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Submitted on
February 19, 2013
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Ray Harryhausen

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 4:26 AM
Ray Harryhausen, a name you may not know or remember, but his works, you should most certainly seen at some point in your life! He is a stop motion animator, who animated for some classic movies between the 50s and 70s. To name just a few, think Clash of the Titans, Sinbad and Jason and the Argonauts!

At a young age, Harryhausen actually was not into fantasy or creatures that much. But over time as he watched films, read novels, seen paintings, visited museums and marionette shows, his interest for that area developed. Having tried model making in school, he developed his skills and at the age of 18, he won himself an award at a local competition.

Having seen and thoroughly enjoyed The Lost World and King Kong, this all naturally clicked into place as a revelation to him. He loved fantasy and creatures! 

His earliest professional works were of dinosaurs and his is work was very well received. By the time that unfortunate chapter in history took place  that we call World War II, he was commissioned to work on some propaganda films as well. 

But there was a bit of a problem with his works though, whilst it had gained a good amount of attention, audiences at the time were not into sci-fi that much. So he was creating (or at least had the intention to) create a number of fantastic pieces of film but it just wasn't commercially viable to tackle something big. Projects dropped included a War of the Worlds adaptation which to my knowledge never saw the light of day.

But his works left an impression on the world of film and animation, he has won a lot of awards and there are so many animators out there who have paid homage to his work. And really who can blame them? Harryhausen was one of the earliest pioneers of stop motion animators in feature films, of which a lot of us still look up to. 

Here is a little something to conclude this for us all to think about.

The thing that finally persuaded me to quit was that I saw that the nature of the hero was changing. When I was growing up we had heroes such as Cary Grant, Ronald Colman and David Niven, real gentlemen on the screen. Now, all you have is Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and all those people who solve problems with their fists. It's a different world and I sometimes feel I'm not part of it. Say what you like about Hollywood in my time, but they were in the business of happy endings, of escapism. Now, you have to sit through two hours of people dying, you know. Today, everything's so graphic it's rather unnerving. - Ray Harryhausen


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DinoLover09 Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
My favorites are his unfinished short-film, "Evolution," and "One Million Years B.C."
operaphantom21 Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2013
The three films you mentioned - Sinbad, Jason, and Clash - have been three of my favorite films since I was little. I can remember being about six or seven years old, and asking my grand-mother to record them on VHS when they came on Turner Classic Movies (I used to watch that channel all the time growing up, until we dropped our cable). That way, I could watch them whenever I wanted. The animation was one of my favorite parts, even back then. It was amazing, how someone could make things like these, out of pretty basic materials. He's a genius, and will always be one of my favorite artists.
kingmancheng Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Absolutely! It looks 'cheap' now but this was pioneering stuff in the works. And as I mentioned in the article many of todays animators/filmmakers owe it to this amazing man. :D
FreakieGeekie Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I am a huge fan of the old Sinbad movie. I have it around here somewhere on VHS... **stares at the large movie shelf**

I adore old movies. I miss their charm.
kingmancheng Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Sinbad was amazing, I wish I remembered which ones I watched when I was little, but yes they certainly had a charm to them! :D
FreakieGeekie Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I loved Sinbad, Jason and the Argonauts, Clash of the Titans, The Creature from Black Lagoon, Journey to the Center of the Earth and a host of other older films.
kingmancheng Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013  Professional Filmographer
They were fantastic! But I don't remember watching Black Lagoon, I'll have to try and dig that up somewhere!
FreakieGeekie Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I've watched a lot of old Horror films. They seem so corny now but they were awesome in their day.
kingmancheng Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Yeah but I sorta like that it's corny now, you can enjoy it on a different level!
FreakieGeekie Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
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