Originally released back in 1999, it was an adaptation of the novel The Iron Man by Ted Hughes. I actually read and loved that book as a kid, so when The Iron Giant came around as an animated adaptation, I couldn’t wait to see it.
While it changes much of the original story, it does retain some core elements and those are what make it work. After all, the main character Hogarth Hughes is clearly a nod to the name of the author of the original novel, among other things.
Directed by Brad Bird, who would later go on to do all manner of other very successful movies, The Iron Giant bombed at the box office, despite being a wonderfully good film.
Much of this was likely down how to audiences at the time couldn’t really handle a more mature kind of story when it came to animation.
This is where we get to the Signature Edition of the movie (trailer shown above). This added a scene that was never originally fully animated, only storyboarded, and shows the origin of the Iron Giant. That it was an alien weapon that destroyed its homeworld along with its other brethren.
It’s this new scene that I think shows the true anime inspiration behind The Iron Giant, as the premise of the titular mecha’s origins is both visually and narratively similar to the God Warriors from Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.
As for toys, at the time there were some pretty terrible toys released alongside the movie, then we had the enormous, amazing and expensive Mondo Toys release a fair few years back.
In any case, this is a gloriously good toy and one I am very happy has been made.
The review will be up shortly, so keep an eye out for that.