Characters: The Iron Giant
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The Iron Giant
The Iron Giant
A fifty-foot, metal-eating robot. It fell from space, so its creator(s) is presumed to be extraterrestrial. It arrives on Earth slightly damaged and with no recollection of its function. Judging by the capabilities it shows later on, it was designed as a vanguard unit for planetary invasions... although it's not clear if Earth was its original intended target. Unaware of its own function when it arrives, it eventually encounters and befriends Hogarth.
- Amnesiac Dissonance: The Giant loses his memory at the start of the film.
- Arm Cannon: He can shoot powerful blasts from them.
- Badass Adorable: He's basically a giant metal teddy bear, with the ability to absolutely wreck... well, almost anything.
- Berserk Button: Guns. And, perhaps even more so, trying to hurt Hogarth.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Once that dent pops out, he goes berserk.
- Brought to You by the Letter "S": Grabs an "S" from the scrapyard, and uses it as Superman's S.
- Chest Blaster: Like his Arm Cannons, he's capable of shooting powerful blasts that rival nuclear power.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: The military stand next to zero chance in a fight with him.
- Cute Giant: He's at least 100 foot tall and is absolutely precious.
- Dieselpunk/Raygun Gothic
- Doesn't Like Guns: It's one of his Berserk Buttons
- Dying Moment of Awesome: You stay. I go. No following".
- Extreme Omnivore: He can eat any metal.
- Eye Beams: When Hogarth points a toy gun at him, he nearly vaporizes him with these.
- Four Fingered Hand
- Gentle Giant: Obviously. The Giant is still a sweetheart.
- Giant Hands of Doom: If you push his Bersek Button.
- Giant Robot: Hence the name.
- Giant Robot Hands Save Lives: He saves a young boy's life like this.
- Go Out with a Smile:"Superman..."
- Heroic Sacrifice:Intercepts the nuclear missile about to wipe out the town below.
- Good Eyes, Evil Eyes: In his amnesic state, the Giant has yellow-white eyes and "eyelids" more or less like a human's. In his Weapon mode, he has red eyes and Dilating Door-type "eyelids".
- Humongous Mecha: The Giant is at least 100 foot tall.
- I Am Not a Gun: Trope namer.
- "It" Is Dehumanizing: Hogarth insists that the machine is 'he', so that people will think of the Giant as a person.
- The Juggernaut: He's damn near indestructible. Even if he's blown to bits, it would just be a minor hindrance.
- Papa Wolf: Harm Hogarth at your own peril.
- Percussive Maintenance: Inverted. A whack on the head damaged him, and wasn't enough by itself to set off his self-repair mechanism.
- Planet Killer: His intended purpose.
- Pulling Themselves Together: Able to reassemble himself after getting hit by a train. And getting nuked.
- Quizzical Tilt
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: When those eyes go red, shit is about to hit the fan.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge/Unstoppable Rage: When he believes Hogarth has died, he lets all his anger fly at the attacking military.
- Secondary Character Title: His name is also the title of the movie, but the actual protagonist is Hogarth.
- Walking Armory: Absolutely brimming with destructive weapons.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: All because of one little ding in his noggin.
Played By: Eli Marienthal
An energetic, young, curious boy with an active imagination.
A widow and Hogarth's single mother.
Played By: Harry Connick, Jr.
A beatnik artist and junkyard owner who "sees art where others see junk".
Played By: Christopher McDonald
An arrogant, ambitious and paranoid government agent sent to investigate the Iron Giant. The logo on his official government car says he is from the "Bureau of Unexplained Phenomena."
- Amusing Injuries: Suffers them constantly.
- Big Bad: The closest thing to it anyway.
- Butt Monkey: He really deserves it though.
- Catch Phrase: "...and all that that implies."
- Deadpan Snarker
- Didn't Think This Through: Doesn't exactly think all the way about launching a Nuke aimed at the Giant standing about 5 feet away from him.
- Dirty Coward: When the chips are down, his true colors (mostly yellow) show through.
- Evil Redhead: About as evil as a dipstick G-Man can be.
- Faux Affably Evil: He tries to put on an affable fašade, but it becomes clear that it's all an act as the film goes on.
- Hypocrite: All summed up in this one line: "Screw our country, I wanna live!"
- Jerkass: Oh, big time.
- Large Ham: Calmness clearly doesn't come easy to him.
- The Men in Black: A 1957 version.
- Motor Mouth: Whenever he loses it, he slips into this and rants without stopping for breath.
- No Respect Guy: Rogard clearly holds no respect for the guy. Nor does anyone else, and this has resulted in Mansley being massively insecure.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: Starts off as seemingly harmless Plucky Comic Relief. Then he nearly nukes the city.
- The Paranoiac: Even though he claims to be worried for the safety and sercurity of America, it becomes clear that he's acting out of self-righteous fear for his own skin, which comes to the surface when he launches a nuclear strike on Rockwell and tries to escape shouting, "Screw our country, I wanna live!"
- Properly Paranoid: We all know he's right about there being a giant metal man. He even turns out to be right about it being very dangerous... to its enemies. His superiors simply think he's wacko.
- Reassigned to Antarctica: What Rogard threatens him with after Dean and Hogarth's ingenious plan succeeds. It's also a popular interpretation of his status at the beginning of the movie, given his high-and-mighty attitude in spite of clearly being in a dead-end government position that nobody takes seriously.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: When he launches the nuke and realizes it can't be stopped, he grabs a jeep and runs about 3 feet before the Giant stops him.
- Villainous Breakdown: Culminating in launching a nuke at the town.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: He's trying to ensure his country's safety... he's just not very good at handling unknowns. Or evaluating threats. Or pursuing investigations. Or outsmarting small boys.
Played By: John Mahoney
The Army (National Guard?) leader in Washington, D.C. who is the military liaison with Mansley's department. He doesn't like Mansley or feel that this 'giant metal man' thing is anything but a hoax. Once he knows the threat is real, he responds bravely and efficiently - though it soon becomes clear that his unit is up against something too hot to handle.
- Cool Old Guy: He's a combination of Four-Star Badass and Reasonable Authority Figure, who won't stand for Mansley's shit.
- Deadpan Snarker: Especially with regards to Mansley, who he despises.
- Face Death with Dignity: Despite facing an imminent nuke strike thanks to Mansley, Rogard remains dignified the entire time and calmly informs him that there is no way to escape their fate. Luckily, the Giant saves them.
- Four-Star Badass: The guy's reaction to a pissed off, gun packing giant is to whip his pistol out and shoot at it.
- Hollywood Tactics: Mostly subverted. He brought infantry, a few tanks, and the ability to call in air support, Navy artillery - or even a nuclear strike. Given that a substantial threat appeared 'out of nowhere' right in the middle of a civilian population, the military response seems pretty well-planned. A purist might point out that the tanks shouldn't have been sent up close.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He knows the Giant is a possible threat, but he doesn't use force until it seems necessary. After it becomes apparent that Mansley lied about the giant killing Hogarth, as well as Dean explaining that the Giant only reacts defensively, he immediately calls off the attack and orders them to stand down.