The Iron Giant
August 19, 2020
(The Channel Awesome logo is shown, followed by the NC title sequence.)
NC: Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to. You know, I never saw Brad Bird as a man who directed masterpieces.
(Suddenly, a giant thumbs-down icon falls down on top of him.)
Offscreen voice: How dare you!
(NC struggles against the icon and pushes it back up.)
NC: But that's part of what makes his work so special.
(Various images of restaurants and foods are shown alongside images of various mentioned movies.)
NC (vo): If you were to link films with, say, restaurants, Citizen Kane and Seventh Seal would be the classic five-star places, Into the Spider-Verse and Hereditary might be one of those off-collar experimental spots, fast food would be... (Films like Happy Gilmore, Rampage, and Holmes and Watson are all shown with different fast food logos.) ...guess it depends on the chain...and Brad Bird films would be those Ma and Pa restaurants. They're not creating anything new, but they're taking something that already gives us joy and adding their own unique touches to it. (An image of The Incredibles is shown with images of various movies and shows that used that concept.) Think about it. A superhero family, we've seen that. (An image of Ratatouille is shown with images of various movies and shows that used that concept.) An unconventional chef, that's been done. (A poster of Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol is shown.) Mission: Impossible is clearly based on the 60s show, Get Smart. (A poster for this about-to-be-reviewed movie is shown.) And naturally, a friendly creature from space is found by a child who wants to hide it from a big bad organization.
NC: Yes. (The poster for Mac and Me is shown.) Best comeback from a director ever...you know I'm talking about Iron Giant.
(The title of the movie is shown, before we are shown various clips.)
NC (vo): Though a financial disappointment when it first came out, Iron Giant has grown a massive following since its premiere in 1999, resulting in merchandise, TV marathons, even appearances in other movies. (An image of the Iron Giant's appearance in Ready Player One is shown.) It's said by many to be Brad Bird's magnum opus, and to some extent, I do agree. It is incredibly charming, clever, and heartwarming. But from a storytelling perspective, it's not doing anything that groundbreaking. In fact, you could argue this is one of the most overdone kids' films cliches. (Images of various movies that have a plot involving a child befriending a creature not from Earth are shown, then images of How to Train Your Dragon, Kung Fu Panda, and Paddington are shown.) With that said, it falls into a category of other great films that use familiar stories, but tell them in such a way that they feel brand new. So what is it about Iron Giant that clicked with people just enough to overlook the little faults that it had?
NC: Well, let's go back in time to the '90s so we can go back in time to the '50s. This is Iron Giant.
(The film starts with a mysterious object falling towards Earth, where in the coast of Maine, a sailor by the name of Earl Stutz is sailing through raging seas on a boat.)
NC (vo): The film begins with a flaming ball from space landing off the coast of Maine.
(Upon saying the word "Maine", NC is about to take a shot of alcohol, until a caption that says "Not a Stephen King Movie" is shown, stopping him.)
NC: Oh, thank God. Last time I played that Drinking Game, I ended up at Kingdom Hospital, and they were weird there.
NC (vo): A sailor, played by M. Emmett Walsh, thinks he sees a lighthouse, but the lighthouse sees him.
(The sailor sails towards what he thinks is a lighthouse, but is actually a giant metal robotic figure. The boat crashes into the figure, sending the sailor out of the cabin and causing him to take a good look at the giant figure in front of him.)
Bender (dubbed over the scene): Bite my colossal metal ass!
(The sailor is washed away by a wave, but he survives and makes it to shore. The next day, at a town called Rockwell, a young boy named Hogarth Hughes goes to a diner to see his mother Annie, who is working as a waitress.)
NC (vo): The sailor washes on to shore, and we cut to the next day, where we see a little boy named Hogarth, played by Eli Marienthal, visit his mom Annie, played by Jennifer Aniston, at a diner where she works.
Hogarth: Guess what I found.
Annie: Hogarth, we've been through this before. No pets.
NC: (as Annie) I told you. No pets unless they're over two-stories and recyclable. I know they're weird conditions, but they're my conditions.
Annie: Do you remember the raccoon, Hogarth? (shudders) I remember the raccoon.
NC: Don't worry. He got his in another Bird production. (A scene from Incredibles 2, showing a raccoon being attacked by Jack-Jack, is shown.)
(Hogarth attempts to show a squirrel to Annie, but it gets loose and runs into the pants of a beatnik artist named Dean McCoppin.)
