The Iron Giant is a 1999 American animated science fiction comedy-drama film using both traditional animation and computer animation, produced by Warner Bros. Feature Animation and directed by Brad Bird in his directorial debut. It is based on the 1968 novel The Iron Man by Ted Hughes (which was published in the United States as The Iron Giant) and is scripted by Tim McCanlies. The film stars Eli Marienthal, Christopher McDonald, Jennifer Aniston, Harry Connick, Jr., John Mahoney, and Vin Diesel. Set during the Cold War in 1957, the film is about a young boy named Hogarth Hughes who discovers a giant metallic robot who fell from space. With the help of a beatnik artist named Dean McCoppin, they have to stop the U.S. military and a paranoid federal agent named Kent Mansley from finding and destroying the Giant.
The film's development phase began in 1994 as a musical with the involvement of The Who's Pete Townshend, though the project took root once Bird signed on as director and hired McCanlies to write the screenplay in 1996. The film was created traditionally, with computer-generated imagery used to animate the title character and other effects. The understaffed crew of the film completed it with half of the time and budget of other animated features. Michael Kamen produced the film's score, recorded with the Czech Philharmonic.
Upon its release, the film saw wide critical acclaim from critics and audiences. It was nominated for several awards, winning nine Annie Awards. Despite this acclaim, the film significantly under-performed at the box office, making $31.3 million worldwide against a budget of $70–80 million, which was blamed on an unusually poor marketing campaign. Through home video releases and television syndication, the film gathered a cult following and is now widely regarded as a modern animated classic. In 2015, an extended, remastered version of the film was re-released theatrically.