The Iron Giant

January 28, 2012 8 Min Read

Review by: Chad Estrella

Plot: What’s it about?

This movie is based on a children’s book that was printed in 1968, “The Iron Man”. The movie does this book some great justice by the way it was put on the screen. The story starts off in 1957 with a crash landing of a meteor or something in the ocean off the coast of Maine. It turns out to be the Iron Giant and a fisherman witnesses the giant robot and calls the government to warn them when he gets home. The story then shifts to Hogarth Hughes who is a little boy that lives by the forests in Maine and witnesses the Giant first hand. He notices that his TV antenna is missing and he follows the footprints into the forest where he sees a large giant getting ready to eat a power station. The Iron Giant eats metal to live and sees this large metal object, but what he doesn’t know is that when he grabs it shocks him and throws him back into the power lines. Hogarth saves the Giant by shutting off the switch to the power station. Hogarth is then picked up by his mother who was working late that night. They go home, but what Hogarth doesn’t know yet is that the Giant remembers what Hogarth did for him and now he has a Giant friend.

The government sends up an agent to look into the mess. It is the time that the Russians sent Sputnik into space so there is a little paranoia in the government about what this could be. The agent snoops around and finds Hogarth’s bee bee gun in the forest and asks him some question about the robot. Hogarth plays dumb and acts like he doesn’t know what the agent is talking about. Hogarth takes care of the Giant in his barn and the next day he takes the Giant to a junk yard where he can stay and eat for the night. Hogarth knows Dean, the owner and operator of the junkyard, and Dean agrees to let the Giant stay there for the night. Dean and Hogarth find out that the Giant robot will defend itself if it feels that it is in danger. They find this out when Hogarth is playing with the Giant and he shoots a toy gun at him. Hogarth is nearly killed, but then Dean learns it was defending itself so he races to get Hogarth and the Giant who both ran away, one after the other. The paranoid government agent is determined to destroy the Giant robot at any cost. The robot proves himself to be kind hearted, but it is not good enough for the deranged agent. The adventure heightens at the conclusion and you will get a little tug at your heart and you just may fall for The Iron Giant.

I took my 10 year old sister to the movie theater to just get an excuse to see this one when it opened in early August and I was glad that I did. It was a great movie and I couldn’t wait to get it on DVD. Well my wait is over and what an excellent DVD it is. This is the best animation movie I have ever seen. It has it all, laughs, some excellent animation and some good little action sequences. In the beginning of the movie the Giant seems to be a little darker because nobody knows what it is, but as the movie progresses you learn that he has feelings and a sense of what is going on around him. I highly recommend owning this one and at the absolute worse at least give it a rental viewing. I’m sure kids of all ages and even us adults will enjoy the movie. I seemed to enjoy it more than my little sister did and I am not ashamed to admit it. I am 26 years old and my friends pick on me for liking it so much and they refuse to watch it because it is a cartoon, but please don’t be as dumb as them and give it a spin in your DVD player… you won’t regret it. You should be able to pick this up at the store for $20 or on-line for about five bucks cheaper. It is definitely worth your time and money.

Video: How does it look?

This is an excellent 16×9 Widescreen presentation here. The colors of the animation are right on. There is no grain or any negative aspect of this transfer at all. I didn’t notice any bleeding of the colors as with some of the older animation movies that are seeing the daylight on DVD. A first rate transfer. There is also the Full Screen version of the movie as well for you pan and scan folks out there. (Hopefully not many though)

Audio: How does it sound?

The audio was excellent as well. Although it didn’t sound as good as it did in the theater when I saw it still sounded very good. Although it is mostly dialogue driven, when the giant walks and jumps and falls down your subwoofer will make it feel like the Giant is in your living room. The rear speakers add some ambiance to the sound stage and even get their own attention in the scenes of jets and missiles flying by. (You will see what I mean) Don’t worry the kids will understand and still enjoy the movie. There is a good heartfelt message in this movie.

Supplements: What are the extras?

You get a fair share of extras here. You get a 20 minute making of featurette that is pretty cool and shows you some behind the scenes stuff on making of this animation masterpiece. You also get a theatrical trailer that is in 2.0 sound, (It would have been great if it was 5.1 though) Eddie Platt’s “Cha-Chad-Hua” music video that goes along with the movie, filmographies and some DVD-Rom stuff that will show you the theatrical web site and some chatroom access and links.

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