NC (vo): His new pet is a squirrel that escaped, and goes up the pant leg of a customer named Dean, played by Harry Connick Jr..
Annie: (to Dean) Is my son bothering you?
Dean: (feels the squirrel in his legs and starts making uncomfortable faces) Yes...no! Call me Dean.
NC: Don't worry. She's used to this behavior when people ask about a Friends reunion.
(Dean eventually gets up and sets the squirrel loose from his pants.)
NC (vo): He interrupts talking to the little boy to take the squirrel out of his pants...
NC: (looking at the movie's Blu-Ray cover) What was this rated?
NC (vo): ...and it runs amok throughout the diner.
(The squirrel runs through the diner, causing many customers to react in several ways. One man spits out coffee straight onto a woman's face.)
NC: I don't know if there's a poll for the best spit take...
(The "spit take" moment is shown again.)
NC (vo): ...but that would definitely be in the Top 3.
(After the chaos, Annie looks at Dean, who smiles nervously.)
Dean: Check, please.
(That night, at home, Hogarth is shown watching a horror movie in the living room.)
NC (vo): This is one of those movies that thrives on little touches. Most kids in film just say "hello" when they're answering the phone, but Hogarth has the traditional greeting most parents teach their kids, complete with disinterest.
(Two moments of Hogarth answering the phone in a bored manner are shown.)
Hogarth: Hello, this is Hogarth Hughes speaking. Who's calling, please? Hello, this is Hogarth Hughes speaking. Who's calling, please?
(Annie is shown calling Hogarth while still at the diner.)
NC (vo): You'll also notice a waitress opens the door on Annie.
(While Annie is talking on the phone, a waitress passes by, pushing the diner door in front of Annie's face as she does so.)
Annie: Thank you.
NC (vo): If you've worked at a restaurant, you know it doesn't matter if she cured polio. That's your bitch of the day. (The waitress is shown in close-up and red-colored with the caption, "Bitch of the day".) Even the corny movie Hogarth watches has a cheesy feel of the time period. You could easily see this on Mystery Science Theater.
Horror movie man: (on TV, speaking blandly) Darn. I seem to have left my keys in the lab.
NC: Or in the L. Breen production.
(The TV suddenly goes static, forcing Hogarth to go outside, only to find that the antenna has been ripped off, and a huge mess has occurred in the backyard of the house.)
NC (vo): Something messes with the reception, though, and everything else around the house, so Hogarth gears up to search for what it could be.
(Hogarth, searching in the forest while carrying a toy gun, looks up in wonderment to see the shape of a giant figure that had cut through the trees.)
NC: (sighs) Minus two points for not making a teaser poster out of that! (A specially-made movie poster that includes that shot is shown.)
(At an electric substation, Hogarth encounters the figure, a 50-foot tall alien robot, later known as the Iron Giant.)
NC (vo): He finds the Iron Giant, making this a very short movie...
(Hogarth runs away from the Giant as it stomps toward him. An added effect of blood splattering is inserted into the scene, making it look like the Giant crushed Hogarth. A sound clip from Alien is heard.)
Joan Lambert (vo): Oh, God!
NC (vo): No, he's spared, but our giant friend gets zapped when he's trying to eat some metal. (As the Giant is electrocuted, Hogarth makes a choice and saves the Giant by turning off the electric substation) Hogarth saves him by turning off the power...you know, those giant on/off switches that are easy to access. How has a power outage not happened here earlier?...causing the Giant to pass out.
(As Hogarth looks at the Giant's unconscious face, the Giant opens its eyes and regains consciousness, causing Hogarth to scream and run away as the Giant rises up.)
NC: (as Hogarth) Somehow, this is still less scary than the snowman that came to life last winter. (An image from Jack Frost is shown.)
(After running away, Hogarth comes across Annie, who had been searching for him.)
NC (vo): The Giant disappears, and he stumbles across his mother searching for him.
Hogarth: It's a robot! No, really, it is!
Annie: Stop it! Just...just stop.
NC (vo): I'm always impressed how Aniston can take what's often a very thankless role and give it more dimension than what's usually written. Annie's not the most complex character, but every line delivery sucks you in to whatever emotion she's going through.
Annie: I'm not... (sighs) I'm not in the mood.
NC (vo): Even the confusion in how she says "okay" is so believable, it gets a laugh.
