Movie News

Moriarty takes his microscope and precision scales to the workings of THE IRON GIANT

Published at: Feb. 1, 1999, 11:56 p.m. CST

Will Warner's front office fumble the ball when it counts again? FATHER GEEK sure hopes not. I've read the script, it's great! We've got stacks of art laying all over Geek Headquarters, it's great! I've seen some of the rushes, they're great! Your coaching staff and Team driving THE IRON GIANT have the abilityto to win the game bigtime! Its your game to lose suits and FATHER GEEK doesn't want to see that happen again. Read what our evil genius has to say...

“Moriarty” here.

I thought I’d take a break from my ongoing instigation of my Evil Master Plan To Rule The World and try something a little different.

Today, I want to tell you a story about heroes.

Right now, somewhere in Glendale, there’s a whole group of heroes working tirelessly to finish an extraordinary gem of a picture, a very special film that deserves, in my opinion, to be one of the year’s biggest hits.

Unfortunately, there are forces in play on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank that threaten to undermine this movie, force that are working against their own best interests. This is a studio that’s spent several years now making every possible mistake, making lousy films and then marketing them badly. Now, suddenly, they’re in position to turn everything around. They’ve got the no-questions-asked hit THE WILD WILD WEST, the better than average action SF film THE MATRIX, the guaranteed big buzz film of the year EYES WIDE SHUT, and the sure-to-be-adored THE GREEN MILE. With a reversal of fortune within their reach, they’re getting justifiably excited...

... and they’re in danger of making a massive mistake in the process. There’s a film that they have yet to pay any attention to, something they’ve spent no time or money or energy on, and it has the potential to the greatest success out of any of this year’s releases.

I’m writing, of course, about Brad Bird’s debut feature, one of the finest animated films I’ve ever seen, THE IRON GIANT.

I am a lifelong fan of animation. It’s one of my favorite mediums of storytelling. The potential available to the animated filmmaker is limitless, although it sometimes seems that potential goes largely untapped in an industry where everybody does their best to mimic Disney’s moves. International animation offers us some real choices with artists like Nick Parks, the bolex brothers, The Quays, Jan Svankmajer, and my new favorite Miyazaki. Here in America, it’s very rare to see a personal vision slip by in feature-length work. There are mavericks like Bill Plympton with his bizarre and occasionally brilliant I MARRIED A STRANGE PERSON, but there’s nothing on the studio level. Don Bluth, the Kroyers... you’re talking about little more than competent craftsmen who are in no danger of ever leaving any sort of personal imprint on a film. Part of the reason for that industry-wide gutlessness is the irrational fear that nothing but the Disney model will make a return.

Case in point: THE QUEST FOR CAMELOT. A textbook about project mismanagement could be written using QUEST as a model. The end result was painful, uninspired trash that’s virtually indistinguishable from tripe like THE SWAN PRINCESS and the new KING & I. As the debut of a feature studio, QUEST was a disaster, a financial hole in Warner’s 1998 lineup. After such an inauspicious start, it’s no wonder they lost their nerve. The fallout from the film is still being felt as upper execs from the studio debate the future of the animation unit.

For over a year, they’ve been struggling to make a decision regarding the Jim Carrey remake of THE INCREDIBLE MR. LIMPET. Every FX house in town has created test footage for the film. By this point, they could probably just string the tests together and release them. After all this effort, it appeared that the studio had finally made the entirely rational and reasonable decision to give the job to the outstanding team they’ve got assembled in Glendale. Now, with the film’s start date approaching, it appears that ILM has swooped in with a low bid, and Warner is once again considering going out of house with the work after all.

