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Mr. Beaks Attends The 10th Anniversary Celebration Of THE IRON GIANT! Calls For A Theatrical Re-Release!

"What if a gun had a soul and didn't want to be a gun?"



Stirring in its simplicity, bold in its depiction of humanity's capacity for violence, ruthless in its ability to make grown men cry, THE IRON GIANT endures because, once upon a time, its visionary director Brad Bird refused to treat his audience like imbeciles. He had no interest in mindlessly emulating the popular movie-musical formula of Katzenberg-era Disney or incorporating a hip-hop soundtrack to broaden the film's demographic appeal; he just wanted to tell a timeless story about a kid who befriends a giant, non-singing, potentially-lethal robot from another planet. This, unbelievably, was a revolutionary idea back in the 1990s. And while Warner Bros. Feature Animation was eager to bring a talented filmmaker like Bird into the fold, they were baffled by (if not outright hostile to) the director's stubborn insistence on jettisoning the musical elements, setting the film in 1957 (at the height of Sputnik paranoia), and stranding viewers with a protagonist named Hogarth, the only child of a single mother. "How depressing," thought the studio! "Would it kill Bird to give young Hogarth a kid sister or a talking dog to liven things up a little? Could he possibly bring the film into the present day? And, seriously, he's just kidding about going the non-musical route, right? 'Cuz no one makes cartoons without musical numbers anymore. It just isn't done. Perhaps he'd change his mind if he heard the demos for those fabulous Carole Bayer Sager/David Foster tunes from QUEST FOR CAMELOT!" Though Bird was pressured to make such changes throughout development, he never capitulated to the studio's demands. According to the director at last Friday's ASIFA-sponsored 10th Anniversary celebration for THE IRON GIANT (held at the Stephen J. Ross Theatre on the Warner Bros. lot), this earned him a reputation for being "difficult" - which, evidently, is studio-speak for "having an opinion". Whether or not Bird was unduly combative, it turns out he had a right to be recalcitrant: though the film bombed theatrically (for reasons that aren't as clear-cut as you might think), it was still a massive hit with critics and championed by upstart websites like AICN*; within a year of its release, the picture was already being referred to as a new family classic by the thousands of discriminating individuals who took a chance on it. For those of us who were enchanted by THE IRON GIANT from day one, it's been incredibly gratifying to see Bird go on to make two of the best animated films of the last decade in THE INCREDIBLES and RATATOUILLE. But it's still mildly annoying to know that Bird's debut feature was never fully appreciated in the cinema as the 'scope masterpiece that it so clearly is. It's one thing to watch THE IRON GIANT at home on DVD, but quite another to get lost in its anamorphic splendor in a darkened theater. This is where the film comes alive. The rich autumnal colors of the picture's Maine setting (inspired by the regionalistic art of Thomas Hart Benton and Grant Wood) are much more lush when projected, while the lumbering lug-ishness of the titular character is even more charming when he's bumbling about on a thirty-foot-tall movie screen. THE IRON GIANT may be a small film in terms of character and narrative, but it actually has immense visual scale. Just look at the above image of the Giant soaring into the heavens to save Hogarth and the townspeople from nuclear annihilation. Wouldn't you love to see that on the big screen? Of course you would. So here's my pitch to Warner Bros.: Obviously, you're going to release THE IRON GIANT on Blu-ray at some point - and I'm sure it's going to be a snazzy, visually-immaculate, extras-packed