(We briefly cut to a later scene in the movie, showing Hogarth and Annie having dinner.)
Hogarth: (speaking quickly) Forgot to wash my hands. (runs off)
Annie: Well, I... (shrugs) Okay.
NC: Remember when I was met with a shrug instead of a "You better!"?
(The next day, Hogarth goes to his school, where his class watches a short film titled "Atomic Holocaust".)
NC (vo): We may have our differences, but there's some things we can all agree on. The "Duck and Cover" short is the funniest part of the movie.
Singers: Time to duck and cover. The bomb's a-coming down. Duck and cover.
(The short shows a smiling boy hiding underneath a table while a missile falls down on the table and blows up. The boy is unharmed, as is the table, but the whole building is destroyed with the boy and the table sitting on a tall cliff in the middle of a large crater. NC is shown with his face down on the table while laughing.)
NC: Oh, my God! That's so good!
(Meanwhile, the sailor is shown speaking with Dean about his encounter with the Giant, while a government agent named Kent Mansley is shown arriving at Rockwell to investigate last night's events at the substation.)
NC (vo): The sailor calls the government about the metal giant he saw, so they send in Kent Mansley, played by, I'm just gonna say it, the greatest typecast bully in cinema history: Christopher McDonald.
(We are shown a later scene of Kent Mansley getting inside a car.)
Mansley: Hogarth? (Chuckles) What an embarrassing name. Might as well call him "Zeppo" or something.
(Footage of Christopher McDonald's characters from Happy Gilmore and Lemonade Mouth are shown.)
NC (vo): He's one of those actors who always plays the same horribly-written antagonist, yet somehow always makes it funny.
(A clip from Happy Gilmore is shown.)
Shooter McGavin: (to Happy) I eat pieces of shit like you for breakfast. (chuckles and begins to walk away)
Happy Gilmore: You eat pieces of shit for breakfast?
(Shooter turns to look at Happy, stunned and confused.)
Shooter: ...No. (Tries to say something, but ultimately walks away, feeling embarrassed.)
(Clips focusing on Mansley are shown.)
NC (vo): He's the exact same here. Not that Mansley is badly written. He's got a few funny scenes, and, I swear to God, this needs to be a T-shirt. (A poster of Mansley with the caption "I don't feel safe...do you?" is shown.) But McDonald's performance elevates it to a whole new level of hilarity.
(Another clip from Happy Gilmore is shown.)
Shooter: Good for Happy Gilmo-- (sees that the person behind him is a tough guy, stunning him) Oh, my God!
(Back to Iron Giant, showing Mansley getting into his car.)
Mansley: Probably the homecoming queen... (Sees his car has been partially bitten, causing him to leap out in shock.) Oh, my God!
NC (vo): I also like he isn't just a kook that no one believes, like he talks about aliens or Bigfoot all the time or something. He has to be convinced like everyone else, and thankfully, he's convinced very early, making it funnier when no one believes him as he knows, too, how totally ridiculous it sounds.
(We cut to a later scene showing Mansley talking to the military leader, General Rogard, on the phone. Mansley places his hand on his face, looking embarrassed as he says what he's trying to find.)
Mansley: A giant metal monster. (The General is heard laughing, as Mansley looks at an oven mitt with a silly face.)
NC (vo): He does have some sense, he's just not always that kind or bright in utilizing it.
(Another later scene is shown, showing Mansley speaking with Hogarth at an ice cream store.)
Mansley: I don't feel safe, Hogarth. Do you? I'm talking about your gol-darned security, Hogarth! While you're snoozing in your little jammies, we're wide awake and worried.
NC: That's a great impression of modern journalism.
(After school, Hogarth returns to the forest, where he eventually encounters the Giant, who acts docile and curious toward Hogarth, down to sitting on the ground exactly like Hogarth.)
NC (vo): Hogarth returns to the woods to find the Giant, but it looks like the Giant finds him.
Hogarth: Do you talk? "Blah-blah-blah"? Like that? (The Giant attempts to talk, but metal grinding sounds are heard instead.) You get the idea, anyway.
NC: Why, this is so innocent, it must have a dog head turn.
(The Giant turns his head, as NC is heard making dog noises.)
Hogarth: Don't you remember anything? (The Giant feels his head, which has a bump on it) Maybe it's that bump on your head.
