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The Iron Giant is a 1999 animated science fiction drama film using both traditional animation and computer animation, produced by Warner Bros. Animation, and based on the 1968 novel The Iron Man (novel) by Ted Hughes. The film is co-written and directed by Brad Bird, and features the voices of Jennifer Aniston, Harry Connick, Jr., Vin Diesel, Eli Marienthal, Christopher McDonald, and John Mahoney. The film is about a lonely boy named Hogarth Hughes who is being raised by his mother Annie Hughes (the widow of an Air Force pilot), who discovers an iron giant who fell from space. With the help of a beatnik named Dean, they have to stop the U.S. military and a federal agent (Kent Mansley) from finding and destroying the Giant. The Iron Giant takes place in October 1957 in the American state of Maine in the city of Rockwell during the height of the Cold War.

The film's development phase began around 1994, though the project finally started taking root once Bird signed on as director, and his hiring of Tim McCanlies to write the screenplay in 1996. The script was given approval by Ted Hughes, author of the original novel, and production struggled through difficulties (Bird even enlisted the aid of a group of students from CalArts).

Upon its release, the film saw wide critical acclaim from critics and audiences. It was nominated for several awards, winning nine Annie Awards. Due to an unusually poor marketing campaign, the film significantly under-performed at the box office, making $31.3 million worldwide against a budget of $70–80 million. Through home video releases and television syndication, the film gathered a cult following and is now widely regarded as a modern animated classic. An extended, remastered version of the film was screened theatrically in 2015, preceding a release on Blu-ray Disc.

PlotEdit

In October 1957, shortly after the Russian satellite Sputnik is put into orbit, an enormous robot from outer space crashes into the ocean near Rockwell, Maine. The robot makes its way inland and wanders into the forest. Nine-year-old Hogarth Hughes discovers the robot one night as it begins eating the powerlines of an electrical substation and electrocutes itself. Hogarth shuts down the power, saving the robot, and returns home. Several days later, Hogarth makes it his mission to find the robot and take a picture. After hours of waiting, the robot surprises Hogarth, who soon befriends him. Suffering amnesia, the Iron Giant accompanies Hogarth wherever he goes. When they come across a railroad, the Giant starts eating the rails. Hearing an oncoming train, Hogarth tells the Giant to repair the tracks. As he does, the train collides, breaking him into pieces. The Giant's parts start to reassemble, and Hogarth hides the damaged robot in his house's barn, where the parts can repair themselves.

Later, after dinner with his widowed mother Annie, Hogarth reads comic books to the Giant. The Giant is impressed with Superman, but discovers the comic 'Atomo the Metal Menace.' Hogarth reassures the Giant that he is more like Superman than Atomo. In the meantime, U.S. government agent Kent Mansley arrives, discovering possible evidence of the Giant. Finding Hogarth's BB gun near the substation, Mansley takes a room for rent at Hogarth's home and follows the boy around, hoping to learn more. Hogarth evades Mansley and takes the Giant to the junkyard for Dean McCoppin, a beatnik who had earlier befriended Hogarth, for shelter. Hogarth soon has to discuss "death" with the Giant after they witness hunters shoot a stag in the forest. Paranoid about alien invasion, Mansley alerts the U.S. Army to the presence of the Giant. When he and General Kenneth Rogard, backed by Army troops, force the investigation, Dean reveals the robot disguised as a scrap-metal artwork. Rogard admonishes Mansley and leaves. Later, Hogarth plays with the Giant using a toy gun, which automatically activates the Giant's weaponry. Dean saves Hogarth and demands the Giant to leave. Thinking the giant never meant any harm, Hogarth runs after him. Dean finds the toy gun and realizes the Giant was only reacting defensively. He catches Hogarth with his motorbike as the Giant reaches town.

