In 1999, Warner Bros. released The Iron Giant, directed by Brad Bird. The story is about a kid named Hogarth, who befriends a mysterious giant robot, whose landing on the earth damaged his memory of being a weapon of mass destruction. But when an incident triggers the robot’s memory, will he resort to his destructive mandate? What if he chose not to kill? Could Hogarth’s friendship make a difference?
Sadly, The Iron Giant failed to meet box office expectations, though it won nine Annie Awards and remained inspirational to the animation community. Disney mimicked the Iron Giant’s basic premise for Lilo and Stitch, in which the alien Stitch, the living weapon, chooses not to be a weapon thanks to his friendship with Lilo.
Bird continued his directing career with The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Mission: Impossible—Ghost Protocol and Tomorrowland. He is currently writing/directing The Incredibles 2.
These credentials no doubt helped Bird convince Warner Bros. to do a “signature edition” for a Blu-Ray release, including two new scenes that had to be scrapped from the original due to time and budget constraints.
Here’s Bird reminiscing about the two scenes:
In my 1999 interview with Bird, he told me about the deleted dream sequence: “It was a dream that the Giant had. It suggested that he came from a whole planet full of them, and there was a war going on, but it was intermingled with scenes that we had seen during the course of the movie: watching Hogarth turn off the power switch at the power station, [watching] the deer and so on. So it was done in an abstract manner. It could have been interpreted several different ways, like a dream is.”
For the enhanced Signature Edition, visual effects maestro Michel Gagné provided the effects for the dream sequence, which you can see here:
The Iron Giant – Michel Gagné Animation – Dream Sequence FX Pre-Compositing 1080P
Published on October 15, 2015.
“The assets were later composited at Duncan Studios, which handled the production of the Signature Edition additional scenes,” Gagné says.
This is the completed result:
Published on October 7, 2015.
Warners decided to premiere the Signature Edition at select theaters, Wednesday, September 30 at 7:00PM local time, and Sunday, October 4 at 12:00PM local time.
Brad Bird invited people to see his enhanced film here:
And a new trailer was released, albeit one that replicated the same flaws as the 1999 trailer. That is, it was a condensation of the film itself. It left nothing to the imagination. It didn’t tease the viewer the way the trailers did for E.T.–The Extra-Terrestrial and Close Encounters or for that matter, the new Force Awakens trailer.
On Friday, October 23, 2015, Gagné, along with Ken Duncan, Wendy Perdue, and Dennis Venizelos, will do a behind-the-scenes panel, Getting Under the Hood: Remastering The Iron Giant in Vancouver at the VIFF Vancity Theatre, 1181 Seymour St. (at Davie). Click here for details.