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->''"Superman..."''

Directed by Creator/BradBird (who was one of the original directors of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' and would later move on to work for Creator/{{Pixar}}), ''The Iron Giant'' is a 1999 animated film from Creator/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 UsefulNotes/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...

The movie was produced by [[Music/TheWho Pete Townshend]], who loved the original story and had previously done a RockOpera based on it. A 2015 "[[ReCut Signature Edition]]" of the movie adds two scenes. The [[LimitedSpecialCollectorsUltimateEdition Ultimate Collector's Edition]] Blu-ray containing both versions [[http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/The-Iron-Giant-Blu-ray/43501/ was released on September 6, 2016]].

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

'''Character tropes go on to the [[Characters/TheIronGiant Characters Sheet]].'''

----
!!This film contains examples of:

* FiftiesHair: Since this is set in 1957, all the characters have standard '50s dos. Hogarth and his friends have crew cuts; his mother Annie has short wavy hair; government agent Kent Mansley has cropped hair on the sides with a curly mop on top; resident Beatnik Dean [=McCoppin=] has stubble and a soul patch; and General Rogard has the standard issue flat top.
* AbsentAliens: The aliens that built the Giant are never actually seen or mentioned, with the action focusing on the Giant's adventures on Earth.
* AccidentalAimingSkills: When the giant's hand is in Hogarth's home, he distracts his mom from it by tossing a penny to the kitchen. Said penny hits a cupboard, knocking it down and breaking all of the items in it.
* AccidentalArt: Dean yells at the giant who has been indiscriminately eating the junk and happened to swallow some of the art pieces. At this the giant pulls a half-eaten sculpture from his mouth, adjusts a few parts, and then sets it down. Even though the giant only understands art as "what Dean doesn't want to be eaten", Dean decides that the result is as impressive as the other artistic displays.
* ActionPrologue: The opening scene of the nocturnal arrival of the robot.
* AdaptationalNationality: The book is set in late 60s England, while the film is set in 50s America. Both time periods were very popular in the histories of both countries.
* AdaptedOut: The film follows Ted Hughes' novel's first half [[AdaptationExpansion and builds upon it]]. The second half of the book 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]].
* 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.
** Likely TruthInTelevision for the time, people were far more trusting of each other in the 50's. And Mansley ''is'' a government agent, so (at least at this point in the movie) he's seen as somewhat more trustworthy than the average renter.
* AnAesop: Several.
** "You are who you ''choose'' to be."
** "It's bad to kill. Guns kill."
*** "And you don't have to be a gun."
** Not a quote from the movie, but "unchecked paranoia is bad."
* AliensInCardiff: The Giant landed in Maine, a state not known for HumongousMecha. In the book, he arrives on a cliff overlooking the sea (possibly the Cliffs of Dover).
* AllAnimalsAreDogs: The Giant's hand acts like a dog when it's inside Hogarth's house.
* 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]].
** The repulsive-looking junk food Hogarth inflates with whipped cream is known as a "turbo Twinkie."
* AmnesiacDissonance: The Giant is implied to have this, as he ''is'' capable of incredible destruction. The Signature Edition implies 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: Happens to Mansley a couple of times.
** 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.'''
** Late in the movie, 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 about something else immediately after.
* 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.
* {{Angrish}}: Kent has a tendency to use this, namely during his mini tantrum trying to hang up the Hughes' phone.
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: Mansley rhetorically asks Hogarth if he knows who built the Giant. "Is it the Russians? The Chinese? Martians? Canadians?"
* ArtisticLicenseCars: The car the Giant spins Hogarth around with in the junkyard is a [[AnachronismStew 1959]] Cadillac Series 62.
* ArtisticLicenseHistory: At one point, Dean jokingly describes espresso as "coffee-zilla" when warning Hogarth against drinking it. Franchise/{{Godzilla}} definitely wasn't a household name in America in 1957, as there were only two ''Godzilla'' movies in existence at the time, only one of which (''Film/GodzillaKingOfTheMonsters'') had actually been released in the United States. The sole sequel (''Film/GodzillaRaidsAgain'') didn't come out in the United States until 1959.
