[[quoteright:270:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Iron_Giant_Little.JPG]]

->''"[[TearJerker Superman...]]"''

Directed by Creator/BradBird (who was one of the original directors of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' and would later move on to work for {{Pixar}}), ''The Iron Giant'' is a critically-acclaimed animated film from WarnerBros, based on Ted Hughes' novel ''The Iron Man'' ([[ComicBook/IronMan not to be confused with the comic book]]). It is about a giant robot (the eponymous Giant) who falls to Earth in [[TheFifties 1957]], and a boy named Hogarth who befriends him. Hogarth tries to hide the Giant from the public (particularly due to ColdWar-era paranoia), especially a persistent government agent named [[BigBad Kent Mansley]]. But the Giant has a very mysterious past of his own, and if things get out, the Cold War may just go hot...

Despite earning overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics, the movie was a failure at the box office, thanks mostly to the disastrous marketing of the film by Warner Bros. The studio later did a 180 and gave it a marketing blitz on home video instead, and the movie's gathered a large cult following since then. Much of its following also comes from Creator/CartoonNetwork, which used to run the film in annual [[MarathonRunning all-day marathons]] on Thanksgiving.

The movie was produced by [[Music/TheWho Pete Townshend]], who loved the original story and had previously done a RockOpera based on it.

The {{Synopsis}} is [[Synopsis/TheIronGiant here]], but beware of {{spoiler}}s.

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!!This film contains examples of:

* AbsentAliens: The aliens that built the Giant are never actually seen or mentioned, with the action focusing on the Giant's adventures on Earth.
* AdaptedOut: The film follows Ted Hughes' novel's first half [[AdaptationExpansion and builds upon it]]. The latter half involves The Iron Giant and Hogarth attempting to deal with an enormous extraterrestrial, a [[OurDragonsAreDifferent Space-Bat-Angel-Dragon]], who arrives on Earth because he's excited by [[HumansAreBastards man's war-song]], [[OhCrap and wants to join in]].
* AdorablyPrecociousChild: Hogarth.
* AdultFear: You had to work late, so you left your young son alone at home... with the man who just started renting a room from you yesterday. A man with ulterior motives.
* AliensInCardiff: The Giant landed in Maine, a state not known for HumongousMecha.
* AlliterativeName: Hogarth Hughes.
* AluminumChristmasTrees: That educational film shown in Hogarth's class, telling people that they can survive a nuclear blast by ducking and covering their heads, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2kdpAGDu8s is based on a real thing]].
* AmnesiacDissonance: The Giant is implied to have this, as he ''is'' capable of incredible destruction. A deleted scene implied that he probably ''had'' destroyed entire planets before his crash landing on Earth, well in contrast to his childlike and innocent persona in the film proper.
* AmusingInjuries
** At one point, Mansley is rear-ended in his car and slams his face into the windshield, making visible cracks. There isn't a mark on his face, and he comes out of the car screaming a couple of seconds later.
** Also, when Annie and Mansley walk in on Hogarth "using the bathroom", Annie slams the door shut very quickly in embarrassment, smashing Mansley's face in between the frame and the door. '''Ouch.'''
* AnAesop
** "You are who you ''choose'' to be."
** Also "unchecked paranoia is bad."
** Also, "It's bad to kill. Guns kill."
* AnswerCut: When Mr. Stutz says that he really did call the government and that they were sending someone to investigate, Dean asks, "Who in the hell would the government send?" Cut to the power plant where Kent Mansley gets out of his car.
* AntiAntiChrist: A deleted scene in the film, as well as the nature of the Iron Giant's [[spoiler:weapons]], heavily implies that [[spoiler:the Iron Giant was originally created to destroy planets, and that either he was just one out of a huge line of robots who were created for this purpose or had managed to destroy quite a large amount of planets prior to arriving on Earth. However, the Iron Giant eventually manages to reject going down/continuing down this path]].
* ArmCannon: [[spoiler:Among the Giant's plethora of weapons, also the first one he deploys when he goes ape-shit on the Army.]]
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: Mansley rhetorically asks Hogarth if he knows who built the Giant. "Is it the Russians? The Chinese? Martians? Canadians?"
* ArtisticLicenseMilitary: Several times Mansley barks orders at soldiers ''with the General present'' and the soldiers just follow those orders without checking with the superior officer. Yet the General never steps in and says he's in charge of the military aspects of the mission until it's too late. There is one point when the Giant is coming into the town (for once not shooting at anyone) and the soldiers ask the General for orders.