In Rockwell, the Giant saves two boys from falling to their death, to the amazement of witnesses. The Army troops see the Giant, return, and attack while requesting Navy and Air Force support. The Giant flies away with Hogarth and even though being attacked by a USAF F-86 Sabre, the Giant kept his original programming from taking over and fighting back, however,after he was shot down, the Giant mistakenly believes the unconscious Hogarth has been killed. The Giant becomes both saddened and enraged at Hogarth's death. He allows his defensive programming to take over and activates his energy weapons and battles the completely outmatched Army. Mansley lies to Rogard that the robot killed Hogarth and suggests he can be destroyed at sea with a Polaris nuclear missile from the USS Nautilus.

Hogarth wakes up and calms the Giant, causing him to deactivate his weapons. As Mansley keeps telling Rogard to attack, Dean says the Giant never harmed anyone and that any attack on the Giant is triggering a defense mechanism. Seeing Hogarth alive, Rogard has the Army stand down, but before he can tell the Nautilus the same thing, a panicked Mansley grabs the walkie talkie and orders the missile launch anyway without thinking. Furious, Rogard reminds Mansley that the missile, currently targeted on the Giant, will also kill everyone in Rockwell including himself. When Mansley cowardly attempts to flee, the Giant stops him and the Army forces Mansley to stay and die with them. Hogarth tells the Giant of Rockwell's impending fate and the Giant makes the decision to fly off, smiling to himself that he chooses to be Superman. The Giant uses his body to intercept with the missile before it reaches Rockwell, causing a massive explosion high in the atmosphere. The townspeople and soldiers are all very relieved to have survived, but are saddened by the Giant's apparent selfless sacrifice.

Sometime later, Annie and Dean are dating and Dean has built a statue in the park to honor the Giant. Hogarth receives a package from Rogard, a small bolt, the only piece of the Giant ever found. That night, Hogarth hears a familiar beeping coming from the bolt, which is trying to get out of the window. He opens the window to let the bolt out.

Somewhere on the Langjökull Glacier in Iceland, the Giant is somehow still functional and begins to repair and rebuild itself. Parts of the Giant approach where his head rests. The Giant wakes up and smiles.

CastEdit

  • Eli Marienthal as Hogarth Hughes, an energetic, young, curious boy with an active imagination. He is the main protagonist of the film.
  • Jennifer Aniston as Annie Hughes, Hogarth's widow mother. She is also Dean's love interest.
  • Harry Connick, Jr. as Dean McCoppin, a beatnik artist and junkyard owner who "sees art where others see junk".
  •  Vin Diesel as The Iron Giant, a one hundred-foot, metal-eating robot. The Giant reacts defensively if it recognizes anything as a weapon, immediately attempting to destroy it, but can stop himself. The specific creator of the giant is never revealed. In a deleted scene, he has a brief vision of robots similar to him destroying a different planet.
  • Christopher McDonald as Kent Mansley, an arrogant, ambitious and paranoid N.S.A. agent sent to investigate the Iron Giant. He is the main antagonist of the film.
  • John Mahoney as General Kenneth Rogard, the military leader in Washington, D.C. who strongly dislikes Mansley.
  • M. Emmet Walsh as Karl Stutz, a sailor and the first man to see the robot.
  • James Gammon as Marv Loach, a foreman who follows the robot's trail after it destroys the power station.
  • Cloris Leachman as Mrs. Tensedge, Hogarth's no-nonsense schoolteacher.

Additional Voices Edit

Jack Angel Bill Farmer
Robert Bergen Charles Howerton
Mary Kay Bergman Ollie Johnson
Michael Bird Sherry Lynn
Devon Borisoff Mickie T. Mc Gowan
Rodger Bumpass Ryan O'Donohue
Robert Clotworthy Phil Proctor
Jennifer Darling Frank Thomas
Zack Egintion Patti Tippo
Paul Eiding Brian Tochi

Production Edit

Development Edit

In 1986, rock musician Pete Townshend became interested in writing "a modern song-cycle in the manner of Tommy (rock opera)", and chose Ted Hughes' The Iron Man (novel) as his subject. Three years later, The Iron Man: The Musical by Pete Townshend album was released. The same year Pete Townshend produced a short film set to the album single "A Friend is a Friend" featuring The Iron Man (novel) in a mix of stop frame animation and live action directed by Matt Forrest. In 1993, a stage version was mounted at London’s Old Vic. Des McAnuff, who had adapted Tommy (musical) with Townshend for the stage, believed that The Iron Man could translate to the screen, and the project was ultimately acquired by Warner Bros.

