The stole Giant's story is heartwarming and straightforward enough because that a son to understand and yet additionally is thematically rich and also asks part interesting, intellectually stimulating questions. Among the primary and an ext obvious themes that the film is identity.

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The Iron giant is around a young kid and also his unlikely friendship v a gigantic robot that eats steel as food.

The Themes and analysis collection explores the major themes underpinning a movie or a TV present and likewise analyses exactly how they function within the story and also elevate it.


The Iron giant is a 2D animated film that released twenty years ago in 1999. It to be a crate office failure. However, the received highly positive reviews (96 every cent in ~ Rotten Tomatoes) and likewise established Brad Bird, that would walk on to helm Ratatouille and The Incredibles film series for Pixar and Disney.

It is debatable as to why The Iron large did no click through audiences back then despite it has gained a cult standing now. Perhaps the marketing and also promotion was lacking or maybe the world was too much in love with the 3D animated techniques pioneered by Pixar.


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The Iron giant was not a Disney film. The was produced by Warner Bros Animation, the studio behind the Looney Tunes. Warner Bros’ then-president Lorenzo di Bonaventura to be quoted by USA Today, “People always say to me, ‘Why nothing you do smarter family movies?’ The lesson is, Every time you do, you acquire slaughtered.”

Regardless of its failure, The Iron huge is, together Lorenzo said, a smart family members movie. The story is heartwarming and simple enough for a boy to understand and also yet also is thematically rich and asks some interesting, intellectually stimulating questions. The is likewise a superhero movie in a way, together it attributes a superpowered being troubled with things prefer mortality and also not offering into one’s darker inclinations.

First, a bit of the plot. The Iron huge is about a young kid in a fictional coastal town called Rockwell that Maine, US and his i can not qualify friendship v a giant robot that eats steel as food. It isn’t made explicitly clear, however the robot has sentience and also may well be a nascent lifeform. The movie is collection in the at an early stage days of the Cold war in 1957, shortly after the Soviet Union had launched Sputnik 1, the an initial artificial satellite to efficiently go right into space. There to be fear and paranoia among Americans, who feared, amongst other things, that the USSR would certainly drop atom bombs on them using their climate superior room tech — NASA to be yet to come right into existence.

So as soon as a giant killer robot crash landing in a seaside town, human being feared the worst. ~ scaring the daylights the end of a sailor, the giant reached a power grid and also tried to eat the steel there, electrocuting himself. He was watched by 9-year-old Hogarth Hughes, that turned off the power switch, shutting under the grid and also saving the steel Giant.

The two build a friendship once Hogarth discovers the gigantic is friendly. The goes to good pains to ensure the remains covert from the authorities and also places him in a scrapyard (“All the food you deserve to eat!”). Yet due come his enormous size, the gigantic is spotted by a few people and also a federal government agent Kent Mansley is dispatched come the town.

Mansley is ultimately successful in bringing the military to the town, and also commands the large to it is in nuked. As soon as the giant realises the whole town will be wiped off the confront of the earth, he paris into an are and collides with the missile, may be dying.

The movie uses its setup perfectly. Over there is miscellaneous alluring around 2D animation — something an ext than simply nostalgia — particularly if enough care is given to the visuals. The atmospheres are vibrant and there is an excellent attention to information here.

One the the major and more obvious themes of the movie is identification — in the sense that one deserve to be everything they desire to be. “You are what you choose to be,” says Hogarth in ~ one point.

The stole Giant, though of unknown origin, is clearly alien and also was constructed as a battle machine. He has an inbuilt defence system that activates whenever someone points a gun at him, also as a joke. The childlike giant has a face-off with morality when he witnesses the death of a deer. That is said by Hogarth that firearms kill. And the huge doesn’t have to be a weapon the was clearly designed to be. He have the right to chart his own destiny. He can be every little thing he wants. He can even be Superman.

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The kid reflects him exactly how Superman, like the giant, come from outer space and flourished up to it is in a kind human being who conserves the civilization from evil. Although the son witnesses the giant’s subconscious defence mechanism when he points a toy gun towards him as part of a game, that is certain in his innocent and also optimistic belief that a weapon like him too can be a pressure for good. In a relocating scene, the Iron giant says, “I am not a gun.”


There is also the fear of the “other” that the film brings into focus. Scared civilization hate something they perform not understand. One well-known instance is the Salem witch trials of the late 17th century. The citizens of Rockwell check out a 100-foot-tall robot and also think that is a Soviet killing maker or other to the effect. Despite honestly speaking, I would certainly not blame a 1950s’ American of gift scared at first glance of other alien, invincible and huge.