9. The Iron Giant

Like many people who watched Brad Bird’s phenomenal animated film, I was absolutely not prepared for the emotional onslaught it unleashed upon me in its final few minutes. For the majority of its runtime, this film is an intelligent period animated piece set during the 1950s that sweetly explores the friendship between a lonely young boy named Hogarth and the alien robot he discovers. Of course, the small-mindedness of Hogarth’s home-town cannot cope with the idea of such a machine not being one for destruction, so they promptly seek to destroy it by launching a missile.

Of course, the missile ends up about to destroy the town, so the robot decides to sacrifice himself, flying off into the atmosphere. Before he collides with the missile, he opens his mouth, smiles, and says “Superman!” – a reference to the stack of comics Hogarth read to him earlier in the film – and he explodes into a million pieces, preventing the missile from destroying the town. The robot is revered as a hero, and Hogarth, like us, is extremely distraught at having to sacrifice such a wonderful creature. If you can keep it together when the robot utters his last word, you probably have no soul.

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This article was first posted on December 4, 2012