The Iron Giant vs. the space-bat-angel-dragon--that's what this episodic science-fiction-horror-fantasy shakes down to, and although the separate elements are sure-fire, the whole thing flickers out in a parable-a of love and peace and heavenly music. First there's the Iron Giant shattered, reassembling his parts with the aid of a still-seeing eye; devouring all the metal machinery; trapped in a pit and buried under a mound of dirt; reemerging years later, still rapacious; tamed by the continually replenished contents of a scrap-metal yard. Then there's the star in the constellation Orion that grows bigger and BIGGER, comes closer and CLOSER to earth, before it stops and hangs like a red moon; finally there's the black speck flying from its center, approaching nearer and nearer, blotting out the star, filling the night, covering all of Australia when it lands. And it wants food--living things. All the weapons of the world can't blast it away and so Hogarth, the little boy who has a soft spot for the Iron Giant, enlists his help. In the ensuing trial by fire--the Iron Giant on a grid, the space-bat-angel-dragon on the sun--the Iron Giant outlasts the other, who becomes his slave. What can he do? he can sing in heaven. ""And the space-bat-angel's singing has the most unexpected effect."" It made everybody ""as peaceful as starry space and blissfully above all their earlier little squabbles."" Etc. . . . Extraterrestrionics except for the Iron Giant picking up his own pieces--he's scary!