Sunday, 14 February 2016
#13 IRON GIANT
On its original release back in 1999 this utterly glorious animated masterpiece was considered a flop when it bombed at the box office and that's a crime, because this is one of those rare films that's, for all intensive purposes, flawless. Considering it came out in the same year as Tarzan, Toy Story 2 and South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut, it could be argued that it maybe just got lost in the mix, and certainly the lacklustre marketing campaign that limped along promoting it didn't help. The argument is that Warner just didn't know how to sell it. If so, then shame on them.
The story, set in 1957 just after Sputnik has been launched, sees the Iron Giant - an intergalactic weapon of unbelievable power - crash land off the coast of Maine with a nasty head injury and no memory of what or who he is. He's found by young Hogarth Hughes, a nine-year old boy with a passion for rescuing lost animals, who realising how the huge metal robot will be perceived decides to keep him hidden from his mother – Annie, the fellow inhabitants of Rockwell – the small town he lives in – and an obsessed government agent sent from Washington to investigate reports of a giant metal man. Hogarth enlists the help of a jazz-loving sculpturist and scrapyard dealer, Dean McCoppin, to help him.
It's been years since I last saw this on DVD, let alone the big screen so the chance to catch it at my local cinema was too good to resist, especially at £2 a ticket. Wow, am I glad I went, this was simply fantastic, beautifully animated with a lovely use of CGI and directed with real subtly by Brad Bird who later went on to direct The Incredibles and Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol and Ratatouille.
It's a wonderful film, dramatic, exciting, emotionally engaging and at times downright funny! It's perfect and deserved to be a huge hit when it was first released. Today it is considered to be a Modern Classic and beloved by all who've seen it. I Cannot think of a single thing to fault this on. If you get a chance to catch it at your local Cineworld cinema over the half-term break do! your kids will thank you and you'll leave with a smile on your face and a warm glow in your heart.