With The Incredibles 2 in the works, Brad Bird has obviously been busy the past few years. But that's slated for 2019, which seems like it's eons away. This year, he re-released his first, feature length animated film: The Iron Giant. This was my favorite movie when I was a kid, and it still holds all sorts of nostalgic meaning for me sixteen years after its original release. The theme of the film - "You are who you choose to be" - is incredibly important for any child to understand, and it's something that we must remember as adults as well. The Iron Giant shaped me as a person, so of course I was one of the first in the theatre to see it on the big screen again this past Sunday.
The film takes place in Maine in 1958 and follows a young boy name Hogarth Hughes as he befriends a giant metal robot that falls to Earth from space. Originally designed to be a weapon, The Iron Giant has some sort of robot-amnesia and his friendship with Hogarth keeps him from reverting to any of his previous, defensive, death machine protocols.
Hogarth is a relatable character for any kid, and every kid that watched it wanted their own Iron Giant to be friends with. The movie's themes of death, friendship, and innocence combined with the setting of nuclear paranoia in the late fifties somehow combine to make this one of the most resonant and timeless movies of my childhood.
The Iron Giant features a full cast of colorful and deep characters that are remarkably easy to love. Dean McCoppin, the junkyard artist that helps Hogarth hide the giant, gives him the father figure that he's never had, and his mother, a single waitress who's trying her best to give her son everything she can, manages to reach the adult viewers as well as the children. And who could forget Kent Mansley, the overly paranoid FBI agent who serves as the film's antagonist?
I was honestly just excited to see the movie again when I went to see the Signature Edition, but it was even better. Completely remastered and with two added scenes that I honestly can't believe they cut out in the first place, it was a nostalgic joyride that left me feeling like I was eight years old and watching it for the first time again.
The Signature Edition is going to be released on DVD and Blu-Ray, but a date has not been confirmed. You can trust me when I say that the new scenes and remastered visuals are worth it. An introduction before the screening also revealed that they are planning to release a documentary about the film.