Parent reviews for The Iron Giant

Common Sense says

Touching robot-kid friendship tale has great messages.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 34 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 39 reviews
Parent of a 5, 8, and 10 year old Written byCrimsonBuckeye March 2, 2010

Great movie, but parents beware

I loved the movie and the ultimate message, but I was very disappointed in the unnecessary use of profanity ([email protected], h3ll). I was also put off by the ultimate threat of nuclear destruction toward the end of the movie. This is a development I was not prepared for and had to explain to my kids. Really, this was the most frightening aspect to them, not the robot with its guns blazing. Thankfully, my youngest didn't quite get the impending doom. While the robot does the right thing in this dangerous situation, parents should be aware of the nuclear threat aspect.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Language
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written bythehandyman October 3, 2015

Good movie, just watch for language and negative messages

The Iron Giant is a great movie, unfortunately there is some completely unnecessary swearing(its a kids movie come on). It's not excessive, but it would be good to review it and mute the few parts that they do curse. They also do have an iffy scene where the boy takes the Lord's name in vain and acts like he is praying. You could say it is somewhat of a mockery of praying/religion. One negative message in the movie is that guns kill. This is portrayed when two hunters shoot a deer (off camera, all you hear is a shot). The boy and Giant scare the hunters off but falsely conclude that guns kill. This statement is repeated in the movie 2-3 times (they try to ingrain it in your mind). Just be careful to tell any kids that don't know better that BAD PEOPLE KILL!! NOT GUNS! Also assure them that hunting is not evil or bad, and hunters are not evil or as well.

This title contains:

Language
Parent of a 5 and 8 year old Written byscalatayud September 6, 2010

Fantastic positive family movie, particularly for boys!

This movie is one of my personal favorites, as well as a favorite for my boys. The message is terrific - "you are who you choose to be - YOU decide". Hogarth, the boy, befriends the iron giant, who becomes a very endearing character. The giant is designed to be a weapon, but after seeing Hogarth's "Superman" comics, the giant decides he doesn't want to wield violence. His love for Hogarth leads to his very moving, self-sacrificing decision in the end, and he saves the whole town. I still cry every time I see that scene! The movie does end on a very positive, hopeful, uplifting note, and the audience knows that Hogarth will eventually be reunited with the giant. It is an absolutely terrific movie by Brad Bird, who did "The Incredibles".

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 6 and 8 year old Written bypamother March 11, 2010

Great movie, but too scary for under 7

Good story, lots of suspense particularly at the beginning
Parent of a 6 year old Written byRenodad June 14, 2010

A positive message of anti-violence, personal responsibility and compassion.

While viewing The Iron Giant, I was initially concerned that the violence involving guns, missiles, tanks, jets, etc., would be too much for my son. But this violence beautifully set up a powerful ending with a wonderful message about compassion, personal responsibility, choice and friendship. I was impressed.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Positive Messages
Adult Written byDavid White April 9, 2008

Great story, but climax was over-the-top.

I really liked this movie as did most of my family up until the climax where the robot is threatened by the Military. At that point it felt like the Producers and Director of the film lost their heads and threw in every alarming technological transformation of the Giant they could think of - regardless of: 1) How frightening it might be to little kids. 2) The Era the story was set in. 3) The stylistic and story incongruities.It was jarring to witness this generally cold war-era retro-styled robot start sprouting scary looking space-age weaponry. I mean was this a Soviet manufactured secret weapon or something from outer space? It just didn't fit the story it was in.And it's too bad because I thought it had been so good up to that point.
Parent of a 9 and 13 year old Written bysingj April 27, 2016

Maybe the most personally meaningful movie I've seen.

Many of the reviews here lament the occasional use of strong language (maybe on a par with a typical Doctor Who episode), or laud the powerful message about people having the power to choose who they want to be. Both of these reactions are valid, but I would encourage parents (and dads in particular) to consider what I feel to be the truest and deepest subtext of the movie: when the Giant feels threatened, he turns into a "gun" - a gun that, in one of the most powerful and upsetting images from the film, is leveled squarely at Hogarth's head. When he is able to clear his head, the Giant is terrified and sad and revulsed by what he became, seemingly powerless to stop the transformation. He doesn't want to be a gun. He wants to be Superman. I think many men realize that you don't have to be physically violent to be a "gun". We can hurt those we love in lots of different ways. Like the Giant, we sometimes feel powerless against these transformations -- but the truth is that we always have a choice. We can make the sacrifice, we can shut down the weaponry and protect instead of causing suffering. We *can* be Superman. I literally have to leave the room for the final scenes of the movie.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byabc123 February 1, 2013

The iron giant

the message was to have no guns and not to judge a book by its cover. A giant robot crash lands in Rockwell,Maine and befriends a young boy. They have to show that the bloody path isn't the best. This movie is full of action. It is one of my favorite movies.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Parent of a 14 and 15 year old Written byLiz Perle April 9, 2008

a bit scary in places but really quality

This is a really good movie. The characters are 3D, the plot a good versus evil. It's scary and sad in places but a real rest from the pap that so many of these movies can be
Adult Written byansibility April 1, 2015

Excellent animated feature with an embedded history lesson

On top of everything that's been said in this review, there's an additional aspect where you could say that the government's reaction to the Iron Giant was just as scary as titular character itself. In particular, federal agent Kent Mansley was a perfect example of government paranoia, especially during the Cold War era. It's a perfect talking point for older kids about what went on during that time. Mansley threatened to separate Hogarth from his mother and even drugged him with chloroform. He was portrayed as a bit of an idiot in the beginning, which makes it more scarier to think that there are people like him who have the authority to take those measures in the name of national security.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent Written bydgbehrends January 19, 2013

Great Family Movie

My kids 4 6 and 7 love this movie. Great dialogue and lots of humor for the kids.
Adult Written byJdhdhfjfj May 6, 2016

Super sad

My children - 9 and 5 - are currently crying their eyes out. Balling actually. It's very very sad. Sweet, but sad. I would not recommend it to sensitive children.