That would be a shame. It’s as if Warner has already declared themselves out of the race, leaving the market to Dreamworks and Disney. Allow me to address Lorenzo Di Bonaventura directly for a moment. No one expects it, sir, but you’re in position to do the unthinkable and beat both the Mouse and Jeffrey Katzenberg’s superstar upstart at their own game. You’ve got the goods, but no one’s going to know unless you shout it from the rooftops. Since you haven’t started yet, and since I’m hearing rumblings about studio indifference, allow me to officially start the buzz right here, right now. Believe me... it would be an honor.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Brad Bird, you may remember a short film of his that aired on AMAZING STORIES called “Family Dog.” It was hysterical, one of the highlights of that series. Since then, Brad’s contributed to the original success of TINY TOONS and has been a central contributor to the creative high watermark consistently set by THE SIMPSONS. When I first heard that he would be directing an animated feature, I was excited. Most animated films these days are the work of a committee, with two directors being more common than not. Knowing how important creative integrity is to Brad, I was sure his films would be, at the very least, a singular vision.

In anticipation of the film’s release, I put my mutant henchmen to work, sending them out in search of an early print of the film. Using a vehicle much like the one Peter Cushing drove to the center of the earth, one of them managed to tunnel onto the lot and return with a rough cut that I was able to screen. With roughly 35% of the film in finished composited color, the film is already an absolute masterpiece.

Based loosely on an old children’s book by Ted Hughes as well as a concept album by Pete Townsend, THE IRON GIANT is the story of Hogarth Hughes, a boy living in a small town in the mid ‘50s. Like most boys his age, he thinks MAD magazine is hysterical, he’s bored by BOY’S LIFE, and he’s absolutely totally crazy about SUPERMAN.

Living with just his mother (voiced with sincerity and warmth by Jennifer Aniston), Hogarth adopts animals habitually, bringing home anything he can, hoping each time for a real friend. Dean (an excellent vocal performance by Harry Connick Jr.), owner of a local scrap yard and a bit of a beatnik, has noticed Hogarth’s mother Annie, and he’s got a friendly, teasing relationship with the boy, but there’s no one Hogarth is really close to...

... until the night the Giant falls out of the sky. Initially splashing down in a local bay during a rainstorm and scaring the hell out of a local fisherman in the process, the 60-foot high robot (voiced by SAVING PRIVATE RYAN’s Vin Diesel) hides in the local woods. This is where he and Hogarth come face to face one night in a memorable, eerie first encounter that’s as iconic as the trail of Reese’s Pieces that brought E.T. into Elliott’s life.

Unfortunately, the Giant also draws the attention of Special Agent Kent Mansley (voiced with memorable smarm by Christopher McDonald). After a series of clues bring Mansley to Hogarth’s door, the boy has no choice but to turn to Dean for help in keeping the Giant out of sight.

The middle of this picture is soaked in a lovely, aching nostalgia, and the work these filmmakers have done on Hogarth is outstanding. He’s one of the most realistic recognizable movie kids ever, and there’s a purity to him that brought Waterson’s outstanding CALVIN & HOBBES to mind for me, especially in one charming moment involving swimming, diving, and one hell of a cannonball.

Brad Bird and his co-screenwriters Tim McCanlies and Andy Brent Forrester have allowed time for us to see real friendships develop. The Giant, not sure where he came from or why he was built, is shown the world through Hogarth’s eyes, and in return, he proves to be the best friend Hogarth could ever have.

Up to this point, I thought the film was highly entertaining with a warm, simple, unpretentious design, a subtle, sweet sense of humor, and featuring an impeccable marriage of 2D conventional animation and 3D computer modeling. That was before the scene with the hunters. At that point, IRON GIANT became something else. It became one of my favorite films, a classic, and something that should be one of Warner’s top priorities.

This isn’t a musical, thank god. It’s also not, strictly speaking, a children’s film. Instead, it’s a moral fable with an astonishing amount of heart. It’s about the choice each individual must make regarding who and what they are. Some people claim you are what you’re born to be, but this film passionately argues that you are what you make yourself. There’s an act of heroism at the end of this film that’s so emotionally pure, so ethically simple, that the Giant’s single line in the midst of it reduced me to tears and speechlessness. Not since PINOCCHIO has any moment in any animated film affected me on such a direct level. It was a punch in the gut, unexpected, and absolutely right.

