'The Iron Giant'

Isaac Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics, first spelled out in 1942, cast a large shadow over all future robot stories. They're so logical, why wouldn't future manufacturers program them into every robot they made? Asimov delighted in bending the laws in a series of stories and novels, but it's fair to say that he influenced an entire generation of science fiction-loving boys to think of robots as beneficent and helpful rather than evil and malignant.

The love affair of boys and their robots may have begun on the printed page, but it quickly spread to movies and television shows. Astro Boy takes that love affair one step further, fusing boy and robot into a singular being, the creation of a scientist in memory of his lost son. The character first appeared in a manga before migrating to TV and film; the latest cinematic version opens tomorrow. In honor of Astro Boy, who surely is the most fitting embodiment of the term, we present the top ten sci-fi movies featuring boys and their robots:

1. The Iron Giant

An easy call. Hogarth is nine years old, a kind-hearted boy who is only too happy to hide his new friend, who just happens to be a 100-foot tall metal man. Hogarth is also wise beyond his years, boldly imploring the Iron Giant: "You don't have to be a gun. You are what you choose to be. You choose. Choose." Brad Bird's film is filled with impish fun and a gentle approach to morality that goes down easy and hits every target.

categories Sci-Fi