Reviews
Home
News
FAQ
Reviews
Images
Production
Artists

 

The Iron Giant Reviews

Click Here for Animation Artist Magazine's Non-Spoiler Review

Click Here for Animation Artist Reader Reviews
(last updated August 6, 1999)

 

Quotes from What Other Press are Saying:
(last updated August 12, 1999)

Paul Tatara of CNN - "Well, Disney's stranglehold on America's collective imagination may finally be coming to an end. Warner Brothers' The Iron Giant is not only the best animated feature to be released this summer, it's the single best film to hit our screens so far this year."

--

Entertainment Weekly Online - "Bird conjures the quietude of the era by breaking with the Disney mold: no songs, no sidekicks. He comes up with nifty black-and-white parodies of nuclear-menace horror films, and he allows the relationship between Hogarth and the giant to develop, organically, into a true friendship... At times, The Iron Giant (A-) is more serene than it needs to be, but it's a lovely and touching daydream."

--

Stephen Hunter of The Washington Post - "The Iron Giant" is a fabulous animated feature, funny, touching, vivid and, best of all, humane. I hated it. It's brilliantly animated, and like the masterpieces of its genre it transcends age groupings. Children will love it and adults will be transfixed by its cleverness and its deft satire. Still, I hated it. And, although I hated it, I enjoyed it very much. You will probably enjoy it, even if you hate it, too."

--

Newsweek - "This is not exactly standard children's fare, but kids (and their parents) should be smitten by its wit and wisdom. Loosely based on poet Ted Hughes's book "The Iron Man," it has been turned by writer-director Brad Bird into a multilevel fable about violence, free will, the continuity of life and—more topically—gun control."

--

Jack Mathews of the New York Daily News - "Imagination, so it is said in the Kingdom of Disney, is the font of animation. But Disney's vaunted 'imagineers' could not have conceived something like The Iron Giant (four out of four stars). And even if they had, Disney wouldn't have made it. The Iron Giant, a Warner Bros. picture about a boy, an alien robot and 1950s Cold War paranoia, is to The Lion King what Invasion of the Body Snatchers was to Sleeping Beauty. It's an antidote to complacency."

--

Roger Ebert of The Chicago Sun Times - "The Iron Giant (three and a half stars out of four) is still another example of the freedom that filmmakers find in animation: This would have been a $100 million live-action special-effects movie, but it was made for a fraction of that cost because the metal man is drawn, not constructed. And here is a family movie with a message: a Cold War parable in which the Iron Giant learns from a little boy that he is not doomed to be a weapon because 'you are what you choose to be'... The Iron Giant, based on a book by the recently deceased British poet laureate Ted Hughes, is not just a cute romp but an involving story that has something to say."

--

Mark Caro of The Chicago Tribune - "Animated films excel in conjuring up colorful fantasy worlds, but few evoke an actual time and place as vividly -- and playfully -- as The Iron Giant (three and a half out of four stars) does...Despite the retro look, the story is told with a cinematic eye, as the "camera" dramatically pans into scenes such as Hogarth's initial discovery of the giant at the local power station. The sound design also is impressive, amplifying the crunching of metal and crackling of power lines...[Hogarth and the giant] make a fine pair in an animated tale equipped with heart, humor, blazing action and not a sappy song in earshot."

--

Jay Carr of the Boston Globe - "The Iron Giant is a solid, not to say ironclad, winner in the less than overcrowded family animation arena...The charm of the robot lies in the fact that while it's big, it's also an innocent...it's in the chemistry between the boy and the robot that the payoff is to be found. There's a lot to like in this film that only the NRA could hate."

--

Susan Wloszczyna of USA Today - "Attention, parental units: We are happy to report there is intelligent life in feature animation beyond planet Disney and the gaseous ball of foul language known as South Park...The Iron Giant ( three out of four stars) lands not with a tinny clunk but with a resounding boom, as befits a story in which A-bomb detonation is a real danger...the animators at Warner Bros. can finally stand tall."

--

Lawrence Van Gelder of The New York Times - "Adults, more than children, are likely to find stimulation, provocation and controversy in The Iron Giant, the polished new animated film from Warner Brothers...Many adults, including parents eager to have their children absorb lessons about the perils of guns and the merits of peace and tolerance, will doubtless approve of the film's messages while they ponder how the passing years have smoothed the jagged edges of history."

--

Rod Dreher of The New York Post - "It's a pity that politics, and of an especially pernicious kind, intrude into a discussion of this entertaining, heartwarming kids' movie. But director Brad Bird forces the issue by reinventing the story as a forthright allegory of America's anti-Communist 'paranoia.'"

--

Kenneth Turan of The LA Times - "Straight-arrow and subversive, made with simplicity as well as sophistication, "The Iron Giant" remembers the wonder of being a child and understands how to convey that in a media-savvy age. Both a step back and a step forward from the trends of modern animation, it feels like a classic even though it's just out of the box."

--

Ed Johnson-Ott of the NUVO Newsweekly - "Films of this caliber don't come along very often. With a smart script, expressive characters and a skillful mix of humor and sentiment, The Iron Giant offers as many pleasures for adults as it does for children. Here's another treat: unlike traditional Disney- style cartoons, the feature has no wacky sidekicks or musical numbers. Hallelujah!"

--

Screen It - "Based on the children's book, "The Iron Man," by British author Ted Hughes (and renamed "The Iron Giant" for U.S. release), this rousing piece of kid-oriented escapism might not match Disney's greatest or even recent releases in overall visual quality. Some may also even complain that the story is too predictably simple or that it gets a bit too hokey during its somewhat preachy third act."

--

Cody Clark of Mr. Showbiz - "Though plainly intended primarily for young viewers, Bird's movie neither panders to children nor sneers at them, and it beautifully, lucidly captures the giddy adventurousness of childhood. Its technical credits are positively sparkling — a reminder that the studio that gave us Bugs and Daffy once towered over the animation industry much as Disney does today — and the script Hughes praised so highly is by turns clever, amusing, and warmly touching."

--

Lael Loewenstein of Variety - "A visually appealing, well-crafted film, The Iron Giant is an unalloyed success that works on several levels. Equally potent as political allegory and as animated family entertainment, Brad Bird's ambitious, intelligent freshman feature, cleverly set in 1950s small-town America, effectively references everything from Cold War ideology to B-movie conventions, but it never loses sight of its central narrative hook, the friendship of a boy and a giant robot."

--

James Berardinelli of ReelViews - "The reason for The Iron Giant's success isn't hard to discern - it has to do with the writing. The script is crisp, smartly-paced, intelligent, and emotionally satisfying. It recalls the strengths of E.T. without the weaknesses. It introduces real, likable characters worth caring about and rooting for. It's the kind of story with the power to engross 6-year olds and 60-year olds alike because it doesn't condescend."
(3.5 out of 4 stars)

 

Joe Tracy is Publisher of Animation Artist Magazine and author of the book Web Marketing Applied .
 

All content and most graphics on this page are ©Copyright 1999-2000 by Animation Artist Magazine and may not be downloaded or reused for any purpose. All Rights Reserved.
The Iron Giant images are ©Copyright 1999-2000 by Warner Bros.

Visit these other
Animation Artist Movie Sites:
Disney's Tarzan
Princess Mononoke
Pokemon: The First Movie
Toy Story 2
Fantasia 2000
The Tigger Movie
Dinosaur