This may be the hardest review I've ever had to write.
After all, I think Brad Bird is a certifiably great filmmaker. I have been a fan of his work as long as I've seen his name on things, starting with "Family Dog," the animated episode of "Amazing Stories." So of course, I walk into his films hoping to like them. The year it was released, "The Incredibles" was my pick as best film, and both "The Iron Giant" and "Ratatouille" have also found spots in my top ten lists at the end of the year.
In fact, for years, one of the things I was proudest of in all of the work I've done writing about movies from the early days of Ain't It Cool News to right now involved "The Iron Giant." That film is beloved now, and deservedly so. There was a point, though, when it looked like Warner Bros. was going to be sending the movie straight to video. At that point, the film was still under the radar for everyone, and Warner could have pretty easily killed it if they'd wanted to. Someone who was working on the film got crazy about this idea, and they reached out to me through some mutual friends. As a result, one late night, I drove to a friend's apartment, where I was shown an unfinished work print of the movie on VHS. Parts of it were black and white, parts of it where still just story reel, and then parts of it were finished in full 2.35:1 and color, and it was breathtaking even in that rough form.