* ArtisticLicenseMilitary: Mansley snatches General Rogard's walkie-talkie and [[spoiler:orders a nuclear strike on Rockwell.]] In the (partial) defense of that scene, [[spoiler:the submarine crew was already all set for firing and waiting for the order, so Mansley's "LAUNCH NOW!" could have been taken for it... although considering that they know it's a "danger close" launch of a nuke ''inside of a town full of American citizens'', it still probably would have merited at least a "come again?".]]
** In RealLife, Mansley grabbing the General's communication device and interfering with his actions during an extremely dangerous situation where a giant robot is laying waste and a nuclear strike is on the short list of options would have had the General's security detail immediately emptying their weapons into him in order to stop his actions and get the walkie-talkie back in the General's hands.
* 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.]]
* AstonishinglyAppropriateInterruption: Hogarth's prayer includes several examples of this, but he keeps finding ways to fit his sudden shouts into his prayer.
** Sitting at the dinner table, he looks over his mom's shoulder and sees the giant's hand in the kitchen. "Oh my God! Uh- Oh, my God, we thank you for this food. And- STOP! ...the devil... from doing bad things?" Then Hogarth sees the giant's arm crawling through the kitchen over his mom's shoulder and he yells, "GET OUT OF HERE- ... Satan..."
* AttackOfTheFiftyFootWhatever: The Giant does this towards the end of the movie. The Space-Bat-Angel-Dragon of the book, however, is much larger and is described as being the size of Australia.
* BadBadActing: In the BMovie Hogarth was watching.
* {{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.
** Averted, ironically, with [[spoiler: the death of the deer]], which continues into an equally sombre scene and doesn't light up for another several minutes.
*** Apparently, this was a deliberate inversion of the trope: Brad Bird claims that he dislikes ''Disney/{{Bambi}}'' because of its infamous MoodWhiplash.
* BatmanInMyBasement: Hogarth has a ''giant robot'' in his barn.
* BerserkButton: Never point a gun at the Giant. And definitely don't threaten his best friend Hogarth.
** Hogarth blows his top when Mansley won't stop questioning him about the Giant.[[spoiler:After Mansley rents the room he bothers Hogarth all over the house, culminating in Hogarth yelling, "I'M GOING OOOUT!"]] (Though, to be fair, most people would share his reaction.)
** Don't bring Mansley's authority into question. [[spoiler:Just the Giant squinting disapprovingly at him is enough to make him flip and order a nuclear strike.]]
* BewareTheNiceOnes: The ultimate example of why you should never piss off the GentleGiant.
* BigBad: Kent Mansley, the government agent pursuing the Giant.
* BigElectricSwitch: The huge On/Off switch at the power station which Hogarth pulls to save the Giant.
* BigOMG:
** Kent when he notices half of his car is destroyed.
** Also hilariously done when Hogarth says it during dinner and he's just noticed the giant's hand in the living room... and he turns it into part of the prayer he's saying.
* BlatantLies: Hogarth's teeth are chattering and he's purple with cold:
--> '''Hogarth:''' C-c-come on in! The water-r's g-great!
* 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 (added in the signature edition). Similarly, the government agent's AmusingInjuries are all of a non-bleeding type.
* 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.
* {{Bookends}}: The movie begins and ends with beeps. At the beginning, the beeps are courtesy of Sputnik. They're heard again at the very end. [[spoiler:(This time from the Giant reassembling 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.]] [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome And then, at the end...]]
* CaffeineBulletTime: Hogarth pays a late-night visit to beatnik junk artist Dean, who is drinking espresso. Hogarth asks for some, insisting he can handle it despite Dean's warning that the drink is "like Coffeezilla." Quick-cut to the rapid speech, wild gesturing, shaking hands... asking for more espresso.
* TheCameo: Former Disney animators [[Creator/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:
** Early 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.]]
* CatapultNightmare: Happens to the Giant after he wakes from his bad [[DoAndroidsDream android dream]].
* CatchPhrase: Kent Mansley with his "...and all that that implies."
* 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 clip is Hogarth cleaning the lens of his camera only to accidentally take a picture of himself. Later, Mansley discovers the camera and develops that same photo, discovering the Giant was looking over Hogarth's shoulder -- 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.
