It is with sad heart that I report that the legendary special effects wizard Ray Harryhausen passed away yesterday in London at age 93. Harryhausen worked his visual effects magic on numerous classic sci-fi and fantasy films, many of those films having inspired modern filmmakers such as Tim Burton, Joe Dante, Peter Jackson, Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Stan Winston, Frank Darabont, Sam Raimi, Rick Baker, and John Lasseter. Just a few of the many films that Ray worked on are Mighty Joe Young, 20 Million Miles to Earth, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, Jason and the Argonauts, One Million Years B.C., and Clash of the Titans.
For myself the first time I experienced the wonder of Ray’s stop-motion magic was one Sunday morning in my youth when TBS was showing the 1949 Mighty Joe Young. I had already seen King Kong on TV at that point and this film just cemented my desire to work in that medium when I grew up…to which I haven’t done professionally but I still goof off with stop-motion animation when I can.
Soon after catching the television broadcast of Mighty Joe Young there was a re-release of Jason and the Argonauts at my local theater, this was a couple of years before the 1981 Clash of the Titans release…it was probably around the same time as Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger. Which coupled with the release of Star Wars that year just completely blew my 5 year old mind and is probably while I love films so very much.
[Via] Vintage Film Trailers
Here is an interview with Harryhausen and Joe Dante about the effects from Earth VS The Flying Saucers.
[Via] Ray Harry A
I am very sad that we will no longer have new interviews or insights on stop-motion animation by Ray but at the very least he has left us movie buffs a treasure trove of effects work to enjoy. I hope that wherever Ray might be he is talking about King Kong with his lifelong friends Ray Bradbury and Forrest J. Ackerman.
[Via] BAFTA Online