It’s also going to be a lightning rod for controversy. IRON GIANT is a film that actually takes a position, that actually voices a belief, and my viewing of the film (the first of many, I’m sure) was bracing, a revelation. For all the hype that accompanied the release of PRINCE OF EGYPT, the film left me cold. Yes, the artistry is impressive, even overwhelming in places. The film never once pulled me in completely, though. The songs were distracting and the tone of the film was wildly uneven. It felt like Katzenberg was trying to prove he understood the Disney formula better than Disney does. Brad Bird’s film feels like Brad doesn’t care about Disney in the least, and it’s glorious.

Now, we’ve all been hearing a lot about TARZAN recently. Once I saw IRON GIANT, I decided that I should see TARZAN so I could make a fair comparison of the two. After all, if TARZAN is really as good as that first trailer, then it would be suicide to bring this film out in competition with it, right?

Well, it probably would be a mistake, but for all the wrong reasons. The first half hour of TARZAN makes it real easy to cut that killer trailer. From the beginning of the film to the moment Tarzan truly becomes Tarzan, cutting loose with the classic Weismuller yell, the movie works really, really well. With the exception of the scene where Jane is chased by the baboons, the rest of the movie is an absolute waste of time and energy. Despite the film’s flaws, they’ll market this beautifully, and the film will at least break the $150 million average their last few releases have established. Doesn’t deserve to, but it will.

It’s a genuine disgrace, too. Glen Keane is one of the finest animators working, possibly ever, and the work he does on the character Tarzan is exceptional, both expressive and inventive. Unfortunately, once Tarzan grows up, he’s given nothing to do. The film’s “bad guy” is so poorly written, so underdeveloped, that there’s no tension, no real drama. The pedestrian voice work by Tony Goldwyn, Minnie Driver, Brian Blessed, Nigel Hawthorne and (especially) Rosie O’Donnell doesn’t help.

TARZAN does contain some fascinating technical work. The new texture mapping software they used gives the jungle setting a lush, dense look that’s vivid, alive. The problem with that is the inconsistency between the characters and the backgrounds makes it abundantly clear what’s what. Tarzan, Jane, Clayton, Kala, Kerchak and the others are never completely integrated into the world around them. The new technology has definite potential, even if its use here is imperfect.

IRON GIANT, on the other hand, makes great technical leaps but never once rubs the viewer’s face in it. Using a combination of the Maya and Animo software packages, they’ve mastered the compositing of the 2D lead characters and the 3D Giant and backgrounds, using the same palette on both, giving the whole film a uniform, perfectly blended feel. This is work good enough to demand a Technical Achievement Academy Award in 2000, but it’s so well done that it might be easy to miss.

In dropping the ball to such a significant degree with TARZAN, Disney has proven once again that they’re afraid to break formula. Despite Glen Keane’s best efforts, there’s no heroes anywhere near this film. They don’t even know the real meaning of the word.

Brad Bird and his team have proven themselves to be real heroes, working to craft a piece of special entertainment that genuinely expands the art form, demonstrating a love of their craft and a real respect for the audience.

That leaves only one question mark: what will Warner Bros be -- heroes or villains? Each decision they make now is crucial: release date, the cutting of the trailer, the composer of the score. I’d like to offer my thoughts for consideration.

RELEASE DATE: This is going to sound insane and it’s going to require you to muster all the nerve possible, but I’d release it either the weekend before or the weekend after EYES WIDE SHUT. You’ll own July from one end to the other if you do. Yes, you’ll be butting heads with TARZAN, but so what? You’ve got the better movie. Believe it. Act like you believe it.

THE TRAILER: Introduce America to your newest classic character. “Warner Bros. has a history of introducing you to characters that the whole world loves -- Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Batman, Superman -- and now there’s a new hero.” BLAM! Use that full scope frame. Burn some of those images into America’s brain. Prove to them that they can’t afford to miss IRON GIANT.