* ChekhovsGun: A literal one, in the form of Hogarth's BB gun, which is left behind in the woods the first time Hogarth encounters the Giant. [[spoiler:Mansley finds it later and learns that Hogarth was at the power station when the Giant was.]] And later, Hogarth's camera. Virtually identical to ChekhovsGag above.
** The room at the Hughes house that Annie wants to rent out. She mentions in the diner scene that the room needs to be rented if they are to make ends meet. Mansley rents the room later so he can question Hogarth aboput the Giant and found out where the Giant is.
** [[spoiler:The Giant's ability to repair himself after being damaged.]]
* UsefulNotes/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.
* DeathGlare: A few of them.
** Annie gives one to Dean and then Hogarth in the diner after the squirrel is let loose.
** "Where's the giant?!"
** A long one from Hogarth to Mansley during their standoff. By the end of it, he's asleep.
** The Giant after the car he was about to eat is taken away, immediately before the first scene in the junkyard.
** [[spoiler:An almost literal example, with the Giant's eye-beams.]]
** The Giant [[spoiler:as he is shot after thinking Hogarth is dead and he goes into his RoaringRampageOfRevenge]].
** The Giant to Mansley [[spoiler:right before Mansley yells for the missile to be launched]].
** Rogard to Mansley a few times.
** "You know, this sort of thing is why it's so important to ''really'' chew your food." (Cue death glare)
* DecoyProtagonist: Stutz is the first character we see in the film, and it's not until the next scene that we are introduced to Hogarth.
* DidntThinkThisThrough: Mansley launching the nuclear missile on the giant. See NiceJobBreakingItHero and IdiotBall below.
* {{Dieselpunk}}[=/=]RaygunGothic: The Giant himself, is composed of both of these aesthetics. [[StealthPun Especially]] [[Creator/VinDiesel Dieselpunk]].
* 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 first goes after the Giant are his father's. However in the book, Hogarth's father is very much alive, yet he is a farmer who rounds up to other farmers to get revenge on the Giant for gobbling up their plows, tractors and other farming machines.
* 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]].
** The Giant later does this to catch two boys falling from a balcony, which results in him being discovered by the Army.
* DodgeByBraking: How the Giant shakes off some fighter jets.
* TheDoorSlamsYou: Sort of. When Annie forces open the bathroom door on Hogarth 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 [[spoiler:in Rockwell, seconds before crashing his car.]]
* DramaticThunder: Employed in the opening scene when the giant robot appears in the floodwaters during the storm.
* 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: '''Hog'''arth '''Hug'''hes.
** Dean has a minor one after [[spoiler:Hogarth takes off after the Giant, who runs away after nearly blasting the kid with his EyeBeams. Once Dean notices Hogarth's toy gun on the ground, it doesn't take long for him to put two-and-two together and realize that the Giant had automatically reacted in self-defense]].
-->'''Dean:''' [[spoiler:It was defensive. He reacted to the ''gun''!]]
* EyeAwaken: The last shot of the movie showing the Giant's eye open up.
* 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.
* TheFifties: The setting of the film, with all the trappings of the Cold War included. And all that that implies.
* {{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 the Giant 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]]...]]
* FunbagAirbag: Happened chastely for a quarter of a second. Special Agent Kent Mansly knocks on the front door of the house, rehearsing his lines and staring at Hogarth's damaged BB gun when the door is opened by Hogarth's mom, Anne. Kent rapidly raises his head to talk to her and smacks it accidentally into the underside of her ample cleavage, resulting in a BOINNNG sound.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: Dean's method of releasing the squirrel in his pants: he stands up, makes a public declaration to the other customers that it's not his fault, and then proceeds to open up his fly to release the crazed squirrel (which then utterly causes a huge mess at the diner).
* 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.
* 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: ''"Superman..."''
* GoshDangItToHeck: Surprisingly averted. Then again, this [[AnimationAgeGhetto isn't strictly a kid's movie]].
* GunAccessories: Hogarth duct-tapes a flashlight to his BB gun.
* 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."
* HighDiveHijinks: The Giant's cannonball dive creates a giant wave that washes Dean out in the middle of a nearby road and lands Hogarth on the top of a tree.
* 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 UsefulNotes/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.
* HumansAreTheRealMonsters: The hunters killing the deer for fun is hitting the point home.
* IAmNotAGun: [[TropeNamers Trope Namer]].
--> '''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 and 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.]]
