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    The Iron Giant 
Voiced By: Vin Diesel
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/iron-giant-film-2.jpg

A fifty-foot-tall metal-eating robot who fell from space, so he and his creator(s) is presumed to be of extraterrestrial origin. He arrives on Earth slightly damaged and with no recollection of his function. Judging by the capabilities he shows later on, he was designed as a vanguard unit for planetary invasions... although it's not clear if Earth was his original intended target. Unaware of his own purpose when it arrives, he eventually encounters and befriends Hogarth.


  • Afraid of Their Own Strength: As the Giant becomes aware of the destructive power of his defensive programming, he has to actively choose to avoid giving into it.
  • Amnesiac Dissonance: The Giant loses his memory at the start of the film thanks to a dent on the left side of his head.
  • Anti Anti Christ: A scene added to the Signature Edition, as well as the nature of the Iron Giant's weapons, heavily implies that the Giant was originally created to destroy entire 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.
  • Arm Cannon: Among the Giant's plethora of weapons, also the first one he deploys when he turns his rage on the Army.
  • Badass Adorable: Despite being 50 feet tall and possibly sent to soften Earth's defenses for an invasion, the Giant's childlike naivete about the world makes him an endearing hero.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Despite his child-like naivete, when the Iron Giant is attacked while he is grieving the apparent death of Hogarth, his grief turns to rage, the dent in his head pops out and a Curb-Stomp Battle ensues with the army.
  • Character Title: The tale follows the friendship that develops between The Iron Giant and Hogarth the Deuteragonist.
  • Chest Blaster: When he goes into full battle mode, he has a powerful Wave Motion Gun type weapon in his chest.
  • Defence Mechanism Superpower: The Iron Giant is a massive alien war machine that, due to damage caused during his initial landing on earth, is left completely unaware of his true purpose. Unfortunately, the Giant's weapons and more destructive mindset can be triggered against his will if it perceives a threat.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: When the Giant learns that guns can kill, he gains an immediate dislike of them. This creates an intense internal conflict because he was designed to be one.
  • Eye Beams: The Giant has these and they deployed automatically as a defense mechanism when he was threatened by Hogarth's toy gun.
  • Fanboy: The Giant becomes enamored with Superman.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: The Giant only. But then, he IS an alien (and a robot).
  • Gentle Giant: The Giant when not in the thrall of his defensive programming.
  • Giant Robot: Somewhat obvious given the protagonist is a 50 foot tall Iron Robot.
  • 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".
  • Grew Beyond Their Programming: Thanks to Hogarth's nurturing, a lost, giant robot designed to be a planet-killer chooses to be Superman and saves the town of Rockwell.
  • Guttural Growler: Voiced by Vin Diesel.
  • Humongous Mecha: The Giant being a sentient, non-piloted version.
  • I Am Not a Gun: The venerable Trope Namer.
  • The Juggernaut: The Giant is shown to be very durable against weaponry like tank shells and battleship guns which allows him to curb stomp the Army, however we are also shown that he can be damaged by Earth-level technology. Impact trauma from a train or nuclear missile can blow him apart and high voltage electricity causes him pain and can render him temporarily "unconscious".
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Due to sustaining damage from his planet-fall, we never know what his original purpose was. The "Giant's Dream" deleted scene makes it clear that he is part of a planet-destroying army of robots, but we don't know if Earth was the target, or if the Giant was simply knocked off-course and crashed here.
  • Made of Iron: If the title is to be believed, the Giant is made of iron, quite literally.
  • Mysterious Past: In the original release, who he was before meeting Hogarth was a complete mystery. The Signature Edition release includes a deleted dream sequence where it shows he came from another planet and was intended to be a weapon. How he ends up on Earth is still unknown.
  • Nature Loving Robot: Hogarth and the Giant are shown wandering around the woods surrounding Rockwell. They encounter a deer that stirs the Giant's curiosity and his childlike innocence is such that he is nearly able to touch the deer without scaring it until the peaceful scene is interrupted when the deer senses the approach of hunters.
  • Nice Guy: When not in the thrall of his defensive programming, the Giant has a genial personality.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: He combines being "Made of Diamond" (survives shell attacks from tanks, planes and battleships), as well as a self-repair mixture of "Regeneration" and "External Repair". He is shown reassembling himself after experiencing impact trauma from being hit by a train and blown apart by a nuclear bomb.
  • No Name Given: Oddly, despite insisting that the machine is 'he', Hogarth never bothers to give him a proper name. Though it can't be known for sure, he probably never had a name to begin with.
  • One-Winged Angel: When the Iron Giant feels threatened, he turns into a much less humanoid war machine.
  • Organ Autonomy: Pieces of the Giant will return to him when summoned.
  • Papa Wolf: Harm Hogarth at your own peril.
  • Parts Unknown: It isn't clear where the Giant is from besides not originating on Earth.
  • 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: The Signature Edition's dream sequence shows that the Giant is supposed to be this. Even without the scene, the film, especially during the Giant's rampage, heavily implies that this is what he was designed for.
  • Quizzical Tilt: Tends to tilt one side of his head when he's confused about something.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: When his eyes go red, his defensive programming is taking over and he has an insane amount of weaponry to defend himself.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: Very humanoid for a robot from outer space... He even tends to eat metal by folding it in his hands and biting into it like a ham sandwich, which a few characters lampshade.
  • Telescoping Robot: When the Giant reaches his Rage Breaking Point, he is a classic example of the trope as he shifts into battle mode.
  • Tin-Can Robot: On the exterior, at least, and his movements looks endearingly human. In full assault mode he is more of a Starfish Robot and much more sinister and alien.
  • Walking Armory: Absolutely brimming with destructive weapons.
  • Wing Pull: He doesn't find out he has boosters on his feet until he accidentally falls off a cliff and they activate automatically.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Subverted, although it's revealed that he was designed to be a Planet Killer, the experiences he has with Hogarth expands his programming to the point he intentionally chooses to be Superman.
  • You No Take Candle: His grasp on English is broken — justified as he's an alien robot — so Hogarth sometimes talks to him this way so he can understand him better.
  • Your Size May Vary: The scale of the Giant seems to vary in different scenes. Although this is a clear case of Rule of Drama, you can notice his size difference when he is hiding in Hogarth's barn compared to him standing in the middle of town or fighting the military in third act.
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    Hogarth Hughes 
Voiced By: Eli Marienthal
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/my_son__hogarth_hughes_by_produccionandaluz-d6w3qzx.jpg

