web analytics

Farewell to Ray Harryhausen


Caliburn24 here with news of the passing of a film legend, Ray Harryhausen, at age 92.

His films are the hallmark of stop motion animation. One of his early films was Mighty Joe Young (1949) in which he was able to work with his hero, Willis O’Brien whose work on King Kong (1933) inspired Harryhausen. The fantasy films of Harryhausen have been a mainstay from the 50’s to the 80’s. The genius of Harryhausen’s work can be easily seen in the CG fest Clash of the Titans (yup that flick can’t share the same title as Harryhausen’s work) compared to his 1981 film. Harryhausen’s movie recast the Greek myth into an entertaining romp of creatures including the grotesque Medusa. A recent exhibition of Harryhausen’s work was in L.A. and it was stunning to see the works that were on screen breathing in quiet repose. The detail up close was an experience, especially seeing the wispy red threads of Medusa’s hair among the snakes. There was a sense of living things in his creations. A gesture by the Cyclops in Seventh Voyage of Sinbad (1958) or the beauty of Pegasus at sunset. Everything came alive in a Harryhausen film from dinosaurs that inhabited the world of One Million Years B.C. (1966) to the alien Selenites from First Men in the Moon (1964). Unmatched to this day is the skeleton fight in Jason and the Argonauts (1963). Harryhausen’s visual effects extended beyond creatures to beautiful vistas of and the different scales in the 3 Worlds of Gulliver (1960). He also was an incredible painter whose visions were realized on screen. His work has created an indeliable influence on many visual effects creators and filmmakers. The photo is of Ray at the 2001 San Diego Comic Con.

R.I.P. Mr. Harryhausen. Your legend will live on!