5 Great Ray Harryhausen Creations
In honor of the passing of one of Hollywood’s greatest special effects men, Ray harryhausen, I present my list of five of his great creations.
1) Mighty Joe Young – Mighty Joe Young
Granted, big apes had been done before by the time Mighty Joe Young was released in 1949. The original King Kong was released in 1933. But the title character, animated by Harryhausen based on designs by Willis O’Brien and Merriam C. Cooper (who brought Joe’s predecessor Kong to life), manages to come to life flawlessly. The special effects for Mighty Joe Young won an Oscar.
2) Rhedosaurous – The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms
Based on a story by Ray Bradbury, Ray Harryhausen brought this prehistoric beast to life to have it menace New York. The creature
would be one of many dinosaurs that Harryhausen would create over the years.
3) The Skeleton Warriors – Jason and the Argonauts
If there is any one creation that people think about when they think of Ray Harryhausen, it’s the skeleton warriors from Jason and the Argonauts. Honestly, the whole movie shows off the genius that was Harryhausen, from the giant bronze Talos, to the harpies and the hydra and, yes, the skeleton warriors. Harryhausen actually reused the skeleton warrior from 7th Voyage of Sinbad, but amped things up by adding more to menace Jason and his fellow sailors. According to Harryhausen’s official website, the skeleton warrior sequence took four and half months to shoot. And the meticulous care to the detail shows in the final product.
4) Ymir – 20 Million Miles To Earth
One of the reasons who Ray Harryhausen was one of the greats is that he managed to not only bring his creatures to life,
but to give them a soul. Even as Ymir, a visitor from the planet Venus, grows from an egg to a monster menacing Rome, you can’t help but to feel something for the creature.
5) The Medusa – Clash of the Titans
Clash of the Titans marked the end of an era. It was Harryhausen’s last major film, but a true showcase of stop-motion animation. Harryhausen manages to bring his magic to the heroic tale of Perseus, including his battle with the deadly gorgon Medusa. One can only imagine how much work much have gone into bringing this creature to life considering that the snakes that make up her hair all move in the sequence. I included the sequence found on Youtube.com.
Many of Ray Harryhausen’s movies are available on DVD and are definitely worth watching in this age of digital creations.
- Visual Effects Master Ray Harryhausen Has Died at 92 (slashfilm.com)
- The Man Responsible For All of Your Favorite Monsters, Ray Harryhausen, 1920-2013 (tor.com)
- R.I.P. Special Effects Legend Ray Harryhausen (geek-news.mtv.com)
- Ray Harryhausen Was Pioneer Of Stop Motion Animation (npr.org)
Posted on May 8, 2013, in Lists, Media, Movies, Personal, The Fives and tagged 20 Million Miles to Earth, Beast From 20 000 Fathoms, Clash of the Titans, JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS, lists, media, Mighty Joe Young (1949 film), movies, personal, Ray Harryhausen, the fives. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.