An energetic, young, curious boy with an active imagination.


  • Adaptational Nationality: While he is American in the animated film, he is British in the book given the nationality of the book and his name sake Ted Hughes.
  • Adorably Precocious Child: Hogarth is around 10 or 12, but has the maturity of someone twice his age.
  • Adorkable: Best proven when he gushes over "having his own giant".
  • Alliterative Name: Hogarth Hughes.
  • All-Loving Hero: Hogarth teaches the Giant how killing is wrong and that he doesn't have to be a "gun".
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Hogarth was picked on by the other kids because he "skipped a grade".
  • Badass Adorable: Hogarth is smart enough to trick a government agent, brave enough to face off against the Giant caught up in Unstoppable Rage, and cute enough to be gushing over the fact of having his "own Giant".
  • Badass Pacifist: Hogarth stops the Giant's Unstoppable Rage by reminding him he doesn't have to be a gun and tells the Giant to choose for himself. After a tense moment of Hogarth staring down the barrel of his gun arm, the Giant regains control, agrees with Hogarth and deactivates his weapons.
  • Brainy Brunette: Brown-haired Hogarth skipped a grade because he "just does the stupid homework".
  • Fanboy: Hogarth is shown to be a fan of Superman, Mad Magazine, and The Spirit, when he shows some of his comics to the Giant.
  • Friendless Background: During his caffeine-fueled rant to Dean, Hogarth mentioned that he had trouble fitting in with other children in school due to his high grades and had even more trouble fitting in after moving up a grade.
  • Friend to All Living Things: His first scene has him begging his mother to let him keep a pet squirrel he found. There's also his friendship with the Giant.
  • Grade Skipper: According to Hogarth, because "I just do the stupid homework" he was able to skip a grade. (His mom deciding he needed "a challenge" also had something to do with it).
  • Hero with a Unique Name: While the entire cast have common names, Hogarth's name is very unusual. His Odd Name Out is even lampshaded by other characters. It works against him later; the distinctiveness of it helps Kent remember it.
  • Hidden Depths: Despite his age, Hogarth has a deep and mature understanding of death, the nature of the soul and the ethical implications of what a gun represents.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: To symbolize his youthful and innocent nature.
  • Intelligence Equals Isolation: He's clearly a smart kid. And has no friends. Until the movie's end.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: With Dean — while Hogarth is the Kid Hero, Dean is around his mother's age.
  • Keet: He's already a pretty energetic kid, but it's taken Up to Eleven when he drinks espresso.
  • Kid Hero: He's around 10-12 and is the main protagonist.
  • Kid with the Leash: He is the Giant's best friend.
  • Nice Guy: He's kind, rightful, courageous, friendly, and cheerful.
  • Primary-Color Champion: Hogarth's main outfit consists of a red jacket (which has black coloring), blue jeans, a white t-shirt underneath, and red/white shoes.
  • Red Is Heroic: Wears a red jacket throughout the film.
  • Supporting Protagonist: Hogarth is the main character, but it's the Giant who gets the character development.
  • What You Are in the Dark: After getting safely away from the power station, he hears the Giant screaming in pain after getting wrapped up in the power lines and Hogarth can't bear to leave it suffering. He chooses to risk shutting off the power to free the Giant despite not knowing if it even notices or would feel grateful later.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Hogarth shows a great deal of wisdom and depth when he introduces the Giant to the concept of death and deals with the question of whether the Giant has a soul.

