the Iron Giant “transforms” later in the movie. I won’t spoil the surprise, but this sequence triggered fond memories of my own young days watching 1950s alien invasion movies.
The movie has heart too. Pixar is famous for evoking many emotions in its films. Brad Bird joined Pixar after directing The Iron Giant, and he must have fit right in. The Iron Giant runs the gamut from joy, to wonder, to sadness, and to bittersweet satisfaction.
The Blu-Ray release of The Iron Giant “Signature Edition” is now available on Amazon for $10. If you haven’t seen this movie yet, you need to buy this disc immediately. For that price, you don’t have much to lose. I have a feeling you’ll be as delighted as I was when you see it. Have fun!