'The Iron Giant' Is Coming To Netflix In April & The '90s Classic Will Take You Back To Childhood
When you think about Vin Diesel's movies, you probably imagine a high speed action movie with either fast cars, big guns, or both. Yet one of the actor's most beloved films is The Iron Giant, a childhood classic from 1999 that's hitting Netflix on April 1. While the full list of the movies coming to Netflix next month will come out on March 20, knowing that The Iron Giant will soon be available should get you pretty pumped.
In addition to Diesel, the acclaimed animated film features the voices of Jennifer Aniston, Harry Connick Jr., Cloris Leachman, Eli Marienthal, and John Mahoney. It's a star-studded cast, and the movie's director, Brad Bird, is also a big name as he went on to later direct The Incredibles in 2004 and Ratatouille in 2007. Bird also recently directed Incredibles 2, which is one of 2018's most highly-anticipated movies. Based on the major star power behind Iron Giant, you can be sure that the movie will amaze you whether you're revisiting it or seeing it for the first time, even almost 20 years after it first hit theaters.
One of the most memorable things about The Iron Giant is its emotional impact. Similarly to E.T., the story follows a mysterious appearance of an alien creature who befriends a young boy. This time, a giant (voiced by Diesel) falls from the sky, only to be discovered by Hogarth Hughes (Marienthal). Hogarth takes the Iron Giant in, but (years-old spoilers ahead) the U.S. army eventually learns about the gargantuan figure after his impressive weaponry attracts attention. The army tries to capture the giant, but Hobarth saves his new friend by hiding him in a scrapyard.
Since the original story of The Iron Giant was written during the 1950s, it fittingly centers around Cold War paranoia of foreign spies. At its core, the movie tells the story of a powerful being that's built to destroy, but eventually becomes a superhero after learning from Hobarth about good versus evil. Not only will The Iron Giant's lessons in Goodness 101 make you cry, but the emotional connection that Hobarth makes to a being that the U.S. army fears is a menace planted by the USSR will also feel eerily relevant today.
The Iron Giant not only tells the story of a potentially threatening character who learns to love a young boy, but it also makes a powerful point about choosing your own identity. When Hogarth shows the giant his favorite things, he points to two different comic books, one about Superman, and one about "Atomo, the Metal Menace." Atomo, as you can guess from the comic's title, is a made up superhero villain, and both Hogarth and the giant immediately notice the similarities between the Iron Giant and Atomo. Of course, the name Atomo sounds a lot like "atomic" and it refers to the U.S.'s fear of a nuclear attack at the time, but even if you're watching The Iron Giant today, you'll sympathize with the giant's fear that he, too, could be evil.
Rather than decide that he will turn out like Atomo — something which his body would allow him to do — the Hogarth tells the Iron Giant that he's more like Superman instead. That lesson resonates with the giant, and he ultimately agrees that he can be like Superman if he so chooses. In a way, the story resembles Black Panther's, as T'Challa realizes that his dad might not have made moral errors that he wishes to avenge.
As you wait in nail-biting anticipation for Avengers: Infinity War to come out on April 27, The Iron Giant is the perfect movie to stream in the meantime. From its awesome superhero action to its heartwarming lesson in the power everyone has to choose their own identity, it's no wonder the movie's a celebrated classic.