* ArtisticLicenseNuclearPhysics: "My Nuke Is Going Critical" version. [[spoiler: When the Iron Giant intercepts and rams the nuclear missile fired by the Nautilus up in the ionosphere, it detonates. Nuclear weapons are specifically designed to fail to detonate if something goes wrong before they reach the target point. There should have been a much smaller, rocket-fuel explosion.]]
* AscendedExtra: Hogarth Hughes only had a small role in the original book.
* AstonishinglyAppropriateInterruption
* BMovie: Hogarth watches a particularly hammy movie about killer brains. They even replicated the rather questionable acting abilities of the performers that typically appeared in such films.
* BadBadActing: In the BMovie Hogarth was watching.
* BadassAdorable: Despite being 50 feet tall and [[spoiler:possibly even sent to pulverize Earth]], the Giant's childlike naivete about the world makes him an endearing hero.
* {{Bambification}}: The film makes a rather jarring transition from a lighthearted ABoyAndHisX story to an anti-weapons moral after Hogarth and the Giant discover the deer.
* BatmanInMyBasement: Hogarth has a ''giant robot'' in his barn.
* {{Beatnik}}: Dean, though he's portrayed more sympathetically than actual films of the 1950s would have shown him.
* BerserkButton: Never '''ever''' point a gun at the Giant. It's also a somewhat bad idea to [[spoiler:kill Hogarth. He might decide to knock off the pacifism and just start tearing your military a new asshole]].
* BewareTheNiceOnes: The ultimate example of why you should ''never'', '''ever''' piss off the GentleGiant.
* BloodlessCarnage: Hogarth's nosebleed established for the audience that these characters are not MadeOfIron. However, when a deer takes a lethal bullet wound, nary a drop of blood is seen. Similarly, the government agent's AmusingInjuries are all of a non-bleeding type.
* BookEnds: The movie begins and ends with beeps. At the beginning, the beeps are courtesy of Sputnik. They were heard again later on at the very end, but it turns out they're coming from [[spoiler:the Giant as he reassembles himself in Iceland.]]
* ABoyAndHisX: Hogarth and the Giant.
* BroughtToYouByTheLetterS: At one point, the Giant declares "I Superman!" and adorns his chest with a giant S. [[spoiler:A minute later, he showcases the bad side of the Man of Steel with a case of RedEyesTakeWarning.]] [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome And then, at the end...]]
* ButtMonkey: Mansley. He deserves every second of it though.
* TheCameo: Former Disney animators [[DisneysNineOldMen Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston]] appear as railroad workers early in the film, telling Mansley about the giant. Brad Bird even got Frank and Ollie ''themselves'' to voice their [[InkSuitActor inksuit cameos]]!
* CassandraTruth
** Earlier in the film, Hogarth's mother doesn't believe him when he tries to tell her about the robot. He later chooses to keep it a secret.
** Mansley gets blown off by the general when he tries to phone him about the Giant's existence. Later, when he is finally capable of producing evidence, [[spoiler:Hogarth and Dean get the one-up on him by disguising the Giant as one of Dean's pieces of metal art. Though Mansley is vindicated when, after being fired by the general for his supposed incompetence, the Giant appears in public in full view of the military convoy.]]
* CentrifugalFarce: Hogarth and the Giant are playing test pilot with an old car. The Giant spins the car a little faster than Hogarth imagined.
* CheckPlease: Invoked by Dean at the start of the film after he unleashes a squirrel on the diner.
* ChekhovsGag: Early in the film, Hogarth is trying to take a photo of the Giant, but gets bored while waiting for the Giant to appear. During a TimePassesMontage, one of the clips shown is a quick gag in which Hogarth cleaning the lens of his camera only to accidentally take a picture of himself. Later, Mansley discovers the camera and develops the photo that Hogarth accidentally took of himself, revealing the Giant looking over Hogarth's shoulder, thus finally giving Mansley photographic evidence that the Giant exists.
** The "duck and cover" educational video is played as satire early, but Mansley takes the advice seriously after he has the missile launched on the town. The general lets him know there's no way to survive that.
* ChestBlaster: A straight example.
* ColdWar: The entire film is couched in the paranoia and fear of the Cold War.
* ConspicuousCGI: Very notably averted; the necessity of cost-effectively and realistically portraying a metal man led to the Giant being rendered in 3D. The animators went out of their way to add slight irregularities to the lines while rendering the Giant to make it fit in more, with spectacular results.
