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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Specht

Iron Giant Reunion, with Brad Bird and others In Person

In celebration of the tenth anniversary of The Iron Giant winning the Annie Award in 1999, ASIFA-Hollywood is hosting an evening with some of the animators and crew members on Friday, October 23rd at 7:30 pm, at the Fletcher Jones Foundation Auditorium, Woodbury University, in Burbank, CA.

As ASIFA (the International Animated Film Society) -Hollywood Vice-President Tom Sito has said, "The Iron Giant is one of those rare films that flawlessly merged CG with traditional animation and represented superior storytelling. The ASIFA-Hollywood wants to showcase the individuals who made the iconic film, and the event will be extra-special with a rare appearance by Brad Bird”. Along with Bird, other artists expected to attend will be background artist Anne Guenther, art director Alan Bodner, lead animator Steve Markowski, and creator of the ToonShader software developed especially for the film, Scott Johnston. Sito will moderate what is expected to be a lively panel discussion. This is a great opportunity to see all of these talented people together at an event that should not be missed.

A bit ahead of its time, The Iron Giant set a new standard for American made animated films. Upon its release audiences were confused as to what to expect from this early Bird creation. With the exception of Toy Story, animation usually meant you were in for a musical. And at this point in the studio’s history no one knew what to expect from a Warner Bros. animated film other than a Bugs and Daffy Looney Tunes short from decades earlier. Apparently, Warner Bros. didn’t know what to think of the effort either, giving it little to no support upon its initial opening. This makes it all the more remarkable that Giant has withstood the test of time to become a true landmark in animation, proving that audiences can appreciate a great film regardless of the genre. In fact, due to The Iron Giant and Bird’s subsequent films (The Incredibles, Ratatouille) the moniker “animation” has come to mean a virtual guarantee of a film’s monetary success. It would be truly interesting to hear about that journey from the creators themselves.

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear the filmmakers talk about their craft. Reservations are required for this event. Tickets on sale now: ASIFA-Hollywood Members: $5, Woodbury students: $5, General Admission: $10. Parking is free. Proceeds benefit the ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive. This event is made possible by a generous grant from the Walter Lantz Foundation.

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