Rest easy, Ray. Your films brought fantasy to life and enriched the lives of millions.
You'll be sadly missed.
Ray Harryhausen, the pioneering visual effects wizard whose name was synonymous with stop-motion animation, has died in London at the age of 92. Ray Harryhausen's skeleton army from Pirates of the Caribbean's CG skeletons aren't a patch on these guys Throughout his 33-year Hollywood career, Harryhausen was known for …
"Jason and the Argonauts" is one of the finest epic films ever produced. I will forever remember the first time I watched it, in 1994 on VHS, at my 10th birthday party with a few of my best friends from elementary school. Since then I've probably seen dozens of other examples of undead skeletons in movies and games, but Harryhausen's stop motion brings an unearthly menace to HIS skeleton scene that, for all the intervening years, media such as "Skyrim" can only wish it had. He was not only a special effects man, but an artist, who showed that stop-motion could be an art and not just an obsolete technology.
Went to see him give a talk in Bristol about 10 years ago. He was interviewed by Phil Jupitus (who, it transpired, was a huge, huge fan).
About an hour in, Ray reached into the bag he'd dumped by his chair and retrieved one of the original Argonauts skeletons. The 300 people in the audience all took a short intake of breath, and held it. It was geek nirvana :)
An amazingly likeable and modest man. We'll not see his like again.
Simply the best. Scared the hell out of me even after many viewings as a child. The Golden Voyage is one of my favorite films. It had the line where Sinbad says to the king in the mask, "Trust in Allah, but tie up your camel." We can trust that any film declaring Ray Harryhausen special effects will be worth watching over and over. Bye Ray.
We can look at Harryhausen's work now and spot the join immediately and notice the jerky animation, but Harryhausen's genius was giving his models an uncanny spark of life that's very rare in any special effects.
Arguably only a few of PIXAR's efforts come close.
But then, like PIXAR films taking as long as they take, Harryhausen was given 2 years or more for work on a film.
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