upgrade of the five-year-old "Special Edition" DVD. I can't wait to own it and share it with my imaginary children. But you know what would be really wonderful - and, I think, a lovely gesture to a film you couldn't quite figure out the first time around? A theatrical re-release. I can only go on anecdotal evidence here, but, as far as I know, THE IRON GIANT is more beloved by thirtysomething geeks like me than the audience for which it was largely intended: i.e. children. And while I made damn sure my nephew got the DVD several years ago (well before he was ready for it), the film just can't compete with the aggressively-marketed likes of ICE AGE, CARS and STAR WARS. These are the films kids want on a loop while they're building Lego spaceships or smashing Transformers into each other with Bay-like zeal. A less visually frantic movie like THE IRON GIANT - for which there are no tie-in toys currently available - just doesn't stand a chance. But if you plop these kids down in a theater for ninety minutes, they'll be laughing and cheering and crying and - here's the part you'll like, WB - clamoring for their own Iron Giant. It's an experience they'll cherish forever - one they'll want to share with their own kids thirty years down the line. Suddenly, this is no longer an animated film parents love more than their children; it's a family classic for the ages ala THE WIZARD OF OZ or PINOCCHIO. I know there's precious little incentive to follow through on this: your feature animation division has been shuttered for years, and you've probably barely recouped on THE IRON GIANT's $48 million production budget as a catalogue title (if you've recouped at all). Also, you've traditionally got the most packed release schedule of any studio in town. Why take a risk redistributing a ten-year-old, hand-drawn cult item when you've got twenty brand new movies to market? Because THE IRON GIANT should be one of your studio's crown jewels. It's as close to perfect as a film can be. In many ways, I think it's more engaging for younger viewers than E.T.: THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL (which Bird's film is clearly patterned after). I mean, E.T.'s neat and all, but can he chow down on scrap metal like it's candy or hurl a junky Oldsmobile into the next county? I don't think so. And does E.T. ever compel Elliot to explain death and the possibility of an afterlife in a manner as eloquent as this:
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. Iron Giant: You die? Hogarth: Well, yes, someday. 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. Iron Giant: Soul? Hogarth: Mom says it's something inside of all good things, and that it goes on forever and ever. Iron Giant: Souls don't die.
*Sniffle*. Even if you're an atheist, is that such a horrible notion to impart to children? Replace Bibles and Torahs and Qur'ans with this simple exchange, and the world would be a much better place. There are millions of moviegoers out there who don't realize how special THE IRON GIANT is. For most, it's just another babysitter on the DVD shelf. Hell, for many critics, it's just that little movie that got Brad Bird gainful employment up in Emeryville, CA. But here's the thing: I think it's a better overall film than THE INCREDIBLES or RATATOUILLE. Frankly, it's one of the few modern animated films worthy of Disney's golden age. And you know how Disney mines those classics with rereleases and merchandising and insultingly inferior direct-to-DVD sequels? You should be doing that with THE IRON GIANT (though feel free to skip the insultingly inferior direct-to-DVD sequels). Basically, you've got a WILLY WONKA & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY on your hands, but you're treating it like... well, QUEST FOR CAMELOT. Our Iron Giant deserves better. He's Superman. Here endeth the harangue.

