The Iron Giant

Director: Brad Bird
Year Released: 1999
Rating: 3.5

Animated "political" film, which takes place during the 1950's (during the Communist craze) and features a humongous robot, which crash lands on our planet, programmed to eradicate all weapons. A curious little boy (in whose imagination all this action could be taking place) finds and saves the robot's life (it's almost electrocuted) and eventually becomes its friend. Really lovely scenes surface throughout - one has the robot's hand "lost" in the boy's house, another shows the robot trying to swim (he drains the whole lake with a cannonball jump) - and the rapport between the wide-eyed boy, the beatnik (voiced by Harry Connick, Jr.) who uses scrap metal for art and the giant (who eats scrap metal) is genuine. The scenes with the secret agent seem to ruin things somewhat - the secret agent, of course, being the "ignorant" one, excessively hell-bent on destroying the playful giant and "ruining" the child's dream. The scene where the giant and the boy talk about the soul (or the scene where the agent chloroforms the boy) don't belong in there. It's a sweet, magical film, with some interesting subtext (it never says where the giant comes from or what is its purpose).