Ray Harryhausen has passed away at the age of 92. In an age of digital effects where almost anything seems possible (but making it feasible still eludes many), he made stop motion monsters seem both alive and terrifying.
How terrifying? Well, a year ago I was in London looking around the London Film Museum on the South Bank, and they were holding a Ray Harryhausen retrospective. Fascinating and wonderful stuff — it’s great to see the models up live, and there was a lot of supplemental material to sift through… but my kids were utterly petrified by it all.
Comparatively, just down the hall, they stood and giggled underneath a Giger Alien model.
Harryhausen’s impact across filmmaking was massive, even if you haven’t seen any of his films — and you really should. The ABC quotes a statement prepared by his family, and I’d say it’s spot on:
“Ray’s influence on today’s film makers was enormous with luminaries; Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Peter Jackson, George Lucas, John Landis and the UK’s own Nick Park have cited Harryhausen as being the man whose work inspired their own creations.”