"Giant" by what Hogarth names him

Giant reference.jpg
The Iron Giant
Biographical information
Full name The Iron Giant or "Giant" as Hogarth named him (he does not really have a name until Hogarth names him)
Alternative name(s)
Age Unknown, (but seems mentally to be about Hogarth's age, so around 9 - 11 human years of age proven by Hogarth saying to Dean "he's like a little kid").
Status Alive
Physical Description
Gender Male
Personality Genial, curious, innocent, helpful, heroic, caring, gentle, witty, friendly, fun
Appearance Giant and tall with a good waxed silver metal color
Personal Information
Allies Hogarth Hughes, Annie Hughes, Dean McCoppin, Town's People, General Rogard and US Army
Enemies (Mainly, was and is) Kent Mansley

(Was in defense towards) General Rogard and United States Military until they had seen that the Iron Giant was only acting defensively and then stopped attacking him

Chronological and political Information
Occupation (Formally) a soldier, but does not try to act apon his duties and tries to be himself, (Mainly) a kid (and have no occupations)
Animators Warner Bros. Feature Animation
Voice Vin Diesel
Oh, here. This guy is Superman. Sure, he’s famous now, but he started off just like you. Crash-landed on Earth, didn’t know what he was doing… But he only uses his powers for good, never for evil. Remember that.
Hogarth to the Iron Giant

The Iron Giant is the deuteragonist of the Warner Bros. 1999 animated science fiction film of the same name, voiced by Vin Diesel. He is a genial 50-foot tall autonomous "Metal Man" from another world that crash lands on Earth before becoming friends with a young boy named Hogarth who rescues him from his own internal defensive mechanism.

The Iron Giant is loosely based on the title character of The Iron Man, a 1968 novel by Ted Hughes.

Official Warner Bros. Website[edit | edit source]

A 50-foot, metal-eating metal man with a pleasant, inquisitive demeanor enters Hogarth's life and changes everything. With eyes that change color according to his mood or mechanical action of the Giant's suit, parts that transform and reassemble, and an innocent heart, he becomes a best friend, coolest toy, and immortal hero to Hogarth. He learns that you are who you choose to be and uses his strength for good rather that destruction, proving to the world that he recognizes the value of human life.

Personality[edit | edit source]

While capable of incredible destructive powers and equipped with highly advanced and destructive weaponry, the Iron Giant would not ever want to harm anyone or any living thing. When he first came to earth, the Iron Giant had a bump on his head that was holding back info from his suit's defense systems. The Iron Giant would only allow his suit to activate its defense weapons in self defense but it is hard to control his suit's defensive programming. The Iron Giant may be very big and tall, and might also contain weapons more deadly than anything Earth has ever seen... but he does enjoy playing with Hogarth, pretending to be Superman with him and help make amazing, beautiful-looking sculptures and art with Dean. While normally peaceful after Hogarth saves his life, the Iron Giant's suit reacts defensively if it recognizes anything as a weapon, immediately attempting to destroy it in protection of the Iron Giant, but at first "Giant" (also known as The Iron Giant) couldn't stop his suit until later when he had learned how to control it. The Iron Giant's eyes have a bit of personality; his eyes color would change to different colors for different reasons: At night, his eyes are normally blue for a possible alien type of night vision; in the day, they turn yellow or white for a more normal type of vision to see regularly with the current light at hand. His eyes also turn red when his metal suit gets triggered into a defense mode by the spotting of a weapon and when he is being attacked as well.

Role in the Film[edit | edit source]

The Iron Giant is a large 50 foot tall metal man of alien origin, and the deuteragonist of the film, adapted from the original novel by Ted Hughes, "The Iron Man". The Giant's crash landing on Earth caused a bump on the Iron Giant's head making his suit not enforce its' protocol for planetary invasion and controlling, allowing the Giant to be his exploring, kindhearted, childlike self also leaving him with a childlike sense of wonder to find out more about the planet he'd crashed on. The dent on his head is an indicator that his suit is restricting certain protocols and actions that it would normally take. The Giant is well-armed but will only use his weapons in self-defense until the end of the movie when he let his suit fully take over, he is capable of flight and can also repair himself with a homing beacon in his head. The Iron Giant has eyes that glow in different colors depending on his mood and time of day as well as if his suit goes into a defensive mode, and his suit can part / transform and reassemble. He is also indestructible to almost anything. The Iron Giant's diet consists of only metal and metal materials.