    Annie Hughes 
Voiced By: Jennifer Aniston
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/CrHjuLRz4i.png

A widow and Hogarth's single mother.


  • Fiery Redhead: Downplayed. Usually Annie is quite mellow, even though she has a Keet son and stressful job. She gets fiery if Hogarth's in danger.
  • Good Parents: She may work a lot of hours, but it's perfectly clear Annie cares about her son and has raised him to be a decent person.
  • Hartman Hips: While a few female residents of Rockwell have these, Annie is a notable example.
  • Mama Bear: To Hogarth. If there's any indication that he may be in danger, she will immediately rush to where he might be and protect him.
  • Nice Girl: Annie is devoted, loving, protective, and caring.
  • Official Couple: Refers to Dean as "honey" in the final scene, implying this. The Signature Edition makes it slightly more explicit by adding an earlier scene of Annie and Dean chatting at the diner.
  • Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: She has green eyes, is a redhead, and is the mother of the protagonist.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Annie was married to a soldier. And by the end of the film, she is an Official Couple with Dean who showed her his protectiveness of Hogarth and peacekeeping nature.
  • The Smurfette Principle: The only noticeable female in the movie. Subtly lampshaded in a deleted scene where Hogarth shows her some of his comics books, and she points out the lack of female characters.
  • Widow Woman: In the film, her husband is implied to have died during the Korean War.

    Mr. Hughes 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mr_hughes.jpg
Voiced By: N/A

Hogarth's deceased father.


    Dean McCoppin 
Voiced By: Harry Connick, Jr.
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/6954.jpg

A beatnik artist and junkyard owner who "sees art where others see junk".


