Film, Local, Tom O'Keefe Movie Reviews, Top Original Content

6 Movies with Giant Freaking Robots, In Honor of ‘Pacific Rim’ Directed by Guillermo del Toro

Posted: July 12, 2013 at 10:53 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Movie #5 – The Iron Giant

Year – 1999

In 1996, based on the success of Space Jam, Warner Brothers decided to reenter the world of feature of animation.  Unfortunately, they ended up churning out a string of mediocre films that were both critical and commercial disappointments (Quest for Camelot, Osmosis Jones).  However, there was a notable exception – one film that was only a commercial disappointment.  (Hey, you have to take your wins where you find them.)  That film was The Iron Giant.

The project was helmed by a young Brad Bird.  While he was a relative unknown at the time, he would go on to direct films such as The Incredibles and Ratatouille.  The film was set in the 1950s shortly after the launch of Sputnik when Cold War paranoia was at a fever pitch.  A young boy named Hogarth discovers a large alien robot that fell to Earth.

The film was a touching story that was beautifully animated.  Unfortunately, Warner Brothers had no idea how to market such a sweet story and the film crashed and burned at the box office.  However, in a rare act of contrition from a film studio, Warner Brothers completely revamped the marketing for the film’s home video release including tie-ins with Honey Nut Cheerios, AOL and General Motors (those last two still mattered in the late ’90s) and secured the backing of three U.S. congressmen (Ed Markey, Mark Foley and Howard Berman).  While the film never became a commercial hit, it did manage to develop a sizeable (and deserved) cult following in the years that followed.

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