While I had hoped there was going to be a screening to go along with the big 10th Anniversary celebration last Friday, Bird and his erstwhile creative team more than held the audience's attention with a detailed, respectfully dishy Q&A that genuinely enhanced my knowledge of the film's development, production and botched release. Here are the highlights from the nearly two-hour chat. Joining Bird were Scott F. Johnston (artistic coordinator), Alan Bodner (art director), Tad A. Gielow (computer graphics), Brian Gardner (technical director), Jeff Lynch (story department head), and Eddie Rosas (animator):

    *Bird became involved with THE IRON GIANT after an animated sci-fi project he was developing with Turner Entertainment, called RAY GUNN, died. You can get a taste for what we missed out on here.
    *Bird recounting a typical conversation with Ted Turner: "You're the hot shit guy, right? Am I supposed to kiss your ass or something? Hold on! I gotta talk to Michael Milken!"
    *THE IRON GIANT, derived from the novel by Ted Hughes, was initially intended to be a big-screen rendition of Pete Townsend's concept LP, THE IRON MAN, which The Who guitarist had developed with Des McAnuff (who directed the stage musical of TOMMY - and the not-as-bad-as-its-reputation THE ADVENTURES OF ROCKY & BULLWINKLE). Bird had to personally inform Townsend that he would not be using his material for his version of the film. This was apparently very difficult. But Bird says Townsend was very gracious in walking away from the project. Many years later, Townsend sent the director a letter of congratulations after the opening of THE INCREDIBLES.
    *The studio was unrelenting in its attempts to get Bird to contemporize the setting. Finally, he blew up at the execs, stating (with no shortage of profanity) that the Giant couldn't hide anywhere given today's satellite technology. This was the end of that discussion.
    *Bird on the pitfalls of working within the studio system: "If you show you care, they have you." Even after WB had agreed to Bird's take on the material, they continued to lobby his agent to get him to make changes. But Bird had signed a six-month-or-out contract to develop the film, which gave him a great deal of leeway to tailor the film to his sensibilities. Finally, at what Bird remembers as "six months and one day", Warner Bros. greenlit THE IRON GIANT. Fortunately for their production budget (which Bird places at $48 million), they got the go-ahead before QUEST FOR CAMELOT bombed.
    *We were shown the work-reel version of Hogarth's initial search for the Giant in the forest. It was mostly temp-scored to Jerry Goldsmith's "Hyper Sleep" cue from ALIEN. The studio didn't like this sequence. They found it boring.
    *Conceived, but never animated (due to expense): a protracted, chaotic battle between the military and the Iron Giant. There was a scene where the Giant dives into the ocean and dodges a torpedo fired from a submarine - which then hits the face of a cliff, bringing an avalanche of rocks down on the Giant and Hogarth. When the Giant submerges with Hogarth, he realizes the boy cannot breathe underwater, so he frantically retrieves an air bubble from the surface to save his friend's life.
    *Animated, but cut from the film: a bit of comedic business involving "Tutti Frutti". Harry Connick Jr.'s beatnik character, Dean, gives Hogarth a .45 of Little Richard's original recording of the song. Later in the film, Kent Mansley tries to win the young boy over by giving him a copy of Pat Boone's version. In trying to sell a skeptical Hogarth on Boone's travestying of the rock-and-roll classic, Kent exclaims, "It's got that jungle rhythm, but you can understand the words!" Bird fought to keep the scene in the film, but ultimately conceded that it just didn't fit.
    *Chloroforming Hogarth was fine with the studio. Chloroforming and tying him up? Not okay.
    *Along with the Regionalist artwork of Thomas Hart Benton and Grant Wood, they also patterned the nostalgic look of the film after THE BLACK STALLION and TUCKER: THE MAN AND HIS DREAM (which were shot by, respectively, Caleb Deschanel and Vittorio Storaro).
    *Bird was adamant about seamlessly incorporating the CG elements into the hand-drawn look of the film. He wanted to stay away from any hint of CG perfection.
    *The Giant had eyebrows and a conveyer-belt tongue at one point.
    *The production gag reel includes an outtake of the Iron Giant as a cigarette-smoking private detective in the mold of Philip Marlowe. Sadly, the audio was too muddy to make out what he was saying, but it was still very funny.
    *When the Giant's disembodied hand switches on the television during dinner at Hogarth's home, Bird wanted him/it to see the opening from a 1957 episode of the DISNEYLAND show that has something to do with Tinkerbell creating an atom and a rocket blasting off. They never got permission to use this footage.
    *Bird likes to be in the recording studio directing his voice actors, and he'll go to great lengths to get the performances he wants out of them. On THE IRON GIANT, to achieve the proper teeth-chattering effect from Hogarth, he had Eli Marienthal soak his feet in ice water for a while. On THE INCREDIBLES, he ran around the block several times with Craig T. Nelson to get the actor out of breath.
    *Bird credits the artistic success of the film to the high morale amongst the crew. Everyone involved loved the project and wanted to make the best film possible. Many times, people were working off the clock.
    *Bird partially blames his cockiness for the commercial failure of THE IRON GIANT. When the film posted remarkably high test screening numbers, a surprised Warner Bros. wanted to delay the release so that they could figure out a better marketing strategy. Bird was indignant. How could they not have a decent marketing strategy when the film had been in production for over a year? So he pressed them to release the film in the summer of 1999 as originally planned - which they did. THE IRON GIANT opened on the weekend of August 6th, and grossed $5.7 milliion on 2,179 screens. Final domestic tally: $23.2 million.
    *Bird thinks that THE IRON GIANT crew was rounding into form by the end of production. He believes their second film together would've blown everyone away, and seems to regret that that film - RAY GUNN? - never got made.

For those of you who wish you could've been there, here's some very good news: the event was videotaped by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. The fact that this reunion was moved from an auditorium at Woodbury University to the studio's signature screening room suggests that WB has something special in store for THE IRON GIANT. When and if you decide to reintroduce the film to moviegoers, WB, I can promise you that AICN - and fans of classic animation everywhere - will be there to back the picture every step of the way. Faithfully submitted, Mr. Beaks

*That's Harry's post-release review. Moriarty was on the case well before that with this review and, a few months later, this interview with Brad Bird. Apologies for the goofy second link, but it appears the original piece was lost to a server move.

