Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Greg Goodsell

5/7/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Before CGI, Harryhausen thrilled audiences with monsters, magic and fantasy worlds

Computer generated imagery - or as it is called, CGI, has given movies of today an unlimited palette in which to sketch fantastical sights to movie audiences. It wasn't always that way. In the case of movie special effects mastermind Ray Harryhausen, it was literally a case of one movie frame at a time. Harryhausen has passed away at the age of 93.

Ray Harryhausen was a definite 'hands on' type of guy when it came to special effects. His creatures were painstakingly animated and then photographed frame-by-frame.

Ray Harryhausen was a definite "hands on" type of guy when it came to special effects. His creatures were painstakingly animated and then photographed frame-by-frame.

Highlights

By Greg Goodsell

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/7/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Movies

Keywords: Ray Harryhausen, special effects, mythology, science-fiction, fantasy, horror


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Many of those working in the movies today in the fantasy film genre - such as Peter Jackson, Guillermo Del Toro, James Cameron and Steven Spielberg were introduced to the world of special effects through Harryhausen.

"Harryhausen's fascination with animated models began when he first saw Willis O'Brien's creations in 'King Kong' with his boyhood friend, the author Ray Bradbury in 1933, and he made his first foray into filmmaking in 1935 with home-movies that featured his youthful attempts at model animation," an official statement from his family read.

"Over the period of the next 46 years, he made some of the genres best known movies - 'Mighty Joe Young' (1949), 'It Came from Beneath the Sea' (1955), 20 Million Miles to Earth' (1957), 'Mysterious Island' (1961),'One Million Years B.C.'(1966), 'The Valley of the Gwangi' (1969), three films based on the adventures of 'Sinbad' and 'Clash of the Titans' (1981). He is perhaps best remembered for his extraordinary animation of seven skeletons in 'Jason and the Argonauts' (1963) which took him three months to film."

Harryhausen was a definite "hands on" type of guy when it came to special effects. His creatures were painstakingly animated and then photographed frame-by-frame. "In Ray's hands they were no longer puppets but became instead characters in their own right, just as important as the actors they played against and in most cases even more so."

The Ray & Diana Harryhausen Foundation, a charitable Trust set up by Ray on the 10th April 1986, is devoted to the protection of Ray's name and body of work as well as archiving, preserving and restoring Ray's extensive Collection.

A multi-award winner which includes a special Oscar and BAFTA, Harryhausen saw the writing on the wall in 1981. With the advent of computers, "Clash of the titans" was his final film.

The news of his death has many luminaries in today's entertainment world giving credit where credit was due.

George Lucas: "Ray has been a great inspiration to us all in special visual industry. The art of his earlier films, which most of us grew up on, inspired us so much." "Without Ray Harryhausen, there would likely have been no 'Star Wars!'"

Director Peter Jackson also gave his testimony to Harryhausen. "'The Lord of the Rings' is my 'Ray Harryhausen movie.' Without his life-long love of his wondrous images and storytelling it would never have been made - not by me at least"

Finally, from Steven Spielberg: "I think all of us who are practitioners in the arts of science fiction and fantasy movies now all feel that we're standing on the shoulders of a giant. If not for Ray's contribution to the collective dreamscape, we wouldn't be who we are."

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for June 2015
Universal:
That immigrants and refugees may find welcome and respect in the countries to which they come.
Evangelization: That the personal encounter with Jesus may arouse in many young people the desire to offer their own lives in priesthood or consecrated life.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Movies

The top 5 Pixar movies from the last 20 years Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Over the years, Pixar has created fourteen amazing animated films that people love and relate to. This year, they released the anticipated film, "Inside Out," featuring fictional characters from inside the human body and mind. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


'The Peanuts Movie' trailer is out! Can Charlie Brown become a winner and get the girl? Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In commemoration of the 65th anniversary of the epic comic strip, a 3D movie of The Peanuts will enter theaters by November this year. The trailer shows the iconic characters Charlie Brown and his ever loyal dog, Snoopy, in a quest for the kid's winning identity, as ... continue reading


4 MUST-SEE classic films to enhance the faith in your teenager Watch

Image of Saving Private Ryan (1998) offers one of the most important messages on courage and sacrifice.

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A lot of movies have been released over time and with the advance technology we enjoy today, a variety of formats are easily created. However, although most movies are done with exemplary greatness utilizing animations and other effects to produce a more realistic ... continue reading


Moviegoers get their 'Dino' on with 'Jurassic World' with $204 To $207 million weekend opening Watch

Image of There's no argument that

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It seems that more than just little boys love dinosaurs. "Jurassic World," the latest film entry about thunder lizards roaring into the present day has raked in anywhere from $204 to $207 million for its opening weekend. It could very well beat the all-time ... continue reading


Trailer for 'Mockingjay - Part 2' released, shows Capitol under siege Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Fan excitement is growing with the release of the trailer for the final chapter of "The Hunger Games" trilogy. In the trailer released this week, hero Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) returns to the Capitol in "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2," with ... continue reading


'San Andreas' inspires morbid curiosity in disaster-prone states, making it top at box office Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's a given that the 21st Century disaster film "San Andreas" isn't any good. Loud and noisy, it inspires little interest in its cliché characters trying to survive a double-whammy quake in California. It comes as a surprise that it did relatively well, ... continue reading


Does disaster film 'San Andreas' prophesize the destruction of California? Watch

Image of The likelihood of a magnitude 8 or larger earthquake in the next 30 years has risen from about 4.7 percent to around seven percent.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

They say everyone enjoys an apocalyptic future, as they require nothing from us. Overall, audiences have bypassed the hopeful, utopian "Tomorrowland" for "Mad Max Fury Road" and now "San Andreas," which depicts the destruction of California by a series of ... continue reading


What are filmmakers getting wrong with Bible-based movies? The universal story may not be so universal Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Hollywood has released a lot of movies centered on Christianity and the Bible's stories during 2014. Some of them were well-received by Christians and even film critics, while some of the movies received negative, cold responses, especially from those who subscribe to ... continue reading


Filmmakers of 'Little Boy' receive mixed reviews -- audience approves, film critics are not convince Watch

Image of Little Boy is a movie about a young boy desperate to bring his father home for WWII.

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Rotten Tomatoes gave the newly released movie, "Little Boy" a low rating, viewing it as rather unconvincing for fans, the filmmakers and some of the professional film critics. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - However, the movie was given positive approval ... continue reading


New 'Star Wars' trailer features plenty of surprises for fans Watch

Image of John Boyega, who left a lasting impression as the hero in the 2011 British horror film,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"The force - is back," and the new trailer in the "Stars Wars" installment, "Star Wars: Episode VII -- The Force Awakens" packs quite a few surprises. Due to hit theaters during Christmas this year, the trailer's unveiling was attended by many actors in the ... continue reading


All Movies News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 2:19-22
19 So you are no longer aliens or foreign visitors; ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 117:1, 2
1 Alleluia! Praise Yahweh, all nations, extol him, ... Read More

Gospel, John 20:24-29
24 Thomas, called the Twin, who was one of the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 3rd, 2015 Image

St. Thomas
July 3: St. Thomas was a Jew, called to be one of the twelve Apostles. ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter