Okay, straight off we’re just going to come out and say it; you need this book on your shelf!
If you’re a fan of the film, you probably have an idea of what to expect from the book, but that doesn’t stop it from pulling out a few surprises inside, from a lovely foreword from Brad Bird, to early concept designs for the project from before Bird even joined the film (with some very different takes on the film and characters - many tied more closely to Ted Hughes’ original book).
Every page in the book features artwork that you could rip out, frame and put up on the wall (don’t do that obviously, you’ll spoil the book). There is a freshness to the books’ many varying styles of art, from stills from the film, to beautiful paintings, to child like drawings of the characters, that gives the book the feel of a wonderful journey from beginning to end.
There is so much to get out of the book without being overwhelmed with information. Writer Ramin Zahed keeps the text short, informative and fun to read without competing with the images for your attention. The last chapter of the book is also dedicated to various people involved in the making of the film, as they share their memories of working on the production. It’s clear that Zahed and those who contributed to the book have a genuine love of the film and that makes for an infectious read.
The book is a testament to the enduring appeal of a film that, although largely overlooked by audiences at the time, has generated a solid and growing fandom since its release in 1999 and it feels like the ultimate and definitive thank you to and for everyone who loves, has loved and will love The Iron Giant.
THE ART OF THE IRON GIANT / AUTHOR: RAMIN ZAHED / PUBLISHER: TITAN BOOKS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW