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Ross Family Movie Challenge: 'The Iron Giant' vs. 'Young Mr. Lincoln'

Warner Bros; 20th Century Fox/Entertainment Picture

Every week EW’s Dalton Ross and his wife, writer Christina Kelly, have a… um, lively discussion about what movie they should watch with their two children (Dale, 12, and Violet, 9) that weekend. Now they make their cases publicly and you get to vote on the choices and decide how the Ross family will be spending part of their weekend. The power is in your hands, people. Last week, Christina scored a shocking upset victory when her pick of Duma took down Dalton’s Jason and the Argonauts. Read on and then vote for which movie they should watch this week.

Dalton’s Pick: The Iron Giant (1999)
Robots are awesome. Whether they are badass like Mechagodzilla, adorable like Short Circuit’s Number 5, sexy like the fembots in Austin Powers, or gay like C-3PO, cinematic robots rule the school. But there is one robot my kids have yet to meet — the Iron Giant. And shame on me for not introducing them sooner.

Directed by Brad Bird, The Iron Giant is an animated adventure that even my wife Christina can love. (She hates the way most animated features now involve lots of CGI farting animals, and I can’t say I blame her.) But The Iron Giant is oldschool, even produced in widescreen CinemaScope to mirror the feel of the 1950s, when the story is set. Oh yes, the story. It’s pretty basic: Boy finds robot and must protect robot from evil military types that want to destroy it. Basic, but awesome. The most amazing thing about the film is the way it takes that simple, E.T.-ish plot and makes it pack such an emotional punch while still feeling smart and above all the standard sentimental crutches — even while it still employs a few of them.

Honestly, I am still rattled by last week’s loss. (How can you anyone go against Jason and The Argonauts?!?) I beg you, dear readers, to right that clear wrong. A vote against The Iron Giant is a vote against sanity. And a vote for farting CGI animals. And who would want to vote for that?

Christina’s Pick: Young Mr. Lincoln (1939)
Actually, Dalton, a vote against The Iron Giant is a vote for Young Mr. Lincoln. The way you twisted the truth right there made me think of politicians, which made me think of presidents, which gave me a hankering to show the kids this acclaimed biopic about Abraham Lincoln as a youth. John Ford directed the film, in which Henry Fonda plays Lincoln. I thought it would reinforce some of the stuff the kids learned when we visited Ford’s Theater this past summer. With our presidential election coming up next month, the timing for taking in a picture about a truly admirable president couldn’t be any better. Note: The movie is partially fictionalized — but then, so are the candidates’ debates.

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