* CoversAlwaysLie
** [[http://i43.tower.com/images/mm108971293/iron-giant-jennifer-aniston-vhs-cover-art.jpg The VHS and DVD cover]] for the film had Hogarth (in the Giant's hand) wearing a powder blue sweater, which he doesn't wear in the actual movie (he just wears a red-and-blue-striped sweater for most of the movie).
** Averted with the 2004 Special Edition DVD, which has a completely different cover where more emphasis is placed on the Giant and Hogarth is depicted in the form of a silhouette.
* CurbStompBattle: The giant's RoaringRampageOfRevenge. Once his weapons are fully deployed, it becomes ''Literature/TheWarOfTheWorlds'' all over again for the military.
* CurseCutShort: As the two kids fall off their balcony.
* CuteGiant: The title character himself. This would probably fall under WhatMeasureIsANonCute as well.
* DeadpanSnarker: Dean.
-->'''Hogarth (after drinking espresso):''' [[MotorMouth So she moved me up a grade 'cause I wasn't fitting in, so now I'm even more not fitting in, I was getting good grades, you know, like all A's, so my mom says, "you need stimulation," and I go, "no, I'm stimulated enough right now!"]]
-->'''Dean:''' That's for sure.
* DidntThinkThisThrough: Mansley launching the nuclear missle to kill the giant. See NiceJobBreakingItHero and IdiotBall below.
* DieOrFly: The Giant has this in spades.
* {{Dieselpunk}}[=/=]RaygunGothic: The Giant himself, is composed of both of these aesthetics.
** [[StealthPun Especially]] [[VinDiesel Dieselpunk]].
* DirtyCoward: [[spoiler:Mansley, after dooming everyone in the town thanks to his own paranoia, tries to bolt out of town and leave his fellow citizens to die in favor of saving his own skin. He doesn't get far.]]
* DisappearedDad: The picture of Hogarth's father in a plane is intended to imply that his father was a pilot that died in the Korean War. The helmet and bomber jacket Hogarth puts on when he goes after the Giant in the beginning? Those are his father's.
* DisasterDominoes: "I wanna apologize to everyone in advance for this..."
* DisneyDeath: One of the few times it was pulled off ''[[TearJerker well]]''.
* DivingSave: Dean does this to protect Hogarth from the Giant [[spoiler:who automatically responds to Hogarth's toy gun with EyeBeams]].
* DoNotDoThisCoolThing: Okay, everybody will admit that [[spoiler:the Giant transforming into a killing machine with crazy alien weapons is ''totally badass'']], but you know... [[spoiler:[[AndThatsTerrible killing machine]]]].
* DodgeByBraking
* DoesntLikeGuns: The Giant, who is also quick to show that he isn't one. [[spoiler:Despite the fact that he is made of them.]]
* TheDoorSlamsYou: Sort of. When Annie forces open the bathroom door on Hogarth [[spoiler:after he had forced the Giant's hadn out of the window and was sitting on the toilet pretending to use it]]and shuts the door again seconds later, she slams Mansley's face in the door by accident.
* DoubleTake: Mansley pulls this off when, while remarking that Hogarth is an embarrassing name, he has a sudden realization that the words "Hog... Hug..." on the shattered B.B. Gun stood for "Hogarth Hughes." And later when he sees the Giant [[in Rockwell, seconds before crashing his car.]]
* UsefulNotes/DwightDEisenhower: The President is seen, though only the top of his head, when [[spoiler:the General was convinced to use the bomb]].
* DyingMomentOfAwesome: [[spoiler:SUUUPERMAAAAN!]]
* EmpathicEnvironment: The film's mood becomes darker as the season makes the jump from Fall to Winter.
* EurekaMoment: After stopping by Hogarth's house, Mansley drives away while commenting on his name. This leads him to realize who owned the mangled "Hog Hug" BB gun found at the wrecked power plant: '''[[CaptainObvious Hog]]'''[[CaptainObvious arth]] '''[[CaptainObvious Hug]]'''[[CaptainObvious hes]].
* EverythingsNuttierWithSquirrels: The variety that like to [[SquirrelsInMyPants crawl up people's pants]].
* ExtremeOmnivore: The Giant thrives on a diet entirely of metal. A lot of it. So Hogarth decides to hide him at a junkyard.
* EyeBeams: The Giant has these, though they're only shown in one scene. [[spoiler:It's when he automatically acts in self-defense from Hogarth's toy gun.]]
