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Movie Review of The Iron Giant the movie (1999 movie)

Updated on August 30, 2019
Journey * profile image

Nyesha loves writing about cooking/recipes, restaurants, movies, weddings, and poetry.

The Iron Giant the movie (1999 movie)

The Iron Giant the movie (1999 movie)

This 1999 movie, The Iron Giant is set in the year 1957. In the beginning scene of THE IRON GIANT the movie:

Somewhere, off the coast of Maine, USA, a sailing man that is in search of the light of a lighthouse during a treacherous storm instead encounters the lights of a giant robot's eyes.

  • The giant robot is the Iron Giant.
  • The old man’s boat breaks apart on the sea and the man washes ashore to the base of the lighthouse that he was originally looking for.
  • The man is dazed and confused and the Iron Giant robot is no longer in sight for him.
  • Later on, the man tells his story to his pals at a local small town diner.


In The Iron Giant the movie, the elderly man tells his story to pals at a local diner.

1. Hogarth Hughes in THE IRON GIANT the movie

  • At this same diner in THE IRON GIANT the movie, a young boy named Hogarth Hughes excitedly tells his Mom about a new pet that he has acquired and he wants his Mom’s permission to keep the pet.
  • In The Iron Giant the movie, Hogarth’s Mom (played by actress Jennifer Aniston) is working at the diner.
  • Hogarth's Mom is busy and exasperated but she tries to hear Hogarth out.
  • In The Iron Giant the movie, Hogarth’s approach is gentle as he tries to explain to his Mom about the pet.
  • It seems like he already knows that being able to keep the pet is a long shot.
  • Meanwhile, the pet escapes from the covered box that Hogarth is keeping it in.
  • It turns out that it is a squirrel.


In The Iron Giant the movie, it turns out that the mysterious pet happens to be a squirrel.

2. A pet squirrel

When Hogarth’s Mom is ready to see the pet, Hogarth says, “Let me go get it.” Hogarth hopes that this will buy him some time to look around the diner for the escaped squirrel.

  • He looks everywhere, under the tables and eventually runs into a man that has fallen asleep behind the newspaper he was reading.
  • Hogarth wakes the man up and asks him if he has seen the squirrel.
  • It is not long before this man realizes that the squirrel has crawled up his pants leg!
  • Chaos ensues in the diner and things get pretty funny.
  • The look that Hogarth’s Mom gives him shows that she is pretty tired of the shenanigans.


3. Afraid or curious? A little bit of both.

Later on,

Hogarth Hughes is at home alone one evening, while his mother works at a diner.

  • His television antenna stops working and he ventures outside to see what the problem might be with the antenna.
  • Soon enough, he is wandering off into the forest with his bb gun for protection.
  • There, Hogarth encounters the Iron Giant, a massive metal robot.
  • Of course, Hogarth is frightened at first but then he seemingly becomes more curious than anything else.


4. The Iron Giant

Uniquely, the Iron Giant eats metal for sustenance and at one point, he shocks himself while attempting to do so.

  • It is Hogarth that turns off a switch that stops the flow of electricity.
  • Before the Iron Giant collapses, he sees that it is Hogarth that saves him.

When the Iron Giant is spurred back into consciousness, he never forgets what Hogarth did for him.

Meanwhile, Hogarth is in trouble with his Mom, who drove out into the forest area in her car to look for him. (She could not find him at home when she had returned from work.)

She could not believe that he would go wandering into that forest area by himself at night.


Hogarth's Mom is very upset. She can't believe that Hogarth would go wandering into the forest alone at night!

5. The Iron Giant and Hogarth become friends

When Hogarth tried to tell his Mom his true but farfetched sounding story, she was exhausted from her day at work, worried about him, had no patience to listen and told him that she “was not in the mood.”

Subsequently, when Hogarth’s curiosity leads him back to find the Iron Giant again later on, the Iron Giant is sure to not harm Hogarth. The Iron Giant and Hogarth quickly become friends.

  • The Iron Giant is unable to speak (at least in English that is) and it is Hogarth that is able to teach him enough English to communicate.
  • They start off very simply, pointing to a rock and calling it a “rock”, pointing to a tree and calling it a “tree”.


Hogarth is able to teach The Iron Giant enough English to communicate.

6. Hiding the Iron Giant

During their budding friendship, Hogarth even reads to the Iron Giant from books including comic books. Among the comic book characters is a menacing robot that looks much like the Iron Giant but Hogarth reassures the Iron Giant that the Iron Giant is not a villainous creature but rather a heroic one like Superman.

Due to other people’s sightings of the Iron Giant, the US military is called into the small town that Hogarth and his Mom live in.

