Happy Birthday, The Iron Giant!

Twenty years ago, The Mrs. and I settled into our seats to watch an animated adaptation of The Iron Giant, an eternal myth of the human machine. Now celebrating the anniversary of its unheralded debut, director Brad Bird’s masterpiece of war and peace has only grown in legend and influence, overshadowing the iterations that came before it with infinite heart and deeper perception.

Earlier works based on the foundational iron man narrative, from Ted Hughes to The Who, now struggle to compete with Bird’s stunning The Iron Giant, whose namesake still stands tall in a millennial transformation of perpetual war and environmental catastrophe. When it was over, The Mrs. and I sat in our seats, in an empty theater, crying and laughing as the 2000s bore down on us with full force. The situation has only since worsened, exponentially, further pushing The Iron Giant’s deft dissection of paranoia, militarism, racism, and (suicidal) ecocide to the top of the list of films that eternally speak to us, and make us think and feel.

After that screening, I didn’t miss an opportunity to praise and analyze The Iron Giant, pick Brad’s magnificent Bird brain, and break some news when it was time to school the next generations. I still have not done enough —- who has? —- but I’m proud of what I have done, and may yet do.

Catch up below on my praise and analysis. Happy 20th Birthday, metal man, the best of us all.

A Decade Later, The Iron Giant’s Weaponized Soul Still Stirs

Brad Bird On The Iron Giant, Animation and His First Live-Action Film

Interview: Ken Duncan On Creating New Scenes for The Iron Giant: Signature Edition

The Iron Giant Will (Finally) Return to Theaters

The Iron Giant’s Amazing Upgrade

Brad Bird Confirms The Iron Giant’s Signature Edition

All Hail Our Robot Overlords! Sci-Fi’s Best Bots

Brad Bird Leaves Animation (At Gunpoint)

I’m Not A Gun’s Iron Giant Electronica