* FaceDeathWithDignity: The soldiers, Rogard, and a fair portion of the townspeople are surprisingly chill about the fact that [[spoiler:they're about to get nuked off the map]]. They've been told this day might be coming for years. Mansley, on the other hand, panics and tries to run.
* [[FairweatherFriend Fair Weather Patriot]]: G-man Mansley. When the General says that they are [[spoiler:going to die]] for their country, Mansley reacts with "Screw our country! [[spoiler:I want to *live!*" and turns tail.]]
* TheFifties
* {{Foil}}: Dean is very unconventional and hip, while Mansley portrays the ideal manly man of the time - a hard-boiled detective type with a steel jaw. Dean is also a LOT faster on the uptake and more flexible than Mansley. Although he does make the mistake of trusting Mansley to do the right thing...
* {{Foreshadowing}}
** If you pay attention to Hogarth's Atomo comic, you'll notice that it [[spoiler: bears a somewhat eerie resemblance to the Giant's combat mode in his RoaringRampageOfRevenge]].
** Also, in the scene where the Giant discovers the dead deer, and notices the gun, he briefly gains red eyes while his "irises" narrow before snapping out of it. [[spoiler:This is the first sign that the giant was actually a weapon.]]
** And the part where Hogarth watches the movie with killer brains in it (see BMovie above), towards the end [[spoiler: the army are forced to defend against TheIronGiant which has become a monster with 3 brain like objects (along with other weapons) on it.]]
** [[spoiler:While on the phone with Mansley, General Rogard mentions that if he somehow got a photo of the Giant, then he could get some troops over. Guess what happens later in the film...]]
** [[spoiler:After the Giant almost vaporizes Hogarth, Dean calls the Giant 'a big gun that walks.' Considering what happens when the army has to retreat after the Giant starts to go on a RoaringRampageOfRevenge after he believes [[BerserkButton Hogarth is dead]]...]]
* FourFingeredHands: The Giant only. But then, he IS an alien (and a robot).
* GeneralRipper: Subverted with General Rogard. He has the appearance and mannerisms of your standard Cold War psychotic, but turns out to be a ReasonableAuthorityFigure who quite clearly distrusts Mansley and [[spoiler:calls off the attack when it is finally revealed that the Giant only attacks defensively. Mansley, however, ''more'' than makes up for the expected psychotic tendencies.]]
* GentleGiant: TheMovie
* GiantHandsOfDoom: Sort of: After the Giant's first on-screen repair function is displayed, it is later revealed that he didn't quite take into account all of his body parts. It turns out that the left hand sneaked into Hogarth's house, forcing the boy to create a lot of distractions to keep his mother and Mansley from seeing it before it can rejoin the Giant.
* GiantRobot
* GiantRobotHandsSaveLives: The titular robot races to catch a couple of kids who had fallen from a 3-4 story building in his metal robot hand. Though when he caught them his hand seemed to be barely a meter or two off the ground, so one wonders why he even bothered...
* GiantWallOfWateryDoom: The Giant creates one when he does a cannonball into a lake, though it's mostly for laughs as no one is seriously harmed.
* GoOutWithASmile
* GoshDangItToHeck: Surprisingly averted. Then again, this [[AnimationAgeGhetto isn't strictly a kid's movie]].
* HeWhoFightsMonsters: Mansley. {{Subverted}} in that [[spoiler:he barely did any actual fighting against the benign Giant, and when he did, he nearly killed them all]].
* HelpingHands: All parts of the Giant, even little tiny screws, can move by themselves, converging for repair and reassembly.
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler:The Giant does this to save Hogarth's entire town from a missile.]]
* HesAFriend: "His name is Dean; we like Dean."
* HollywoodNewEngland: The film is set in coastal Maine. Don't look for any of the characters to sport [[NotEvenBotheringWithTheAccent anything approaching an actual Downeast accent]], however.
* {{Homage}}: This movie may be a big one to TheFifties, with pop-cultural references to the era looming behind every corner. There are music boxes with swing and jazz, there's Mansley, who is a dead ringer for RichardFeynman, there is Dean, a beatnik, named after JamesDean, there is the town of Rockwell, named after NormanRockwell, an obvious expy of JohnWayne movies that General Rogard watches, just to name a few. That doesn't even include the meta!
* HookedUpAfterwards: Implied with Dean and Annie.
* HumongousMecha: The Giant being a sentient, non-piloted version.