NC (vo): Of course. Robot amnesia works the same as human amnesia. I'll tell you, if he acts like James Franco in his second childhood, I am all in.
Giant: (holding a rock and a tree while trying to speak by naming the objects he's holding) Rock. Tree.
Hogarth: That's right!
Harry Osborn (from Spider-Man 3; dubbed over the Giant): You know, this is embarrassing, but I once wrote you a play in high school.
NC (vo): The Giant, voiced by Vin Diesel's easiest paycheck since "I am Groot", acts like a lost child who only trusts Hogarth as he saved his life.
Hogarth: (looking excited) My own giant robot. I am now the luckiest kid in America!
NC: (as Hogarth) It's like those Transformers movies, minus the horniness and racism! Surprising as this is the '50s.
(Hogarth attempts to head for home, but the Giant begins to follow him.)
Hogarth: No, no! Me go. You stay. No following.
NC: Every guest at a track convention.
(The Giant notices some train tracks and attempts to eat them, just as the train begins to arrive.)
NC (vo): He starts eating the tracks, when, of course, a train starts making its way towards them.
Hogarth: This one here, that one there. (the Giant attempts to put the train tracks back together) Okay, good enough! Let's go!
NC: (chuckles) He was gonna let that train derail. (shows the train tracks only partially completed) It's not a Brad Bird film without a body count. (An image of The Incredibles, showing the scene of Mr. Incredible discovering the Omnidroid killing all Supers, is shown.)
(The Giant fixes the train tracks just as the train hits him, causing him to fall to pieces. However, he is able to use an ability to self-repair to fix himself up as he hides out at Hogarth's shed.)
NC (vo): The Giant is hit, but he puts himself back together as his missing limbs hone in on the rest of him.
Hogarth: (amazed at the Giant's ability) Wow. You can fix yourself?
NC (vo; at the Giant): It took years of Buddhist mediation...
Hogarth: (notices Annie's car approaching) Oh, Mom's home.
NC (vo; at the Giant): Oh, okay.
Hogarth: Just wait here, okay? I'll be back.
(Mansley is shown speaking with two train operators of the crashed train, before he heads over to Hogarth's house, where he and Annie are about to have dinner.)
NC (vo): Mansley talks to the train engineers, voiced by animation in-jokes... (the poster of Frank and Ollie is shown) ...and goes to Hogarth's house to use the phone.
Annie: Would you say grace, please?
NC (vo): Hogarth's in trouble, though, when he finds the Giant give a hand in the kitchen.
NC: I was this close to saying that joke was too stupid. No regrets.
(Hogarth notices the Giant's moving hand in the kitchen, and attempts to order it out while trying to distract Annie with saying grace)
Hogarth: ...has put in front of us and...stop! (the hand hears that word)
NC (vo): Thank God robot hands are equipped with human hearing.
Hogarth: ...the Devil. (to the hand) Get out of here! (to Annie) ...Satan?
NC: (as Annie) Have you been watching Sean Hannity again?
(Hogarth attempts to get the Giant's hand out of the house without Annie noticing, and attempts to distract her by causing a mess in the kitchen, but causes an even bigger mess than he intended.)
NC (vo): Everything about this scene is comic gold. The hand spontaneously moving like a dog, Hogarth's reaction to creating a diversion by causing too much damage, and, of course, Hogarth's meeting of Mansley.
(Hogarth runs to the front door, only to find Mansley there.)
Mansley: Hey, there, scout. Kent Mansley. I work for the government... (Hogarth immediately shuts the door)
NC: Ah, back when...no, that's always been a typical response.
NC (vo): Care to see one of the reasons this movie's PG?
Mansley: (notices Annie and smiles) Well, hello, there. (the scene is replayed in slow-motion)
NC: (as Mansley) Can I boob your phone? I mean, can I abuse my bone? I mean, uh...
(We cut to a clip of Liar Liar, showing Fletcher Reede walking out of the elevator after being punched by a woman he unintentionally insulted. Back to the movie, showing Mansley calling General Rogard on the phone.)
NC (vo): He tries to get General Rogard, played by John Mahoney, to investigate the Giant, but naturally, he doesn't believe him.
General Rogard: If you told me you'd found, say, a giant footprint, I might send over an expert. Hell, you get me a photograph of this thing and I could probably get some troops over there.
NC (vo; as Rogard): Hell, if you get a Pete Townshed musical about the whole thing, I'll come out there myself.