And once you’ve cut this amazing trailer, do the right thing. Send out 3,000 copies of it for the weekend of May 21. Use the opening of MATRIX to sell WILD WILD WEST, but use STAR WARS to sell the very best you’ve got.

THE COMPOSER: I hear you’ve got two men in the running right now -- Danny Elfman and John Williams. I know Brad and Danny worked together on “Family Dog,” and the Elfman temp track does work for your film now, but give the job to Williams. He could write a classic score here, and he could even reference his own SUPERMAN score. You know the scene... imagine just a hint of that classic theme at just the right moment. It would give everyone chills.

As I said, this story is about heroes. It’s also unfinished. Here’s hoping the appropriate happy ending gets written by Lorenzo and his bosses. Until the day this film opens, we here at AICN will cover it, doing our best to prepare you for one of what look like a number of extraordinary movie experiences this year. As readers of this page, you obviously are always looking for that pure cinema kick, those instant classics, and you count on us to bring you first word of them.

It’s films like this that make it worth doing.

“Moriarty” out.

Write the evil genius at MoriartyAICN@yahoo.com -- Thank you ]

Readers Talkback

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  • Feb. 2, 1999, 1:16 a.m. CST

    Hell Yeah!

    by Mulch1

    Hey, I did it! I was the first poster! "Today(today), I declare myself(declare myself) the luckiest man(the luckiest man) on the face(on the face) of the Earth (of the Earth)." Anyway, Warner Bros. You here about that "Batman and Superman: World's Finest" proposal that Coming Attractions is reporting about that may or may not have happened? If Richard Donner didn't propose that, he ought to. That would make us geeks forget all about Batman & Robin and Superman Lives (I'm tryin ma, but i can't shake the vision of Batman endorsing credit cards). Ok, Warner Bros has a chance to pull themselves out of the shit-filled hole they dug themselves in, and World's Finest with Donner can do that. Eyes Wide Shut, Wild Wild West, The Iron Giant, and World's Finest. If done right, this can be big for WB. If they fuck up like I expect them to, well maybe they should stick to television. Although, hey WB, make a Buffy movie. Pwease!!!!!!

  • Feb. 2, 1999, 1:28 a.m. CST

    About time

    by Evil Dead

    I agree with Mulch's many responses. I can't wait for Iron Giant. I'm on an animation rush right now, with Mulan coming out in a couple of hours. I hope Iron Giant can be the hit WB animation needs. There only good stuff has been they're T.V. shows(I thought Batman: Subzero was great though). Plus with the knowledge that the Animaniacs movie is going straight to video Iron Giant may be the deciding factor as to the future of WB Animation.

  • Feb. 2, 1999, 3:19 a.m. CST

    Let's Try This...

    by Moriarty

    "Moriarty" here. This comment is directed at Lane Myers and the others who will inevitably use this Talk Back to take myriad pot shots at Warner. Yes... they have made a lot of mistakes recently, but if we want to see them handle this film and others like it better than they have, then the way to bring that about isn't to call them names and to make the standard eighth-grade cracks. We need to tell them what we want and encourage them to treat us better. If we use this forum as a dialogue, there's a chance they'll listen. If we just use this forum to bash them, then they're going to turn a deaf ear, and who can blame them? "Moriarty" out.

  • Feb. 2, 1999, 7:39 a.m. CST

    The WB

    by Everett Robert

    While in the past I'll admit I flamed Warners for some pretty stupid moves(noteable Batman and Robin), they have made or distrubited some brillent moves too, including the Oscar push for LA CONFEDINTIAL(even if they didn't market it to the general public) and this years ZERO EFFECT. I hope they do IRON GIANT justice, sounds like a great piece of movie making, here's hoping That The WB can and will continue to let this piece of work work...Good Job Moriartiy and alerating us on this movie and how we can hlep to make it work and your suggestions on how to market it and when to show it...good job

  • Feb. 2, 1999, 9:09 a.m. CST

    Neon Is Closing

    by MR BRIDGER

    I wanted to bring to everyones attention, a tragedy that's occuring here in the UK. This month we are losing what I, and many of my mates, think is the best movie magazine around. The last issue of Neon is being published this month, they are closing because the mag has missed it's circulation target by a relatively measly 10,000 sales. There must be something we can do, because Neon is the only publication that not only extensively covers ALL forms of movie making, without bias and with irreverence, and they don't fall at the knees of the studios. PLEASE e-mail EMAP Publications now about this total injustice, or we are going to lose an invaluable mag produced by a team who are as fanatical about movies as we are. ACT NOW!

