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The Iron Giant | 1999 | PG | - 2.5.3

In this animated film (based on the story "Iron Man" by the British poet laureate Ted Hughes), it's 1958 and a young boy gets to befriend a massive alien robot that unexpectedly lands near -- and frightens -- the small town of Rockwell, Maine. With the voices of Jennifer Aniston, Eli Marienthal, Harry Connick Jr., Vin Diesel, Christopher McDonald, James Gammon, Cloris Leachman, John Mahoney and M. Emmet Walsh. [1:26]

SEX/NUDITY 2 - Some innocuous flirtation among a couple of adults. We see a boy unzip and then zip his pants in a bathroom; a man unzips his pants and a squirrel jumps out of them. We see a boy in swimming trunks.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 5 - A deer is shot and killed by hunters. A man goes through the window of a boat and is knocked onto rocks on the shore. A boy runs into a tree and cuts his head (we see blood on his face). A man grabs a boy by the face and threatens to take him away from his mother (the boy is obviously scared); also, a man renders a boy unconscious by covering his mouth with some type of noxious concoction. Two boys almost fall off a roof; a boy gets knocked unconscious. A robot blows up many tanks and armored vehicles and a robot bites into a power station and gets electrocuted (the scene is very noisy and scary). A robot is run over by a train and knocked out; also, a robot gets shot by tanks, bazookas, machine guns, armed aircraft and other types of military artillery. A robot is shattered to pieces (and allegedly killed) by an atomic bomb. A big robot carries a boy in his hand, towering above the trees, and the boy looks scared. We see a brain on TV that moves across the floor by itself. A lot of scatological humor (diarrhea, constipation).


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LANGUAGE 3 - A couple of anatomical references, several scatological references and mild obscenities; some name-calling.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Sputnik, aliens, UFOs, The Cold War, atomic holocaust, sacrifice, immortality of the soul, killing, the morality of deer hunting, paranoia, openness to differences.

MESSAGE - Government inspectors are scarier and more vindictive than alien robots. The real message: Killing is bad, and robots, like humans, are basically harmless until forced into a defensive position.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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