In late 1996, while developing the project on its way through, the studio saw the film as a perfect vehicle for Brad Bird, who at the time was working for Turner Feature Animation. Turner Entertainment had recently merged with Warner Bros. parent company Time Warner, and Bird was allowed to transfer to the Warner Bros. Animation studio to direct The Iron Giant. After reading the original Iron Man book by Hughes, Bird was impressed with the mythology of the story and in addition, was given an unusual amount of creative control by Warner Bros.This creative control involved introducing two new characters not present in the original book: Dean and Kent. Bird's pitch to Warner Bros. was based around the idea "What if a gun had a soul?" Bird decided to have the story set to take place in the 1950s as he felt the time period "presented a wholesome surface, yet beneath the wholesome surface was this incredible paranoia. We were all going to die in a freak-out."

The financial failure of Warner Bros.' previous animated effort, Quest for Camelot, whose cost overruns and production nightmares made the company reconsider their commitment to feature animation, helped shape The Iron Giant's production considerably. In a 2003 interview, writer Tim McCanlies recalled "Quest for Camelot did so badly that everybody backed away from animation and fired people. Suddenly we had no executive anymore on Iron Giant, which was great because Brad got to make his movie. Because nobody was watching." Bird, who regarded Camelot as "trying to emulate the Disney style," attributed the creative freedom on The Iron Giant to the bad experience of Quest for Camelot, stating: "I caught them at a very strange time, and in many ways a fortuitous time." By the time The Iron Giant entered production, Warner Bros. informed the staff that there would be a smaller budget as well as time-frame to get the film completed. However, although the production was watched closely, Bird commented "They did leave us alone if we kept it in control and showed them we were producing the film responsibly and getting it done on time and doing stuff that was good." Bird regarded the tradeoff as having "one-third of the money of a Disney or DreamWorks film, and half of the production schedule," but the payoff as having more creative freedom, describing the film as "fully-made by the animation team; I don't think any other studio can say that to the level that we can."

Writing Edit

Tim McCanlies was hired to write the script, though Bird was somewhat displeased with having another writer on board, as he himself wanted to write the screenplay. He later changed his mind after reading McCanlies' unproduced screenplay for Secondhand Lions. In Bird's original story treatment, America and the USSR were at war at the end, with the Giant dying. McCanlies decided to have a brief scene displaying his survival, stating, "You can't kill and then not bring him back." McCanlies finished the script within two months, and was surprised once Bird convinced the studio not to use Townshend's songs. Townshend did not care either way, saying "Well, whatever, I got paid." McCanlies was given a three-month schedule to complete a script, and it was by way of the film's tight schedule that Warner Bros. "didn't have time to mess with us" as McCanlies said. Hughes himself was sent a copy of McCanlies' script and sent a letter back, saying how pleased he was with the version. In the letter, Hughes stated, "I want to tell you how much I like what Brad Bird has done. He’s made something all of a piece, with terrific sinister gathering momentum and the ending came to me as a glorious piece of amazement. He’s made a terrific dramatic situation out of the way he’s developed The Iron Giant. I can’t stop thinking about it."Sadly, Hughes did not get to see the movie, as he died in October 1998.