  • Hogarth frequently tries to hide the Iron Giant including in the garage of his own home.
  • Eventually, Hogarth solicits the help of the same man who had the squirrel crawl up his pants leg.
  • This man, who has an obvious crush on Hogarth’s Mom, also owns a junkyard of scrap metal. He tows old broken down cars to the junkyard.
  • He is an artist that makes abstract art out of some of the metal and attempts to resell the other scrap metal.


7. Hungry Iron Giant

It takes a lot of effort for Hogarth to convince this man to help him to hide the Iron Giant robot but Hogarth does not give up and eventually a place is found for the Iron Giant robot at the junkyard of scrap metal.

Now, the Iron Giant is hungry so it takes some lecturing to make the Iron Giant realize that some of the scrap metal is art and the art should not be eaten.

  • Only the scrap metal should be eaten by the Iron Giant, the junkyard owner reminds him.
  • Luckily the Iron Giant is quite trainable and he is learning more and more English each day.


The Iron Giant learns more and more English each day.

8. Where did the IRON GIANT come from?

The origins of the Iron Giant robot are ambiguous but the US military knows that the Iron Giant is not from the USA. Therefore, the Iron Giant’s technology is viewed as possibly being for spy purposes or enemy attack from a different nation.

  • The Iron Giant also has defense mechanisms in place for when he is threatened.
  • When guns of any kind (even Hogarth’s toy gun) are drawn on the Iron Giant, it is a trigger for the Iron Giant to go into a menacing defensive mode.


The Iron Giant's defensive mode can get triggered.

The Iron Giant the movie is a heartwarming film for children and families

If you watch The Iron Giant the movie from beginning to its end, you will find that The Iron Giant the movie is quite a heartwarming family film that children will find very endearing.

In THE IRON GIANT the movie, there are a few moments of violence that would be a little scary for very young children.

Nevertheless, the children will gain valuable lessons from watching The Iron Giant the movie. They will be perceptive, commenting, “That was a good movie” and ask questions about any of the aspects of it that they did not fully understand.

An evocative and frequently reiterated message in the Iron Giant movie is, “You are who you choose to be.”


You are who you choose to be.

The Iron Giant did not want to be the enemy.

The Iron Giant did not want to be the enemy. He wanted to be benevolent and given a chance to show that he is gentle.

The Iron Giant robot shows that he has feelings and he shows compassion during many moments, such as when he witnesses hunters shooting a deer and when he saves two young children that have fallen from a large height.

By the end of the movie, the entire community in the small town have come to find the beauty in the Iron Giant.

I did not know much of anything about this movie before I watched it with my kids and that is really my preferred way to view a movie (with very limited information beforehand).


A small town community comes to find the inner beauty of the Iron Giant.

Good voice acting in The Iron Giant the movie

It was not until the end credits of Iron Giant the movie were rolling that I realized that the animated Iron Giant robot character was voiced by the actor Vin Diesel and the mellow, smooth talking junkyard owner character was voiced by Harry Connick Jr., for example.


THE IRON GIANT the movie

In The Iron Giant the movie, Vin Diesel acts out the voice of a talking robot quite exceptionally and Harry Connick Jr’s voice is so chill and soothing even during would-be stressful moments in the Iron Giant film.

One example is during a harrowing time, he tells Hogarth’s Mom,

“He (Hogarth) is unconscious but he is okay. Let’s get him to a hospital.”

As the character Chandler Bing might say in the television sitcom, Friends,

“Could Harry Connick Jr’s voice BE any more soothing?!”

The Iron Giant the movie is rated PG.

I rate THE IRON GIANT the movie 4 stars out of 5 stars. ****


Could Harry Connick, Jr's voice be any more soothing?!

Nice animation

The animation in The Iron Giant the movie is good. The animated Iron Giant robot character seems primitively drawn compared to the more detailed animated human characters in the film but the simplicity in the appearance of the Iron Giant character is fitting.

The Iron Giant robot’s character has a certain sense of innocence about him but we see that there is much more below the surface, especially when the Iron Giant robot goes into his defensive mode.

THE IRON GIANT the movie, stars Vin Diesel, Harry Connick Jr. and others.

THE IRON GIANT the movie

4 stars for THE IRON GIANT

The Iron Giant movie trailer

The Iron Giant movie clip

© 2019 Nyesha Pagnou MPH

Comments

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    • profile image

      Michael115 

      7 months ago

      No problem

    • Journey * profile imageAUTHOR

      Nyesha Pagnou MPH 

      7 months ago from USA

      Hi Michael, Thanks very much! I appreciate your nice comment on this film review of The Iron Giant.

    • profile image

      Michael115 

      7 months ago

      Good synopsis of the film! I never actually watched the whole movie but after reading your article, I think I'll give it a shot. Good work!

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