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Remembering Ray Harryhausen

Ray Harryhausen died today at the age of 92, and I doubt I have to tell you what he meant to special effects and stop-motion animation. “Legend” is the unavoidable term here. After working with George Pal and Willis O’Brien, he developed stop-motion techniques with rear-projection (to save money, initially) that are still used today, and became synonymous with adventure films featuring stop-motion effects interacting with live action. Jason and the Argonauts, The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad, One Million Years B.C., and the original Clash of the Titans… He got an honorary Oscar in 1992, and name-checks in Monsters, Inc. and Corpse Bride.

Here are his creatures, compiled a few years ago by Mat Bergman:

Just this past August, FX master Phil Tippet stopped by the Nerdist Channel’s Aint it Cool with Harry Knowles to talk about stop motion and Harryhausen:

And an interview from 1974, including clips from his movies:

So, legend, indeed.

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2 comments

  • Truly a phenomenal talent and contributor, innovator to special effects technique. Ray Bradbury’s, The Illustrated Man, was the first science fiction book I read while in High School, mid 1970’s, and Harryhausen the first effects movie involving stop-motion. Both will live in the immortal annuls in their respective fields of endeavor, and will be missed….

  • We lost a special effects pioneer who now joins his life-long friends Forrest J Ackerman and Ray Bradbury in an eternal place … Harryhausen’s influence will live on via every Monster / Creature movie that graces our local Cineplex (and graces our personal collection of classic genre gems featuring Harryhausen “Dynamation”) …. Fortunately, Ray Harryhausen received both an honorary Academy Award (1992), as well as a Star on the Hollywood Walk-of-Fame (2003) & both were long over-due …