5 'Souls can't die.........'lascenara17 | 14/11/2008 | See all lascenara17's reviews (97)Ted Hughes' cult novella was confined to the oblivion of sci-fi, being about two things that kill off ideas of anything original at a first glance: robots and aliens (well, space-dragon-thingies). That was until Brad Bird, future craftsman of Bond homage 'The Incredibles', picked up the book, snipped off the lurid second half and concentrated on the robot itself and its effect on the community at large. Then, in a true stroke of genius, the story was set in a time not only of goverment and public paranoia but also in an era when a new generation of young people were wishing and wanting bigger and more exciting things in their life.This wonderful cartoon works both ways. The Giant is a fantastic creature, all retro-future stylings with hints of Asimov but with soulful, emotionally reflective eyes and a heart of gold. Voiced with aplomb by gravel-larynxed Vin Diesel the robot is the ultimate Jolly (metallic)-Green Giant.The human cast are also warm and wittily characterised, from Jennifer Aniston's put-upon waitress 'mom' to Harry Connick Jr's shade-wearing, pseudo-artist beatnik 'Dean' (another subtle reference to adolescent embodiment in the 1950s....). Of course it's Eli Marienthal's Hogarth who pulls the most dramatic weight. He may be the brains to the Giant's brawns but he gets a worse fate come the end, having to watch his best friend die. In those last few words acres of emotion resonate in a way that occurs very rarely in cinema. But that's just one powerful moment in a film full of them.The animation is simple but solid, and more realistic than most modern productions. And this proves having an A-list voice cast has nothing to do with greatness, if box-office success. This didn't do well anywhere and it's a real shame, it being one of the best animated films of all time and certainly one of the best of 1990s. Fun, funny and at a lithe running time this film has everything anyone could want, from obsessives to the parents being dragged in front of the TV, someone will find something that brings a smile to their face. And that's a beautiful thing.