Readers Talkback
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  • Oct. 28, 2009, 12:23 a.m. CST

    suuuuuuuupeeeeeeeeermaaaaaaaan

    by The_Crimson_King

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 12:24 a.m. CST

    FIRST!!

    by Weapon M

    DAMMIT!!!!!!!!!

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 12:25 a.m. CST

    THE IRON GIANT really is a great movie...

    by The_Crimson_King

    as a kid I thought it looked kinda dumb in the advertisements for it so I didn't see it in theaters, but later I did rent it on video and was blown away by how awesome it was!

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 12:26 a.m. CST

    Weapon M you've been...

    by The_Crimson_King

    TOUCHED BY THE CRIMSON KING! TOUCHED BY THE SAAAAAVIOR!

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 12:28 a.m. CST

    ya know another underrated animated movie..

    by The_Crimson_King

    no one EVER talks about? Cats Don't Dance, while I admit I haven't seen it in forever I really enjoyed it as a kid, it's a very fun musical homage to golden age Hollywood, with dancing and singing cats....

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 12:38 a.m. CST

    Giving all the credit to Bird? This was based on a BOOK you know

    by manifestchaos

    Bless Ted Hughes.

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 12:42 a.m. CST

    Yes, seeing this on the big screen would be AWESOME!

    by DrMorbius

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 12:44 a.m. CST

    yeah seeing this on the big screen would be a dream come true...

    by The_Crimson_King

    which is why it probably wont happen, Hollywood never does things like that anymore, still there's hope that maybe WB is working on a super special blu ray

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 12:50 a.m. CST

    I'll only watch an upgraded one with: CG, 3D, & Miley Cyrus musi

    by GibsonUSA Returns

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 12:59 a.m. CST

    Iron Giant in IMAX....(drools)

    by Geomancer21

    An HD remaster shown in IMAX would be fucking sweet. I love the movie, awesome animation, awesome story, awesome acting, awesome sound, just...... Awesome.<BR><BR>Why did it fail though? what did it open against? I remember Roger Ebert even had a hard on for this film for awhile, and was calling for the "New classic" title. What happened?

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 1 a.m. CST

    Warners put all their Marketing Money

    by HermesTrismestigus

    Into promoting Wild Wild West...and seemed to abandon it.

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 1:01 a.m. CST

    Geomancer21

    by mrbeaks

    Opened against THE SIXTH SENSE, THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR and MYSTERY MEN (which lost a shitload of money for Universal). THE IRON GIANT's also finished behind the third weekend of INSPECTOR GADGET.

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 1:04 a.m. CST

    Beaks, for God's Sake...

    by Toonol

    I agree with you about the movie, and nearly everything you said. It's one of the best (western) animated movies of the last decade+. But this:<p> "which were lensed by, respectively, Caleb Deschanel and Vittorio Storaro"<p> "Lensed?" If you slip into VARIETY-SPEAK, my god, you're dead to me. Dead to us all, I suspect.

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 1:05 a.m. CST

    "I love you"

    by McDuff

    My parents broke down at that part. It was one of those movies I saw as kid that I know was special. Though, after reading about the giant space bat in the book, I kind of wished that was in the movie. But can't mess with art.

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 1:06 a.m. CST

    You Know What, Toonol?

    by mrbeaks

    You're right. Horrible lapse on my part.

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 1:08 a.m. CST

    What if a movie was good

    by no1ofimportance

    instead of preachy crap? The animation was great, but the story sucked and was too concerned with a simplistic moral. Bird does deserve the credit/blame for the movie. The movie has no relation to Ted Hughes' book or Townsend's musical adaptation.

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 1:11 a.m. CST

    Wait, you want this movie to flop again?

    by WickedJacob

    or did the resounding success of "9" convince you that audiences are more receptive to a smart sci-fi cartoon?

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 1:16 a.m. CST

    No screening + spoilers = angry fiance

    by CENOBITE

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 1:18 a.m. CST

    No screening + spoilers = angry fiance

    by CENOBITE

    I enjoyed the presentation, however someone was royally pissed to have so much of the movie spoiled w/o having seen it first. I guess I'm used to the usual Hollywood screening followed by the typical Q&A. No-go with this one. I got an earful after the presentation by a very angry female.

