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The Iron Giant Movie Poster

Trivia for The Iron Giant

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  • "Floyd Turbeaux" is a homonym of Floyd R. Turbo, the flannel-wearing rube played by Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962) beginning in 1977, to lampoon the National Rifle Association.
  • When Kent is using the Hughes' phone, the humorous oven mitt hanging on the wall beside him appears to be a stylized version of the "family dog" from director Brad Bird's animated short of the same title, Family Dog (1987).
  • Hogarth's mom drives a 1950 Chevrolet 3100 pickup.
  • Executively Produced by Pete Townshend of The Who. Townshend also produced a concept album, based on the same book as the film.
  • The newspaper headline that Dean McCoppin is reading ("Disaster Seen as Catastrophe Looms") is similar to the headline that Jim Dear is reading in Lady and the Tramp (1955) and that Jiminy Cricket is reading in Fun & Fancy Free (1947).
  • The three tendrils emanating from the Iron Giant in battle form are inspired by The War of the Worlds (1953).
  • When Hogarth goes to check the antenna on the roof after the television stops working, it has been bitten off. This is a deliberate reference to the "Metal-Munching Mice" in a Rocky and Bullwinkle story.
  • Hogarth's father was a fighter pilot. A photo of him is on his dresser, clearly visible during his standoff with Kent.
  • When the Giant looks over the hill at Rockwell, there is a moving star near the moon on the right hand side. This is meant to be Sputnik.
  • The comic book Hogarth shows the Giant with Superman on the cover is Action Comics #188, released in January 1954.
  • As Hogarth arms himself to find the "invaders from Mars," a Bugs Bunny figure can be seen inside his toy chest.
  • When Hogarth first shows the Giant his Superman comics, the theme music from the Max Fleischer Superman (1941) cartoons of the 1940's is heard in the background.
  • The last name for Annie and Hogarth, Hughes, is an homage to Ted Hughes, author of the original children's book upon which the movie is based.
  • First traditionally-animated feature to have a major character, the title character, who is fully computer-generated.
  • On the wall in Hogarth's bedroom is a poster for the film Forbidden Planet (1956).
  • In order to better blend the computer-generated Giant into the traditionally animated film, technicians came up with a program that gave the Giant's lines a slight "wobble," in order to match the natural line imperfections found in hand-drawn animation.
  • A landing seen in the first shot of the coast near Rockwell is named "Bird Landing," a reference to Brad Bird.
  • When the Giant's hand is "watching" television, the clip that was to be playing would have been the opening to Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color (1954), but the filmmakers could not secure the rights, and substituted the Maypo commercial instead.
  • Kent drives a 1949 Chevy Fleetmaster, and the car that he borrows is a 1954 Oldsmobile 98.
  • "Frank" and "Ollie," the two trainmen that Kent interviews after the derailment, are caricatures of Disney classic animators Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston. They also perform the voices for the characters. Animation writer Earl Kress has said that "Frank and Ollie are also life-long train enthusiasts and have extensive scale model railroads in their backyards like Walt Disney used to have."
  • The freight train that runs into the Giant, is being pulled by an Alco 4-6-4 Streamlined Hudson passenger locomotive.
  • Was originally meant to be a musical. Pete Townshend and Des McAnuff developed it as a stage musical, using songs from Pete Townshend's concept album "The Iron Man" (much like the stage version of The Who's Tommy (1975)). Des McAnuff decided it would work better as an animated feature and pitched it to Warner Bros.
  • Among the comics Hogarth shows the Giant, is an issue of "The Spirit." In the 1990s, Brad Bird attempted to get backing for a "Spirit" animated film.
  • Excluding the yells and groans, The Iron Giant only says a total of 53 words.
  • Cloris Leachman's character, Mrs. Tensedge, originally appeared in another scene of the movie as well as more dialogue, according to a deleted pencil test scene. The scene ended up being removed from the story due to time restraint. In the film, she only says seven words.
  • Peter Cullen, Sean Connery, Frank Welker, and James Earl Jones were considered to voice the role of the Iron Giant, but it went to Vin Diesel instead.
  • Dean's newspaper in the diner scene had an ad for RINSO, THE GRANULATED SOAP clothing detergent, which was a very accurate ad (and image) of the time, down to the silhouettes of "happy home-makers" on the box.
  • Reference to The Who: the dartboard in Dean's home has the same colors and pattern as their mod "target" logo. The band would not come together, however, for another seven years.
  • The second film released in the same year to involve Sputnik, after October Sky (1999).
  • The film shows the U.S.S. Nautilus, the first nuclear-powered submarine. However, the sub was an attack boat (SSN), not a boomer (SSBN), which it is shown as when firing the bomb at the Giant.
  • Brad Bird personally animated the scene where Hogarth rants to Dean about his problems in a super fast pace after he gives him Espresso.
  • The "3" on the A-113 license plate on the car partially eaten by the Giant is bitten off. Also, in Dean's house there is a painting which has "A113" on it. (A113 (sometimes A-113 or A1-13) is an inside joke, an Easter egg in animated films created by alumni of California Institute of the Arts, referring to the classroom used by graphic design and character animation students)
  • This film is set in 1957, the same year Brad Bird was born.
  • Russian Sergei P. Korolev masterminded the Sputnik launch, the world's first artificial satellite. The launch has also been dramatized in The Right Stuff (1983) and October Sky (1999).
  • The U.S. Army as seen in the film is accurately depicted in its mid-late 1950s form, including the choice of vehicles, weapons, and the appearance of a soldier; the latter impressively down to the cut and style of uniform.
  • The film takes place in October 1957, the same month and year that Sputnik was launched.
  • In the "Signature Edition," two previously deleted scenes were added to the movie. These scenes were previously only available on the Special Edition DVD, as unfinished animatics.
  • The scene where the Giant's hand was in the living room, watching a Maypo cereal commercial, was changed in the "Signature Edition" to an ad for the Disneyland attraction, Tomorrowland. Brad Bird had originally wanted the Tomorrowland ad in the movie, as an homage to his mentors, but Disney would not give him clearance to use it. Coincidentally, Bird ended up directing the movie Tomorrowland (2015).
  • Although the movie received high praise from critics, it was deemed a box office failure, grossing only $23 million after a reported seventy million dollar budget. The low earnings were partly due to the fact that the film debuted the same weekend as the successful The Sixth Sense (1999) (August 6, 1999).
  • Production Designer Mark Whiting (a Michigan native) placed a Detroit Lions pennant in Hogarth's room, convincing Brad Bird that it was logical for someone in Maine (which doesn't have a team) because the Lions were the best team in the 1950s.
  • The fighter planes used in the film are FJ-2/-3 Furies, the Navy version of the F-86 Sabre, adapted for carrier based operations in 1951. They were the first jets to be launched by steam catapult, as depicted in the film.
  • In Spain, there was a re-release ("Signature Edition") only in Barcelona (Phenomena). The film was projected for two days in subtitled version.
  • Warner Brothers originally wanted John Travolta to do the voice of Dean and have Arnold Schwarzenegger do the voice of Kent Mansley.
  • The movie's name was changed from The Iron Man (name of the book it's based on), to The Iron Giant, so it wouldn't be confused with the comic book character Iron Man.
  • The town of Rockwell, Maine has a name suspiciously similar to Roswell, New Mexico, where aliens allegedly crash landed in 1947. It may also be an allusion to painter Norman Rockwell, famous for his idealized scenes of American small town life.
  • The story of the movie bears very little resemblance to the book it's based on.
  • Its true the Americans were concerned about the Russians launching the Sputnik satellite into Earth orbit, mainly because they had beaten them into space, which fueled the Americans determination to beat the Russians to the Moon.
  • The failure of The Iron Giant's box office failure cannot be fully attributed to The Sixth Sense, released the same weekend. First, Sixth Sense didn't catch on right away, but built box office success over several weeks. Second, According to Brad Bird in the documentary "The Giant's Dream", Warner Bros. failed to promote the film until 4 months before release, whereas the animated film Tarzan had teasers out one year in advance.
  • Brad Bird and producer Allison Abbate never got along during the making of the movie.
  • The 1999 film is based on a novel "The Iron Man". The author of the novel, Ted Hughes (who bears the same name as the characters Annie and Hogarth Hughes), wrote the novel as a way of comforting his children after the suicide of their mother, Sylvia Plath.
  • Brad Bird was in part inspired to make this movie as a memorial to his sister Susan, who died at the hands of her husband by gun violence. His pitch was this: "What if a gun had a soul and didn't want to be a gun?"
  • This is the first Warner Bros. Feature Animation film to be featured in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio.
  • This is the first Warner Bros.' animated film to be featured in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio.
  • Although the movie has received high praise from critics, it was deemed a box office failure grossing only $23 million after a reported $70 million production budget. The low earnings were partly due to the fact that the film debuted the same weekend as The Sixth Sense (August 6th, 1999).
  • As of 2018, the only movie directed by Brad Bird not to be scored by Michael Giacchino.


