Ray Harryhausen dies at 92

Stop motion master Ray Harryhausen stares down one of his creations.

I think I speak for all the Gunslingers when I say there goes a big chunk of my childhood. In an age of unremarkable wonders produced in the realm of 1s and 0s, Ray Harryhausen's meticulous miniature spectacles remain among the most enchanting produced for the screen. There are bound to be a number of appreciations of the man and his craft appearing on line as the news spreads, here's one of the first at The Onion A.V. Club.


ido said...

What is so, so sad is that most people in their 20s have no sense of history and see only current media as the legitimate form of storytelling. I teach and run into this every day. It depresses me badly.

I grew up after Harryhausen's time. But always loved his work. I'll take models and carefully rendered animatronics in film any day. Harryhausen used his imagination to create manifestations of the fantastic that came to life through cinema.

Maybe its because like most children born in or around the very early 1980s, I was raised on STAR WARS. Some of my very first memories are of watching either the original films on VHS tapes my grandfather dubbed for me or the "Muppet Show." The special effects in STAR WARS, the original, were models, puppets, animatronics. All things that were carefully crafted and actually existed in space and time. To my three and four year old mind, these were absolute reality. At the same time I knew that "He-Man" wasn't real because he was a cartoon.

CGI is just a cartoon. When George Lucas went and butchered the original STAR WARS films with unnecessary CGI and completely pointless times, four year old me (who had been suppressed by a steady diet of Ingmar Bergman, Tsukamoto Shinya, SWANS, and SKINNY PUPPY for years) suddenly re-awoke from his slumber screaming "Fake!!!!! Fake!!!!! Cartoon!!!!!"

The time, craftsmanship, and creative intuition that Harryhausen was able to pour into his works is breathtaking. One of the finest artists in American cinema.

marietta said...

his little death take him home !

Frank Black said...