--> [[spoiler: '''Mansley:''' Screw our country! I WANNA LIVE!]]
* 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 [[Creator/DisneysNineOldMen Frank and Ollie's]] cameos.
** Same goes for Chris [=McDonald=] as Kent Mansley.
* InNameOnly: The film has little-to-no resemblance with the original novel.
** Not even that: they changed the name too.
* IntelligenceEqualsIsolation:
** Hogarth's grades are high enough to [[GradeSkipper 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.
* 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]].
* InterruptedCooldownHug: After Hogarth calmed the Iron Giant, a missile hits his back.
* 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 [[UsefulNotes/DwightEisenhower ''Ike'' Eisenhower]], who actually was president during the time the film is set (1957), although 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."
* ItIsDehumanizing: The Giant is referred to as "it" except by Hogarth and Dean, and the latter has to be corrected by Hogarth the first time.
* ItWasHereISwear: When Mansley wants to show townfolks his half-eaten car, it is no longer there.
* TheJoyOfFirstFlight: Near the end the Iron Giant enables its jet thrusters for the first time to fly away with Hogarth, who is amazed that he can fly.
* JustPlaneWrong: F-86 Sabres did not carry missile pods as shown, nor were they equipped with afterburners, as shown during the 'scramble' takeoff sequence.
* 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.
** In fact, given the time period and location, a steam locomotive is incorrect entirely. Being set in coastal Maine the railroad serving the area would be the Maine Central, whose steam program ended in 1954, three years before the movie takes place. The locomotive would therefore likely be a [[http://rrpicturearchives.net/pictures/64490/Bangor%201958%2010%20MEC%20556%20at%20Bangor%20Union%20Station%20-%20Auth%20Unkn%20001.jpg Maine Central RS-3]], a [[http://rrpicturearchives.net/pictures/8272/MEC579-1dl.jpg Maine Central GP7]] or a [[http://rrpicturearchives.net/pictures/93130/115.jpg Maine Central F3]]. See [[SteamNeverDies Steam Never Dies]].
* KidsShouldntWatchHorrorFilms: "The Brain That Wouldn't Die!"
* LateToTheRealization: See the EurekaMoment example listed above.
* LaxativePrank: "Landslide. It's new. Very new."
* LethallyStupid: [[spoiler:Mansley when he orders the missile be launched at the Giant, while the Giant is in the middle of Rockwell. Which is also where ''he'' is, meaning if the missile hit, it would decimate the town, the Giant and everyone in it.]]
* 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.
* LowClearance / WatchOutForThatTree: As Hogarth is chased by the Giant, he hits his head on a low-lying branch.
* 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."
** The Giant [[spoiler: [[PleaseWakeUp nudging Hogarth's unconscious body]]]] the same way he [[spoiler: nudged the dead deer]].
* 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.
* MickeyMousing: The music punctuates Hogarth's stealthy movements when approaching the power station in the forest at night.
* MisguidedMissile: The giant was the target, and he just escaped from the town to save it.
* MoodWhiplash: A three-layered version in the diner scene between Hogarth and Mansley. It starts off fairly genial between them, then snaps to tense when Mansley starts properly probing Hogarth about the Giant, then to funny when the laxative Hogarth slipped Mansley earlier in the scene kicks in.
* MoreDakka: [[spoiler:The Giant, once he stops playing pacifist.]]
* 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?"
* MultitaskedConversation: Hogarth saying grace at the dinner table doubles (rather clumsily) as an attempt to shoo away the Giant's hand before his mom sees it.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: The Giant's reaction after realising he nearly vaporised Hogarth by accident.
** [[spoiler:The Giant has another one later when he snaps out of his RoaringRampageOfRevenge and converts back to normal.]]
* NegateYourOwnSacrifice: The Giant sacrifices himself to save the inhabitants of a small New England town from a nuclear missile, closing his eyes and contentedly intoning, "[[ShoutOut I'm...]] Franchise/{{S|uperman}}uuupermaan," the question of whether he's a mere machine or a self-determining life form [[TearJerker answered in the most final way possible]]. Or, it ''would'' be the most final way possible, if not for [[{{Denouement}} one more scene]], apparently added to keep from scarring the young children in the audience for life, showing him reassembling himself thanks to a truly staggering HealingFactor.
