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, the size of Australia. 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 its 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.
    • The Dream Sequence, completed for the signature edition, was animated by a 2D FX master, Michel Gagne. It is now arguably the most visually impressive part of the film.
  • Broken Base: The signature edition's new Dream Sequence scene is a great moment that is just loaded with atmosphere and Nightmare Fuel, but there is a small minority who finds the movie to have been a lot better having the Giant's past remain a complete mystery, and left to the viewer's interpretation.
  • 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: 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 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. The DVD features also reveal that less work was needed to create the mechanical sound from Diesel's vocals than you might think.
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • Misaimed Marketing: One of the only trailers released for the film was a series of out-of-context clips scored to Scorpions' "Rock You Like A Hurricane." It had nothing to do with the movie and the crew were horrified.
  • 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.
  • Narm Charm: Hogarth's sincere "I love you" to the Giant just before his Heroic Sacrifice. Even people who have poked fun at it won't deny that it still made them weep.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Legendary Disney animators and Brad Bird's mentors Frank Thomas and Olie Johnston cameoing as the two rail men.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
  • Sacred Cow: Considering how it, to this day, makes 30-year old men cry tears both manly and not so manly, criticizing this film online is a very bad idea. You do not call this movie bad. You do not make fun of the tragic scene with the deer dying. And you absolutely do not, repeat, absolutely do not, make fun of the Giant's Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Signature Scene:
  • 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.
  • Spiritual Successor: Is often considered one to Mitsuteru Yokoyama's Tetsujin 28-go (aka Gigantor), which is also about a boy controlling a giant robot.
  • Squick: Hogarth's Laxative Prank on Mansley.
  • Values Dissonance: A child walking into an adult man's house alone in the middle of the night and later being left alone with a different grown male stranger, both things viewed very differently today than the time period the film is set in. The fact the interrogation scene with the second stranger is vaguely, if unintentionally, rapacious only makes it worse.
  • 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.
    • Helping was Cartoon Network's notorious Memorial Day special. Even when played over and over, back to back, for three days in a row, it still didn't get old.
  • Woolseyism:
    • At the climax, Mansley says after launching the nuke "Screw our country! I wanna live!" before failing at escaping and getting arrested. In the Spaniard dub, he instead says "¡A la mierda el país, yo quiero vivir!" which translates to "Fuck this country, I wanna live!", making it even more hilarious.
    • In the Norwegian dub, Hogarth saying "Oh my God!" at the dinner table is even funnier as said phrase in Norwegian ("Herregud") is a cuss word (when said a certain way), making Annie's confused expression even more understandable. And then Hogarth says "Satan", which in Norwegian is almost as bad as saying "Fuck". That they were even allowed to keep it is hilarious.