Animation Edit

Bird opted to produce The Iron Giant entirely in the widescreen CinemaScope format, but was warned against doing so by his advisors. Bird felt it was appropriate to use the format, as many films from the late 1950s were produced in such widescreen formats, and was eventually allowed to produce the feature in the wide 2.39:1 CinemaScope aspect ratio It was decided to animate the Giant using computer-generated imagery as the various animators working on the film found it hard "drawing a metal object in a fluid-like manner." A new computer program was created for this task, while the art of Norman Rockwell, Edward Hopper and N.C. Wyeth inspired the design. Bird brought in students from CalArts to assist in minor animation work due to the film's busy schedule. The Giant's voice was originally to be electronically modulated but the filmmakers decided they "needed a deep, resonant and expressive voice to start with", and were about to hire Peter Cullen, due to his recent history with voice acting The Transformers (TV series), but, due to Cullen's unavailability at the time, Vin Diesel was hired instead.Cullen, however, did some voice-over work for the film's theatrical trailer. Teddy Newton, a storyboard artist, played an important role in shaping the film's story. Newton's first assignment on staff involved being asked by Bird to create a film within a film to reflect the "hygiene-type movies that everyone saw when the bomb scare was happening."

Newton came to the conclusion that a musical number would be the catchiest alternative, and the "Duck and Cover sequence" came to become one of the crew members' favorites of the film.Nicknamed "The X-Factor" by story department head Jeffery Lynch, the producers gave him artistic freedom on various pieces of the film's script.

Music Edit

The score for the film was composed and conducted by Michael Kamen. Bird's original temp score, "a collection of Bernard Hermann cues from 50's and 60's sci-fi films," initially scared Kamen. Believing the sound of the orchestra is important to the feeling of the film, Kamen "decided to comb eastern Europe for an "old-fashioned" sounding orchestra and went to Prague to hear Vladimir Ashkenazy conduct the Czech Philharmonic in Richard Strauss's An Alpine Symphony." Eventually, the Czech Philharmonic was the orchestra used for the film's score, with Bird describing the symphony orchestra as "an amazing collection of musicians." Kamen's score for the feature was nominated and won an Annie Award for Annie Award for Music in an Animated Feature Production on November 6, 1999.

ThemesEdit

The film is set in 1957 during a period of the Cold War characterized by escalation in tension between the United States and the Soviet Union. In 1957, Sputnik was launched, raising the possibility of nuclear attack from space. Anti-communism and the potential threat of nuclear destruction cultivated an atmosphere of fear and paranoia which also led to a proliferation of films about alien invasion. In one scene, Hogarth's class is seen watching an animated film named Atomic Holocaust, based on Duck and Cover, an actual film that offered advice on how to survive if the USSR bombed the USA. The film also has an anti-gun message in it. When the Iron Giant sees a deer get killed by hunters, the Iron Giant notices two rifles discarded by the deer's body. The Iron Giant's eyes turn red showing hostility to any gun. It is repeated throughout the film, "Guns kill." and "You're not a gun." Despite the anti-war and anti-gun themes, the film avoids demonizing the military, and presents General Rogard as an essentially rational and sympathetic figure, in contrast to the power-hungry civilian Mansley. Hogarth's message to the giant, "You are who you choose to be", played a pivotal role in the film. Writer Tim McCanlies commented that "At a certain point, there are deciding moments when we pick who we want to be. And that plays out for the rest of your life."  McCanlies said that movies can provide viewers with a sense of right and wrong, and expressed a wish that the movie would "make us feel like we're all part of humanity which is something we need to feel."

Marketing Edit

The Iron Giant was largely a theatrical failure due in part to poor promotion from Warner Bros. This was largely attributable to the reception of Quest for Camelot; after its release, Warner would not give Bird and his team a release date for their film until April 1999. After wildly successful test screenings, the studio were shocked by the response: the test scores were their highest for a film in 15 years, according to Bird. They had neglected to prepare a successful marketing strategy for the film—such as cerealand fast food tie-ins—with little time left before its scheduled release. Bird remembered that the studio only produced one teaser poster for the film, which became its eventual poster. Brad Ball, who had been assigned the role of marketing the film, was candid after its release, noting that the studio did not commit to a planned Burger King toy plan. In an interview with IGN, Bird stated that it was "a mis-marketing campaign of epic proportions at the hands of Warner Bros., they simply didn't realize what they had on their hands."