* HumanoidAliens: [[ImpliedTrope Hinted at]] by the Giant's design and backstory; not shown.
* IAmNotAGun: TropeNamer.
--> '''Giant''': No [[KillerRobot Atomo]]... I, ''ComicBook/{{Superman}}''.
* IdiotBall: Mansley plays around with it for the majority of the movie. [[spoiler: It's the finale where he firmly grasps it by ordering the nuclear strike on the giant. [[OhCrap While he's in the same town full of innocent civilians as said giant.]] Note that the general actually ''warned him only minutes before about this''.]]
--> [[spoiler: '''Rogard:''' ...That missile is targeted to ''the giant's current position! '''WHERE'S THE GIANT, MANSLEY?!''''']]
--> [[spoiler: '''Mansley:''' *Looks up as though he'd actually forgotten, cringing and sucking air in through his teeth as he realizes just how utterly he done goofed.* ...We could duck in cover! There's a fallout shelter right there.]]
--> [[spoiler: '''Rogard:''' There's no way to ''survive this, '''you idiot!!!''''']]
--> [[spoiler: '''Mansley:''' [[OhCrap You mean, we're all going t-]]]]
--> [[spoiler: '''Rogard:''' To die Mansley. For our country.]]
* InNameOnly: The film has little-to-no resemblance with the original novel.
** Not even that: they changed the name too.
* InfoDrop: The film makes no mention of [[DisappearedDad what happened to Hogarth's dad]], but during Hogarth's standoff with Kent, a picture of a fighter pilot is seen on his nightstand, and the audience is left to fill in the blanks.
* InkSuitActor
** Dean is just an animated version of Harry Connick Jr. Seriously, there's no difference at all.
** Same with [[DisneysNineOldMen Frank and Ollie's]] cameos.
* IntergenerationalFriendship: Hogarth and Dean.
** And technically Hogarth and the Giant. Although his amnesia makes his precise origins unknown, unless he's able to travel between stars [[FasterThanLightTravel quickly]], he's likely ''[[ReallySevenHundredYearsOld very]]'' old. [[spoiler: His ability to [[GoodThingYouCanHeal self-repair]] makes his [[TimeAbyss true age]] even more impossible to accurately guess]].
* IntelligenceEqualsIsolation: Hogarth's grades are high enough to skip a grade; he mentions that he gets bullied for it.
** Dean as well, who appears to be considered a bit of a kook by the rest of the town for being a Beatnik artist.
* InterruptedCooldownHug
* InvisiblePresident: Sort of. In a very brief scene after the giant [[spoiler:is found out]], two high-ranking officers enter the Oval Office, and address a man, who sits behind the president's desk to request authorization to make use of Navy and Air Force (you can take a look at it [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBAllA6k_IQ here]]). The man is sitting with the back towards the the camera, but has a visible bald patch on his oval-shaped head. Therefore it is very obviously President [[DwightEisenhower ''Ike'' Eisenhower]], who actually was president during the time the film is set (1957), albeit the fact this movie is a clear case of AlternateHistory. He is the only real person in the whole movie.
* IronicEcho: Throughout the movie, Kent Mansley uses the phrase "and all that that implies." Later, [[spoiler:after Hogarth outwits him by disguising Giant as one of Dean's pieces of art, Hogarth watches Mansley leave with the army]] and says, "Bye, Kent, and all that that implies."
* {{Jerkass}}: Mansley
* TheJuggernaut: Tank shells, battleship guns, and even [[spoiler:''a nuclear missile'']] can't destroy the Giant completely. All but the last are nothing but a [[TheWorfBarrage Worf Barrage]]. If he had stuck to his original programming, he would be completely unstoppable. The [[spoiler:missile]] would have only slowed him down.
* JustTrainWrong: The locomotive that plows into the Giant looks very similar to a [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/04/Norfolk_%26_Western_4-8-4_611.jpg Norfolk & Western Class J]], complete with maroon stripe, with a front end similar to a [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bd/NY_Worlds%27_Fair_streamined_Hudson_LC-G613-T01-35339_DLC.jpg New York Central "Dreyfuss" Hudson]]. Two things wrong with that, aside from the locomotive not really existing. Neither of those railroads went to Maine, and both of those locomotives were used exclusively in passenger service.
* KidHero: Hogarth, though he's a very likable variation in that while he acts like a normal kid (mischievous and fun-loving), he possesses a surprising level of emotional maturity.
