Ray Harryhausen

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I don't know about you, but I'll take Harryhausen's animation ANY DAY over some cold, sterile 'perfect' computer animation. Fighting skeletons, giant crabs, the Krakken, Medusa, Jason and the Golden Fleece, Sinbad, etc. When I was a kid I was spellbound...

Fighting Skeletons!

andy, Friday, 16 January 2004 21:34 (sixteen years ago) link

Fighting skeletons = coolest special effect ever.

ModJ (ModJ), Friday, 16 January 2004 21:36 (sixteen years ago) link

Yeah, I used to love these, but they do look stiffer and more awkward by the year. The skeletons have held up best, I think - the movements are very good.

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Friday, 16 January 2004 21:38 (sixteen years ago) link

Clash! AII-AAIIGHHHH! He's save every one of us!


Kingfishee (Kingfish), Friday, 16 January 2004 21:41 (sixteen years ago) link


andy, Friday, 16 January 2004 21:41 (sixteen years ago) link


Thought this one was a bit sad, even as a kid: "villagers with torches" kill the poor Venusian. And ditto on the spellbound.

Chris Hill (Chris Hill), Friday, 16 January 2004 21:42 (sixteen years ago) link


andy, Friday, 16 January 2004 22:11 (sixteen years ago) link


Talos - # 2 scary Harryhausen beastie, after the fighting skeletons. He lacked facial expression and had the eerie, metal-creaking sounds.

Chris Hill (Chris Hill), Friday, 16 January 2004 22:55 (sixteen years ago) link

A full, rare Ray Harryhausen children's cartoon for download here:


Chriddof (Chriddof), Saturday, 17 January 2004 00:37 (sixteen years ago) link

Talos is responsible for my still-present phobia of large statues. He scared the shit out of me as a little kid. If you made me stand at the foot of the Staue Of Liberty and look up I'd probably pass out.

Jay Vee (Manon_70), Saturday, 17 January 2004 02:36 (sixteen years ago) link

Harryhausen's CLASSIC, though. Mysterious Island is one of his most overlooked classics: giant bees, crabs, baby ostrich! Chris has a point, too -- it always makes me a bit sad when one of his creatures die. They always look like they're really going through "death throes". Lots of grabbing the throat with one hand while waving and clutching at the air with the other.

Jay Vee (Manon_70), Saturday, 17 January 2004 02:39 (sixteen years ago) link

What's cool about the crab from Mysterious Island is the fact that Harryhausen used a real crab exoskeleton on top of the stop-motion model's armature.

latebloomer (latebloomer), Saturday, 17 January 2004 13:36 (sixteen years ago) link

Oh, and CLASSIC, by the way.

latebloomer (latebloomer), Saturday, 17 January 2004 13:36 (sixteen years ago) link

I saw him speak in 1990. The memory still touches me.

the pinefox, Saturday, 17 January 2004 13:53 (sixteen years ago) link

one year passes...
i'm interviewing him on saturday!! any questions people want asked?

s1ocki (slutsky), Thursday, 7 July 2005 16:49 (fifteen years ago) link

what?? awesome s, i have a zillion questions and will get at you in person. hey if you haven't seen First Men In The Moon you should borrow it from me (it features great RH aliens and a good doc on him in the dvd extras)

j0nes, Thursday, 7 July 2005 17:21 (fifteen years ago) link

oh, awesome!! dude i was thinking of having an RH mini-fest tonight or tomorrow (prob'ly tomorrow) you in?!

s1ocki (slutsky), Thursday, 7 July 2005 17:53 (fifteen years ago) link

ask him what he thinks abt Peter Jackson's CGI King Kong

Ward Fowler (Ward Fowler), Thursday, 7 July 2005 18:17 (fifteen years ago) link

oh i will!

s1ocki (slutsky), Thursday, 7 July 2005 18:26 (fifteen years ago) link

haha i'll ask him what he thinks about the CGI mighty joe young!!!

s1ocki (slutsky), Thursday, 7 July 2005 18:31 (fifteen years ago) link

(s yeah! check yr messages)

RH says in that doc that the unrealistic quality of old-timey effects heightens the dreaminess of film – of course he WOULD say this, and i don't think he's wrong – what he doesn't talk about is how quickly ALL effects become hokey, be it dynamation or Anaconda-era CGI (and yeah sure cf. CGI-Kong too, which already looks terrible hoho)

his colour palette is one of my favorites ever i think

jones (actual), Thursday, 7 July 2005 18:42 (fifteen years ago) link

yeah, v. gd lime green mists and eyes and mythmalogical spooks

Ward Fowler (Ward Fowler), Thursday, 7 July 2005 18:48 (fifteen years ago) link

i really gotta refresh my harryhausen memory... this was really on short notice!!

s1ocki (slutsky), Thursday, 7 July 2005 19:49 (fifteen years ago) link

Heads up for Los Angeles folks - Ray is going to be appearing at the Egyptian Theatre in August.

