The Iron Giant: A Lonely Boy With Nothing to Do, Except Rule with his Warrior Robot
|The Iron Giant" (1999).|
You can pretty much date films by the primary relationship of the boy in them. In the 1800s, it would have been a boy and his slave ("Huckleberry Finn"). In the 1950s, it was a boy and his dog ("Lassie"). The 1980s invariably had a boy and his alien friend ("E.T.). Now, it is a boy and his robot. Funny how the stories always work out similarly in the end.
|Hogarth and his mom.|
|Just relaxing in a meadow.|
|Robot at rest.|
|Talking to his new friend.|
The animation is top-notch, the voices are done to perfection, and the story isn't loaded with gimmicks like musical numbers and the like. There is a cozy 1950s ambiance that gives the film a retro feel. Comparisons to Steven Spielberg's "E.T." are inevitable. "E.T." was a smash hit, but nobody went to see this film. Why?
|Hogarth teaching the Iron Giant.|
“For me, it was like an actor getting to work with Olivier or Spencer Tracy. He taught me to never quit. He told me that it’s important to have high standards and to let yourself go until you hit them. I remember one day I was fawning over his draftsmanship. He could turn anything in space and his scenes were impecably drawn. He told me, ‘I’m not a great draftsman. I just don’t quit easily’. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard ‘You haven’t got a prayer’. To anyone who’s out there reading this and has something different that they are going to do…just grit you teeth and get what you want onto the screen.”
|He doesn't know his own strength.|
Warners liked the idea but not the musical, so it decided to option the original novel instead and did a very different adaptation of the story, which is now called "The Iron Giant" after the American title. They put animator and director Brad Bird at the helm. Townsend was rewarded by receiving a producer credit on the final film. He wasn't upset; in fact, he was pleased. He told the press, “Well, whatever, I got paid.”
|I would be nervous if I were Hogarth.|
|This looks just like the classic "War of the Worlds." I assume it is an intentional homage.|