Friday, November 19, 2004


I was hobnobbing over at Defective Yeti the other day and ran across this post about the newest Pixar film, The Incredibles.

Editorial Comment #1

This post is not about the Incredibles, because I haven't seen it yet. TinyTuna has, but I have sworn her to silence and secrecy upon the pain of not being able to view
Spongebob Quadrilateralpants with any adult who is a bigger sucker than I am.

Two things from that post struck me as interesting. The first was learning that "The Incredibles" was adapted and directed by Brad Bird, who also wrote and directed the animated film, The Iron Giant back in 1999. The second was reading all the comments -- not so much about The Incredibles -- but about the passion for the film Iron Giant.

Editorial Comment #2

If it is possible to spoil a five-year old movie, then be warned: This post contains spoilers. But honestly, you should rent the movie anyway, because it's just. that. good.

Iron Giant seemed to be one of those quiet animated films that didn't necessarily do blockbuster box office business, but amassed a dedicated following. Based on the book The Iron Man by British Poet-Laureate Ted Hughes, it tells the story of an enormous alien robot who finds himself in America during the height of the Cold War in the 1950s.

Not just another science-fiction fantasy, this story explores the child-like relationship between the Giant and a young boy, Hogarth, who finds the giant and tries to take care of him and teach him about living in the world. But keeping an enormous robot a secret proves to be an impossible task, and when the Government discovers its existance, fear takes over and they attempt to destroy it. The Giant -- designed for war -- does what he was programmed to do: defend himself. As the violence escalates to a potentially catastrophic conclusion for humans and robots alike, Hogarth convinces the Giant he can be something more than what he is:

"You don't have to be a gun," he says. "You can be anything you choose to be."

Director Brad Bird said
My version is based around a question I asked the execs at Warner Bros.-what if a gun had a soul and chose not to be a gun?
Such big thoughts from a cartoon:

You can be anything you choose to be.

The Iron Giant chose NOT to be a gun.

He chose to be Superman.

Every day we are faced with choices, and oftentimes we make decisions based on conditioning. We do what we're supposed to do. What we are taught to do. What we are conditioned to do. There is no real thought behind it. There is no soul.

But what if we chose a different path, and opted to lead the life we felt deep down we were meant to lead? What if you chose to take a different path, even if it were unknown, unexpected and unfamiliar to those around you? What if you chose to break free from assumptions and expectations of who you are and what others expect you to be?

You can be anything you choose to be.

Even Superman.


Anonymous said...

Great post. I loooove The Iron Giant, and watched it with the kids for the gazillionth time this past weekend.

I want to take them to see Polar Express next week, and I want *them* to take *me* to see Spongebob soon!


Margaret said...

Great post!!

The next time someone asks me why I packed my bags and snowboard and moved from the US to Germany, I will refer them to your post.