Friday, October 24, 2008
Your Harryhausen Moment of the Day
Oops, sorry -- wrong picture. That's Mighty Mite in her Halloween costume. Let's see here ...
AH, here we go:
Griffin vs. Cyclopian centaur, from the movie The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1974). And this concludes my posting of Harryhausen stills, at least for the time being. Here are a few facts you may or may not know about the great stop-motion animator Ray Harryhausen:
- Harryhausen did NOT work on the original King Kong movie (1933). However, the animation techniques perfected by Willis O'Brien for that film DID inspire Harryhausen to learn stop-motion animation.
- Prior to making his mark as a pioneer of science fiction and fantasy film effects, Harryhausen created a series of Mother Goose shorts, featuring puppet animations of stories like Hansel & Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood. He completed the long-unfinished Tortoise & The Hare in 2003.
- Harryhausen is still around, and still working on stop-motion projects. He celebrated his 88th birthday on June 29.
- Harryhausen's animated creations were not made of clay (not "claymation"). Rather, they were metal armatures covered with fabric, leather, feathers, or whatever material required for a realistic appearance.
For anyone interested in seeing actual film clips of Harryhausen's work, following is a 4-1/2-minute compilation of creatures and spaceships from his feature films, starting with Mighty Joe Young in 1949, and ending with Clash of the Titans in 1981. You'll notice very quickly that Harryhausen seems very fond of skeletons. Oh, and keep an eye out for Raquel Welch being fed to a bunch of baby pterosaurs, and for Jane Seymour playing chess with a baboon. Also, if your sound is on, brace yourself for some serious percussion music by the late, great Tito Puente. Enjoy!
Harryhausen feature filmography:
Mighty Joe Young (1949)
The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1954)
It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955)
The Animal World (1956)
Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (1956)
20 Million Miles to Earth (1957)
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958)
The 3 Worlds of Gulliver (1960)
Mysterious Island (1961)
Jason and the Argonauts (1963)
First Men in the Moon (1964)
One Million Years B.C. (1966)
The Valley of Gwangi (1969)
The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1974)
Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977)
Clash of the Titans (1981)