In 1957, the Giant came to Earth and crash-landed off the coast of Rockwell, Maine. After terrifying a fisherman by the name of Earl Stutz, who called the government upon his return to land, the Giant wandered into the town's nearby woodlands after eating a few abandoned vehicles, and set his sights upon devouring a power station. Not a second later he would have been electrocuted had nine year old Hogarth Hughes not been searching for the culprit who ate their TV antenna and shut the power down. The Giant continued to eat local pieces of machinery and later re-encountered Hogarth, befriends him and then proceeds to follow him home. The Giant was seen by one of the train's engineers Frank Thomas after the train hit the Iron Giant, who was trying to fix the railroad tracks that he was trying to eat earlier. This led to him being hunted down by obsessive government agent Kent Mansley, after following the train engineers's suggestion on where to find a phone. Kent leaves only to figure out that the BB gun that he was in possession of was Hogarth's since Hog Hug was the only thing left of Hogarth's name on the gun. Kent trying to get Hogarth to tell him about the whereabouts of the Giant, rented the room that was for rent at the Hughes's residence.

Slowly, the Giant began to learn, through Hogarth's teachings, how to speak his language, about right and wrong, life and death, and some elements of culture, specifically Superman, who Hogarth thought the Giant could relate to since Superman also crash landed on Earth and had to learn everything. After relocating the Giant to a Junkyard owned by beatnik artist Dean McCoppin, Hogarth spent much of his days having fun with the Giant while keeping his existence a secret. Nevertheless, Mansley called the army and General Rogard after interrogating Hogarth into revealing the Giant's whereabouts, but Hogarth and Dean were quickly able to disguise the Giant as another one of Dean's art projects. A short time after, the Giant's automatic defense mechanisms activated when Hogarth pointed a toy gun at him pretending he was the evil robot Atomo, and Hogarth was almost killed by the Giant's eye beams. The Giant didn't seem to understand what he had just done or what happened.

Dean was quick to dismiss the Giant, calling him "a big gun" and pointing at the big hole in the side of a bus the Giant made after he said "No, I not gun". The Iron Giant ran off upset that he almost hurt his friend, thinking that he was just a gun and not the hero he wanted to be. After Hogarth left in pursuit, Dean noticed Hogarth's gun, realized that the Giant was only acting defensively, and went to help. Unfortunately, Mansley spotted the Giant behind him after the Giant had rescued two boys in danger of falling off of a very high height from a building and lied to the army saying that the Giant was attacking the city. The Giant and Hogarth fled, resorting to flight after falling off a cliff, but when they were in air, The Iron Giant with Hogarth in his hands were being attacked by two US Army Jet fighters and after the Giant not trying to harm the Jets that were trying to shoot them down, one of the jets manages to get a shot in on the Giant and knock him and Hogarth out of air. The Giant held Hogarth tight and carefully trying to keep him from getting hurt while they were falling out of the air. Hogarth was knocked out unconscious for a few moments after the Giant was hit by a surface-to-air missile from the Jet. The Giant thought Hogarth was dead since Hogarth wasn't moving or responding (as he was just momentarily knocked out but fine) and the Giant was distraught. The army rolled up behind the Giant and when the army fired at the Giant again, the Giant was mourning for Hogarth and let his suit take over as he felt it pushing into it's mode of defence and attack, the Giant has been trying to keep his suit's attack program away but it seemed now that his friend was just killed so he let his suit do what it was programmed to do. The only available option to the army was to fire a Polaris nuclear missile from the USS Nautilus (SSN-571), according to General Rogard and Mansley. Before it could be fired, Hogarth recovered and confronted the Giant. The Giant recognized his friend and stopped his suit's attacking system and returned to normal after Hogarth told the Giant that he didn't have to be a gun, "Its bad to kill. Guns kill... and you don't have to be a gun. You are what you choose to be. You choose. Choose!" (He said as he was at gun point from the Giant until the Giant realized it was him and put his weapons away, and chose to not be a gun saying "Hogarth"). Mansley swiped the radio from the General ordering that the missile be fired anyway, ignoring the fact that everyone (the army included) was told and shown that The Iron Giant is good, and the missile was targeted on the Giant's current position which was where everyone was standing.

Hogarth explained to The Iron Giant that when the missile hits, that everyone was going to die. The Giant was saddened by what would happen and looked up at the missile as it was going up in air and made his decision by saying "I fix". After telling Hogarth "you stay, I go... no following", mirroring one of the first things Hogarth said to him, he took off into space, heading straight for the missile. Bracing himself for impact, Hogarth's words of "you are who you choose to be" rang through the Giant's head, and he said his decision to himself before the crash saying "Superman." meaning he wanted to help and save people like Superman and that's what he'd chosen to do.

