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In Memoriam: A Visual Tribute To Special Effects Pioneer Ray Harryhausen

By Joanna Robinson | Miscellaneous | May 7, 2013 | Comments ()


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Visual Effects wizard Ray Harryhausen has died at the age of 92. Rest in peace, sir, and thank you for the beautiful legacy you've left behind.

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Comments Are Welcome, Douches Are Not


  • embertine

    Just recently watched Clash of the Titans for the first time. Just amazing.

    PLEASE DO NOT POKE THE YMIR

  • robot_monster

    He was a multi-talented artistic and technical genius with the work ethic and self discipline of a focused professional. A graphic artist, cinematographer, sculptor, puppet maker, animator, and film maker.

    He was a rarity in the movies in successfully achieving a position of creative control over his work and life with a unique voice in a tenuous and largely unrespected branch of a medium that then as now, is famous for offering no such niche.

    He created, almost single handedly, a consistent body of brilliant and innovative work that has entertained and inspired the imaginations of millions.

    And, with all this, he was also the consummate true gentleman- someone from a different age than ours.

  • Ben

    I always assumed he was some kind of immortal warlock.

  • Feralhousecat

    The only truly happy childhood memories I have of my summers with my father are of our midnight viewings of Mighty Joe Young, The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms and It Came From Beneath the Sea. We'd curl up on the couch while everyone else slept, cheer the monsters and eat ice cream. Goodbye, Ray.

  • PDamian

    One of my childhood heroes has died. Requiescat in pace, Ray, and thanks for everything. The fighting skeletons in Jason and the Argonauts were just BOSS.

  • Quatermain

    This makes me want to run a triple bill of 'King Kong', 'Jason and the Argonauts' and 'Wrath of the Titans.'

  • True story: only until maybe 15 or 16, I was convinced that the creatures in Clash of the Titans OG were life sized. So when I learned about Harryhausen a little time after first seeing it, I was like "That guy made those huge monsters??!!!!"

    I would say I know better now, but even looking at these pictures, with him standing there giving it proper scale, I just don't believe it. It looks less like a man working with a puppet and more like a giant fiddling around with human sized props.

    Rest In Awesome, Mr Harryhausen.

  • Obst N. Gemuse

    Oh, "Earth Versus the Flying Saucers" scared the crap out of me when I was young. Cheers, Ray.

  • bleujayone

    Oddly enough, I just picked up a copy of Clash of the Titans....HIS version. It's funny how CGI was supposed to replace physical special effects like this, but to be honest, so much of them are so poorly done that it looks just as bad as any other imperfect style, just in a different way.

    I've always been an advocate for marrying both of these artforms together not just having one replace the other. One example of this would be Jurassic Park. While yes there were CGI effects in it, there were also full-sized models, smaller animated models, robotics and even puppetry. The results have left us with effects that even 20 years later have remained largely solid and largely believable view of the impossible. Compare that with movies since then than have adopted an all CGI format which even after all the improvements still look largely fake and sometimes just this side of cartooning. I say all this because at the time of making Jurassic Park, the special effects artists who saw the CGI felt that they themselves were now largely extinct. I'm sure Harryhausen thought so too. But I would argue that there is still a place for this effect artform and perhaps always will. Harryhausen was a pioneer in special effects and those that came after him were largely inspired by him and others like him. Even the CGI animators would have to admit they stand on the shoulders of those who animated physical models to behave in a real manner. Whether the models are clay & plastic or bits & bytes the principles are the same and I feel all modern filmmakers owe a debt of gratitude to his inventions and innovations.

    Here's to a man who could take something the size of a toy and make it into the largest and most awe-inspiring thing on screen.

  • Nadine

    Damn it. RIP Ray.

  • I just finished watching Clash of the Titans. Medusa still scared the crap out of me.

    One of my favorite parts of Monsters Inc was their reference to him.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Aw, I gotta pour one out and watch Clash of the Titans tonight.

  • MichaelEhrgott

    R.I.P.

    Jason and the Argonauts was a huge part of my childhood. I ran around the yard fighting skeletons, bronze titans and the Hydra for days on end. Thank you Mr. Harryhausen...

  • John W

    Thank you Pajiba.

    Ray Harryhausen was the best at what he did. And what he did was fucking awesome.

    I'm going to have to watch 7th Voyage of Sinbad, Jason and the Argonauts, and Golden Voyage of Sinbad back to back to back.

    R.I.P. Harry.

  • $27019454

    Oh thank you for this. He was such a part of my childhood. Sunday night movies, watching with my brothers and sisters. Part of my love of ancient history, mythology, etc comes directly from watching these fantastic movies. It was so satisfying to show them to my kids for the first time. God rest your soul, Harry Hausen (props to Monsters Inc). And thank you thank you thank you.

  • BWeaves

    RIP Ray. I still love your work.

    I LOVE stop motion animation. Willis O'Brien, Ray Harryhausen, and the gang at Aardman Studios (Wallace and Gromit).

  • kingsize

    Aardman....sigh

  • BWeaves

    Fixed. Damn autocorrect.

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