The Iron Giant
The Iron Giant is a 1999 animated science fiction film, directed by Brad Bird, produced by Warner Bros. Feature Animation, and released by Warner Bros. Pictures. more...
It was nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Script (written by Tim McCanlies), and for the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation. It is based on a 1968 children's book by Ted Hughes, The Iron Man. A young boy named Hogarth Hughes discovers an amnesiac "iron man", and saves him from electrocution. Grateful, the childlike fellow becomes friends with him. Now, Hogarth has to stop a U.S. military force led by a general and his egotistical federal agent from finding him and killing him out of paranoia with the help of Dean, a beatnik. There are many sly references to the McCarthy era and science fiction films and TV of the age. The characters are voiced by a cast that included Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Aniston, John Mahoney, and a then relatively unknown Vin Diesel.
Tagline: It came from outer space!
The story starts in the fall of 1957, when a large, flaming object is seen plunging through space towards Earth, where it crashes into the Atlantic Ocean just off the coast of Rockwell, Maine. This meteorite turns out to be the Iron Giant, a 50-foot tall robot of unknown origin and purpose.
Hogarth Hughes is home alone as his mother Annie has to work late again waitressing at the local diner. We never see or hear anything about Hogarth's father, but a photograph of a man standing next to a military jet in the boy's room leads one to the possibility that the father was a fighter pilot killed in the Korean War. Hogarth is watching a cheesy science fiction film on the television when the power mysteriously goes out.
Hogarth goes outside with his BB gun in hand and finds the TV antennae chewed up on the ground. Seeing a trail of destruction leading off into the woods, Hogarth follows a path of wrecked trees to the power station.
He comes upon the Giant in the process of trying to eat the metal at the power station. The Giant gets shocked into nearby powerlines and is electrified. Hogarth heroically saves the Giant by shutting off the station's main power link. His mother comes looking for him; and despite his best efforts, Hogarth cannot convince her that the iron giant was real, or that it was still in the woods as they drove off.
The next day, pompous and self-centered U.S. Government agent Kent Mansley arrives at the power station to investigate why it was wrecked as part of his looking into reports of a strange object that landed off the Maine coast. With the recent launching of the satellite Sputnik 1 by the Soviet Union on October 4, 1957 (this is the satellite we see orbiting Earth just before the Iron Giant comes plunging in from space), a shocked America became even more paranoid of the Iron Curtain nations during the Cold War.
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