** It's mentioned in passing that part of the reason the other kids in his class consider him a "[[WesternAnimation/FelixTheCat Poindexter]]" is because he was moved up a grade after constantly getting A's, suggesting this is why he's unusually perceptive for a nine-year-old.
* KidsShouldntWatchHorrorFilms: "The Brain That Wouldn't Die!"
* LargeHam: Mansley again.
* LateToTheRealization: See the EurekaMoment example listed above.
* LaxativePrank: "Landslide. It's new. Very new."
* ALightInTheDistance: In the Giant's first scene, a fisherman mistakes the lights of its eyes for a lighthouse. It's actually kind of spooky.
* LockAndLoadMontage: When Hogarth prepares his hunt for "invaders from Mars" at night.
* LockedInTheBathroom: Hogarth hides the giant's lost hand in the bathroom from his mother and Kent. After he gets it out the window, he pretends to be in the toilet when Mom and Kent force open the door.
* MaleGaze: Kent's first meeting Annie happens with him staring right at her hips and chest, due to her opening the front door fully, with him leaning on it.
* MeaningfulEcho
** "You...''stay''. I...''go''. No following."
** "You are...who you ''choose'' to be."
* MeaningfulName: The town of Rockwell named after the idealistic artist of the period, the beatnik Dean looking slightly like James Dean, and the ever-so-manly Kent Mansley.
* TheMenInBlack: Mansley. Originally portrayed as some faceless, [[ObstructiveBureaucrat bumbling bureaucrat]] with a poor worker-boss relationship. Later on, he turns into a ''very'' dangerous Man in Black with the power to disappear anyone at any time with no repercussions. [[UnreliableNarrator Or so he would have Hogarth believe.]]
* MisguidedMissile
* MoreGun: [[spoiler:The Giant.]]
* MotorMouth: Hogarth, twice - once in the scene where he has an espresso and the other when the Giant's hand flushes the toilet upstairs and he says: "Gottausethebathroom".
-->"So she says 'No, you need a challenge.' Well, I'm challenged, all right, ''I'm challenged to hold on to my '''lunch money''''' because of all the big mooses who wanna pound me because I'm a shrimpy dork who thinks he's smarter than them -- but I ''don't'' think I'm smarter, I just do the stinkin' homework! If everyone ''just did the stinkin' homework'' then ''they'' could move up a grade and get pounded too -- is there any more coffee?"
* MrFanservice: Dean, the handsome artistically inclined beatnik with the voice of Harry Connick Jr.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: The Giant's reaction after realising he nearly vaporised Hogarth by accident.
* NeverSayDie: Very bluntly averted, almost defied.
-->'''Mansley:''' You mean... we're all going...\\
'''Rogard:''' To ''die'', Mansley. ''[[CrowningMomentOfAwesome For our country]]''.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: From a certain point of view since Mansely did have good intentions. [[spoiler:But he panics and nearly brings nuclear death on the area]]. Rogard puts it bluntly...
-->'''Rogard:''' That missile is targeted to the giant's current position! ''Where's the giant, Mansley?!''
* NoRespectGuy: With huge helpings of TedBaxter on Mansley's side. He deserves exactly the respect that he's given.
* NobodyPoops: Averted to great effect, though still tastefully, when Hogarth gives Mansley a large dose of laxative.
* NoodleIncident: "Do you remember the raccoon, Hogarth? (shudder) ''I'' remember the raccoon."
* NothingExcitingEverHappensHere: Invoked derisively early on by Mansley when a local asks him if the sighting of the giant means that "something big" is happening. He soon changes his tune.
-->'''Mansley:''' No, Marv. Big things happen in big places, and the sooner I file my report, the sooner I can get back to them.
--> ''[later to himself]''
-->'''Mansley:''' The biggest thing in this town is probably the homecoming queen... [[BigOMG OH MY GOD!!!]]
* ANuclearError: The film's climax features the ''USS Nautilus'' launching a nuclear-armed ballistic missile; the RealLife ''Nautilus'' was incapable of doing so - it was a normal attack submarine (albeit the first powered by a nuclear reactor). The United States Navy did not have any ballistic missile submarines at all until the ''USS George Washington'' entered service in 1959, two years after the film is set. At the time, the USN's nuclear deterrent force were the ''guided'' missile submarines USS ''Tunny'' and USS ''Barbero,'' firing Regulus cruise missiles.
* ObstructiveBureaucrat: Mansley.
* OhCrap: The movie uses a lot of this.
