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Iron Giant, The

List Price: Unknown [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Aaron Beierle | posted January 5, 2000 | E-mail the Author
The Movie:
"The Iron Giant" came out late last Summer and although after watching this DVD I've found it to be a most excellent film(unlike the two previous animated efforts from Warner, "Quest For Camelot" and "King and I"), it was lost at the box office when Warner Brothers hardly gave it any advertising and the little they did provide was ineffective. "The Iron Giant" is directed by "Simpsons" animator Brad Bird and the quality of the animation throughout this picture is highly impressive. The story is based on the book "The Iron Man" by Ted Hughes, and the story revolves around a curious 9 year-old (voiced by Eli Marenthal) living with a single mother (voiced by Jennifer Aniston). The plot, which takes place in 1957 Maine, has the boy finding and befriending a gigantic Iron creature who has fallen to Earth on a rainy night.After saving the giant, the mission becomes hiding the gigantic creature from not only his mother, but the authorities.

I haven't been impressed with animation this much since the Dreamworks epic "Prince Of Egypt". This is a completely different style and wonderful in it's own right, with beautiful colors and impressive detail. The movie takes place in the 50's and as such, has a fine detail and grasp of the period look and feel. Although the story may have certain similarities to E.T., I found this tale to be just as enjoyable, if not more so.

The vocal talent is excellent, especially Eli Marenthal as Hogarth (he also played the younger brother in the indie comedy "Slums Of Beverly Hills) and Jennifer Aniston, who brings warmth to the role of a single mother. I didn't get a chance to see this film in theaters since it came and went too quickly, but I hope other people besides myself will find this film now that it's on home video because it's really a treat that the whole family will enjoy.

The DVD

VIDEO: This is an absolutely flawless anamorphic widescreen transfer, presented in the film's original 2.35:1 aspect ratio (a full-frame edition is also included). Colors are deep, strong, natural and rich throughout the presentation, looking well saturated and goregous. The golden colors of the forests are especially stunning. The image is absolutely razor sharp throughout and detail is quite good. There are absolutely no flaws to speak of; no aliasing, none of the usual problems. The print used is absolutely crystal clear and so is the resulting image on this DVD. In fact, this is really one of the most beautiful transfers I've seen this year. Although I didn't like it quite as much as the image quality that "Prince Of Egypt" displayed, it's really very close.
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SOUND: Animated films can not only break through the boundaries of the imagination in terms of ideas and imagry, but there have been quite a few recent animated pictures that have really taken advantage of the possibilities of sound, as well. Most recently, Anastasia and Prince Of Egypt have been most impressive in terms of sound. "The Iron Giant" definitely achieves this level of quality as well. Surrounds are used wonderfully to achieve a sound that is enveloping. There is also some serious bass , mainly in the footsteps of the giant. Dialogue is nicely recorded and clear as well.

MENUS:: Enjoyably animated; a clip leads the viewer into the main menu.

EXTRAS: It's rather silly; this doesn't contain as many features as the two Warner animated flops("Quest For Camelot" and "King and I") and although this particular title was going to be a special edition, that idea wasn't carried out on the final product. I would have loved to hear a commentary from director Bird, but unfortunately, there isn't one on this DVD edition. This is what we do get:

"Making-Of" documentary: An enjoyable and in-depth documentary about the making of this animated feature. Clips lead us into the feature, which is hosted by star Vin Diesel( who is the voice of the giant ). A lot of the documentary features interviews with the cast and director Bird as well as clips from the movie. Although some of the first half does get into the process of recording vocals, I was pleased to see that the second half goes into detail about the making of the fantastic animation that was involved in this picture. I would have liked a few less clips from the movie and more details about the making of the picture, but it's still a very enjoyable documentary feature.

Also: The theatrical trailer, a music video and cast/crew bios.



Final Thoughts This is an outstanding movie, and at the $24.95 retail price, I definitely think it's highly recommended viewing for not only kids but adults this holiday season, where it will hopefully gain a new life on home video. Highly recommended.

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C O N T E N T

V I D E O

A U D I O

E X T R A S

R E P L A Y

A D V I C E
Highly Recommended

E - M A I L
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