Iron Giant, The
PG
Entertainment: +3
Acceptability: -1/2

In this animated Warner Brothers adventure, 9-year-old Hogarth Hughes (voice of Eli Merienthal) is a normal, inquisitive boy growing up in the 50s. He likes to play in the woods and catch small animals. When he discovers a giant robot from space in the forest behind his home, his mom Annie (voice of Jennifer Aniston) naturally doesnt believe him. But the Iron Giant (voice of Vin Diesel) is all too real, and they quickly become friends. However, the giant needs metal to eat. Luckily, Hogarth makes friends with everyone, and he happens to make the acquaintance of the eccentric Dean McCoppin (Harry Connick Jr.) who owns the local scrap metal yard. He shares his secret with Dean, and, after a lot of persuading, Dean finally agrees to let the giant stay and eat his scrap metal. But a conniving, paranoid government agent tracks down the giant and calls in the army to investigate, which invites a deluge of violent chase and battle scenes. THE IRON GIANT is a fun, kid-oriented film with some thought provoking elements for adults as well. Its colorful animation, rapid-fire action, and many likable characters will probably make it a popular family film.

The story clearly sends the message that everyone can choose his own destiny and behavior and should do what is right. This is displayed when Hogarth tells the robot he does not have to kill with his built in weapons, but he can be a Superman who helps others. Also, there is a somewhat simplistic, but meaningful, anti-gun sentiment in the story, as Hogarth tells the giant that guns are bad because they kill. Further, there is an exaggerated anti-government sentiment in the film as the government agent and Army are presented as bumbling, trigger happy clowns whose first reaction is to shoot at the giant. After some hunters kill a deer, Hogarth and the Giant discuss the afterlife. Hogarth says that all good things with intelligence and feelings have souls that live forever. This is commendable but seems to include animals. And while Hogarth and his mother are portrayed as God-fearing people, a prayer at mealtime turns into a prolonged comical sequence. The film also has a few mild crudities, one moderate obscenity and an irreverent exclamation referencing the mother of Jesus. And several intense and violent scenes may disturb very young viewers. THE IRON GIANT has some commendable elements, but its comical prayer, questionable language, and the possibly misleading message about animals having souls push it into our unacceptable category.

Preview Reviewer: John Adair and John Evans
Distributor: Warner Brothers

Summary
Crude Language: Few (4) times All mild
Obscene Language: Once - Moderate(screw)
Profanity: Once - Regular (Sweet Mother of G)
Violence: Several times - Mild and Moderate (Boat sinks in storm, people hit by flying trees and objects, robot electrocuted, animal shot, vehicles explode and intense chase and battle scenes)
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: Few times (smoking, alcohol)
Other: Anti-gun and anti-government message; souls are in all good things, which seems to include animals and robots, message about making positive choices
Running Time: 90 minutes
Intended Audience: Ages 6 and up

Copyright Preview Family Movie Review (www.previeoOnline.org)