The studio needed an $8 million opening to ensure success, but they were unable to properly promote it preceding the release. They nearly delayed the film by several months to better prepare. "They said, 'we should delay it and properly lead up to its release,' and I said 'you guys have had two and a half years to get ready for this,'" recalled Bird. Press outlets took note of its absence of marketing, with some reporting that the studio had spent more money on marketing intended summer blockbuster Wild, Wild West instead. To perhaps soften the potential blow, Warner Bros. scheduled Sunday sneak preview screenings for the film prior to its release, as well as a preview of the film on the online platform Webcastsneak.

ReleaseEdit

Box office Edit

The Iron Giant premiered at Mann's Chinese Theater in Los Angeles on July 31, 1999, with a special ceremony preceding the screening in which a concrete slab bearing the title character's footprint was commemorated. The film opened in Los Angeles and New York on August 4, 1999, with a wider national release occurring on August 6 in the United States. It opened in 2,179 theaters in the U.S., ranking at number nine at the box office accumulating $5,732,614 over its opening weekend. It was quick to drop out of the top ten; by its fourth week, it had only accumulated $18.9 million—far under its reported $70 million budget. According to Dave McNary of the Los Angeles Daily News, "Its weekend per-theater average was only $2,631, an average of $145 or perhaps 30 tickets per showing"—leading theater owners to quickly discard the film. At the time, Warner Bros. was shaken by the resignations of executives Bob Daly and Terry Semel, making the failure much worse. T.L. Stanley of Brandweek cited it as an example of how media tie-ins were now essential to guaranteeing a film's success.

The film went on to gross $23,159,305 domestically and $8,174,612 internationally for a total of $31,333,917 worldwide. Analysts deemed it a victim of poor timing and "a severe miscalculation of how to attract an audience." Lorenzo di Bonaventura, president of Warner Bros. at the time, explained, "People always say to me, 'Why don't you make smarter family movies?' The lesson is, Every time you do, you get slaughtered."

Critical reception Edit

The Iron Giant received beautiful critical acclaim from both critics and audiences. Based on 132 reviews collected by the review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes, The Iron Giant received an overall 96% "Certified Fresh" approval rating, with an average score of 8.2/10. The consensus reads: "Engaging, endearing, affecting and charmingly retro, The Iron Giant tackles touchy subjects and complex relationships with a steady hand and beautiful animation direction from Brad Bird." On Metacritic, the film achieved an average score of 85 out of 100 based on 27 reviews, signifying "universal acclaim". In addition to its response from film critics, CinemaScore reported that audiences gave the film an "A" grade. The Reel Source forecasting service calculated that "96–97%" of audiences that attended recommended the film. As of 2015, Rotten Tomatoes ranks it the third most-acclaimed animated film made in the 1990s.[1]

Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times called it "straight-arrow and subversive, [and] made with simplicity as well as sophistication," writing, "it feels like a classic even though it's just out of the box." Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times compared it, both in story and animation, to the works of Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki, summarizing the film as "not just a cute romp but an involving story that has something to say." The New Yorker reviewer Michael Sragow dubbed it a "modern fairy tale," writing, "The movie provides a master class in the use of scale and perspective—and in its power to open up a viewer’s heart and mind." Time‍‍ '​‍s Richard Schickel deemed it "a smart live-and-let-live parable, full of glancing, acute observations on all kinds of big subjects—life, death, the military-industrial complex." Lawrence Van Gelder, writing for the New York Times, deemed it a "smooth, skilled example of animated filmmaking." Joe Morgensternof The Wall Street Journal felt it "beautiful, oh so beautiful, as a work of coherent art," noting, "be assured that the film is, before anything else, deliciously funny and deeply affecting."