  • Feb. 2, 1999, 10:01 a.m. CST

    High hopes...

    by Prankster

    I actually read the book as a kid, and it still stays with me (the plot could be better, but the pictures and evocative mood of the writing are fantastic). It's basically a neo-futurist fairy tale, sort of like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Anyway, combine this great subject matter with Brad Bird, who I believe is one of the unheralded geniuses of animation, and the WB animation team, which has a long and noble tradition and has achieved greatness in the recent past, and you have the making of a FNATASTIC flick. Even if WB buries this film, even if it makes $4.50 (my $4.50), I will still be glad that it was released. At no point in even the most pessimistic parts of Moriarty's report does it sound like this movie's going to be reedited or changed. Anyway, if it makes it to the screen intact, that'll be enough for me. Others can discover it later (the way some people are discovering another WB-released animated film, Cat's Don't Dance). Anyway, with even Disney moving away from the Disney formula, surely WB wouldn't be so daft as to bend this movie into the same tired old format.

  • Feb. 2, 1999, 10:30 a.m. CST

    Releasing Iron Giant against Tarzan

    by neuracnu

    I agree that Iron Giant probably will be a better movie than Tarzan, but get real! Unless WB pulls some kind of marketing magic trick out of their pocket, any kids movie they stand up against Disney will get run over. It doesn't matter which one is better, and it doesn't matter which one kids want to see. In the parent's eyes (the ones paying for the tickets, popcorn and candy), cartoon = 90 minute babysitter. Disney = good 90 minute babysitter. Period. It's sad.

  • Feb. 2, 1999, 10:37 a.m. CST

    calling all geeks!

    by superstar

    dear geeks, this is unrelated but i need to tap some geek grey matter. Why are supernatural thrillers making a comeback (Blair Witch, End of Days, Stigmata, etc, etc)? Never mind millenial fever, what's it all about? Anyone got any probing insights or analysis they wanna throw in the ring? Go to it, geeks!

  • Feb. 2, 1999, 11:08 a.m. CST

    TERRY FLIPPO did it better!

    by mckracken

    now I **KNOW** no one has heard of Terry Flippo. He wrote and drew a slef published four issue mini-series that was called Axel & Alex, then republished it as a trade paperback with an INCREDIBLY small print run last year. I got one and IT ROCKS!! Iron Giant sounds suspiciously like this four issue comic book mini series from Terry Flippo... by the way, this series hasnt stopped, he's hard at work on issue #5!! GO TERRY!

  • Feb. 2, 1999, 11:18 a.m. CST

    The Iron Man (or Giant, in this case)

    by Achilles

    It's great to know that someone has finally made a movie out of this great book. As a big Townshend fan, I only read the book after his album came out. It is a great example of an adult-themed children's book. Hughes was an immensely talented but widely reviled man (it was he who drove Sylvia Plath to commit suicide when he was married to her). I am hoping that they keep the theme of the book intact, that of the Iron Man's loneliness and his one desire to find a friend (and the hurt that he suffers at the hands of others, merely because he is different). I also hope that they stay true to the story in terms of the finale, which I won't give away...

  • Feb. 2, 1999, 11:18 a.m. CST

    Thanks for the info...

    by Bundren

    This is why I visit this sight: to hear about upocoming movies and projects that I should watch out for on my radar. You've gotten me excited about seeing this film(which I'd never heard of before) and in the process, you do a nice job of explaining what's wrong with animation films today. I certainly hope that "Iron Giant" is an antidote to the Disney formula that no one seems brave enough to break.

