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Feature Review #6
I Am SO Not Surprised...
The Iron Giant (Special Edition)
Dir: Brad Bird
...that it didn't do well in the theatres.

Gee, what a surprise -- there's not a single cute song in it. How can an animated film be any good if it doesn't have cute songs?

I'll TELL you how it can -- it can be a wonderful film with a real heart that looks at a serious subject and considers it in a thoughtful and even-handed manner. It can present a leading character who is thoroughly "human" -- despite being about as non-human as you can get.

It can be a film set in a period of paranoia and suspicion that was still a simpler and quieter time, and it can perfectly capture that time.

It can have scary moments and funny moments and moments of genuine pathos and love and warmth.

It can have a genuinely despicable villain -- and an Army General who's rational, level-headed and actually thinks before he shoots.

It can work on several levels for adults, young adults and kids all at once. It can pay tribute to the wonderful cheesy films we all loved in the Fifties (especially the original "Invaders from Mars", "The Day the Earth Stood Still" and "The Brain from Planet Arous").

And it can ask -- and answer -- the questions:
"What if -- a gun had a soul?
"What if -- a gun didn't HAVE to be a gun?"

And, just incidentally, it can be the best-animated film i have seen in years.

And it can have a squirrel in it.

And that's how it can be a great movie.