  • All of the Other Reindeer: As the cool, artistic resident beatnik of the small town of Rockwell, Maine, 1957, where this film takes place, Dean is sort of an outcast. The rest of the town doesn't really take him seriously, but he's cool with that.
  • Badass Pacifist: Dean is portrayed as a man of action, but not of violence (tying into one of the movie's themes). Culminates with him convincing the military task force that the best way to keep America safe is to not attack the Alien Menace that's currently blowing things up.
  • Beatnik: Complete with a job as an artist, and love of espresso. He's portrayed more sympathetically than actual films of the 1950s would have shown him.
  • Bully Hunter: He helps out a guy from being mocked at by a couple of jerks. Said guy is the same one who saw the Giant earlier.
  • Canon Foreigner: He only appears in the movie version.
  • Cool Shades: Wears them a few times.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: His main clothing scheme is black and he's turns out to be a Badass Pacifist.
  • Deadpan Snarker: When you're dealing with a kid and his massive metal muchacho, the deadpan snarkery just flows.
  • Drink Order: He has a love for espresso. When Hogarth is looking around his apartment this first time, there are coffee cups everywhere.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Stands up for a guy getting mocked by a bunch of jerks.
    Dean: [to Hogarth] If we don't stand up for the kooks, who will?
  • Friend to All Children: His first scene with Hogarth certainly implies his, given how friendly he was with the kid. And whenever danger seems to threaten Hogarth, Dean puts himself bodily in the way.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: He has his actor's similar hairstyle and Perma-Stubble.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: With Hogarth — Dean is around Annie's age and becomes friends with her pre-teen son, Hogarth, even to the point of being a surrogate father.
  • Mellow Fellow: A laid-back man. His first appearance has him asleep in a the diner Annie works at.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Dean, the handsome artistically inclined beatnik with the voice of Harry Connick Jr.
  • Nice Guy: Believes in people being themselves, defended a man who was being picked on for crazy theories despite not believing him either, a good father figure/mentor to Hogarth, and acts as a gentlemen to Annie.
  • Official Couple: Implied with Annie in the final scene. The Signature Edition makes it slightly more explicit by adding an earlier scene of Annie and Dean chatting at the diner.
  • Papa Wolf: He's not afraid to threaten the Giant when he nearly vaporizes Hogarth with his eye lasers.
  • Parental Substitute: He is a father-figure/mentor to Hogarth.
  • Perma-Stubble: Has a constant 5 o'clock shadow to go with the beatnik look.
  • Second Love: It's implied he and Annie become a couple in the end.
  • Starving Artist: Dean. At one point he grumbles that turning the scrap in his junkyard into art actually makes it worth less.

    Kent Mansley 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/MPCharacter5.jpg

An arrogant, ambitious, paranoid and corrupt government agent sent to investigate the Iron Giant. The logo on his official government car says he is from the "Bureau of Unexplained Phenomena."


  • And Your Little Dog, Too!: He browbeats Hogarth into giving up the location of the Giant by threatening to ruin his mother's life.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: His Butt-Monkey nature is discarded in the movie's second half, wherein he chloroforms and threatens a child.
  • Butt-Monkey: Kent loses his car in his first scene, suffers Amusing Injuries all the time, falls victim to a Laxative Prank, and is repeatedly outsmarted by Hogarth. He deserves every second of it though.
  • Canon Foreigner: Although an original creation for the movie, ironically, he appears to have some of Hogarth's father's traits from the book.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Tends to introduce himself as: "Kent Mansley, I work for the government." Lampshaded by Hogarth at one point.
    • He often ends his threats and inaccurate assumptions with "...and all that that implies." Ultimately lampshaded and mocked by Hogarth later.
  • Dirty Coward: Mansley tries to bolt out of town when a serious danger arises. Namely, after dooming everyone in the town thanks to his own paranoia. He doesn't get far.
  • Distinguished Gentleman's Pipe: Subverted. Smokes a straight billiard, despite being neither distinguished nor a gentleman.
  • Eagleland: Typical of a man living on The '50s, he's got a beef against anything he thinks is un-American, like being a Beatnik or being a potential weapon not manufactured by America. Subverted at the end when instead of dying like a dutiful soldier, he says "Screw our country, I wanna live!" and tries to run.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Shows up in his fancy government car, flashes his government credentials, then proceeds to act very haughty and condescending to the friendly Rockwell power station attendant showing him the unusual damage to said station.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He tries to put on an affable façade, but it becomes clear that it's all an act as the film goes on.
  • Foil:
    • To Dean, who 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.
    • In some respects, he's oddly one to the Giant. Both enter Hogarth's life thanks to the Giant's crash to Earth and both are a product of the society that made them. While the Giant overcomes his literal programming to be a hero, Mansley never questions the social programming of The '50s that made him the irrational threat to the world that he thinks the Giant is.
  • Hypocrite: He's from the government, and claims to be very patriotic. But when things get tough, it's "Screw our country, I wanna live!"
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Subverted — Mansley is a clear case of No Respect Guy, a Butt-Monkey, and almost totally incompetent, all of which are classic symptoms of the ISV. Despite having — theoretically — good motivations for wanting the giant gone, it's made very clear that his paranoia and obsessiveness is the primary instigator of most of the problems in the story, and almost gets everyone in town killed as a result of his irrational determination to see the Giant destroyed.
  • Inspector Javert: He is irrationally convinced that the Iron Giant is a threat to America, and does all he can to destroy it before it destroys them, despite growing evidence to the contrary.
  • Jerkass: Constantly throwing his weight around and acting like he's the most important man in town.
  • Large Ham: Well since he's voiced by Chris McDonald, calmness clearly doesn't come easy to him.
  • Meaningful Name: Kent Mansley embodies a lot of the typical, celebrated manly traits of the Ideal 1950's Man. Unfortunately for Mansley, he's in a film out to deconstruct said traits.
  • Motor Mouth: Whenever he loses it, he slips into this and rants without stopping for breath.
  • Nice Hat: He is often seen wearing a dark grey fedora.
  • 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 with shades of Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain but by the end of the movie, he orders a nuclear missile strike on the town of Rockwell.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: Mansley seeks to destroy what he sees as a threat to America. His growing paranoia, willingness to threaten a child's mother, chloroform said child and potentially endanger his life by lying to General Rogard that the Giant killed him really doesn't help his case. In the end, his obsession with the Giant causes him to launch a missile attack on the town of Rockwell. When he realizes that it means his own death, his inherent cowardice comes out and he tries to flee for his life.
  • The Paranoiac: Even though he claims to be worried for the safety and security of America, it becomes clear that he's basically a Hypocrite and only cares about his own life, which comes to the surface when he launches a nuclear strike on Rockwell and tries to escape shouting, "Screw our country, I wanna live!"
  • Too Dumb to Live: Throughout the film, we see that Mansley lets his desire to see the Iron Giant destroyed override his common sense. It culminates when he impulsively grabs the radio from General Rogard and yells for the missle to be launched at the Iron Giant, completely forgetting that it's standing within 50 feet of him.
    Rogard: That missle is targeted to the giant's current position! WHERE'S THE GIANT MANSLEY?!
    (Mansley turns his head and sees that the Giant is standing right behind him)
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    Lieutenant General Shannon Rogard 
Voiced By: John Mahoney
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Rogard.jpg