NC: (speaks normally) That might take a little research for somebody, but you'll get it.
(Mansley is about to leave, until he notices Hogarth's name on the destroyed toy gun he found earlier and comes back.)
NC (vo): He puts together that Hogarth saw the Giant and questions him.
Mansley: See anything unusual, Hogarth?
Hogarth: Gotta use the bathroom. (runs off)
NC: (as Annie) Why does my cooking always result in that reaction? This is probably what killed his father.
(Hogarth runs into the bathroom to push the Giant's hand out of the house, then pulls down his pants and sits on the toilet just as Annie and Mansley burst in.)
NC (vo): The hand is in the bathroom, just before this awkwardness.
Hogarth: Mom! (Annie recoils in shock) A little privacy?!
Annie: Sorry! (shuts the door, hitting Mansley's head as she does so)
NC (vo; as Mansley): Ew. I just got a sneak peek of Elsagate.
(Mansley eventually leaves, and Hogarth returns to the shed to see the Giant and entertain him with some comic books, including one of Superman.)
NC (vo): Mansley leaves, and Hogarth brings the Giant his equivalent of bedtime stories.
Hogarth: Superman. Sure, he's famous now, but he started off just like you.
NC: Oh, yeah. I guess I can add that to the list of films that did this already. (the poster for Superman is shown)
(The Giant begins to get hungry, so Hogarth takes him on a night outing, eventually arriving at a scrapyard.)
NC (vo): The Giant gets hungry, so Hogarth takes him to a junkyard where he can get some metal.
Hogarth: All you can eat.
(The eager Giant begins scarfing down on some scrap.)
NC (vo): Yeah, he's just like Superman. Well, Superman didn't eat his own kind like a cannibal! Maybe in the Snyder cut. (The poster for the upcoming Snyder cut of Justice League is shown.)
(The noise causes the scrapyard's owner to come out, who turns out to be Dean.)
Dean: All right, who's out there?
NC (vo): It turns out Dean owns the junkyard, so Hogarth distracts him while the Giant continues to eat.
(Hogarth looks inside Dean's cabin, which is filled with art projects made out of scrap.)
Dean: Once I turn it into art, I can't give it away. What am I? A junkman who sells art, or an artist who sells junk?
NC: The verdict is still out on some directors. (Images of Michael Bay, George Lucas, Uwe Boll, and Doug Walker are shown.)
(Dean eventually discovers the Giant outside, but Hogarth persuades him to let him stay.)
NC (vo): Dean hears something outside and discovers the Giant, but Hogarth convinces him that they're friends and that it's best if he stays there for the time being. (The next morning, Hogarth discovers that Annie had rented a room for Mansley to stay in, and Hogarth soon goes to an ice cream store with Mansley.) Back at home, Mansley rents out the extra room at the house so he can interrogate Hogarth further.
Mansley: You think this metal man is fun. But who built it? The Russians, the Chinese, the Martians, Canadians? I don't care!
NC: Canadians. You're always America's punchline, because America's the rest of the world's punchline.
(Mansley's interrogation comes to an abrupt end when he bolts for the toilet, having eaten an ice cream that was spiked with laxative by Hogarth earlier.)
NC (vo): Hogarth slips him a laxative, because this is still a '90s movie and that was the comedic answer to everything... (images of laxative scenes from Dumb and Dumber, and American Pie are shown) ...and he escapes.
(Hogarth goes back to the junkyard to see the Giant and Dean bonding with each other over making arts and crafts out of scrap, and the three of them spend a day hanging out with each other, with the Giant spinning Hogarth around on a car, and Hogarth and the Giant taking a swim at a lake.)
NC (vo): He gets to the Giant, and they...just kind of play for the next few scenes. Yeah, this is where the writing could possibly be a little better. The scenes where they play are funny and entertaining, but they don't really further that much. I know it strengthens the connection between these characters, I don't want to see them cut, but somehow, they could integrate their way into the story a bit stronger. I don't know. Wouldn't they be questioning him more or communicating with him more? I get a little kid acting this way, but a grown man discovering an alien and just having a picnic the next day seems a little odd. But like I said before, these are minor issues, and are often followed by stronger scenes.
(One of those "stronger scenes" is shown, showing Hogarth and the Giant meeting a deer in the forest, only to immediately witness the deer's death at the hands of two hunters.)
