If you are reading this now you are probably a fan of Brad Bird’s The Iron Giant (1999). I am one of those who was late to the party. After I saw the trailer, I had no interest in seeing an animated film that wasn’t by Disney. The summer of 1999 was a rough one, too. Star Wars: Episode One The Phantom Menace landed with a thud and fans, like myself, were looking for anything to take comfort (let alone joy) in that summer. If only I would have ignored that god awful trailer Warner Brothers Released for The Iron Giant or just gone in blind.
Here we are 17 summers later and The Iron Giant has become a classic. To be fair to the critics (since no one really is these days,) they praised the film. It just had a terrible advertising campaign which produced no word of mouth to have people discover it. I can say that it was Warner Brothers’ fault because “The Giant’s Dream”, a new documentary about the film, makes that blame. Yes, Warner Brothers commissioned a new documentary for the film they literally lost millions of dollars on. Now, the film has been hailed as a “modern classic” by filmmaker Guillermo del Toro (FYI, he called it that in 1999).
“The Giant’s Dream” is an excellent documentary, with animated segments, on how this film was conceived, produced, executed, and finally trampled at the box office. The key part to remember is that tiniest audience saw the film and felt the need to share with everyone just how special this film was. As a film aficionado, I was thrilled to see how the story for The Iron Giant production started with its director, Bird, at age 11 and his first animated film. The story continues as he gets an internship for Disney, then a Disney scholarship, a Disney job, and is then promptly fired by his longtime benefactor, Disney. It really is a compelling story of an artist who has shaped not only animated film and television shows (The Incredibles and The Simpsons), but would go one to direct films such as Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and Tomorrowland (see review).
As for the film itself, this was only my second time ever watching it. Perhaps your story is like my own with The Iron Giant. My wife made me watch because she saw it in 1999 and loved it. The Signature Edition is stunning to see, yet it all came back to the story and I think this is a movie that literally everyone needs to see. I won’t ruin it for you. If you have stumbled upon this column in a Google search and are hoping to find a good film for your children to watch,The Iron Giant is perfect. It tells us that we can all be what we really want to be deep down inside, despite where we come from or who we were born to be. It reminds us that friendship and love are really the most powerful tools we have at our disposal. Filmmakers like Brad Bird come along once in a generation. We are lucky to have someone who continued to persevere through his trials with Disney, only to have them call him back and believe in his little film at Warner Brothers. Without dreamers like him, the world really would be a darker place.
BLU-RAY and ULTIMATE COLLECTORS EDITION ELEMENTS
“The Iron Giant: Signature Edition” Blu-ray disc contains the following special features:
- The Giant’s Dream documentary NEW!
The Giant’s Dream is the dramatic story about a rare moment in movie history that allowed a first-time director to make one of the world’s greatest animated films, “The Iron Giant.” Using stylized animatics, archival footage, original concept art, and revealing interviews, The Giant’s Dream charts the incredible ups and downs, industry firsts, and amazing history behind this iconic film, and its rebel director, Brad Bird.
- A personal letter from director Brad Bird
- “The Iron Giant: Signature Edition” trailer
- Theatrical version commentary by Brad Bird
- Additional scenes, including alternate opening
- Mini documentary segments
- Teddy Newton The X Factor
- Duck and Cover sequence
- The Voice of the Giant
- Motion Gallery
- Brad Bird trailer
Blu-ray and DVD Releases for September 6th, 2016
Action / Adventure / Mystery
Cabo Blanco (1980)
Hard Target 2
Now You See Me 2
Road House (1948)
Road House (1989)
Tale Of Tales
Fairy Tail: Part 21
Gundam Build Fighters: Try – Complete Blu-ray Collection
Mobile Suit Gundam: Char’s Counterattack Blu-ray
The Iron Giant: Signature Edition
Peanuts: A Boy Named Charlie Brown
Peanuts: Snoopy, Come Home
Night Train to Munich (1940)
Dead End Drive-In (1986)
The Dead Room
Evil Dead 2
Hammer Film Double Feature – The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll & The Gorgon – BD
Hammer Film Double Feature – Revenge of Frankenstein & The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb – BD
Haunted Honeymoon (1986)
Night of the Living Deb
The Ones Below
Science Fiction / Fantasy / Superhero
Aliens 30th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray
Metalstorm: The Destruction Of Jared-Syn
American Crime Story: The People v. O.j. Simpson Blu-ray
The Flash: Season 2
South Park: Season 19