  • Feb. 2, 1999, 12:36 p.m. CST

    nix on Williams

    by larickman

    Moriarty, you are pretty much right on with everything except the John Williams bit. His work has become so derivative and generic that his scores are interchangable between pix. No one would know the difference. A more progressive score is called for here.

  • Feb. 2, 1999, 2:20 p.m. CST

    best pitch

    by carbone1138

    you think john williams is interchangeable?how bout danny elfman?he hasnt done anything different since oingo boingo.and here is the best pitch for 99. don swayze,frank stallone and chad lowe in "oh i thought you were someone else"

  • Feb. 2, 1999, 3:46 p.m. CST

    thanks for bringing this to my attention

    by rhsc77

    Nice. I like the way this sounds. Im familiar with the novel and the album, but I did not know an animated film was coming out. With an auspicious team like that, Warners should be putting some marketing muscle behind it. One note though, I think Danny Elfman is a better choice for the score, as long as the songs dont get treacly like some were in Nightmare B4 Xmas. Keep up the good work! Later SC

  • Feb. 2, 1999, 6:25 p.m. CST

    my five cents

    by MIA006

    Am I the only one who hasn't heard of this book or album before? Anyway this sounds awesome and I do have some faith in Warner Bros. Creative faith anyway, not marketing faith. Their marketing campaign killed the ultra cool Negotiator so it can kill anything. Anyway, this post has made me want to see this movie.

  • Feb. 2, 1999, 6:25 p.m. CST

    my five cents

    by MIA006

    Am I the only one who hasn't heard of this book or album before? Anyway this sounds awesome and I do have some faith in Warner Bros. Creative faith anyway, not marketing faith. Their marketing campaign killed the ultra cool Negotiator so it can kill anything. Anyway, this post has made me want to see this movie.

  • Feb. 2, 1999, 9:47 p.m. CST

    Danny Elfman? Forget it.

    by Maruku

    Danny Elfman reminds me of a subwoofer a friend of mine purchased from Best Buy without doing research on the net to make sure he wasn't making a poor decision. It can be pretty loud, but not without clipping, and it suffers from the common problem known as a "one-note Tommy". That's my way of saying that I'd rather not hear another gear-factory polka score. It would be nice to have Williams do the score, but he may be tied up with more important jobs so it's probably not realistic to anticipate his participation in this project. (In all fairness, however, I must admit that if it were a choice between Elfmand and Horner, I'd be rooting for Elfman, as I have a low opinion of anyone who would steal music from 2001 for Aliens and then use the same cue again in Clear and Present Danger).

  • Feb. 3, 1999, 5:42 a.m. CST

    Zero effect...

    by Dodgy

    Warners did Zero effect??? That explains why it didn't get national distribution over here in the UK. Loads of magazines raved on it and I was really looking forward to it, and then warners goes and gives it a limited release (which usually means just London :(

  • Feb. 3, 1999, 6:52 a.m. CST

    Warner Bros vs. Disney

    by Tides

    It does not matter how good a movie is, pitting it against an animiated Disney film is suicide. Disney has the name recognition that will bring families to the theater in droves, no matter how fluffy the movie is, parents think, "if it's Disney the kids will love it." WB does not have the same power at all. It hasn't turned out the greatest movies lately (and that's being kind) and even its television station isn't exactly kid friendly. Let Iron Giant enter theaters without competition so that it will get an automatic audience of parents desperate for a movie to take their kids to. Then word of mouth will build and Warner Brothers will finally have an animated blockbuster on their hands to rival Disney.

  • Feb. 3, 1999, 11:42 a.m. CST

    Anime rip-off

    by Channel_Z

    I've seen art from Iron Giant at trade shows, and to me it looks like a rip-off of the Japanese anime OAV series Giant Robo, which was itself an homage to the old Gigantor. This is just like when Disney ripped off Kimba the White Lion and called it the Lion King. Do we really need this? What's next, Dreamwork's rip-off of Space Cruiser Yamato, or maybe Pixar's take on Sailor Moon? Yawn...This is gonna be a big snoozer.

