Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Greg Goodsell

5/7/2013 (1 year 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 (1 year 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'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for November 2014
Lonely people:
That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.
Mentors of seminarians and religious: That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors.



Comments


More Movies

Parents complain: Ending of 'Big Hero 6' is TOO SAD Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Walt Disney's "Big Hero 6" is cleaning up at the box office. The feature-length animated film features a robot named Baymax who is part "Ghostbusters" Stay-Puft Man and tire mascot the Michelin Man. Cute, fluffy white and adorable, Baymax comes to a rather sad ... continue reading


SEE IT NOW! 'The Identical' shows that faith and family is the key to a full and happy life

Image of Blake Rayne portrays two characters in the new film

By Robert Mullen (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"If He is in your dreams, nothing can stand against them," says the tagline of the new movie "The Identical". It's a simple phrase, but in this drama set primarily against the backdrop of the rise of rock and roll through the '50s and the '60s it still manages to ... continue reading


Walt Disney defrosts 'Frozen' for fun new short film this year Watch

Image of The new short,

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Walt Disney Studios is pulling "Frozen," their animated box-office champ of last year for a fun new movie short. In a title that is the quintessence of contradiction, the new film is entitled "Frozen Fever." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Frozen Fever" ... continue reading


The Identical: Reviving Values in Hollywood

Image of

By Caitlin Bootsma

Do you ever wonder why Hollywood stopped producing movies like It's a Wonderful Life, Meet Me in St. Louis, or The Wizard of Oz? These were films that you could enjoy viewing by yourself, but also watch with your children or parents without skipping scandalous scenes ... continue reading


Director Martin Scorsese to helm story of 17th Century Jesuit priest Watch

Image of Andrew Garfield will play the lead role of Father Sebastian Rodriguez, a character based on an Italian priest named Giuseppe Chiara.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While he's best known for macho, action dramas such as "Taxi Driver," "Raging Bull" and Goodfellas," movie director Martin Scorsese's previous work has always been steeped in the teachings of the Catholic Church. Now, America's finest living motion picture ... continue reading


Asian-Pacific actor and 'Die Hard' star James Shigeta dies at 81 Watch

Image of Actor James Shigeta as he appeared in his first major screen role,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Actor James Shigeta, whose most recent high-profile acting role was in the original "Die Hard" entry, has passed away at the age of 81. Shigeta was a highly active Asian-American actor who paved the way for others, and had a 50-year-plus career that stretched ... continue reading


'Transformers: Age of Extinction' battering the box office - in China Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The "Transformers" film series in the U.S., is based on a childhood toy favorite where ordinary, commonplace things such as trucks turn into giant robots to do battle. Aimed at children, "Transformers" films are aimed mainly at children and are booked in stadium ... continue reading


Relativity Studio's Family Friendly 'Earth to Echo' (In theaters Nationwide July 2) will entertain kids of all ages, and provide lots of laughs for parents too!

Image of Earth to Echo will entertain the whole family!

By Donald Clark

Relativity Studio's Family Friendly "Earth to Echo" (In theaters Nationwide July 2) will entertain kids of all ages, and provide lots of laughs for parents too! We had an opportunity to pre-screen Earth to Echo with 350 children and their parents at the TLC theatre in ... continue reading


Cop comedy '22 Jump Street' takes box office by storm Watch

Image of The comically inept cop comedy duo of Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum in

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In spite of the World Cup and the Stanley Cup finals dominating TV airwaves this past weekend, it didn't keep film fans from heading to the theaters in droves. The nation's pick for top flick? The rowdy cop comedy "22 Jump Street," which grossed an impressive ... continue reading


No one ever dies in science-fiction: Sigourney Weaver to return for 'Avatar' sequels Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

No character that ever died in a blockbuster motion picture can never be ruled out for resurrection for the inevitable sequel or sequels. Such is the case with actress Sigourney Weaver. "Avatar" director says that Weaver will be back before cameras for all ... 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, Revelation 11:4-12
4 These are the two olive trees and the two lamps in ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 144:1, 2, 9-10
1 [Of David] Blessed be Yahweh, my rock, who trains ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 20:27-40
27 Some Sadducees -- those who argue that there is no ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 22nd, 2014 Image

St. Cecilia
November 22: In the fourth century appeared a Greek religious romance on the ... 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