I was pleasantly surprised at what I was watching when watching this movie. It is a gem to behold. The movie’s animated style is probably the most unique of the movie as it fits well with the fifties pop aesthetic. Many of the characters look very similar to the style of folks like Chuck Jones or Bob McKimson, offering a new innovative style that sets it apart from other animated movies.
The robot is completely computer animated but the rest is two-dimensional animation. Lonely latch key kid Hogarth Hughes discovers a gargantuan robot (voice of Vin Diesel) that has mysteriously crashed into the forest, and attempts to hide it from a mean government agent while bonding with it. “The Iron Giant” is excellent and while it’s an exciting and fun science fiction film, it also helps convey ideas about life, death, and friendship. In one moment, young Hogarth teaches the robot about the concept of death after he witnesses a deer get shot. The origins of the robot are unknown and throughout the movie, the makers hint but never tell until the end.
The robot himself is very likeable and a very charming character resembling a kid in nature as he gets to swim for the first time, eat for the first time, and read comic books emulating Superman. The robot is also a symbol in the movie symbolizing a child who is innocent at first and once introduced to the horrors of the world gets corrupted. The movie also features an all-star cast with the excellent voice works of Jennifer Aniston, Christopher McDonald, and most notably Harry Connick Jr. who does an excellent job playing the beatnik friend of Hogarth who bonds with him as well. The movie has a lot of heart as many of the more menacing situations never become too violent, and many of the sweet moments really sticking with you. With a universal story, great animation, and a great title character “The Iron Giant” is a true masterpiece.