This title contains:

Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Parent of a 6 and 9 year old Written byEric Z. January 15, 2013

A terrific film on all levels

THE IRON GIANT is a terrific film on all levels – a fantastic story featuring rollicking action, touching relationships, and the last gasp of top-notch 2D animation (only the Iron Giant himself is computer-animated). Director Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Ratatouille) does a masterful job of developing the relationship of Hogarth and Giant as Hogarth explains the ways of Earth as he sees them – from the awesomeness of Superman, to the joys of doing a cannonball into a lake, to the violence and sadness of guns. It's a tremendous, powerful story featuring lessons on life, death, friendship, love, and sacrifice. Simply writing this review makes me want to watch it again. If that’s not a ringing endorsement, I don’t know what is. *** VIOLENCE/SCARINESS: Hogarth gets a nosebleed after running into a tree branch; a deer is shot and killed (we hear the gunshot then see the lifeless body); Mansley knocks Hogarth unconscious with a chloroform rag; two boys are in peril of falling off the top of a building; the army shoots a mass amounts of weapons at the Giant, including guns, tanks, and missiles; the Giant responds with his own catalog of weapons that destroys several tanks and army trucks (no soldiers are killed). The finale, involving Hogarth’s town, the Giant, and a nuclear missile, may be emotionally intense for very young children. DRUGS/ALCOHOL/TOBACCO: There are passing mentions of alcohol that will probably go over young kids’ heads. Mansley smokes a pipe on occasion. Hogarth gets comically wired after drinking an espresso. LANGUAGE: There are mild profanities: “h*ll” (2x), “d*mn it” (2x), and in the finale, Mansley declares, “Screw our country!” *** READ MY FULL REVIEW AT: filmfather (dot) blogspot (dot) com.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Language
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written byecodad October 6, 2016

Disappointing

With all the positive reviews, we expected The Iron Giant to be a classic. For us, it was not. The plot was very predictable and the supporting characters were mostly two dimensional. The relationship between the main characters was fairly well done, with some touching moments, but for the most part that is not much here that would not be present in a decent PBS cartoon series. It does have some positive things to say about relationships, which we appreciated. But it is not something we would watch a second time or recommend. The day before we watched Castle in the Sky and the contrast in terms of wonder, subtlety, animation quality, and intelligence could not be more stark. To give one example, both genders were represented as being capable, intelligent, and heroic. Similar things could be said for offerings that include Song of the Sea, Kiki Delivery Service, Secret of the Kells, Spirited Away, or even The Secret of the Wings. May work better for you if you have a boy (we have a girl) or if you are wanting to do some teaching around the "Red Scare", historical nuclear armament/Cold War and 1950's paranoid, or mental illness (fairly cartoonish so not very scary).
Parent Written byPlague January 25, 2010

The Iron Giant

A fantastic classic that parents and their kids will love. Very mild language (their is a "h*ll" and a "d*mn" if im not mistaken), but sends a strong message that friendship is a key aspect to have in life.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 9 and 14 year old Written byleah.k November 25, 2009

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Parent of a 5 and 7 year old Written bybethmorris1125 August 14, 2009

GREAT movie, bad language

I like the movie. Interesting story, engaging, funny, touching....etc. I grabbed it at the library one day, and had never heard of it before and thought it was a great family movie. Then....the language started. Lines like, "I don't know what in the he-double hockey sticks (except they say the real word) it is", repetitive use of "Oh my God" and "[email protected]" are all in this movie. I just don't understand this in a kid's movie. We used it as an opportunity to talk to our kids...but nonetheless...if I knew I would have made them wait til they were older to see it.

This title contains:

Language
Parent of a 5 and 5 year old Written byCDMoyer June 11, 2010

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Language
Positive Messages
Adult Written byMamaMegan April 9, 2008

an intelligent film

This is a very good film, and while there is some violence in it, the message is actually very pro-peace. The whole point is that the robot only fires defensively, and that the government & army antagonize it by assuming the worst and fearing the unknown. The boy is an excellent role model -- smart, open-minded, curious, caring. Our son loved the robot of course. It is obviously a movie for older children (6+), and I think it should be watched with an adult to provide interpretation and explanation as needed throughout the movie. The government agent is threatening, but the other male character provides a good role model balance. Our son was sad at the end that the boy & robot were separated, but we imagined that they would be able to resume their friendship later on. The robot does NOT die at the end but begins to reassemble itself in the last moments of the movie. This is not a take-a-nap-while-the-kids-watch-a-video type movie. Watch it with your kids. It's a smart film and has a timely message.
Parent of an infant and 3 year old Written byAlekxandra October 2, 2015

Great endearing film, but a little scary and too violent for younger viewers

Really enjoyed this film with our son. Watched this when he was 2 and we both fell asleep. Watched it again (he is now 3) and he was VERY emotionally attached to the Iron Giant "Robot". Unfortunately, the later half of the movie has a LOT of violence, and he subsequently began trying to "shoot" everything, a new behaviour he learned from the film (pretty horrifying). Some entire scenes had to be skipped. The behaviour went away after a few weeks, but although I think 3-5 year olds can enjoy and really connect with this film, I agree that it is probably better to wait until they are older to understand the more violent concepts in CONTEXT.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Violence & scariness
Language

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