Elvis Telecom (Chris Barrus), Thursday, 7 July 2005 20:39 (fifteen years ago) link

any other qns?

s1ocki (slutsky), Friday, 8 July 2005 18:16 (fifteen years ago) link

i have such a huge stack of dvds to watch tonight

s1ocki (slutsky), Friday, 8 July 2005 21:57 (fifteen years ago) link

All I can think of is "What makes you so super-cool?"

Austin Still (Austin, Still), Saturday, 9 July 2005 01:51 (fifteen years ago) link

three years pass...

A remake of Clash of the Titans due to be released on 2010 directed by The Incredible Hulk director Louis Leterrier.[1]

Catsupppppppppppppp dude 茄蕃, Saturday, 30 August 2008 18:54 (eleven years ago) link

Spy Kids 2 was basically a giant Harryhausen homage party. With some spy kids and a mad scientist played by Steve Buscemi.

Abbott, Saturday, 30 August 2008 19:28 (eleven years ago) link

"Island of Lost Dreams" = "Island of Harryhausen monsters"

Abbott, Saturday, 30 August 2008 19:29 (eleven years ago) link

Clash of the Titans was my favourite film for a chunk of my childhood. Was recently fairly astounded to learn it was made in 81, when I would've guessed ten years earlier.

chap, Saturday, 30 August 2008 20:04 (eleven years ago) link

it was one of the big last hurrahs for traditional stop motion animation.

latebloomer, Saturday, 30 August 2008 21:21 (eleven years ago) link

Yeah, very glad to have caught it on initial release in the theater then too -- it was pretty heavily advertised, and I'm sure a lot of it had to do with Harryhausen's name.

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 30 August 2008 21:37 (eleven years ago) link

four years pass...

Aw man. Ray's finally gone.


Raymond Frederick Harryhausen
Born: Los Angeles 29th June 1920
Died: London 7th May 2013.

The Harryhausen family regret to announce the death of Ray Harryhausen, Visual Effects pioneer and stop-motion model animator.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 7 May 2013 16:38 (seven years ago) link

bummer. in-laws worked with him in recent years, had nothing but great things to say about him

four Marxes plus four Obamas plus four Bin Ladens (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 7 May 2013 16:41 (seven years ago) link


set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Tuesday, 7 May 2013 17:03 (seven years ago) link



goole, Tuesday, 7 May 2013 17:11 (seven years ago) link

man see u


goole, Tuesday, 7 May 2013 17:18 (seven years ago) link

Oh no! RIP Ray.

Bees Against Racism (Tom D.), Tuesday, 7 May 2013 17:29 (seven years ago) link

His motion got stopped

Panaïs Pnin (The Yellow Kid), Tuesday, 7 May 2013 17:30 (seven years ago) link

RIP. Definitely one of the most influential artists of all time.

Emperor Cos Dashit (Adam Bruneau), Tuesday, 7 May 2013 18:12 (seven years ago) link

RIP RH. I rewatched Clash of the Titans a few months ago, thinking it probably wouldn't be all that on a 4th viewing, but it was as fun as ever.

What makes a man start threads? (WilliamC), Tuesday, 7 May 2013 18:25 (seven years ago) link

Voyage of Sinbad is pretty amazing too

Emperor Cos Dashit (Adam Bruneau), Tuesday, 7 May 2013 18:32 (seven years ago) link

Shit. I interviewed him twice, and he was awesome both times. He and Bradbury were hard-of-hearing brothers in arms.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 7 May 2013 18:33 (seven years ago) link


Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 7 May 2013 18:40 (seven years ago) link

aw man, this made me tear up. such an amazing guy.

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Tuesday, 7 May 2013 19:19 (seven years ago) link

one of the last guys to understand how badass skellies with swords are, r.i.p.

turds (Hungry4Ass), Wednesday, 8 May 2013 01:43 (seven years ago) link

The Medusa sequence in the original COTT is still one of the scariest, best paced sequences in a film of its kind.

