Wednesday, May 8, 2013

SPFX legend Ray Harryhausen (1920-2013)

Ray Harryhausen, who created the famous "stop motion" effects used to bring monsters and other fantastic creatures to life in sci-fi/fantasy films, passed away on May 7th(2013). He was 92 years of age. Harryhausen created and perfected an effects technique called "stop motion", a painstaking and extremely laborious process used to animate creatures and monsters in a variety of science fiction and fantasy movies. Mr. Harryhausen's work can be seen in the following movies: The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms(1953), It Came From Beneath The Sea(1955), Earth Vs The Flying Saucers(1956), Mysterious Island(1961), Jason And The Argonauts(1963), The Seventh Voyage Of Sinbad(1958), The Golden Voyage Of Sinbad(1974), Sinbad And The Eye Of The Tiger(1977) and Clash Of The Titans(1981).

I enjoy watching these movies now just as much as I did when I was a kid in large part because of the pioneering effects work by Ray Harryhausen to bring so many of the fantastic creatures in these films to life. These movies stand the test of time and continue to be highly regarded and revered by sci fi film fans. The world of sci-fi and fantasy cinema has lost a great friend today with the passing of Ray Harryhausen.

My favorite movie that showcases the marvelous stop motion effects work of (the late) Ray Harryhausen is 1963's Jason And The Argonauts, a movie that also features my absolute favorite "stop motion" effects character in the bronze giant "TALOS" (he can be seen in the below video clip).