January 23, 2014

The Iron Giant

[Digital Drift 2014]

This is it. Alex’s 400th podcast. And what better way to celebrate a broadcasting career like this than with something lovingly crafted, and beloved by its small but enthusiastic fanbase?

This summer everyone fell in love with Groot, voiced by Vin Diesel. Journey back fifteen years to a very similar performance in a lost film to be found and absolutely treasured. The Iron Giant was one of the final hurrah’s for 2D cell animation at the end of a decade that marked a major renaissance for Disney, on the cusp of a new age of 3D animation.

The mid 1950s and the sleepy town of Rockwell, Maine is visited by an alien behemoth. A titan of iron, innocent and inquisitive, found and befriended by a young boy and the cause of alarm and violent aggression from an America living under the shadow of the mushroom cloud. It’s funny, clever, sweet, beautiful, tragic and ultimately as life-affirming as it gets, so naturally hardly anyone saw it. Warner Bros were in the process of dismantling their animation division and pratfall comedy Inspector Gadget was playing next door with the marketing clout of Disney behind it so there was no contest really. Ironically Warner not being too invested in the sale of this thing to America granted the creative team all manner of freedom to make the film they really wanted to. 

Our team of intrepid explorers fight the red menace of apathy and delve into the Giant’s metal frame to root out every riveting detail, Dan Floyd of Extra Credits, Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse and The Animation Archives, Jerome McIntosh of GameBurst and Nama Chibitty of the Digital Drift Community.


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