** At the beginning, Mr. Stutz realizing that what he thought was the lighthouse isn't the lighthouse at all.
** Hogarth witnessing the Giant chewing up some metal towers, then reaching for the live ones...
** When Mansley sees the Giant staring at him and not looking very happy.
** Mansley, upon realizing that [[spoiler:he's doomed himself and the town of Rockwell to a nuclear incineration.]]
** When the giant [[spoiler: snaps and starts popping tanks like popcorns]], Mansley and the two soldiers in the jeep with him have a moment of complete slack-jawed horror.
** Also, Dean's reaction when he discovers the Giant pigging out just as he was about to enter back into his house.
** And then there's Hogarth's reaction when he notices the Giant about to [[spoiler:vaporize him with EyeBeams while in defense mode after he aimed a toy gun at him]].
** A rare humorous one was right after the Giant cannonballed into a lake. Dean, who'd been studiously ignoring Hogarth and the Giant, looks up...and sees a mini-tsunami headed his way. Cue the OhCrap.
* OneWingedAngel: When the [[spoiler:[[GentleGiant Iron Giant]]]] [[BewaretheNiceOnes feels threatened]], he turns into a [[spoiler:much less humanoid war machine]].
* OrganAutonomy: Pieces of the giant will return to him when summoned.
* PapaWolf
** Thinking of harming Hogarth within Giant's eyesight? You're in for it.
** Dean's no slouch, either. His first reaction to seeing the Giant is to protect the kid. He also chews out the Giant after he (the Giant, not Dean) nearly vaporizes Hogarth by accident.
* ParentalObliviousness: Annie does not seem to have the faintest clue that Hogarth unabashedly ''despises'' Mansley, and has been desperate to avoid him since he moved in. She goes so far to suggest Hogarth take Mansley around and show him the sights. Whether this is true obliviousness or just Annie wanting her son to accept they have to rent the spare room for money is not clear. As he starts to show his true colors, she quickly begins to dislike him.
* ParentalSubstitute: Dean is a father-figure/mentor to Hogarth. Hogarth himself has a [[KidWithTheLeash fatherly/big-brother relationship to the giant robot in the title]], who has the mentality of a very young child.
* PermaStubble: Dean
* PlanetKiller: [[spoiler:The deleted Dream Scene shows that the giant is supposed to be this. Even without the scene, the film itself, especially during the giant's rampage, heavily implies that this was what he really was.]]
* PrecisionFStrike: Mansley's hearty [[spoiler: "'''''Screw''''' our country!"]]
** General Rogard gets an even bigger one during [[spoiler: the robot's rampage]].
-->'''General Rogard''': [[spoiler: All battleships fire at the robot! Now! Now, ''damnit'', now!]]
* ProperlyParanoid: Mansley intends to track down and destroy the Iron Giant since he believes it to be a threat to America. [[spoiler:He's ultimately right, as the Iron Giant is eventually revealed to be what is heavily implied to be a PlanetKiller: his mistake was assuming that just because the Giant had that capacity, it would automatically use it.]]
* PullingThemselvesTogether: [[spoiler:The Giant does this at the end after he is apparently destroyed, though it was foreshadowed earlier in the film when he re-assembles himself.]]
* QuizzicalTilt: Giant does this a few times.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: General Rogard.
* ReassignedToAntarctica: Mansley's planned fate according to General Rogard when Dean was initially able to trick the military into thinking that the giant was simply a harmless piece of artwork.
-->'''Rogard:''' You'll be Chief Inspector of Subway Toilets by the time I'm through with you!
* RedEyesTakeWarning: Played terrifyingly straight.
* TheRenaissanceAgeOfAnimation: This film came out at the tail end of it.
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: [[spoiler:After the army begins attacking him, the Giant flees with Hogarth and tries to avoid giving in to his programming, but he gets shot down, and it looks like Hogarth has been killed. While grieving, the Giant gets shot again, and he snaps - willingly and fully giving in to his programming. He even roars when he transforms.]] That mechanical, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvKhXhpssF0#t=30s inhuman scream of rage]] will make you shudder.
* RuleOfSymbolism: [[spoiler:After the giant's saving of the town, the nuclear blast looks a lot like the star of Bethlehem.]]
** As pointed out in the developer commentary, [[spoiler:when the giant transforms for its RoaringRampageOfRevenge, you can see that there's a big gun where his heart is supposed to be.]]
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: What Mansley says near the end of the film, learning that [[spoiler: the nuke that he just launched at the Giant is also going to wipe him out along with everyone in the town.]]
