The Iron Giant

From Academic Kids

Missing image
Promotional poster for The Iron Giant

The Iron Giant is a 1999 animated science fiction film, written and directed by Brad Bird, produced by Warner Bros. Feature Animation, and released by Warner Bros. Pictures. It was nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Script (written by Tim McCanlies), and for the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation. It is based on a children's book by Ted Hughes, The Iron Man. A young boy named Hogarth Hughes discovers an amnesiac "iron man", and saves him from electrocution. Grateful, the childlike fellow becomes friends with him. Now, Hogarth has to stop a U.S. military force led by a general and his egotistical federal agent from finding him and killing him out of paranoia with the help of Dean, a beatnik. There are many sly references to the McCarthy era and science fiction films and TV of the age. The characters are voiced by a cast that included Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Aniston, John Mahoney, and a then relatively unknown Vin Diesel.

Tagline: It came from outer space!


The story starts in 1957, when a large meteor crashes into the water off the coast of Maine. This meteor turns out to be the Giant, a 50-to-60 foot robot of unknown origin from outer space. Meanwhile, Hogarth Hughes, home alone, is watching TV when the picture goes out. He goes outside with his BB gun in hand and finds the TV antennae chewed up on the ground. Seeing the giant in the distance, he follows him to the power station. The Giant tries to eat the power station, but gets blasted into nearby powerlines and gets electrocuted. Hogarth heroically saves the giant by shutting the power off.

The next day, government agent Kent Mansley arrives at the power station to investigate, were he finds Hogarth's BB gun. Meanwhile Hogarth goes into the woods to find the Giant. When he does, it follows him home, not understanding Hogarth when he tells him not to. But then when the Giant accidentally causes a train wreck, Hogarth changes his mind and lets the Giant follow him home, hiding him in a barn. At the same time, the engineer of the wrecked train tells Mansley that the train ran into "a giant metal man" and tells him that the nearest phone is in Hogarth's house. He phones his superior, who angrily tells him to get more evidence. When he leaves, he realizes that the BB gun he found belonged to Hogarth.

In order to conceal the Giant, Hogarth relocates the Giant to the nearby scrap yard, where the proprietor, Dean, agrees to let him stay the night. At the same time, Kent rents a room in the Hughes house so he can keep an eye on Hogarth. However, Hogarth keeps one step ahead of the agent, but it doesn't last, for Kent manages to catch up with Hogarth, and Hogarth is forced to tell Kent his secret. Hogarth, however, informs Dean, who quickly fools the troops sent by Kent's General boss into thinking the robot is merely art. However--thanks to a mistake made by Dean, Hogarth, and the Giant--the U.S. Military soon discovers everything. When, despite the General being convinced the giant means no harm, Kent unleashes a missile, the Iron Giant decides he must act, and flies into the missile. Later, Dean and Mrs. Hughes become involved, and there is a statue of the Giant in dedication of his noble act. The giants body parts are last seen traveling to the Langjokull glacier in Iceland to reassemble themselves.

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