American post-war paranoia of the "other" pollutes the pristine waters of innocence in this animated film that explores humanity from the perspective of a thinking, feeling machine.The Iron Giant comes down to Art vs. War.
Art wins. But not until after a power mad control freak who loses his sense of himself as agent working for a cause and begins to operate in his own interest almost obliterates thousands of innocent people to satisfy his own egotistic cravings for glory.
The Iron Giant discovers the peaceful, loving parts of himself even though he is more than capable of being a destructive force when it is necessary to defend against attack and he comes to value those life-affirming parts of himself above all else.
Eventually, he sacrifices himself for the greater good.
But all is not lost and there is more than hope that the Iron Giant will one day return to the place where he learned to love.
And all the humans involved learn a lesson in tolerance and understanding and the influence of art and beauty on society is moved a little closer to the stage that is dominated by a war mentality.Grown-ups will get the historic and cultural references but kids will get the spirit of the movie.