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 1:19 a.m. CST

    Forgiven.

    by Toonol

    It's probably a hard habit to avoid, with all those Hollywood stars you hang out with. I have used slang, myself, once or twice.<br><br> Anyway... one of the good things about both Imax and Real3d is that they are leading to more re-releases than we've had in a long time. I wish studios did that more often; while re-releases don't make blockbuster-level sales, it seems like it would be nearly free money for the studios.

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 1:29 a.m. CST

    My kids LOVE this movie - so do I

    by Player01

    I showed this to my 3+5+8 year old girls. They STILL love it, the 8 year old remembers seeing it when she was 3. Amazing movie. I love it... Thanks Brad!

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 1:41 a.m. CST

    WB Release It on a Special Edition Blu Ray!

    by BlackBriar

    This Movie was awesome! I remember The good ol' days of Movies with animation. now everything is Freakin CGI!! Great Movie! its a classic!

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 1:46 a.m. CST

    Never saw this movie

    by lockesbrokenleg

    Is it good?

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 1:47 a.m. CST

    lockesbrokenleg

    by The_Crimson_King

    you bet your broken leg it is

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 1:49 a.m. CST

    Vin Diesel did a good job as the giant!

    by BlackBriar

    It had some Swearing (just a little)and as kid,I thought that was awesome seeing a cartoon movie that some swearing in. Freakin awesome movie!

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 1:57 a.m. CST

    I Agree! WB Fudged it up!!

    by BlackBriar

    Focusing Wild Wild West!Not really caring about Iron Giant. Wild wild west is One of the worst movies of all time! Will smith still sucks!!

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 2:12 a.m. CST

    by Midnighter

    I remember seeing this opening day with about 5 other people in the theater. I think I'm in a permanent state of grumpiness partially because humanity at large has yet to embrace this film to its bosom like the classic it is. The disappointment at the time weighed heavy on me, kind of like watching Jeff Dunham's success now. You can lead a horse a water...

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 2:16 a.m. CST

    Capital F Classic

    by quantize

    its that good...its commercial failure only proves what diabolical taste most people have..and TF2? that incoherent dog's diarrhea did what kind of money? rest my case.

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 2:17 a.m. CST

    no1ofimportance

    by quantize

    you nick is almost right... <p> 1ofnoimportance <p> corrected

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 2:20 a.m. CST

    One of the greatest feature animations ever made hands down.

    by drgeekdom

    If you have not seen it ...rent it,find it, borrow it. See how good it is. It's a credit to all who brought it to the screen.

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 2:21 a.m. CST

    Better than The Incredibles? I think not.

    by criticalbliss

    That said, The Iron Giant is a beautiful film.

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 2:41 a.m. CST

    And the point is?

    by Megan_Foxs_Tool_Box

    It still sucks-even after all these years

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 2:57 a.m. CST

    Yes, This is better than The Incredible's....

    by dark antifyre

    ...and in my eyes ET and flight of the navigator and any of the other 'boy/girl and strange friend/s' films we cling to from when we were kids...

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 3:17 a.m. CST

    You're wrong.

    by criticalbliss

    Iron Giant is a great film, but there are definite flaws. Better than ET? No. <p> And not better than The Incredibles which is damned near perfect either. Just lesser known and appreciated.

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 3:18 a.m. CST

    Stupid Nerd Thought

    by Continentalop

    This film should almost be the template for the next Superman movie. Really. <P> When I saw it, I couldn't help but think how this story would actually work as Superman story (not the whole story, just elements of it), with the Iron Giant replaced by Bizarro. Basically it is the story of a "monster" who aspires to be Superman, and finally gets his chance to be the hero by sacrificing himself. That's f'ing Bizarro at his best! <P> Anyways, I am glad IRON GIANT is about old Superman, because it would be creepy to see this giant robot stalking some girl if he was a fan of modern Supes.

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 3:21 a.m. CST

    The Iron Woman

    by The_Skook

    I think it's time for Brad Bird to make Ted Hughes' 1993 sequel to The Iron Man/Giant, The Iron Woman. It's theme of environmental destruction would be pretty topical, methinks!

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 3:22 a.m. CST

    "You can be whomever you want!"

    by Continentalop

    "Staaaaaaaalkerrrrrmannnn!!!" <P> Brrrr. Just the thought of it gives me the chills...

