Growing up in 1957, in Rockwell, Maine, Hogarth is a pretty average kid, except that he's unusually smart for his age. Moved up a grade, he's a sort of social outcast, picked on by the bigger kids in his class. He lives with his mother, Annie, who works at a diner and rents out a spare room to make ends meet. Hogarth is big into science-fiction, outer space, and the current social issues of Russia and Sputnik, Hogarth is captivated when he sees something fall in a blaze and land in the woods nearby. He rushes to investigate, and finds a giant metal robot. He returns later to find it, and discovers it's docile and can even communicate. He takes it home, only to find it can't really keep itself together and behave. The situation is complicated further when Kent Mansley, who works for the government, arrives to rent the extra room. He suspects suspicious foreign activity, and it searching for the robot to learn its origin and purpose. Hogarth tries to think of a place to hide the robot, and the obvious choice is a junkyard, run by local beatnik Dean McCoppin. Hogarth persuades Dean to let the giant stay there, and before long, Dean has the giant helping him with his scrap art. Hogarth and Dean soon discover that the giant is only a weapon when provoked, and has a deep soul and a powerful heart. Mansley corners Hogarth one night, and threatens his and his mom's safety unless Hogarth reveals the giant's location. Kent leads the government to Dean's place, only to find a large, giant-like piece of art. Later, the giant is revealed in town, saving a couple of kids falling from a building, but the secret is exposed, causing the army to open fire, causing the giant to react violently. Hogarth is the only person who can communicate with the giant, reminding him that the giant is who he chooses to be. The giant sacrifices himself, flying into a missile that's headed straight for the town. Annie and Dean get together, providing a solid home life for Hogarth, and he's much more socially adjusted, but he's depressed that his friend is gone. But when the last remaining artifact of the giant bleeps to life and rolls away in the darkness, Hogarth knows the giant is calling its scattered pieces back to itself so it can reconstruct.
Hogarth is voiced by Eli Marienthal.
I've sort of already had my say on this masterpiece on Dean's page, but I can elaborate a little on Hogarth. He's great, because he's everyone. He's just above average, with the regular problems kids have. He's imaginative, introspective, bright and sensitive, a real hero for the younger generation. He wants to belong and be cool, but he doesn't feel the need to change to fit in. He reiterates one of the greatest themes in the film - You are who you choose to be. People can always choose who they are and what they do.
He's a good kid, just don't put any espresso in him...
Hogarth Hughes: Welcome to downtown Coolsville! Population: us!
Hogarth (to the Giant, in battle mode): It's bad to kill. Guns kill. And you don't have to be a gun. You are what you choose to be. You choose. Choose.
Hogarth: I know you feel bad about the deer, but it's not your fault. Things die. That's part of life. It's bad to kill, but it's not bad to die.
The Iron Giant: You die?
Hogarth: Well, yes, someday.
The Iron Giant: I die?
Hogarth: I don't know. You're made of metal, but you have feelings, and you think about things, and that means you have a soul. And souls don't die.
The Iron Giant: Soul?
Hogarth: Mom says it's something inside of all good things, and that it goes on forever and ever.
(Hogarth leaves. The Iron Giant lays back to look at the stars)
The Iron Giant: Souls don't die.
The Iron Giant: Hogarth, you stay. I go. No following.
Hogarth: I love you.
Kent Mansley: Hogarth? That's an embarrassing name. They might as well have called him Zeppo or something..
Hogarth: You can fly? YOU CAN FLY!
Hogarth: So she moved me up a grade 'cause I wasn't fitting in, so now I'm even more not fitting in. I was getting good grades, you know, like all A's. So my mom says, "You need stimulation." I said, "No, I don't. I'm stimulated enough right now."
Dean: That's for sure.
Hogarth: So she says, "Uh-uh. You don't have a challenge. You need a challenge." So now I'm challenged, all right- I'm challenged to hold on to my lunch money because of all the big mooses who wanna pound me, 'cause they think I'm a shrimpy dork who thinks he's smarter than them! But I don't think I'm smarter, I just do the stupid homework! If everyone else JUST DID THE STUPID HOMEWORK, they could move up a grade and get pounded, too! Is there anymore coffee?
Dean: I'm gonna have coffee. What do you want, some milk, or... what? Milk?
Hogarth: Coffee's fine. (Dean looks at Hogarth skeptically)
Hogarth: Yeah, I drink it. I'm hip.
Dean: I dunno. This is espresso, you know? It's like Coffee-zilla.
Hogarth: I said... I'm hip.
Hogarth: Wow, my own giant robot! I am now the luckiest kid in America! This must be the biggest discovery since, I don't know, television or something!
Hogarth: Hey, mom! You won't believe our good luck. Guess what I found?
Annie: Hogarth, we've been through this before. No pets.
Hogarth: But he's not a pet, mom. He's a friend.
Annie: Hogarth, we've got to rent a room this year if we're gonna make ends meet, and no one wants to live in a place with shredded upholstery.
Hogarth: You'll never know he's there. I'll keep him in a cage...
Annie: ... until you feel sorry for him and set him free in the house. You remember the racoon, Hogarth? (Shudders) Oooooh! I remember the racoon.
Hogarth (picking up a rock): See this? This is called a rock. Rock.
The Iron Giant (a little rusty): Rock.
The Iron Giant: (picks up a boulder) Rock?
The Iron Giant: (picks up a tree) Rock.
Hogarth: No, no. That is a tree. Rock... tree. Get it?
The Iron Giant: Rock... tree.
Hogarth Hughes: That's right!
Hogarth: Hey, Dean! Watch this!
Dean: All right, we're watching.
Hogarth: This one's for professionals only! Banzai! (dives into lake) (shivering) Come on in! The water's great.
Dean: No, thanks.
Hogarth: You weenie! (to the Giant) Come on in. It's really, relly refreshing. (The Giant walks away) What? You too? You... big baby!
(the sound of the Giant running is heard; suddenly he jumps into the water]
The Iron Giant: Banzai!
Hogarth: Well, goodbye. (Hogarth starts walking away, the Giant follows him) No, no. Me go, you stay. No following. Good. (Hogarth walks, the Giant still follows him) I told you! I'll come back tomorrow! Now, stay! (Hogarth leaves, the Giant follows him) No, no, no! Bad robot!
Annie's Animated Heroines page