Monday, July 31, 2017

The Iron Giant (on DVD)

The Iron Giant
[DVD j Hughes] 

The Iron Giant is one of my all-time favorite animated movies. It was directed by Brad Bird, who also helped adapt the story from a novel, “The Iron Man”, by Ted Hughes. This was Bird’s first turn as a feature-length director, and after Iron Giant, he moved to Pixar, where he became one of their most creative forces on films such as The Incredibles and Ratatouille. Released in 1999, The Iron Giant is set during the cold war period of the late 1950s. The Soviet Union has just launched the first artificial satellite, Sputnik. So, when something approaches Earth from deep space and crash lands in the forest, a panic ensues. Except that what crashed is a semi-sentient giant robot, and the first person who finds it is a trusting young boy, Hogarth Hughes, who befriends the confused and lost giant.
This is an emotional and personal story, packed into a tense military adventure story. It features wonderful voice-actor work from Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Aniston, John Mahoney, James Gammon and Cloris Leachman. The voice of the giant robot is provided by Vin Diesel, 16 years before he voiced “Groot” in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies. The field of animation has gotten progressively more sophisticated and impressive over the years, but for a film almost 20 years old, this has perfectly fine animated. I also love the score by Michael Kamen. This is a film that should appeal to both kids and adults, and has a message to share about trust and tolerance, which is just as valid now as it was in the time period of the film’s events.

This movie has been released in several different DVD or BluRay editions, with various different “special features”. The copy I’m reviewing had some real nice “extras”, including director’s commentary by Brad Bird, with several other department heads; and 13 branching minidocumentary segments that highlight key sequences from the viewpoints of Score, Character Design, Storyboards and Animation.

Definitely worth a full “10” rating…don’t miss it!

[ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ] | [ official The Iron Giant web site ]

Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public LIbrary

Have you watched this one? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?

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