R.I.P. Stop Motion Genius Mr Ray Harryhausen

Mr. Harryhausen poses with some of his creation.
Mr. Harryhausen poses with some of his creation.

Reports are just coming in that Mr. Ray Harryhausen has passed away at age 92. I’ll have more to say about Mr. Haaryhausen and his movies sometime in the next few days, but for now I’ll simply say that in my mind there have been few creators like him. He brought a sense of wonder, imagination and creativity to every film that he worked on, and I consider myself fortunate that as a child I actually had a chance to see many of his most memorable films on the big screen as they were brought back for re-release. In a time before such creatures could simply be added to films through computerized animation, Mr. Harryhausen was bringing giant octopuses, dinosaurs, the cyclops, snake-headed medusa, his iconic sword-fighting skeletons, and so much more to life before our very wondering eyes. And when you consider that for each second of film that featured these creatures 24 frames of film had to be shot, and each of those frames involved meticulously moving these small clay creations tiny fractions of an inch so that their motions seemed seamless and fluid, it just makes the man’s body of work more incredible.

One of the most memorable scenes in film history.
One of the most memorable scenes in film history.

Ironically, I just re-watched Harryhausen’s 7th Voyage of Sinbad with my 12 year old daughter a couple of weekends ago, and have been looking forward to sharing more of his movies with her soon.

I’ve attached two videos celebrating Mr. Harryhausen’s work below. The first is an almost five minute collection of some of Mr. Harryhausen’s most memorable monsters, and the second is a 45 minute tribute to Mr. Harryhausen put together by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts on the occasion of his 90th birthday.

Farewell, and Bon Voyage, Mr. Harryhausen. Your creativity, imagination and dedication to your art will truly be missed, but thankfully we will always have the legacy of your films which will live on forever.


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