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Hogarth Hughes (born March 18, 1948 in Rockwell, Maine) is the main protagonist of the 1999 animated science fiction film The Iron Giant, voiced by Eli Marienthal. He is an energetic boy who acts as The Iron Giant's friend and mentor, while trying to protect him from the authorities.
Official Warner Bros. WebsiteEdit
- A curious nine year-old with an active imagination, Hogarth truly is the "luckiest kid in America" after discovering the Iron Giant in his backyard. He quickly befriends the Giant, teaches him to speak and tries to satisfy his insatiable appetite for metal while hiding him from his mother, the townspeople and the government. Hogarth becomes best friend and unlikely guardian to the 50-foot Giant as he teaches him about heroes and what it truly means to be human. Hogarth himself learns something valuable in the process.
Growing up in 1957, in Rockwell, Maine, Hogarth is a fairly average kid; he is talkative, curious, intelligent, funny, sarcastic, friendly, quirky, sassy, and fun. Hogarth is also very smart for his age. Growing up alone with his widowed mother, Hogarth spends much of his time exploring the woods and trying to find "pets" that he can be friends with, since he tends to be an outcast in school for his intelligence and being a grade higher than everyone else. Hogarth's mother had moved him up a grade because of his current grade at the time being too easy and simple for him and not challenging enough for him (said by his mother). She was doing her best for her son and had (and still does) support (supported) him even though he constantly gets bullied for being moved up a grade.
At nine years old, Hogarth has already moved up a grade and is bullied by the older kids at school as a result. Hogarth shows a surprising amount of maturity and intellect, as he already has a deep understanding of people, likely coming from losing his father to war. He teaches the child-like Iron Giant humanity and the concept of an inner soul, essentially teaching the Giant right from wrong and that he has either the potential for evil destruction and chaos, or the potential for peace, friendship, rebuilding, and to help those in need. In a sense, it is his own personality that shapes the person that the Iron Giant comes to be. Hogarth is also very confident with what he knows and he is the kind of person that will do what's right even if it means jeopardizing his own safety. One example of this is when the Giant becomes extremely dangerous, by mourning over Hogarth, and lets the technical part of his metal body take him over, forcing a defense program (from the metal suit), about to bring down the hostile force attacking him. Hogarth still approaches him, trying to bring him back to his senses and show the Iron Giant that he is still alive, risking his own well-being to save the people that were about to be the Giant's first kills and the Giant himself from doing something that is wrong and would lead him astray as the Iron Giant never wanted to hurt anyone.
Hogarth is also shown to be a fan of Superman, Mad Magazine, The Spirit, Atomo The Metal Menace, and some other comic books. He shows some of his comics to the Giant when trying to teach him right from wrong and to be good and fight evil. This shows Hogarth's personality, his curiousness, that he is talkative at times, and that he's very kind.
Hogarth is a young boy, whose over all appearance could be described as a handsome young man. As a child, he is relatively short in stature for his age and has auburn hair that he appears to part to his right side. He has light skin, dark blue eyes in contrast to his mother's green ones, and is quite lean compared to the other kids at his school. Throughout the movie, Hogarth's signature outfit is a scarlet jacket with a black collar and lower half, blue jeans that are rolled up at the ends, and Red and white P.F. Flyers.
Hogarth does wear a variety of clothes during the film, however. On the night the Giant eats his television antenna and attacks the power station, Hogarth puts on a large maroon flight jacket with lining similar to sherpa fur, dark green combat boots, a striped shirt, and a helmet with goggles. When Hogarth meets Kent Mansely the following night, he wears a white and red sweatshirt with a blue turtleneck underneath and a pair of All Star Red Converse. He also wears varying shirts during the course of the film as a normal person would. It is implied that Hogarth's helmet and flight jacket belonged to his father, a fighter pilot and were given to him, possibly after his father had died or before his father left to the war.
Role in the FilmEdit
Sometime in the fall of 1957, following the launch of Sputnik, a harsh hurricane on the shores of Rockwell, Maine finally ends, revealing a beautiful bright morning in the small coastal town. While the residents of Rockwell go about their business, down the middle of the hilly streets comes Hogarth on his bicycle. Ringing the bike's bell lightly as he heads down the hillside, the boy travels swiftly with a small green shoebox with holes punched in its sides mounted on the back of the bike. Passing a few shops, Hogarth quickly comes to a stop at a local diner called the Chat'n Chew.
Removing the shoe box and heading inside the crowded and loud restaurant, Hogarth looks around, before being quickly called and waived to the counter by his mother, Annie, who works as a waitress at the restaurant. Delighted to see his mother, Hogarth begins to tell her that he's found something, but she already knows from his words that he means an animal, and reminds him that she does not want a pet. Hogarth attempts to plead with her to keep the pet, but Annie is not enthusiastic about the idea. With the main bread winner of the family gone, they have to rent out a room in their house to make ends meet, and she fears the upholstery would be ruined. All at once, Hogarth's smile fades as she reminds him of the time they kept a raccoon, and Hogarth presumably freed it in the house. Still wanting to keep the pet however, Hogarth asks that she at least take a look at it, to which she complies. Unfortunately, to his shock, the lid of the box is open, and the box is empty.
While desperately searching for the squirrel, Hogarth overhears a fisherman talking about an "Invader from Mars" that came crashing down to Earth, though he and another customer named Dean are the only ones who support the story. Shortly after, Dean finds and (rather indecently) frees the squirrel from his pants, causing mayhem throughout the diner. That night, while his mother works late, Hogarth ignores all three of her warnings and watches a scary B-movie, only to be interrupted when the TV suddenly stops working. Finding that the antenna has been bitten off, Hogarth sets out to investigate the disturbance and discovers a 50-foot-tall robot with a huge appetite for anything metallic. When the giant gets tangled up in electric lines while devouring a power station, Hogarth saves him from electrocution. He eventually attempts to find the giant with a piece of sheet metal and does, befriending the tall stranger and teaching him.
With help from an initially reluctant Dean, Hogarth hides the giant in his junkyard, having fun with the Giant away from prying eyes. Later, when Kent Mansley and the military tries to destroy the giant, Hogarth gets knocked unconscious in the pursuit. The giant mistakes this for his death and snaps at the military, turning into a deadly war machine. When Hogarth recovers, he is able to calm down the giant, risking his life to tell him "you are who you choose to be." Kent, paranoid and frustrated, quickly orders the USS Nautilus (SSN-571) to launch a nuclear missile at the giant. Kent attempts to flee after Rogard tells him what will happen but is stopped by the giant and held at gunpoint. Soon after, the giant, saying goodbye to Hogarth, takes off into the sky and intercepts the missile to save the town of Rockwell from nuclear destruction. It remembers what Hogarth told him and says "Superman" before colliding with the missile.
Some time later, a memorial statue has been dedicated to the Iron Giant that Dean constructed at the park, and Hogarth receives the only piece of debris recovered from the explosion, a jaw bolt. That night, when the bolt starts to move on its own, Hogarth lets it roll into the countryside, knowing the giant is repairing himself somewhere. In the Langjökull glacier in Iceland, the giant is shown reassembling himself and proceeds to smile as the movie ends.
- Hogarth is a fan of Superman.
- It is suggested that his father was an air force pilot.