* 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 Mansley 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?!''
* NobodyHereButUsStatues: The Iron Giant poses as one of Dean's junk sculptures to escape the army. Earlier, he stands in front of an Astro Burger billboard to hide from Dean.
* 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. Further, the missile appears to be a UGM-73 Poseidon C3 missile, not fielded until 1972 on the ''Lafayette'' and ''James Madison''-class [=SSBNs=].
* NukeEm: The film has a sequence where paranoid intelligence agent Kent Mansley prompts a nuclear strike on the Giant because he wanted to see the Giant destroyed, rashly ordering it by [[TooDumbToLive grabbing the radio]] from the [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure General]] that was about to have them stand down, as the situation was over. The General then asks "WHERE'S THE GIANT, MANSLEY?!" Which is [[OhCrap about 50 feet from him]].
* 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 questions Hogarth and the toilet flushes upstairs, Hogarth has one and promptly rushes to investigate.
** When Mansley sees the Giant staring at him and not looking very happy.
** Mansley, when the laxative Hogarth slipped him kicks in. He dashes off to the bathroom and Hogarth gets out of there.
** Mansley, upon realizing that [[spoiler:he's doomed himself and the town of Rockwell to nuclear incineration.]]
** When the giant [[spoiler: snaps and starts popping tanks like popcorn]], 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 right at him. Cue the OhCrap.
** Another humorous one is when the Giant is reassembling himself in the barn. He waves as Hogarth closes the door and realizes his left hand is missing (Hogarth finds it upstairs in the bathroom).
* OhCrapSmile: Hogarth when Annie [[DeathGlare glares at him]] after the squirrel is let loose in the diner at the start of the film.
* OneDimensionalThinking: When Hogarth tries to evade the Giant trampling on him during their first encounter, he doesn'think of stepping aside but keeps running straight forward.
* OneLinerNameOneLiner: Mansley's line "Something big, Marv. Something big.", upon the question what they are looking for.
* 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.
* PlatonicDeclarationOfLove: Hogarth tells the giant he loves him right before [[spoiler:it sacrifices itself to save the town from the missile]].
* PleaseWakeUp: The Iron Giant gives us a double whammy, first when the giant attempts to [[spoiler: wake up a recently-shot deer]], which inadvertently teaches him the concept of death. This [[MeaningfulEcho comes back]] when the giant believes that [[spoiler: Hogarth]] is dead and nudges him the same way he did the deer.
* 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!]]
* PredatorTurnedProtector: When young Hogarth encounters the Giant, he finds the robot to be docile and childlike; this is suggested to be the result of a dent in its head upon landing on Earth. However, once the robot goes into PapaWolf mode, it deploys enough advanced weaponry to eradicate a battalion with frightening ease. The director's commentary mentions that the robot was meant to be a military strike probe, designed to eradicate or decimate resistance as a precursor to an AlienInvasion. Fortunately for everyone, ThePowerOfFriendship restores the robot to its GentleGiant mode, whereupon it makes a HeroicSacrifice to save the townsfolk.
* PreemptiveApology: Dean "Excuse me! I'd like to apologize to everyone in advance for this!" [[SquirrelsInMyPants He lets a squirrel out of his pants]] and HilarityEnsues.
* PreSacrificeFinalGoodbye: [[TearJerker "You stay. I go. No following."]]
* ProductDisplacement: Brad Bird wanted to have the Giant's hand watch ''[[Series/WaltDisneyPresents Disneyland]]'', with a spiel for Tomorrowland appearing before Hogarth turns off the TV. Creator/{{Disney}} wouldn't let Warner show the clip, so the animators replaced it with a Maypo commercial. The Signature Edition replaces the commercial with the Tomorrowland spiel.
* 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.]]
* QuizzicalTilt: Giant does this a few times.
* RailroadTracksOfDoom: Inverted. A train does show up at the least opportune moment, but it's the train that's in danger, not any of the characters—the Giant had messed up the tracks trying to eat them.
* RealityEnsues: Both in-universe and in regards to public perception in real life at the time when it comes to an atomic bomb. As much as we wish it wasn't true, if an A-bomb is dropped on your town, a fallout shelter isn't going to save you.
* 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. A popular interpretation posits this is why he was in a dead-end position in an unimportant government agency.