Hogarth: Oh, no.
(The Giant sadly strokes his finger at the deer's body.)
NC (vo): To be fair, that deer didn't notice a hundred-ton robot till he was a few feet away. A hunter would've gotten him relatively soon.
Giant: (notices the gun the hunters left behind) Gun?
Hogarth: Yes. Guns kill.
Giant: Guns kill.
NC: (as Hogarth) That's why you'll never see me with one of those... (Footage of Hogarth's earlier scene of him carrying a toy gun is shown.) Well, I'm a hypocrite.
(We go to a commercial. When we come back, we see the Giant sitting sadly at the junkyard, as Hogarth attempts to comfort him.)
NC (vo): Hogarth has a talk with the Giant about what death is and whether or not he can die. You know, kid stuff!
Hogarth: You're made of metal, but you have feelings, and you think about things. And that means...you have a soul.
NC: Christ, you're making me feel for all my electronics! (brings out his cell phone)
Cell Phone (voiced by Doug): Do you want to play a game?
NC: What is it you want to do?!
Cell Phone: Nobody's ever asked me that before. I suppose die.
(The cell phone immediately explodes, stunning NC.)
NC: That went dark.
(Back at home, Hogarth is confronted by Mansley, who had discovered a photo of Hogarth with the Giant.)
NC (vo): Mansley discovers a picture Hogarth took with the Giant, calls the General, and demands Hogarth tells him where to find him.
Mansley: [You can't protect him, Hogarth, any more than you can]...protect your mother.
Hogarth: My mom?
Mansley: In fact, we can make it so difficult that it would be irresponsible for us to leave you in her care.
(Footage of Hogarth's earlier misadventure involving the electric substation and his encounters with the Giant is shown.)
NC (vo; as Mansley): Letting you play the power station, almost getting hit by trains, messing with dangerous weaponized machines.
NC: (speaks normally) You know, he might have a point.
(Hogarth eventually tells Mansley where the Giant is, and later that night, Hogarth is back in his bedroom with the window closed - and nailed down - and Mansley watching him from his room.)
NC (vo): Hogarth tells Mansley he's at the junkyard, and Mansley keeps him in his room until the Army arrives.
(Hogarth, staring at Mansley, puts on his Army helmet and folds his arms.)
NC: You did that like it's a thing kids do.
(The next morning, Mansley awakes to find Hogarth having already gotten out of his bed a little while ago, just as the Army, led by General Rogard, arrives to take them and Annie to Dean's junkyard, where Dean guides them to show where the Giant is.)
NC (vo): Mansley falls asleep, though, giving Hogarth time to warn Dean.
(Mansley and the Army head into the cabin, discovering the Giant pretending to be one of Dean's art pieces, much to Mansley's shock.)
Dean: Anyway, I haven't sold him yet, so if you really want him... (Chuckles)
NC: Not gonna lie. I'm kind of shocked nobody's made a collector's model over that. (An image of an Iron Giant toy is shown alongside the shot of the Giant pretending to be an art piece.)
NC (vo): "Duck and Cover" is the funniest scene, but this is a close second.
(A grinning Hogarth watches as from outside the cabin, Rogard gives a loud telling off to Mansley for the apparent false alarm.)
Rogard: YOU REALIZE HOW MUCH HARDWARE I BROUGHT OUT HERE?! YOU JUST BLEW MILLIONS OF UNCLE SAM'S DOLLARS OUT OF YOUR BUTT!!
(After Mansley and the Army leave, the Giant comes out of the cabin and begins to play with Hogarth.)
NC (vo): The military heads back, and, once again, they start playing.
Hogarth: (holding a toy laser gun) Only one creature could create so much destruction.
(Hogarth fires his toy gun at the Giant, but accidentally activates a defense mechanism in the Giant, causing the Giant to shoot at Hogarth. Dean notices this and saves Hogarth from the blast, while yelling at the Giant for nearly killing Hogarth.)
NC (vo): As if that wasn't out of nowhere, the Giant sees Hogarth's gun as a threat, and Dean does a complete 180 on him.
Hogarth: He's our friend.
Dean: He's a piece of hardware, Hogarth. He's a weapon, a big gun that walks!
NC (vo): I know the Giant shot at the kid, but there's not even a look of shock on his face, like he always knew this could happen, despite him not giving any indication. (mimics Dean) Yeah, sure, he can stay here. Can't see any problems. Yeah, sure, I'll hide him. Good thing you notified me about...HE'S A MONSTER!