  • Also spoiler for Guardians of the Galaxy (2014): The Giant and Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy are both voiced by Vin Diesel and, in both times, the sound technician that worked on it was Doc Kane. Both characters end up sacrificing themselves, but are ultimately resurrected.
  • The Iron Giant roughly takes place on a five-day period (Wednesday through Sunday). On Wednesday night, the Giant crash lands on Earth. After school the next day, Hogarth visits his mom at the diner and that night he encounters the Giant. It is now Friday and Hogarth goes to school and afterwards goes and finds the Giant. That night, he meets Kent and then Hogarth and the Giant find themselves at Dean's junk yard where the Giant has food and a place to rest. Saturday is when Kent questions Hogarth all morning. Hogarth visits Dean and the Giant that afternoon and go to the lake and witness the death of the deer. At night, Kent interrogates Hogarth and informs the army of the Giant's existence. The army arrives in the morning and fights the Giant and then the Giant saves everyone.
  • One of the scenes not included in the original theatrical cut of the movie involves a dream sequence depicting images of the Iron Giant's race, and their conflict that drove him from his home-world leading to his crash-landing on Earth. The scene is added to the movie in the Signature Edition.
  • In the big battle scene, there is a moment when the Iron Giant fires at a tank, and before the energy ball hits, that two tank crewmen jump out before the tank disappears. This harkens back to the famous scene in The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) when Gort fires at a tank on the Washington Mall and the two crew jump out before Gort's weapon dissolves it.
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