Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
Animated films excel in conjuring up colorful fantasy worlds, but few evoke an actual time and place as vividly -- and playfully -- as The Iron Giant does.
Los Angeles Times:
The Iron Giant remembers the wonder of being a child and understands how to convey that in a media-savvy age.
Hipper than a typical Disney cartoon and also somewhat less ambitious, The Iron Giant is basically an extremely well-done big-screen version of the sort of action-adventure cartoons that now abound on children's TV.
A cool, unique-looking animated feature (the Ike-era design elements make for great eye candy), director Brad Bird's tale of a small-town boy and his outer-space robot is hip and entertaining without pandering, or condescending, to the kiddie set.
The animation isn't as fancy as in, say, Disney's Tarzan, but the storytelling is more satisfying.
With its austere look and the absence of music, The Iron Giant is something new, arresting and quite wondrous in the way of animated movies.
New York Post:
The writing is vivid and bright, the voicing accomplished, and the storytelling emotionally satisfying.
This is enjoyable in part because of its flavorsome period ambience and its lively and satiric characters.
Wall Street Journal:
Lest all of this sound gravely symbolic, be assured that the film is, before anything else, deliciously funny and deeply affecting. And beautiful, oh so beautiful, as a work of coherent art.
It's worth repeating the old complaint that animation isn't treated seriously enough, if only to point out what a shame it would be for The Iron Giant, one of the year's best films, to go overlooked.
The Iron Giant is funny, warm, muscular and full of nuances that you can take home with you and talk about.
The Iron Giant is not only the best animated feature to be released this summer, it's the single best film to hit our screens so far this year.
Globe and Mail:
One of those rare films that will hold the attention of children in the 6 to 12 age range without insulting the intelligence of the adults who accompany them.
The Iron Giant's theme of fear of the unknown is craftily balanced against the power of innocent imagination.
This is not exactly standard children's fare, but kids (and their parents) should be smitten by its wit and wisdom.
Brad Bird fills the CinemaScope screen with wit and beauty in this modern fairy tale.
New York Daily News:
The animation is superb, the computer-animated monster cuts an awesome figure, and Hogarth is as amiable a hero as Huck Finn.
Lawrence Van Gelder,
New York Times:
Directed by Brad Bird, The Iron Giant is a smooth, skilled example of animated filmmaking.
The reason for The Iron Giant's success isn't hard to discern -- it has to do with the writing. The script is crisp, smartly-paced, intelligent, and emotionally satisfying. It recalls the strengths of E.T. without the weaknesses.
Imagine E.T. as a towering metal man, and you have some of the appeal of The Iron Giant, an enchanting animated feature about a boy who makes friends with a robot from outer space.
Mary Elizabeth Williams,
The metal-machine sci-fi cartoon delivers robot action, retro nostalgia and stony metaphysics.
Minneapolis Star Tribune:
While youngsters will enjoy the film on one level, it reaches out to adults on a completely different plane. They will see an allegory about power and politics and the danger of allowing either to run roughshod over humanity.
A smart live-and-let-live parable, full of glancing, acute observations on all kinds of big subjects...that you can talk about with the kids for a long time to come.
A visually appealing, well-crafted film, The Iron Giant is an unalloyed success that works on several levels!
Remarkably unassuming, genuinely playful, and superbly executed, The Iron Giant towers over the cartoon landscape.
The movie -- as beautifully drawn, as sleek and engaging as it is -- has the annoyance of incredible smugness. It is, one could say, blinded by the hindsight.