The Iron Giant

Set in the year 1957, this animation tells a story of a large robot, from outer space, crash landing on earth, finding itself in an unfamiliar environment where it finds itself in many perilous situations. A young boy saves the robot, thereby becoming his lifelong friend. Set at a time when America was engrossed with the idea of alien beings and visitors from outer space, the robot eats vehicles and metal house fittings while passing through a village in Maine.

The boy

A 9 year old boy, Hogarth, who longed for a pet discovers that the TV antenna was missing one day and investigates. Leaving his home where he lives with his single mom, he follows a trail to a power plant, there he discovers the giant robot and realizes that it will be electrocuted and killed because of some electrical wires it had eaten. He manages to save the robot, earning its loyal friendship, though he runs away after.

The robot

Hogarth finally decides to go back to find the robot and they found themselves walking along a railway track. The robot begins to eat the track when Hogarth realizes that there is a train coming so he instructed the robot to fix the tracks. The robot complied but was unable to move out of the way and was shattered to pieces by the oncoming train. His parts began to reassemble themselves so Hogarth took him home to his garage so it could complete its repairs.

The conflict

During their time together, the robot learned many thing and was also able to save the lives of two young boys, capturing the attention of the army. The army is convinced by one named Mansley that the robot has killed Hogarth, and instructed them to destroy it using a nuclear missile out at sea. They eventually realize that Hogarth was not killed but it was too late since Mansley had already ordered the launch of the missile, which would also kill everyone in the nearby town. The Iron Giant did the heroic thing and flew up into the air, colliding with the missile and saving the lives of the townspeople.

Coming from somewhere in deep space, this entity may be a life form, or a construction made by an advanced species of aliens. Now an inhabitant of earth, the robot finds itself in a very difficult and confusing situation where it must combine it own superior, advanced knowledge, with the insecurity of an unfamiliar environment and a paranoid population.