Back in 1999, when The Iron Giant was first released, Warner Bros.’ marketing of the movie was so ham-fisted that the movie – which would be described by one critic as “the best non-Disney animated film” – was a disaster at the box office, recouping just over $23 million in the US against a budget of $70 million. If ever there was a case of a studio having absolutely no idea what to do with a movie, then this fits the bill completely. But thanks to positive word-of-mouth, and the advent of DVD sales, everyone could now see what the critics had been so captivated and impressed by: an animated Cold War thriller with an alien, metal giant protagonist and the young boy who befriends him.
Now, the movie is rightly regarded as one of the finest animated movies of all time, and Warner Bros. have decided to re-release The Iron Giant in selected US cinemas for two separate days only – September 30 and October 4 – ahead of a late-2015 blu-ray release. What makes such a re-release so noteworthy? Well, two scenes that were abandoned during the original production phase have been completed, and are now ready to be seen for the first time. They increase the movie’s running time by around ten minutes, and have led to this version being branded… the Signature Edition. It has Brad Bird’s full support, the HD quality of the image is breathtaking, and even though the trailer gives away too much for audiences who didn’t see the movie on its first release, it still makes the movie look as poignant and funny and heart-wrenching as it’s always been.