Well, I'll admit...I didn't read the book before we watched the movie! Bad me! But I loved the movie, and I went and rented it that night and watched it again with my three year old son, and then we watched it again, and again, and again (as it tends to go with three year olds when they love a movie).
I then read the book. It's a relatively short, easy read and very different from the movie. In the movie, Hogarth, the young boy who befriends the Iron Giant is the main character, and the relationship that they have is so sweet and well formed, they become good friends and at one point Hogarth even expresses his love for the Giant, and the Iron Giant clearly loves the boy.
In the book, they hardly even have a relationship. In fact the story is completely different. The Iron Giant appears one day as a nuisance to the community, eating machinery and fences and other metal objects (okay, that part is similar to the movie) until the town's people capture and bury him (with Hogarth's help). The Giant eventually frees himself, and with Hogarth's help once again the town's people are able to find a solution by pacifying the Iron Giant at a junk yard, where he can eat all of the scrap metal he wants.
Then, unlike the movie (which is more of a parallel to the fears of the cold war) one day a giant “space-bat-angel-dragon” literally the size of Australia lands....well, on Australia, and terrifies the entire planet by demanding living things to eat. The people of Earth band together to try and destroy the “space-bat-angel-dragon” and when they are unsuccessful Hogarth goes to the Iron Giant and asks for help. Only when Hogarth explains that there will be nothing left for the Iron Giant to eat if he does not help, does he decide to help! In the movie, he helps Hogarth, because he loves him!
In both the book and the movie the Iron Giant is willing to sacrifice himself to save others, that is clear. Both stories are entertaining, I won't argue that. The book is definitely a classic and I would surely recommend it as a good, short read (as I mentioned before). However, the movie absolutely captured my heart. The relationship between the robot and the boy, and the realization that a machine could “love” is a theme that I have grown up with and I loved it, but the book and the movie were shockingly different, and I just haaad to blog about it.
This is my first blog, I don't know how to end it.