A deeper shade of lol (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 8 May 2013 01:45 (seven years ago) link

there is something incredibly human/magical about stop motion animation, that CGI just can't replicate. rip

Treeship, Wednesday, 8 May 2013 01:47 (seven years ago) link

God knows the creatures were more animated than the humans in those films.

ballin' from Maine to Mexico (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 8 May 2013 01:52 (seven years ago) link

Harry Hamlin rowr

A deeper shade of lol (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 8 May 2013 01:56 (seven years ago) link

The Medusa sequence in the original COTT is still one of the scariest, best paced sequences in a film of its kind.

― A deeper shade of lol (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, May 8, 2013 1:45 AM (15 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink


lego maniac cop (latebloomer), Wednesday, 8 May 2013 02:01 (seven years ago) link

It's got the texture of a dream, as when Medusa slithers into the opposite corner of the temple and Perseus can theoretically escape; but, no, he has to lure. A nice touch: his arm trembling with nervousness and the weight of the sword.

A deeper shade of lol (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 8 May 2013 02:03 (seven years ago) link

*he has to lure her back

A deeper shade of lol (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 8 May 2013 02:04 (seven years ago) link

Ironically, it was "Clash of the Titans" that capped and/or killed his career. He insisted on doing it all himself, it took forever, it did OK, but in then in the end the movie couldn't compete with the Phil Tippets of the world, who took the amazing things Harryhausen did and did more with them.

Man, the number of Saturdays I spent watching his movies ...

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 8 May 2013 03:24 (seven years ago) link

love how Titans was so scary and bloody and dark for an A-rated family film. way nastier and gorier than, say Gremlins two years later which was a '15'
over here.

piscesx, Wednesday, 8 May 2013 03:52 (seven years ago) link

I remember being gobsmacked by Harryhausen's movies as a kid. They'd show up on our local station's Saturday afternoon matinee sometime. I was seeing stuff normally done in cartoons...but it's real! there's people AND monsters and it's in color...but it looks kinda...old? They felt like dreams to me, I remember being excited when I saw Sinbad again after the first time because I was convinced I had imagined it.

I love thinking about all my favorite movie makers and effects people who got into movies because of him. His tree diagram would be huuuuuge.

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Wednesday, 8 May 2013 04:02 (seven years ago) link

They felt like dreams to me


turds (Hungry4Ass), Wednesday, 8 May 2013 04:11 (seven years ago) link

when i was a kid and slept in a bit on sundays, i would wake up, turn on the TV, and half the time there'd be a harryhausen movie on. RIP.

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Wednesday, 8 May 2013 05:31 (seven years ago) link

"Back in the early 80's Tom Baker made contact with Ray Harryhausen via a friend. Tom would stop over at Ray's place in Kensington, and both would get shitfaced on good brandy. Diana, his wife, banned Tom, after Tom weed in their fireplace."

Ward Fowler, Thursday, 9 May 2013 22:17 (seven years ago) link


that is awesome

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 9 May 2013 22:25 (seven years ago) link

way nastier and gorier than, say Gremlins two years later which was a '15'

Eh, I dunno about that.


Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 9 May 2013 22:36 (seven years ago) link

I saw Clash Of The Titans at the cinema as a kid and it was a massive experience. It inspired me later to try and do my own animation on a Super 8. So many of his films blew my mind as a child.

Damo Suzuki's Parrot, Thursday, 9 May 2013 22:39 (seven years ago) link

four weeks pass...
two months pass...

have never seen this Beast ... wish he would rampage through contemporary Wall Street.


Miss Arlington twirls for the Coal Heavers (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 27 August 2013 13:59 (six years ago) link

^^^ just wached this. pre-godzilla! rollercoaster climax is good and there's a majestic bit early on where the monster attacks a lighthouse. as cool as the monster is (partic the tail movements) it's the debris that's really how-did-you-do-that.

seven months pass...

now i just watched jason and the argonauts. skellies w swords are badass for sure but best in show is that amaaaaaaaaaaaazing titan statue who clambers carefully off his pedestal, leans against it for a moment getting his animated bearings, then comes implacably at our heroes and destroys the argo before hera clues jason into the service hatch on the statue's heel, which when pried open gushes steam and what looks like hydraulic fluid. his technicolor corroded-bronze skin is the greatest uncanniest thing--and the screeching when he moves!

difficult listening hour, Saturday, 19 April 2014 23:19 (six years ago) link

I was watching Monster Inc. with my son last night, had never caught this shout-out before:


djenter the dragon? (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Monday, 21 April 2014 17:33 (six years ago) link

six years pass...

happy 100th, ray

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Tuesday, 30 June 2020 04:42 (one week ago) link

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