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 YoungMighty Joe Young

courtesy: Thepinksmoke.com

courtesy: Thepinksmoke.com

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,

Courtesy: gwangipedia.wikia.com

Courtesy: gwangipedia.wikia.com

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.



About chyrondave

Avid comic reader, amateur writer, music fan, and someone with opinions, lots of opinions.

Posted on May 8, 2013, in Lists, Media, Movies, Personal, The Fives and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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