The Iron Giant came out ten years ago and Scott Thill has a nice appreciation of the still-underrated film at Wired.
Warner Bros. didn’t know what to do with a movie about a killer robot who becomes a pacifist with the help of a patriotic kid in love with comics like Superman, the ultimate alien benevolent (and the Iron Giant’s eventual role model). “When we showed the executives the movie, they didn’t get it,” Iron Giant screenwriter Tim McCanlies said in 2003. One possible reason: The movie has no clearly defined protagonist or antagonist, a must for popcorn entertainment. “Let’s just have paranoia be the enemy,” McCanlies remembers Bird saying, “not the combined armies of the superpowers.” The Iron Giant’s domestic box office gross of $23 million didn’t come close to recouping the movie’s production budget, which reportedly hit $70 million.