-->'''Rogard:''' You'll be Chief Inspector of Subway Toilets by the time I'm through with you!
* RelocatingTheExplosion: The Iron Giant sacrifices himself by flying into the sky to meet an oncoming missile head-on.
* TheRenaissanceAgeOfAnimation: This film came out at the tail end of it.
* RightBehindMe: When Hogarth lures the Giant and finds the sheet metal not against the tree stump he placed it in front of, but right behind him. Guess where the Giant is?
** [[spoiler:''"WHERE'S THE GIANT, MANSLEY?!"'']]
* 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, inhuman scream of rage will make you shudder.]]
* RudelyHangingUp: Kent calls General Rogard about the giant robot he thinks is roaming the town. Rogard, upset that Kent called him at home for a non-emergency, tells him that he first needs evidence to send troops, and while Kent raves about it, he calmly hangs up on him in mid-rant. Kent doesn't take this well.
* 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. He doesn't get far.]]
-->'''Mansley''': ''Screw'' our country! I wanna '''''live!'''''
* SecondaryCharacterTitle: The Giant is the {{Deuteragonist}}.
* 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 [=M41=] Walker Bulldog tanks, and the jet planes in the Superman scene are F-86 Sabres.
** The coordinates transmitted to the ''Nautilus'' are in Maine, near the towns of Milbridge, Cherryfield, Harrington, Addison, and Jonesport, but the actual spot specified is a wooded area near the Atlantic coast.
* SleepingDummy: Hogarth escapes Mansley using a dummy in his bed.
* TheSmurfettePrinciple: Hogarth's mother is the only main female character in the film.
* SpiritualSuccessor: The original novel is this to ''Film/ETTheExtraTerrestrial''.
* SquirrelsInMyPants: By name, and preceded the official [[TropeNamers Trope Namer]].
* StealthPun: Dean directs the Giant to make a mobile (hanging children's toy) out of cars.
* SteamNeverDies: The train that hits the Iron Giant is led by a steam locomotive, and the movie is set a few years after steam locomotives in Maine had been completely replaced by diesels.
* 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]].
* 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 horn removed, resulting in it going off when the Giant tries to eat it, and several failed attempts to silence it before the Giant eventually panics and hurls it as far as he can into the woods.
** In [[TrailersAlwaysLie 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 car with the honking horn.
* TheresNoBInMovie: Hogarth watches one inspired by ''Film/TheBrainFromPlanetArous''. It was the 50s...
* ThisIsGonnaSuck: Mansley after Rogard's line "Step outside, Mansley." Cue a lot of shouting from the latter, much to Hogarth's amusement (and the audience's).
* ThrowingTheDistraction: Hogarth throws a penny into the kitchen to divert his mom's attention away while he sneaks out one of the Giant's hands, which has detached and is wandering around the house. The penny knocks over the spice rack by accident.
* 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.
* TooDumbToLive: [[spoiler:Mansley falls victim to this near the end. He sees the Giant glaring at him, so he flips, grabs Rogard's walkie-talkie and orders the missile targeting the Giant be launched. He failed to take into account where the Giant was: ''in the middle of the town, barely feet from him''. Cue an OhCrap when Rogard makes him aware of this.]]
* 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]].
* VillainOverForDinner: Hogarth goes down to breakfast only to find Kent, the agent looking for the Giant, sitting at the table. He has rented the family's spare room and now wants to ask him a few questions.
* WaveMotionGun: [[spoiler:The Giant has one. Lucky for the battleship he was aiming at, Hogarth distracted him.]]
* 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 [[TheMarxBrothers 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!"]]
* TheWorfBarrage: A squad of jet fighters seemingly destroyed the robot, only for the U.S. Army to find out that he's still alive and mourning over the seemingly-dead Hogarth.
* WouldHurtAChild: Mansley. [[spoiler:During his interrogation of Hogarth to find out where the Giant is, he threatens to make it so that Hogarth will be taken away from his mother if he doesn't spill the beans, and later during the climax lies to Rogard about the Giant having killed a child, knowing damn well that Hogarth is with the Giant and will likely be killed in the crossfire.]]
* YouJustToldMe: How Annie tricks Dean into telling her Hogarth sneaks off to his junkyard every night.

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