Both Hollywood trade publications were positive: David Hunter of The Hollywood Reporter predicted it to be a sleeper hit and called it "outstanding," while Lael Loewenstein of Variety called it "a visually appealing, well-crafted film [...] an unalloyed success." Bruce Fretts of Entertainment Weekly commented, "I have long thought that I was born without the gene that would allow me to be emotionally drawn in by drawings. That is, until I saw The Iron Giant." Peter Stack of the San Francisco Chronicle agreed that the storytelling was far superior to other animated films, and cited the characters as plausible and noted the richness of moral themes. Jeff Millar of the Houston Chronicle agreed with the basic techniques as well, and concluded the voice cast being excelled with a great script by Tim McCanlies. Amid the positive reviews, a negative review came from The Washington Post‍‍ '​‍s Stephen Hunter, who opined, "The movie — as beautifully drawn, as sleek and engaging as it is — has the annoyance of incredible smugness."

Accolades Edit

The Hugo Awards nominated The Iron Giant for Best Dramatic Presentation,[2] while the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America honored Brad Bird and Tim McCanlies with the Nebula Award nomination.[3] The British Academy of Film and Television Arts gave the film a Children's Award as Best Feature Film.[4] In addition The Iron Giant won nine Annie Awards and was nominated for another six categories,[5] with another nomination for Best Home Video Release at The Saturn Awards.[6] IGN ranked The Iron Giant as the fifth favorite animated film of all time in a list published in 2010.[7]

The American Film Institute nominated The Iron Giant for its Top 10 Animated Films list.[8]

Awards
Award Date of ceremony Category Recipients and nominees Result
Annie Awards November 6, 1999 Best Animated Feature Film Allison Abbate, Des McAnuff, and John Walker
Warner Bros. Pictures; Warner Bros. Feature Animation
Nominated
Outstanding Individual Achievement in Effects Animation Allen Foster
Michel Gagné Nominated
Outstanding Individual Achievement in Character Animation Jim Van der Keyl
Steve Markowski Template:Won
Dean Wellins Template:Nom
Outstanding Individual Achievement for Directing in an Animated Feature Production Brad Bird Template:Won
Outstanding Individual Achievement for Music in an Animated Feature Production Michael Kamen
Outstanding Individual Achievement for Production Design in an Animated Feature Production Alan Bodner
Mark Whiting Template:Nom
Outstanding Individual Achievement in Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production Mark Andrews Template:Won
Kevin O'Brien Template:Nom
Dean Wellins
Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production Eli Marienthal
For playing "Hogarth Hughes".
Won
Outstanding Individual Achievement for Writing in an Animated Feature Production Tim McCanlies (screenplay) and Brad Bird (story)
BAFTA Children's Award April 9, 2000 Best Feature Film Brad Bird, Allison Abbate, Des McAnuff, and Tim McCanlies
Florida Film Critics Circle January 9, 2000 Best Animated Film Brad Bird Won
Genesis Awards March 18, 2000 Best Feature Film - Animated
Hugo Award September 2, 2000 Best Dramatic Presentation Brad Bird (screen story and directed by), Tim McCanlies (screenplay by), and Ted Hughes (based on the book The Iron Man by) Nominated
Las Vegas Film Critics Society January 18, 2000 Best Animated Film Won
Los Angeles Film Critics Association January 20, 2000 Best Animated Film Brad Bird
Motion Picture Sound Editors Awards March 25, 2000 Best Sound Editing - Animated Feature
Best Sound Editing - Music - Animation Nominated
New York Film Critics Circle January 10, 2000 Best Animated Film 2nd place
Santa Fe Film Critics Circle Awards January 9, 2000 Best Animated Film Won
Saturn Awards June 6, 2000 Best Home Video Release Nominated
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America May 20, 2000 Best Script Brad Bird and Tim McCanlies
Young Artist Awards March 19, 2000 Best Family Feature Film - Animated
Best Performance in a Voice-Over (TV or Feature Film) - Young Actor Eli Marienthal Won

