Sad news yesterday about the passing of legendary special effects artist Ray Harryhausen at 92 years young. He was the creator of a stop motion animation style that he called dynaminaiton. In an age filled with CGI, 3D, bells and whistles which are accomplished via computers and keyboards his old school style is sorely missing. Harryhausen was a pioneer in his field and many of his films continue to be highly popular. The list of films he worked on include Mighty Joe Young, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, Jason and the Argonauts and perhaps his most well-known film 1981′s Clash of the Titans.
I have many found memories of sitting around on a Saturday afternoon watching Harryhausen animated films with my brother. Check out this amazing clip containing every creature Harryhausen animated in his career.
I would love to see Michael Bay try to pull off some of these shots without the use of CGI. The world is a little bit less cool with the passing of Harryhausen, but his work will live on to entertain and inspire future generations. I know my boy has already seen a few of his films and was especially excited about the fighting skeleton warriors. So much so that we had to have a sword battle at the film’s conclusion.
Here is a DVD you can pick up all about Ray Harryhausen and his contributions to film. Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan. Another film you might want to check out is Sci-Fi Boys which I recently watched on Netflix. The film focuses on the contributions of the pioneers in special effects and science fiction.
Have you seen any of these Harryhausen films? If so which is your favorite? Lastly can you think of any other films where the special effects really blew you away when you first saw them. I am going to throw out Star Wars for my pick, as the special effects in that film left me stunned when I first watched it at the theater when I was 6.