Take your kid to this film
The Iron Giant
Review by Ross Anthony

What if a gun forgot it was a gun?

A weapon in the form of a large robot with a big appetite for metal falls to Earth from outer space.

Without the gun part, this movie would play so much like every other alien-falls-to-Earth story we've seen, that one could hardly get too excited about it. Child finds alien, teaches alien to speak, hides alien from government that wants to kill it ... you know the rest. There's even a super cliche, slightly slanted scene where the robot learns to appreciate nature by connecting with a deer in the woods.

But, "Iron Giant" is a gun and he's got a pertinent choice to make. When the army comes to blow him away, will he fight back with all his alien might? No one would blame him ... he'd certainly have the right to defend himself. Or would he consider all he had just learned about the magic of life and decide to use his power in some more "humanitarian" (though metallic) kind of way?

This is an important concept to have set before our kids (and a good reminder for us, too): 1) You are powerful. 2) You can use that power destructively or constructively. 3) Which are you going to choose?

Of course, the slant of this particular picture is the more selfless choice. In fact, less than subtle messages like: "If you're good you have a soul" and "It's not bad to die, but it's bad to kill" and "Souls don't die" and "Guns kill" are the nuts and bolts of the story.

The animation is more in the old style which befits this 1950's tale. The giant itself is charming. The voice talent hit their marks, Harry Connick Jr. standing out as the most interesting, while a fair Tim Allen sound-a-like speaks for the ornery FBI agent hassling our Iron Giant's small friend.

Despite the fact that "Iron Giant" is more of a relationship (child buddy) film than an animated action flick, kids will absolutely love it and they'll be going home chewing on a valuable chunk of "heavy mental" of their own.

Voices: Jennifer Anisten, Harry Connick Jr., Eli Marienthal, James Gammon, Vin Diesel.
Screenplay by Tim McCanlies, Based on book by Ted Hughes.
Produced by Allison Abbate and Des McAnuff at Warner Brothers.
Rated PG.

Kid's Grade..........................A+
Adult's Grade..........................B+

Copyright © 1999 Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit: RossAnthony.com

chili4 special olympians
power5 ra hforh radiop

Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:08:00 PDT