IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE!
In the 1950s, a boy encounters a giant made of iron in the woods; the creature is from outer space, but the kid’s new playmate is not easily accepted by adults. An animated charmer that shows director Brad Bird’s potential, even though it wasn’t a commercial success. Reminiscent of E.T. (1982), this is a predictable story of a boy who takes care of an alien hunted by government agents, but gains strength from its sense of humor and the clever way Bird ties it to 1950s fear of commies and atomic weapons. The animation (including its CGI elements) looks beautiful, and Eli Marienthal does a good job voicing the boy.
1999-U.S. Animated. 86 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Allison Abbate, Des McAnuff. Directed by Brad Bird. Screenplay: Tim McCanlies. Novel: Ted Hughes (“The Iron Man”). Voices of Jennifer Aniston (Annie Hughes), Eli Marienthal (Hogarth Hughes), Harry Connick, Jr. (Dean McCoppin), Vin Diesel, Christopher McDonald, James Gammon… Cloris Leachman, John Mahoney.
Trivia: Executive producer Pete Townshend originally intended to turn the story into a musical with songs from his album “The Iron Man”.
Last word: “I’m interested in showing that animated films are films first, and animation second. We want to have something for adults, as well as children. Animation is storytelling. Storytelling can be anything. Hopefully, ‘The Iron Giant’ is a step in that direction. I just pitched them the idea of, ‘What if a gun had a soul?’ They saw the dramatic possibilities in that idea. I pitched them the story line, the way I saw it, and they went for it.” (Bird, Animation World Magazine)