-->'''Mansley''': ''Screw'' our country! I wanna '''''live!'''''
* ShoutOut: [[ShoutOut/TheIronGiant Has its own page]].
* ShownTheirWork
** Especially regarding cars, architecture, pop culture, and clothing styles of the 1950's.
** Hogarth's comic covers are all genuine (save for Atomo, who was made up for the film).
** With the exception of [[RuleOfDrama the Nautilus' missile capability]] (see ANuclearError above), all the military hardware is period-appropriate. The soldiers carry M1 Garands, drive Patton tanks, and the jet planes in the Superman scene are F-86 Sabres.
* TheSmurfettePrinciple: Hogarth's mother is the only main female character in the film.
* TheSpook: The Giant. We never find out where he is from.
* SquirrelsInMyPants: By name, and preceded the official TropeNamer.
* StarvingArtist: Dean. At one point he grumbles that turning the scrap in his junkyard into art actually makes it worth ''[[TrueArtIsIncomprehensible less]]''.
* StealthPun: Dean directs the Giant to make a mobile (hanging children's toy) out of cars.
* SuddenlyShouting: "This... is junk. What you currently have ''IN YOUR MOUTH'' IS '''ART!'''"
* TechnologyPorn: When the Giant repairs itself, and [[spoiler:when it is attacked by the Army and deploys its weapons]].
* TelescopingRobot: One of the straighter, and more haunting, examples.
* ThatPoorCar
** Invoked on-screen: Hogarth discovers Dean's junkyard, and decides the Iron Giant can have some food there. Unfortunately, one of the cars the Giant tries to eat hadn't had its alarm system removed yet, resulting in it going off when the Giant tries to eat it, and several failed attempts to silence it before the Giant eventually chucked it at the house as a last resort.
** In some trailer spots, they make it seem as though the reason why Dean was getting Hogarth to flee is because the Iron Giant was about to unknowingly eat the alarm-rigged car.
* TheresNoBInMovie: Hogarth watches one inspired by ''Film/TheBrainFromPlanetArous''. It was the 50s...
* [[FourStarBadass Three Star Badass]]: General Rogard stays absolutely in control during the battle with the Giant, at one point shooting at him ''with his pistol''. Compare this to some of his more panicky subordinates, and especially [[DirtyCoward Mansley]].
* TimeCompressionMontage: While Hogarth is in the forest trying to get a picture of the Giant. One of the clips shown during the montage turns out to be a ChekhovsGag.
* TrailersAlwaysLie: The trailers make it seem as though Dean discovered the Giant, and tried to get Hogarth away from the Giant when he was about to eat an alarm-live car. In actuality, the Giant eating the alarm-live car occurred ''before'' Dean discovered the Giant, and even then it wasn't from the live alarm.
* TrailersAlwaysSpoil: One of the theatrical trailers spoils [[spoiler:the Giant going into defense-mode.]]
* TransAtlanticEquivalent: The original novel was set in Britain. For ''The Iron Giant'', the setting was transplanted to Maine.
* UnstoppableRage: [[spoiler:Hogarth seemingly dies.]] Ladies and gentlemen, the BerserkButton has been pressed.
* UpUpAndAway: The Giant doesn't ''have'' to do this to fly, but Hogarth insists on it.
* VillainousBreakdown: Mansley, who gets more and more freaked out as the situation develops, finally culminating in [[spoiler:ordering the town to be nuked, then trying to run away]].
* WhatMeasureIsANonHuman: Hogarth and the Giant question whether he has a soul.
-->'''Hogarth:''' Things die. It's part of life. It's bad to kill. But it's not bad to die.
-->'''Giant:''' You die?
-->'''Hogarth:''' Well, yes, someday.
-->'''Giant:''' I die?
-->'''Hogarth:''' I don't know. You're made of metal, but you have feelings. And you think about things. And that means you have a soul. And souls don't die.
* WhoNamesTheirKidDude: Kent Mansley with this line: "Hogarth? What an embarrassing name. Might as well call him Zeppo or something. What kind of sick person would name a kid Hoga- " ''Cue EurekaMoment.''
* WingPull: The Giant skids off a cliff and appears about to plummet into the ocean...until rockets in his feet automatically ignite.
--> [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome "You can fly? You can fly!"]]
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds: Subverted, the Giant easily could be if he was not so docile.
* YouJustToldMe: How Annie tricks Dean into telling her Hogarth sneaks off to his junkyard every night.

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