Iron Giant

What Is It?

First, it is not a Disney Cartoon. It does have a similar style of animation, and a single mother showcased, but it does not have a song and dance number or any talking animals. It is a Sci-Fi cartoon about a kid in the 50’s who befriends a Giant Iron robot who has bumped his head, so does not remember what he is there for. He hides the robot in a scrap yard with the help of the Beatnik owner (who serves as a bit or a brother/father figure) and is pursued by a government agent who thinks all foreign robotics are evil weapons of the enemy.

This film has been out on video for a while but has recently been re-released because it’s writer/director, Brad Bird, has recently come into the spotlight as his second venture of this type”The Incredibles” which has rightfully gained him a lot of attention. Bird has also worked on “The Simpsons” and wrote 1987’s “*batteries not included

How Was It?

It was a fun movie, references to Superman and 1950’s sci-fi were very cool. I was particularly reminded of 1951’s”The Day The Earth Stood Still.” The acting was good. I didn’t recognize the voices until the credits (Jennifer Aniston, Harry Connick Jr., Cloris Leachman and Vin Diesel as the robot.) Though set in the 50’s, the film moves very much like a modern cartoon. The only really hokey plot point was that the robot has bumped his head and thus has forgotten who he is and why he’s there. (He regains his memory later and the dent on his head pops back out.)  This is a kid’s story an adult could enjoy.

   Is It Good For Kids?

Unlike “The Incredibles” that was written for a more adult crowd, this film was aimed directly at kids. I think most kids (especially boys) would like this film. Still there are some minor crude words and a lot to do with guns and death (from shot guns to big lazers).  You can check for a complete break down of elements shown on the screen.

How about Spiritual Issues?

First, there is a funny scene where the boy is asked to say grace. Though played for laughs, I though it was cool to show prayer (even if it was just before a meal) as a normal part of life. The robot’s giant hand is walking around in the kitchen and the boy covers his yelling at the hand with prayers (Oh My God! we thank you. Hey Stop That!.. Satan,)

 Later the boy and robot witness a hunter shooting a deer. They are both sad. The boy explains that guns are bad because they kill. Killing is bad, but death isn’t. This is because all good things (including the robot) have a soul and live forever.

This light explanation does not seem to be educated from Scripture. First of all, in the story of Noah, God gave us the animals of the earth to eat. (Genesis 9:3) Even in this movie, do they want us to believe that the “cold chicken” mom tells him to eat for dinner, died of natural causes?

 Then there is the soul issue. The idea that animals and robots have souls is a very weird one. Still the worrisome part is that the film implies with its “soul lives forever” idea that “If you are good you go to heaven.” This goes against scripture that states Romans 3:12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one. This movie-theology also is saying that heaven is possible without the redemption of Jesus. (John 14:6).

Finally the other mantra of the film is that “You can be whoever you decide to be.” (This next part is a spoiler.) Its culmination at the end when the robot remembers it is a Gun. When an atomic missile is launched at it, the robot chooses to be “Superman” instead of a gun. Flying up to meet the bomb in space, the robot sacrifices itself for the rest of the people in the city. (Sounds familiar? It gets more so.) The film ends a couple of days later, when the one piece of the robot the boy has, rolls away. It goes to a far off planet, where all the parts of the robot are coming together. The Robot is once again, alive.

   What Is Your Recommendation?

With the odd view on guns, followed by the incorrect view on Souls and Heaven, resulting in and ending making the Robot the Christ Figure of this new theology… I would say, don’t bother. You would be better off with the less incorrect Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow“, or the totally campy and almost devoid of meaning, send up of 50’s sci-fi “The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra” Hay, maybe I’ll just go for the real thing and re-visit “The Day The Earth Stood Still”


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