THE IRON GIANT
No disrespect Mr. Disney but the best classically drawn animated movie of all time is The Iron Giant. Directed by Brad Bird and released in 1999 this highly underrated film is an absolute must-see. I’ll admit that when I first saw it advertised I was in animation school at the time it didn’t really grab my attention. Yes it had a big robot in it which is cool but between Star Wars: The Phantom Menace and The Matrix being released that same year all of my attention was focused elsewhere. Also the animation looked very 101 Dalmatians-esque and that kind of turned me off as well. It was only after a friend told me that I needed to see it that I decided to give it a shot. The animation is top notch and the character design is stellar, the Giant itself has such a cool retro 60s robot vibe that I just love. It’s simple and industrial but has just enough sci-fi elements to be believable as a robot from outer space. I have watched this movie a dozen times now and it is the one film that gets me misty eyed every single time. The themes just really strike a chord with me and I suppose I relate to Hogarth the young boy who discovers the robot.
After seeing this film I needed to have an action figure of the giant. Unfortunately they were nowhere to be found. There were some released apparently but since the film did not make a splash at the movie theaters most retailers did not carry the toys. On ebay the larger figures now sell for $200 to $600. I was still working at Blockbuster when the film was released on VHS and DVD. A limited number of the VHS versions included a 4 inch Iron Giant figure. I bought the DVD but I believe it was a sympathetic customer who said that I could have their toy when they bought the movie. Sucks to be their kid. So thank you mystery customer. Though this “giant” is pretty miniscule it is likely the only giant figure I will ever own so he is a valued part of my collection. The figure is about what you would expect to find in a happy meal but is still surprisingly detailed. Each little rivet is sculpted and you can feel them as you run your finger over them. The articulation is severely lacking with simple joints on the legs, arms and head with no swivel motion and no elbow or knee joints. There is very little in the way of paint applications but there doesn’t need to be. The character is primarily grey with some darker grey highlights and yellow eyes which is how he appeared in the film. A neat little figure. 7 out of 10.