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 3:23 a.m. CST

    omg, AICN still on about this film

    by BendersShinyAss

    it was ok..... it was NOT a religious experience

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 3:25 a.m. CST

    Saw this in 'scope back in '99—

    by blakindigo

    —it was everything I could have possibly hoped for from Brad Bird. I know at one point he was trying to make an animated feature of Will Eisner's "The Spirit" and it never came to pass. Tragic. But, I went to a sneak preview of this and was blown away.<br><br>I remembered the name Brad Bird from this "Amazing Stories" episode: http://tinyurl.com/yla7d2e

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 3:42 a.m. CST

    North Carolina screening in 35mm -- NEXT WEEK!!

    by The Tao of Joe

    Beaks is right, this film deserves a theatrical re-release this year, which is why at 10 a.m. Saturday, November 7, I will be playing "The Iron Giant" in 35mm along with the Fleischer Superman short "Metal Monsters." It all takes place at the Carousel Luxury Cinemas on 1305 Battleground Ave. in Greensboro, NC. Best part is that tickets are only $3, and you can purchase them online here:http://tinyurl.com/ygytq2p. As you can tell by our ticket prices, we're not trying to make a huge profit off this screening. We just want to celebrate this truly fantastic movie in 35mm. And if you have to make a long road trip to make it out to our screening, let me know, and I will hook you up with some free donuts.

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 3:46 a.m. CST

    Op, Indigo...

    by Rakafraker

    Op, The script is out there for Bizarro, and only briefly considered, though I'd LOVE to see a movie like that.<p>Indigo, I usedto have a friend of mine from the States videotape Amazing Stories for me because we couldn't get it where I lived. It was like Twilight Zone, Outer Limits and Night Gallery, but less scary (sometimes). I wish there were shows like that on TV now.<p>*sigh*

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 3:53 a.m. CST

    Best animated movie ever made.

    by Obscura

    and i don't say that lightly. Its absolutely perfect in every way, and its all down to an incredibly strong narrative, and a director who knows whats important. <p><p> you don't need flashy effects, or big name voice talent, if your story hasnt been hammered out into perfection. <p><p> AND its Vin Diesels best role by far.

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 4:10 a.m. CST

    And yes, Iron Giant brought this grown man to tears.

    by Rakafraker

    I'm old enough to be a grampa now, but it did have an effect on me when we watched it. It was no ET, but it was effecting, for sure. On the same "Classic" list as Watership Down and Secret of Nimh, as far as animation goes. Brutally honest and whimsical.<p>I wish the film-going public had more of a taste for shows like that. I wonder what 9 would have been like if it wasn't "dumbed-down" for kids so much. The short had me thinking that 9 could have been really special. It really is too bad. The failure of these films is what makes the studios and financiers avoid these projects.<p>For shame...

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 4:33 a.m. CST

    I Lucked Out...

    by The Dreaded Rear Admiral

    And saw it in the thrater. I was one of six folks in there. I should be grateful, as I was crying my eyes out. Still remember that...

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 5:22 a.m. CST

    One fantastic movie.

    by BurnedNotice_Dude

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 5:33 a.m. CST

    Fantastic Film

    by Chaosinabox

    Saw Iron Giant twice in the theatre. Each time afterwards, I ran to a pay phone (cell phones were out of my budget in '99), started calling all my friends and say, "YOU'VE GOT TO SEE THIS MOVIE!" Up to two years later, I was still getting calls from my friends. "I finally rented it last night because I remembered your frantic phone call, and you know what? YOU'RE RIGHT! THIS IS SO AWESOME!!"

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 5:43 a.m. CST

    RATATOUILLE was awful

    by ZombieHeathLedger

    INCREDIBLES however, is a modern masterpiece that begs for a sequel.

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 6:11 a.m. CST

    "RATATOUILLE"≠awful, it's actually brilliant—

    by blakindigo

    —but, after the "Incredibles" I could see how someone would be let down.

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 6:12 a.m. CST

    I liked it. I still have the VHS

    by Sal_Bando

    Don't see it as a classic(TM) but do enjoy revisiting it from time to time. Never saw Ratatooey, not wild about that one.