Home media and television syndicationEdit

Stung by criticism that it mounted an ineffective marketing campaign for its theatrical release, Warner Bros. revamped its advertising strategy for the video release of the film, including tie-ins with Honey Nut Cheerios, AOL and General Motors[9] and secured the backing of three U.S. congressmen (Ed Markey, Mark Foley and Howard Berman).[10] Awareness of the film was increased by its February 2000 release as a pay-per-view title, which also increased traffic to the film's web site.[11]

The Iron Giant was released on VHS and DVD on November 23, 1999,[12] with a laserdisc release following on December 6. The VHS edition came in three versions—pan and scan, pan and scan with an affixed Giant toy to the clamshell case, and a widescreen version. All of the initial widescreen home video releases were in 1.85:1, the incorrect aspect ratio for the film.[12] In 2000, television rights to the film were sold to Cartoon Network and TNT for three million dollars. The networks marketed the film as an overlooked but acclaimed film.[13] Cartoon Network showed the film continuously for 24 consecutive hours in the early 2000s for such holidays as the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving.[14][15]

The Special Edition DVD was released on November 16, 2004.[16] In 2014, Brad Bird went to Warner Bros. to talk about the possibility of releasing The Iron Giant on Blu-ray. "WB & I have been talking. But they want a bare bones disc. I want better," Bird said on his Twitter account. He also said that fans can log on to their Twitter accounts and post a tweet on the Twitter homepage of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, demanding a Collector's Edition Blu-ray for the film.[17]

LegacyEdit

The film has since then gathered a cult following.[18]

Signature EditionEdit

A remastered and extended cut of the film, named the Signature Edition, was released in 2015. The edition is approximately two minutes longer than the original cut, and features a brief scene with Annie and Dean and the sequence of the Giant's dream.[19] Both scenes were storyboarded by Bird during the production on the original film but never finished due to time and budget constraints. Before they were fully completed for this new version, they were available as deleted storyboards on the DVD's bonus features.[20] They were animated in 2015 by Duncan Studio, which employed several animators that worked on the original film.[20] The Signature Edition was shown in one-off screenings across the United States on September 30, 2015 and October 4, 2015.[20]

It was accompanied by an introduction by Brad Bird and a preview of a documentary entitled The Iron Giant: Disassembled. In the introduction, Bird described the difference between hand-drawn and digital animation, stating that digital animation is "just information" while the lines in hand-drawn animation are "alive". He also expressed a hope that there would always be traditionally-animated movie and thanked the audience for coming to see the movie in the theater.

The Signature Edition became available for purchase from iTunes on October 5, 2015, and the DVD version was released on February 16, 2016 with the following special features:

  • Commentaries by Brad Bird, Tony Fucile (Head of Animation), Leff Lynch (Story Department Head) and Steven Markowski (Animation Supervisor)
  • The Making of The Iron Giant, hosted by Vin Diesel, featuring interviews with cast and crew
  • Deleted scenes, original opening sequences and featurettes
  • Motion Gallery
  • Theatrical trailers

The Blu-ray version will be available on September 6, 2016 in two editions. The first is the standard Blu-ray edition with the following special features:

  • The Giant's Dream, a new documentary about the making of the film.
  • Original 1999 theatrical release and the 2015 Signature Edition.
  • Same special features as on the DVD.

The second edition is entitled The Iron Giant: Signature Edition Ultimate Collector's Edition. It contains the following:

  • All special features listed above plus an UltraViolet digital version of the movie
  • A letter from Brad Bird to the fans
  • Five Mondo Art Cards
  • 32-page book: The Evolution of The Iron Giant
  • Collectible Iron Giant Figurine

A companion book, The Art of The Iron Giant, will be released on September 20, 2016.

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

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