  • Feb. 3, 1999, 7:43 p.m. CST

    Iron Giant

    by SBK

    I was thrilled to read Moriarty's commentary. Who cares if Warner Bros. is a wimp, they are sitting on one of the best animated features I've ever seen, that is what matters. My mother who is working on this film is the happiest she's been in years with the material she has to stare at every day. Probably the first movie I'm not embarresed to say she has worked on. I to have dreams the studio will get its head out of its "you-know-what" and COMMIT to this film. Of course I doubt this will ever happen. But I am glad someone is telling them they are INSANE for not doing so.

  • Feb. 4, 1999, 12:52 p.m. CST

    A step back into reality

    by Suprachu

    Of all the reviews I have read on this sight over the past year and 1/2 - very few have been so lucid, so insightful, while sticking to Harry's philosophy of non-interventionist reviewing. My appetite is whet for this brave step in animated cinema, however we must remember with whom were dealing. This is Warner Bros. a studio that has run many a promising project into the cold dark earth. Though I agree that in a perfect world - a studio so down on its luck should press - double down even, by attempting to butt heads with the Disney juggernaut this upcoming summer season - and get paid off in spades with an animation mutiny of sorts - throngs of youngsters and youngsters at heart jumping the Disney ship to the sleeker more aesthetically pleasing vessel on the basis of a call to arms of sorts - a rip roaring trailer. But alas, I feel that it would spell doom. If we've learned anything over the past year - there maybe a magical 216 digit number - an equation not unlike that being sought after by the young mister Cohen in Aaron Aronofsky's masterpiece. There is a pattern forming, look at Antz - Bugs life - or Deep Impact - Armageddon- let the masses cut their teeth on the more slovenly product, then pounce after1 1/2 months and reap the rewards of an audience primed for such a taste. Prince of Egypt - had it not had the legs it ended up having - would have been a major dissapoinment - SKG struck too soon after Bugs Life and its opening weekend numbers suffered heavily.(take at look on showbizdata's archives) TIMING IS CRUCIAL - and if WB were to release this too soon after Tarzan - it will falter - no doubt in my mind. 6 weeks 6weeks I say to let the huddled masses get reaquainted with animation set in another time - then strike just as the sharks are ready for another circle.

  • Feb. 4, 1999, 5:17 p.m. CST

    Sounds Sweet Elfman is bonus

    by goonies8

    This movie sounds like it could be one of the top animated by the way you described it. First off, anything to do with the Simpsons or anyone who works on it is golden in my book, and an animated story with a good story and no musical numbers is a nice topper. And if Danny Elfman does the score it would just be the perfect animated.

  • May 8, 1999, 6:20 p.m. CST

    too late?

    by anakin78z

    I'm sure that no one is going to read this comment, because it's writtien some 3 months after Moriarties review. But on the off chance, here's what I have to say: It's really sad to see that of the attempts to give this movie some rectognitions failed. It's now May 8, and untill about 20 minutes ago, I've never even heard about this movie, and I'm an animation student! Then again, I've been staying away from anything that has WB written on it. Seriously, if they want this to be a success, hide the fact that Warner worked on it, and give it some studio name. After Quest for Camelot (shiver) and now King and I, I think that anyone would rather sit at home and count the cracks in the ceiling before going to see another WB animation. That's not true of course. Anyone who reads articles like this one, might get interested enough to put forward the $8 to see the movie. But chances are that the parrents who had to sit through that abomination they called Quest for Camelot, wont think that this one will be any better. On a second note, I'd just like to confirm that no matter what they do, Disney will always come out on top. Proof: Pocahontas. I found this movie so bad, I din't bother to watch it all the way. And yet, I'm sure it still met all expectations and made children and parents all over happy. Yuck. P.S. Wiliams or Elfman, either way it's going to be great