Some time later, Dean had built a statue in the Giant's memory, which was placed in the town park, and Hogarth received a package from General Rogard which was the jaw bolt from the Giant, it was the only part the army could find. That night, however, the bolt began tapping against the window and glowing as though trying to get out. Remembering that the Giant can repair himself and the different pieces of him that glow when their trying to get back to him, Hogarth let it go free and opened the window for it to fall out, saying "see you later." The Giant's parts were converging upon a part of Iceland, where the Giant's head was, still alive and lying in the snow and smiling. He was repairing himself again and possibly would return to Rockwell with hopefully a better greeting and get to see Hogarth and everyone else once more.

Relationships[edit | edit source]

Hogarth: The Iron Giant becomes best friends with Hogarth from him saving his life and showing The Iron Giant good and teaching him to not be just a mindless soldier (or just a gun).

Dean: After thinking Dean was trying to kidnap the only person that was The Iron Giant's friend and only person he had known at that time but Hogarth showing him that he was just scared, he quickly friends him and gains another best friend. Dean also teaches The Iron Giant the fundamental difference between artwork made and thought of from the inside... and just delicious scrap metal. Dean also provides The Iron Giant a place to sleep and as well as a place to eat and kept him well fed. He had helped him as any good friend would and should do.

Powers/Abilities[edit | edit source]

Immense Strength and Size[edit | edit source]

Because of his size, the Giant can perform incredible feats of strength. He is strong enough to rip apart metal structures with his hands, lift boulders like pebbles, uproot trees, and crush vehicles.

Indestructibility[edit | edit source]

Made from an unknown alloy, the Giant's armor and suit renders him completely invulnerable to harm although he can still feel pain, his metal suit hands and all are like skin to him as he can feel something right in his hand. He has survived being hit by an oncoming freight train and can withstand machine-gun and missile fire along with multiple high-caliber rounds from tanks, artillery, and battleships. Perhaps the most impressive display of the Giant's invulnerability was surviving a head-on collision with a nuclear missile.

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Self-Repairing Function[edit | edit source]

Whenever the Giant is smashed to pieces, an antenna on his head sends out a homing beacon to the scattered parts, automatically repairing himself by making his pieces roll, crawl or move trying to get back to him. There appears to be no known limit to the beacon's range, and it can be detected as far away as Iceland.

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Flight[edit | edit source]

The Giant's feet have rocket thruster's allowing him to fly. The rockets are powerful enough to leave Earth's atmosphere and travel through space at tremendous speeds, and the Giant himself can fly fast enough to outrun and outmaneuver a military fighter jet.


Matter Ingestion[edit | edit source]

The Giant regularly consumes metallic objects as a form of sustenance. When hungry, his stomach groans similar to an organic life form.

Dream projection[edit | edit source]

A deleted scene reveals that the Giant can subconsciously broadcast his dreams and memories on electronic devices, shown when his memories of the deer and a war on an alien world are broadcast on Dean's television.

Weaponry[edit | edit source]

The Iron Giant is equipped with six different kinds of armament that are far superior to any human weapons. The armaments themselves use an unknown type of green energy, enabling virtually limitless ammunition. The weapons themselves do not have official names.


Arm Cannon[edit | edit source]

On his right arm, the giant's arm retracts to reveal a massive cannon similar to a tank gun. The weapon itself fires a blast of green energy that explodes on contact with the target.


Laser Vision[edit | edit source]

Similar to Superman's heat vision, the giant can emit powerful laser beams out of his eyes that effectively burns straight through metal surfaces.


Tri Scorpion Cannons[edit | edit source]

Three scorpion tail-like cannons that comes out of the giants back. The tails appear to target enemies with a spotlight before firing. Although the weapons use spotlights, they appear to not be heavily accurate and more designed to maximize destruction.


Energy Claw[edit | edit source]

On his left arm, the giant's arm retracts to reveal another cannon with a claw mounted at the end. The claw fires a sphere of green energy that appears to levitate and vaporize a target on contact.


Spark Spinner Gun[edit | edit source]

A rotating disc atop the arm cannon that, when the top spins and is repeatedly contacted by two extendable mechanical needles, fires small sparks at multiple targets. The sparks impact and are implied to destroy the vehicles it hits. It was used on several M41 Walker Bulldog tanks, all of which had a cloud of smoke after impact around them.


Energy Cannon[edit | edit source]

In the center of the giant's chest, he can charge a big green plasma ball to fire at a large target. The destructive power of it is unknown, as it failed to hit its target - a battleship. However, it can be assumed that it would have at least vaporized its target (or even the group of battleships threatening the Giant), as the blast appeared to be several kilometers in diameter. This is assumed to be the most powerful weapon in the Giant's arsenal.