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 6:36 a.m. CST

    Awesome movie. Would have done better at Christmas, I think.

    by Mr Nicholas

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 7:10 a.m. CST

    Fantastic Film

    by Jaws Wayne

    We have a really sweet US one sheet from the film framed up in our little DVD rental store called Cinemagic, don't we brother Mark ? Haha. Can't wait for Mr. Bird's next feature film and here's hopin' he'll give us a new film about those Masked Supers as well in a while.

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 7:27 a.m. CST

    Can't say I want a re-release

    by ballyhoo

    I love this film immensely, but I probably wouldn't see a re-release. Bigger doesn't mean better to me, never has. Whenever I am in the mood for the Giant, my wife and I watch the DVD, and ending crying rivers. That's good enough for me.

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 7:45 a.m. CST

    A re release would be awesome

    by Semen Stains

    Do it WB,you will make the big bucks this time for sure.

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 7:53 a.m. CST

    Please WB re-release the movie!

    by fassbinder79

    Love Warner Brothers! Love Iron Giant! If WB re-releases the film I think it would do more to save hand drawn animation than Princess And The Frog!

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 7:56 a.m. CST

    One of the greatest movies ever!

    by alienindisguise

    I remember seeing it in theaters and there were about 5 other people in there with me. It's unfortunate that audiences then and now would rather be talked down to and intellectually insulted. The masses are so fucking mindless and chicken shit to take a chane on anything even something as simple as seeing a movie that's different. The public wants stupid and meaningless hence the state of America. Anyone who doesn't see the Iron Giant is definitely missing out on a masterpiece for the ages. In my opinion, it was the last great movie I saw and that was 10 years ago.

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 8:02 a.m. CST

    Allow me to join the circle-jerk

    by Abominable Snowcone

    Iron Giant really is a great movie. Just great.<p> I'm Superman.

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 8:02 a.m. CST

    I also would to see it re-released, in theatres.

    by Jamie McBain

    That would be so awesome.

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 8:46 a.m. CST

    Waitaminute...there were DIRECT-TO-VIDEO SEQUELS to this?!

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    I don't remember that.<BR><BR>Anyways, I saw this in theaters back in the day (in fact, I saw this and McTiernan's terrific Thomas Crown Affair remake on the same day), and agree it's a shame it never found the audience it deserved. That said, a theatrical reissue would bomb all over again unless the film was made into 3D or some such bullshit. Yeah, it has a cult following, but so does Evil Dead, and a theatrical reissue of that would get laughed off the screen by the Saw generation.

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 9:35 a.m. CST

    My father is almost 60 and I'm almost 31...

    by Azlam Orlandu

    ...and both of us absolutely love this film. It came out a couple of years before I attended animation school and it had a profound influence on me ever since. It's not perfect, but it's heart, the fact that it launched Brad Bird and the waves it made are terribly important to the world of animation (Pixar in particular.)

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 9:39 a.m. CST

    I would definitely buy a ticket for a re-release.

    by itto0gami

    I'm disappointed that I had to discover this on DVD and never had the opportunity to see it on the big screen.

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 10:02 a.m. CST

    Saw this big screen 1st time with Fight Club

    by filmcoyote

    Probably the greatest, craziest double bill i've ever done was The Iron Giant and Fight Club. I love Iron Giant, it made me know the name Brad Bird, a name that hasn't let me down once. I would buy a ticket to a re-release in a second, but about a third of the films i see at the cinema each year are classics (i've seen about 60 classics this year so far, next up - Clouzot's Les Diaboliques on Tuesday) so i'm an easy sell. I agree with the sentiments above that a theatrical re-release probably wouldn't work because general audiences are just as thick now as then and they've had 10 more years to accept CG bullshit as the norm! And now all they'll want is 3D animation! But as a call to arms for retro theatres that specialise in showing classics like this to receptive, loyal audiences the thinking is sound. PCC or NFT in London, go to it.

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 10:32 a.m. CST

    One more vote for theatrical re-release...

    by HarryCalder

    Only saw this one on Laserdisk(!) but damn if it didn't hit me hard. Great movie, and again, great score. Would love to hear it in its proper setting.

