Before he went on to helm such animated features as THE INCREDIBLES and RATATOUILLE, Brad Bird made his stunning directorial debut in 1999 with THE IRON GIANT, adapted from British Poet Laureate Ted Hughes‘ science fiction fairy tale, ‘The Iron Man.’ This charming, gorgeously illustrated, and moving film was very well-received critically upon release but did poorly at the box office yet managed to find a devoted audience via home video; it is now considered by many to be something of a modern classic. As part of the film’s 20th Anniversary, the Rio Theatre will be screening the remastered and enhanced version, with two all-new scenes.
The film takes place in October of 1957, when America had plenty to be worried about. Rock ’n’ roll. Television. The bomb. And on the fourth day of that month, the Soviets successfully launched the first manmade satellite, Sputnik, into orbit. The space race had officially begun. The Cold War just got colder. People were unsure about their neighbors, even questioning their friends.
In the small town of Rockwell, Maine, Annie Hughes (voice of Jennifer Aniston) is just worried about putting supper on the table for herself and her nine-year-old son, Hogarth (voice of Eli Marienthal). A single mother holding down a job at the local diner, Annie has her hands full with Hogarth—headstrong and imaginative, always on the lookout for the latest attempted takeover by mutant aliens or subversive invaders. So when a local fisherman comes into the diner with a tall tale about a huge metal man falling into the sea, the only one to pay him much attention is Hogarth, who sets out exploring to find the enormous robot. What he does find is a 50-foot giant with an insatiable appetite for metal and a childlike curiosity about its new world.
Rumors of everything from an alien invasion to a Russian secret weapon bent on destroying Rockwell soon spread through the small town, prompting the arrival of government agent Kent Mansley (voiced by Christopher McDonald). Keeping one step ahead of Mansley, Hogarth convinces his beatnik friend Dean (voiced by Harry Connick, Jr.) to hide the Iron Giant (voiced by Vin Diesel) in Dean’s junkyard. But it isn’t long before the rumors turn into paranoia—the situation escalates and the possible destruction of Rockwell looms. Hogarth turns to his friend, the Iron Giant, who ultimately finds its humanity by unselfishly saving the town’s residents from their own fears and prejudices.
“The Iron Giant’s theme of fear of the unknown is craftily balanced against the power of innocent imagination.” (LA Weekly)
“This is, full stop, one of the best animated movies of all time; an enduring classic.” (The Ringer)
“The Iron Giant should have been immediately recognized as a near-perfect, classical expression of imagination, combining childlike wonder and adult sophistication.” (New York Press)
“It doesn’t try to hide its own cleverness, it’s funny and pulls in references from all over the place, from ‘Bambi’ to ‘Frankenstein’.” (The Tyee)
Monday, August 5
Doors 3:45 pm | Movie 4:15 pm *Start time subject to change
Tickets $10.50 advance HERE $12.50 at the door
Kids pricing in Effect!
Kids 13 and Under $6.50 advance HERE | $8.50 at the door
*Minors welcome in the balcony! Must be 19+ w/ID for bar service and main floor seating.
**Rio Theatre Groupons and passes OK. Please redeem at the door.
THE IRON GIANT “Signature Edition” (Brad Bird, 1999 / 86 mins / PG) | A boy makes friend with a robot from outer space, but the army are not happy with a robot in the city.