Dean: Get back!
NC: But the funny thing is, there's actually a deleted scene that accounts for this.
(The deleted scene is shown, along with a caption that says, "You can see this on the extended version". The scene shows the Giant dreaming about his original motive as a deadly weapon; his dream is caught on a TV which Dean notices.)
NC (vo): The Giant dreams about where he came from and destroying the Earth, while he projects his visions on the TV, with Dean catching the tail end of it. Had they kept that scene in, this moment would've made a lot more sense. But in the original, it's pretty sporadic.
Dean: (after a shocked Giant says he's not a gun) You almost did that to Hogarth!
(The Giant notices the laser hole on the bus and realizes what he had nearly done.)
Giant: No. (runs off in complete sadness)
NC (vo; as the Giant): You guys don't play nice. I'm telling my mom! She's a Megazord!
(Seconds after the Giant leaves with Hogarth running after him, Dean notices Hogarth's toy gun on the ground, and quickly realizes what had happened.)
Dean: He reacted to the gun. (gets on his motorcycle and approaches Hogarth) You're not gonna get there fast enough on foot.
NC (vo; as Dean): Hey, I changed my mind again. Maybe we can see a flank and I can give you all five of my opinions on it. Oh, who am I kidding? That's kind of what I do.
(At Rockwell, two boys on a roof notice the Giant walking nearby.)
Boy #1: Give me the binoculars!
Boy #2: What?
Boy #1: (seeing the Giant through the binoculars) It's big. It's walking away.
(The boys accidentally fall from the roof, but the Giant quickly arrives and catches them as they fall, revealing himself to the townspeople in the process.)
NC (vo): The Giant walks towards town, where two kids fall, and he saves them just in time.
(The Giant brings the boys back to their father.)
Boys: Dad! Daddy!
NC (vo; as a boy): It's okay. The giant Brad Bird ears we all have would've cushioned our fall.
(Nearby, Mansley sees the Giant in the town and stops Rogard and the Army from leaving, sending them to the town to attack the Giant, just as the Giant reunited with Hogarth and proclaimed to him and the citizens of Rockwell that he is not a gun.)
NC (vo): The Army sees the Giant and naturally attacks. (While fleeing the Army with Hogarth in his hands and resisting the urge to fight back, the Giant falls from a cliff, but in the process, the Giant's flight system is activated, allowing him to fly.) The Giant figures out he can fly, though.
Hogarth: Try pointing your arms straight ahead, like Superman!
(The Giant flies in a superhero pose, then attempts to avoid the attacking Army planes, while still resisting the urge to fight back.)
NC (vo; as Hogarth): Awesome! (the poster for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is shown) Now sacrifice yourself, even though we know you're gonna come back later! But, you know, do it good.
(A blast from a tank hits the Giant, causing him to fall and crash into the ground.)
NC (vo): He's shot down, though, believing that Hogarth didn't survive the fall.
(The Giant notices an unconscious Hogarth, and when Hogarth doesn't wake up from the Giant stroking him, the Giant assumes the worst and begins whimpering in complete grief.)
NC (vo; as the Giant, in a high voice): He didn't even live long enough to do that great spoon scene from Country Bears. (That mentioned scene from The Country Bears is shown.)
(The Army approaches the Giant and begins shooting at him, and the Giant, in complete grief, completely gives into his defense mechanism and turns into a full-blown war machine, battling against the retreating Army and rampaging around the town.)
NC (vo): The Giant's memory returns and he remembers his original mission...FUCK 'EM UP!!
Mansley: (as the Giant chases him and Rogard) Faster, faster, faster!
(Dean and Annie recover Hogarth as battleships and the USS Nautilus join the battle.)
NC (vo): Hogarth, of course, is still alive, and the Army figures they can wipe out one killer machine with another killer machine.
Rogard: We've hit it with everything we've got!
Mansley: Not everything, General. The bomb. (Rogard takes his glasses off in shock at that idea.)
NC: (as Rogard) Oh, sorry. I didn't hear you. I had my glasses on. Could you say again?
Mansley: The bomb.
(NC mimics Rogard taking his glasses off in shock. Hogarth, Dean, and Annie are stopped by several soldiers.)
Soldier: We have to evacuate the area!
Dean: What are you talking about? We got to get this boy to a hospital.
