By Drew Dietsch 1 year ago.
The sci-fi story has become recognized as an incredible achievement in both narrative and animation. But, when the movie hit theaters init tanked at the box office and became a financial failure for Warner Bros. The Iron Giant was positioned to be a big hit for Warner Bros.
This was meant to be a prestige production that would rival the animated feature film king, Walt Disney Studios. However, things fell apart when it came time to market the movie. Warner Bros.
They held off on giving the production team a release date until April, giving The Iron Giant less than four months to mount a marketing campaign. Because of this, The Iron Giant only had a single teaser poster made and certain tie-ins like a Burger King toy deal and breakfast cereal never materialized.
This looked doubly embarrassing for Warner Bros.
The failure of The Iron Giant at the box office is solely due to the mismanagement of its marketing. Because they skimped and stalled on the marketing, the film opened at 9 in the box office. Even upon its release, critics overwhelmingly praised The Iron Giant.
It deals with deep and difficult subject material, but it never tamps these themes down to a level where its intended audience children is being patronized. Even with these adult themes, The Iron Giant also relishes in being fun, goofy, and heartfelt.
The iron giant
In fact, the whole cast manages to find a perfect balance between cartoonish and sincere. And as a pure piece of animation, The Iron Giant is a jaw-dropping experience.
Bird understands the impact proper scale and scope can have with the animated image, and he never misses a chance to reassert just how massive the Giant is. There is a scene in the forest where a deer is killed and the warm autumn colors underscore the heartbreak of the scene.
But, the element that made The Iron Giant a classic is its heart. The story about how a robot deed to be a weapon chooses to be a deterrent to death is extremely powerful. And his final sacrifice is one of the most tear-jerking moments in any film, animated or otherwise. Instead, it had to wait until its time on home video to find an audience.
And as the years have gone on, more and more viewers have come to recognize it as a phenomenal film. Even Warner Bros. The Iron Giant made a profound impression on the young viewers that got to see it over twenty years ago.
Thanks to that impression, it became championed as a mishandled masterpiece. Thankfully, Warner Bros. If not for that, it would have fallen by the wayside.