Origin[edit | edit source]

According to a deleted scene available in the signature edition Iron Giant Movie (which has a extra scene put in at the first junkyard Scene), the Iron Giant comes from a planet-destroying alien army of metal suited men; the reason as to why this army exist and their purpose are unknown. It is also unknown whether the Giant came to Earth by mistake or if he was sent here, but when he did come down it had become obvious that the giant was not a robot but was actually alive and in a very large metal robotic suit like machine. With a certain tech device that provides a self protection program that will enable his metal suit to take over and use any means necessary with his foreign military weaponry to protect himself and to stop any attacking forces. He eventually learns how to control this later on because he does not want to harm anyone. It is obvious that the giant's mental age is literally at a small child's level, it seems that the Iron Giant would most likely on the inside be at the age of about 10 years which would also explain why he was learning things from when he had first landed. It also seems that he would obviously have to be as old as a normal kid on earth because if the Giant was sent to earth and he were to be an adult he would just proceed with his military protocol for total annihilation of the current planet he had landed on (Earth). Luckily he is little and knows right from wrong and doesn't want to hurt anyone and also doesn't want to see anyone get hurt as well. The bump on his head might have been holding back a certain part of his metal suit that keeps trying to force the military protocol that the Giant's people were forced to follow into his metal suit, as it seems the Iron Giant is trying to fight for control of his metal suit through the whole film until Hogarth gets hurt and knocked out and the Giant thinks that his best friend had died because of the Army, he then lets the defense and attack program from his metal suit take over and this enables all of his weapons. The bump that was on his head had undone itself and before this might have made him forget a lot of things that had to do with his weapons and the program on his suit trying to take control, and it seems that he remembered the weapons he had at the end of the movie. As things had wrapped up and Hogarth showed the Giant that he was still alive and reminded him not to be a gun, that "you are who you choose to be" the Giant thankfully didn't end up harming anyone but then also risked his life to ensure that the town would be safe by throwing himself in the way of the missile and at one point would come back to see his family (Hogarth, Annie, and Dean) and the rest of the town once again.

Memorable quotes[edit | edit source]

  • "I am NOT a gun."
  • "Souls don't die..."
  • "No Atomo... I Superman."
  • "You are who you choose to be"
  • "Hogarth, you stay... I go... no following."
  • "Superman."

Reception[edit | edit source]

The character was well received by critics and audiences. Vin Diesel's voice performance as the Giant was praised for being able to deliver a genuine personality to the character. The Iron Giant ranked #1 on WatchMojo.com's Top 10 Saddest Robot Deaths.[1][2]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The specific creator of the giant is never revealed and unknown. The only hint comes in the opening sequence, specifically that the giant comes from somewhere beyond the Earth's moon. It can also be inferred from his weapons that the giant was sent to Earth for non-peaceful purposes. (Note: From a deleted scene from the film, he has a brief vision of robots similar to him destroying a different planet, which can suggest that the Iron Giant originally was a weapon of mass destruction and the giant's original objective was to destroy the planet.) However, the dream sequence suggests it arrived on Earth by accident.
  • He is voiced by Vin Diesel with some computer effects added; other actors such as Danny Glover, Robert De Niro, Sean Connery, Frank Welker, and James Earl Jones were also considered to do the voice.
  • The Iron Giant appeared in the 2018 film, Ready Player One. It is first shown as being under construction within the OASIS as a commission for a patron. Later, it is used to fight in the battle to save the OASIS against Nolan Sorento and his army of Sixers.
  • Many fans admire the friendship between Hogarth and the giant, since its two people in different size and showing that some giants cares about small people like humans.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

The Iron Giant Wiki has a collection of images and media related to The Iron Giant (character).

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Top 10 Saddest Robot Deaths in Movies and TV WatchMojo.com. Sep. 22, 2014
  2. Top 10 Saddest Robot Deaths YouTube. WatchMojo.com

v - e - d
Film: The Iron Giant

Books: The Iron ManThe Art of The Iron Giant
Music: Soundtrack

The Iron GiantHogarth HughesAnnie HughesMr. HughesDean McCoppinKent MansleyGeneral RogardEarl StutzMarv LoachMrs. Lynley TensedgeHunter Dan & Hunter JoeEngineersMayorPresident
Rockwell, MaineChat n' Chew DinerMcCoppin ScrapyardHughes ResidencePower StationForestThe LakeMayor's OfficeEddy's RexallBillboard
SputnikUSS NautilusMissle
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