Soldier: What boy?
(Dean notices that Hogarth has ran off to face the Giant, who is about to destroy the battleship.)
NC (vo): That's when it hit them. Hogarth had been dead for 10 years...nah, I'm just kidding. He's over there.
Hogarth: (to the Giant, who is about to fire his gun on him, not recognizing him) No, wait! It's me! Hogarth! Remember?
NC: Anyone else see that?
(A close-up is shown of the Giant's right hand holding a gun, which, from that shot, looks like something else.)
NC (vo): Anyone else? No?
NC: Okay, maybe I just wanted a Last Airbender penis hair moment. I want to notice one!
(The Giant eventually sees that Hogarth is alive and immediately deactivates his weaponry out of complete shock. Dean clarifies the whole situation to Rogard, who orders his men to stand down, but Mansley, blinded by his desire to eliminate the Giant, orders the USS Nautilus to launch the missile at the Giant anyway.)
NC (vo): Hogarth brings him back to his senses, but Mansley orders the missile to attack the Giant.
Rogard: Where's the Giant, Mansley?!
(Mansley notices the Giant right behind him, and groans, realizing he had just caused the missile to fire at the whole town.)
NC: (smiling) Have I mentioned this was a great villain yet?
NC (vo): He shouts the battle cry of...let's be honest, most politicians...
Mansley: (upon realizing that everyone will die "for their country") Screw our country! I wanna live!
(He attempts to escape on a truck, but the Giant stops him, allowing the soldiers to arrest Mansley for his actions.)
NC (vo): ...but the Giant stops him and realizes what he has to do.
(Upon learning the whole situation, the Giant decides to make his ultimate choice and kneels down to Hogarth, speaking softly to him.)
Giant: You stay. I go. No following.
(A clip of Animaniacs is shown, showing Skippy Squirrel crying over the "Bumbie" movie, along with a caption that says, "Actual footage of children watching movie". The Giant then flies off to intercept the missile, while remembering Hogarth's earlier words to him, "You are what you choose to be", and says "Superman", as he hits the missile, causing it to explode, saving the town, but seemingly at the cost of the Giant's life.)
NC (vo): He flies into the air, destroying the bomb and himself...which is kind of redundant when you think about it.
(The film's box office gross is shown, along with a movie clip of an old man going "Ha!". Months pass, and the town has created a statue of the Giant in his honor, while Dean and Annie begin dating.)
NC (vo): A statue is made in his honor, Dean and Annie become a couple, as...they talked once and a half, and Hogarth is given the only piece they found of the Giant.
Dean: (giving Hogarth a package from General Rogard) He said it was the only part recovered. (Hogarth holds one of the Giant's screws.) He thought you should have it.
NC: (as Dean) They say it was his kidney stone. (beat) Wash your hands before eating.
(That night, in his bedroom, Hogarth discovers the screw moving on its own, and smiles, remembering the Giant's ability to self-repair, and opens the window, allowing the screw to leave.)
NC (vo): In one of the most perfect endings a film could have, the piece taps at the window, wanting to connect to the rest of the Giant. He...even apparently took the box with him in one frame.
Hogarth: See you later.
(The screw joins many other parts as they converge on the Giant's head on the Langjökull Glacier in Iceland.)
NC (vo): The Giant slowly but literally pulls himself together to fly another day.
(The Giant's head awakens and smiles, ending the film. We cut to another clip from Animaniacs, showing Skippy Squirrel crying over another film, "Old Yellow", as Slappy Squirrel looks in annoyance.)
Slappy Squirrel: (to the camera) Fade out, already! We got the joke.
NC: And that was The Iron Giant. It's familiar, but what's wrong with that?
(Footage of the film plays one more time as NC gives his closing thought.)
NC (vo): I'm glad it finally got the audience it deserves, as overtime, it's become a favorite for many families. The animation is gorgeous, the comedy is funny, the characters are super-charming, and the heartfelt moments feel genuine rather than forced. In a time where hand-drawn films are sadly not a thing anymore, I'm glad this one continued to grow a crowd over the years. Though I guess I can't say it's entirely perfect, it becomes more and more likeable with every viewing. And that doesn't make it perfect, but it does make it a classic.
NC: I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to. (gets up and leaves)
Channel Awesome Tagline: Mansley: Probably the homecoming queen...oh, my God!
(The credits roll)