Aneesh Chaganty

Movie #61 The Iron Giant

In Uncategorized on November 22, 2010 at 9:19 AM

Movie #61 The Iron Giant

(1999, US, d. Brad Bird)

I thought no animated film would ever pass Monsters Inc in my books. I was very wrong. The Iron Giant is far-and-away the best animated film to date. Miyazaki and Pixar are all up there, but Brad Bird’s masterpiece surpasses it. What can I say? It’s set at the peak of the Cold War in 1957 when it could have been set at any other time. The humor is genuine. Apart from the characters’ expressions, all the action and humor and moments could easily be replaced with live action. More than anything, the film is smart. It refuses to slap audiences with a moral and also refuses to lessen the severity of times to suit a younger audience. Here’s what I mean: For a PG movie, the movie doesn’t let up on its use of violence and ultra-violence and also on its depiction of a fear-based Maine town. The scene where the schoolchildren have to watch instructional videos on how to protect themselves in the event of a Soviet bomb is a great example. Brad Bird now works for Pixar and has moved on to directing more recognizable projects including The Incredibles and Ratatouille. He’s now in production on the next film in the Mission:Impossible series, Ghost Protocol. Go see this film if you haven’t already. It looks like a kid’s movie, but trust me: It’s anything but just that.

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