YMMV: The Iron Giant

  • Adaptation Displacement: The film is (very) loosely inspired on the children's book The Iron Man. How loose? Well, there was a dragon, for starters. Not to mention that the iron man doesn't "die" at the end.
  • All Animation Is Disney: Averted. The film is strong enough and unique enough that it easily stands on it's own merits, and many consider it one of, if not the, greatest non-Disney animated films ever.
  • Awesome Art: The traditional animation is some of the best to come out of a non-Disney animated film, but special mention goes to the giant, who, apart from being masterfully animated, had a special software developed for him to give him natural imperfections, helping him blend flawlessly into the 2D art.
  • Do Not Do This Cool Thing: Okay, everybody will admit that the Giant transforming into a killing machine with crazy alien weapons is totally badass, but you know... killing machine.
  • Ear Worm: The "Duck and Cover" song is very catchy. If you hear the full version on the DVD, it will get stuck in your head.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Dean.
  • Genius Bonus / Easter Egg: When Hogarth and the Giant go out walking at night, pay attention to the moon in one scene. Just to the right of it, one of the stars can be seen moving. That's Sputnik.
  • He Really Can Voice Act: Vin Diesel as the Giant. He doesn't get much dialogue, but whenever the Giant speaks with his grunting and groaning, the mood is absolutely spot-on.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Dean getting a squirrel in his pants.
    • Also, Kent Mansley saying "Screw the country! I wanna live!" as his final lines in the movie after he unwittingly sent a nuke directly into the town becomes extremely ironic when the President in Shadow the Hedgehog (who's strongly implied to be the same president from Sonic Adventure 2) is redesigned to resemble Mansley.
    • For publicity, Eli Marienthal (Hogarth) did an interview with Scouting magazine Boys' Life. The magazine itself gets a mention in the film as Hogarth is showing his comics to the Giant...although not quite the one they would want.
    Hogarth: The Spirit, very cool...Boys' Life, meh...
  • Magnum Opus: For Warner Bros. Feature Animation. While it didn't make any more money than any of their films, before or after, it was the only one to receive near-universal praise from both audiences and critics, as well as have any kind of shelf-life.
  • Hype Backlash: Averted so far. While the film has nary an unfavorable response, it's still currently juuuuuuust enough below the radar to not be oversaturated with praise.
  • Memetic Molester: Some of Kent Mansley's behavior can be seen as creepier than it was meant to be. Special mention goes to the scene where he's watching Hogarth go to bed, which isn't helped by the fact that he crosses his legs in a way that looks suggestive. A scene from an early draft makes his behavior a thousand times worse.
    "Come on, Hogarth. Let's do the happy monkey. You know the one I mean."
  • Memetic Mutation: Dean's facial expressions are remarkably well-animated, such that he's (More specifically, him holding his coffee mug) become a source for reaction images on certain parts of 4chan.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Mansley rents a room under false pretenses, steals Hogarth's photos for his own use, interrogates and drugs the boy, threatens to have him taken away from his only living parent, lies about the boy being killed to provoke a military response, and eventually subverts the chain of command by ordering a nuclear strike. (And even when he regrets that last one, it doesn't seem to be a My God, What Have I Done? moment, just a realization that he's standing on ground zero.) And just in case you haven't started to despise him yet, he establishes his Dirty Coward creds by assaulting a soldier, stealing a military vehicle and trying to get away. At least the Giant stops him and the General gives Mansley what he deserves.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Legendary Disney animators and Brad Bird's mentors Frank Thomas and Olie Johnston cameoing as the two rail men.
  • Retroactive Recognition: What the... did Vin Diesel just make viewers cry Manly Tears?
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Friendly giant robots aside, this film is very explicit in its condemnation of nuclear weapons, and of paranoia and xenophobia in general. It also drops the anvil that you are who you choose to be.
  • Vindicated by History:
    • The film was universally loved by critics, but that didn't save the film from bombing at the box office; Warner Bros.' marketing blitz for the home video release (as well as Cartoon Network airing the film numerous times in the past few years) led to the film being seen by a wider audience, and now it's considered one of the greatest animated films ever.
    • Cartoon Network once did a Memorial Day special of airing the movie over and over and over and over and over again back-to-back, three days in a row.