Ray Harryhausen has helped bring such film gems as Jason and the Argonauts (1963) and Clash of the Titans (1981) to life through his animating genius, and on 7th May 2013, news sadly travelled that he had died. He is one of the most legendary creative forces behind the spectacular visuals of fantasy and sci-fi films such as Sinbad And The Eye Of The Tiger (1977) and 20 Million Miles To Earth (1957). Harryhausen created his animated figures by hand, and shot his sequences frame-by-frame to create films using the little known form of stop-motion animation. The stop motion animated sequence of the skeletons in Jason and the Argonauts reportedly took three months to film.
Without the skill, creativity, and artistic vision of filmmakers such as Ray Harryhausen, we perhaps would not have the high quality animation we have today. His unique style influenced a great variety of filmmakers, from Steven Spielberg, who incorporated stop-motion into Jurassic Park (1993), through to Tim Burton, who was very fond of stop-motion and has used it in films such as Frankenweenie (2013), The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), and Corpse Bride (2005).
Ray Harryhausen will be surely missed. Stop motion is sadly, a dying art, and Harryhausen was one of its pioneering animators. The world of film has lost a wonderful filmmaker today, and Harryhausen will not be forgotten.
Below: An example of Harryhausen’s stop motion animation in Jason and the Argonauts.