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 10:57 a.m. CST

    BEST ANIMATED FILM EVER!

    by The_Genteel_Gentile

    Simply majestic. Since I fist saw this elegant classic gem of a film opening day back in '99, I've preached it's gospel. I remember infaticaly stating with utter certainty as I walked out of the theater that THAT was the finest animated movie ever made, and it still is. If fact I remember feeling it was so good, the only shame was that it wasn't live-action so that it would be more easily deemed rightfully superior to even the mighty E.T. and Flight Of The Navagator (because it is).<p> Although no where near the perfection of Iron Giant, another animated film I think is pretty undervalued is Over The Hedge. That's a solidly entertaining flick with some great animation and characters....but I digress...<p> Maybe Brad Bird will one day return to this masterpiece in the form of a sequel or live-action remake...or live-action sequel for that matter. I think I'd like that very much (as long as Brad Bird's the one in charge, I trust it would be magnificent). Only Michael Kamen's musical brilliance is no longer with us, so I don't know...perhaps James Newton Howard or Giacchino could pinch-hit in his place. Maybe then Pete Townsends stuff could find a place as well. If live-action, give Caleb Deschanel a call (although I'd go with Robert Richardson, look no further than Snow Falling On Cedars for proof). <p> Anyway, Iron Giant's great. That is all.

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 11:17 a.m. CST

    The BEST animated film EVER made.

    by HoboCode

    Period.

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 12:18 p.m. CST

    the reason it failed at the box office was

    by brabon300

    the suits gave bird the barton fink treatment<P> they made sure that the movie would be box office poison, in order to kill bird's career...but thank god for the geniuses at pixar

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 1:13 p.m. CST

    I remember seeing it at the theater...

    by REDD

    On its initial release and buying the Iron Giant toy at the WB Store around the same time. Are there any of those WB Stores around anymore?

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 1:33 p.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    IRON GIANT. This film was... okay. Pretty good. Maybe even 8 out of 10.<p> Best animated movie ever? C'mon. Away with you.

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 1:48 p.m. CST

    brabon300

    by BendersShinyAss

    is that how hollywood works? they finance a film to bomb a filmmakers career? sounds like a load of shit to me

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 2:14 p.m. CST

    Marketing

    by mrbeaks

    Bird was tough on WB during the Q&A, but, again, when it came to the subject of marketing, he blamed himself for demanding that they stick with the original release date. You can blame WB for not knowing how to sell the movie initially, but it sounds like they were prepared to push the film back a little in order to create a more effective marketing campaign.

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 2:41 p.m. CST

    Sign me up

    by The_elusive_1

    I'd love to see this on the big screen again. Do you think WB has the gonads to market it again?

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 3:50 p.m. CST

    Amazing movie.

    by jolaz

    I missed out on this in theatres. I'd love to see a rerelease and be able to take my kids to it. They've seen it a couple times but I think the theatrical experience would be awesome for them.

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 4:25 p.m. CST

    Underrated classic

    by gun_will_travel

    I would take my kids to a theatrical re-release, just to support the makers of this fantastic gem of a film. If my kids could only have 10 DVDs in the house, this would be one of them.

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 5:52 p.m. CST

    My Son and I Have Watched This COUNTLESS Times...

    by Read and Shut Up

    ...quite simply, it's a fantastic movie. It teaches you about love, friendship, sacrifice, independence, non-violence and a hopeful future - and does it ALL without EVER being cloying or "Hallmarkian."

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 6:32 p.m. CST

    BendersShinyAss

    by brabon300

    hollywood has been known to shelve projects as a way to get back at filmakers....even after throwing tons of money into the project<p> the release date didnt kill the film, the horrible marketing campaign did<p> this movie works on many levels, and the idiot suits at the wb didnt know what to do with it, and were indeed pissed that bird (a relative unkown at the time) made his movie<p> well, bird got back at them...since those stupid fuckers at the wb couldnt figure out how to get back and make watchmen....he did....AND LEFT IN THE MOTHERFUCKING SQUID

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 10:28 p.m. CST

    Yep. Masterpiece.

    by MaxTheSilent

    Pixar owes everything it has to this extraordinary motion picture.

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 10:37 p.m. CST

    Greatest animated movie ever...

    by MaxTheSilent

    ...is unquestionably GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES. But THE IRON GIANT is easily in the top five.

  • Oct. 28, 2009, 11:09 p.m. CST

    Don't get the hype

    by lockesbrokenleg

    Movie always seemed a little mundane to me.