The Iron Giant is a classic film whose simplistic, sometimes moody, animation has held up well since its 1999 release. The story benefits from the cool Super 8-esque mystery of the robot to convey how drawn yet fearful we become towards technology.
A list of movies to entertain your days in between Disney release dates
By Jonathan Pabico, Senior Columnist
With Disney producing more animated films this year, like it or not, refreshing adventures are on the rise. From the coming-of-age movie, Turning Red, to the Toy Story spin-off, Lightyear, there are tons of stories to look forward to in the future.
Until these upcoming movies are released, though, what do you do in the meantime? Well, the following five animated films are the answer to that question. They’re worth watching or re-watching while awaiting Disney’s newest debuts.
The Iron Giant (1999)
The story about a small-town boy befriending a giant robot from space continues to amaze me with its heart and humour. Directed by Brad Bird—who’s now known for The Incredibles franchise. The Iron Giant is a classic film whose simplistic, sometimes moody, animation has held up well since its 1999 release. The story benefits from the cool Super 8-esque mystery of the robot to convey how drawn yet fearful we become towards technology. Overall, it’s a movie that deserves to be appreciated more for its central themes of family and friendship.
Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)
Disney’s old yet timeless ocean adventure, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, is about young scientist Milo Thatch (voiced by Back to the Future’s Michael J. Fox, unbelievably) as he takes a crew of explorers to find the fabled city of Atlantis. The film still endures today with its likeable characters and exciting fantasy action.
The movie’s fluid animation, especially of Atlantis’s ancient ruins, is elevated by James Newton Howard’s emotionally epic musical score. Looking back at it after so many years, the story also has surprisingly mature themes from the destructive effects of exploration to the value of learning from the past. The film is undoubtedly entertaining while boldly tackling important subjects for its audience.
Treasure Planet (2002)
Another old Disney animation, Treasure Planet, follows rebellious teenager Jim Hawkins (Joseph-Gordon Levitt) as he and his crew search for the titular world’s legendary fortune before a bunch of space pirates do. This movie tends to be overshadowed by Disney’s more popular animations, but it’s still a fun swashbuckling adventure. The film adapts Robert Louis Stevenson’s book, Treasure Island, with thrilling sci-fi action and visually stunning locations.
A talented voice cast and a whimsical world of robot characters power Blue Sky Studios’ iconic animation. The story is about a young inventor, Rodney Copperbottom, who helps the poor denizens of Robot City in the face of a corporate conspiracy that seeks to outmode them forever. The film’s ending and main villains are a bit cheesy, but these are compensated by pop culture parodies, the wacky clockwork settings, and memorable antics. The best part of the entire movie is Copperbottom’s friend, Fender, hilariously voiced by the late Robin Williams.
Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)
The stop-motion animated feature from DreamWorks follows British inventor Wallace and his intrepid dog Gromit as they protect their town’s vegetable gardens from a veggie-loving super bunny called the were-rabbit. This wholesome movie may sound like a Halloween flick, but it can be enjoyed any time of the year.
The film has a good balance of comedy from the titular duo’s banter and eerie twists from the were-rabbit mystery. The animation is still incredible to see with its highly detailed, colourful sets and light-hearted characters.