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.


  • The Brigadier: General Rogard is actually a good guy who is only fighting the Giant because Kent lied to him that it was a killer. Once he learns the truth, he immediately stops attacking it.
  • Canon Foreigner: Only appears in the movie version. Although Military forces do show up in the book(every army on earth,no less) when the Space Dragon attacks, no general is named or given any focus.
  • Cool Old Guy: He's a combination of Four-Star Badass and Reasonable Authority Figure, who finds Mansley's claims outrageous without any supporting evidence.
  • Cool Shades: He wears what appear to be green-tinted teashades in the field.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Especially with regards to Mansley, who he despises.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Despite facing an imminent nuclear missile 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: Actually only three stars, but 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 Mansley.
  • Gender-Blender Name: His given name can also be given to girls. Though the name would have been exclusively male in America at the time the story takes place.
  • Hero Antagonist: Towards the Giant during the climatic battle. Despite Kent Mansley's constant imploring him to destroy it, Rogard holds back and only fires at the Giant when he thinks that it's attacking the town, that it's killed a boy, and later when it starts attacking the military for real. Indeed, Rogard plays this role straight and ceases firing on the Giant when he realizes the Giant is responding defensively and attacking him will only prolong the conflict.
  • Meaningful Name: "Shannon" is an Irish variant for Sionna, which means "possessor of wisdom". The General later proves to be a Reasonable Authority Figure.
  • Pet the Dog: Gives Hogarth the only piece of the giant the government recovered, one of the jaw bolts, instead of confiscating it for studying.
  • Rage Breaking Point:
    • Understandly, when the Giant has gone ballistic, and the army tanks are all but decimated.
    Rogard: All battleships fire on the robot! NOW! NOW! DAMMIT NOW!
    • Has one earlier when he and Mansley is tricked into thinking the Giant is one of Dean's sculptures. Shannon is not happy that Mansley had him call up an entire tank regiment for (what he thought at the time) a hoax. It is very much played for laughs.
    Rogard: You realize how much hardware I brought out here!? You just blew millions of Uncle Sam's dollars outta your BUTT!
  • Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: In contrast to Mansley's irrational Inspector Javert, Rogard is this due to not attacking the Giant unless necessary to protect his country, and he calls off the attack when he is convinced the Giant only attacks in self-defense and the best way to avoid more destruction is to stand down.

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