Sunday, 12 May 2013

The Monstrous Talent of Ray Harryhausen

Stop-motion animation innovator Ray Harryhausen died on Tuesday, 7th May, aged 92. Over decades, he created memorable monsters, including armed skeletons, a dizzying range of dinosaurs, malevolent space aliens, giant bumble bees, killer-statues, creatures from the deep and mythical figures from Pegasus to Medusa, in films such as The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad, Jason and The Argonauts and Clash of the Titans that were required television viewing during any rainy Bank Holiday afternoon. Here is a compilation of his most unforgettable creatures:



The restaurant "Harryhausen's" in Monsters, Inc. was a tribute to the great animator from those at Pixar who had been inspired by his work when they were growing up. His work influenced several generations of film-makers, including George Lucas, creator of Star Wars, and Peter Jackson, director of The Lord of the Rings trilogy and a remake of King Kong. It was the original film version of King Kong that had inspired 13-year old Ray Harryhausen back in 1933: "I left the theatre "stunned and haunted. They looked absolutely lifelike … I wanted to know how it was done."




Asked once if he had a favourite among the monsters he had created, he replied "It would be Medusa. But don't tell the others."





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