RIP Ray Harryhausen – A look at his ten best stop-motion monsters

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ray-harryhausen.jpgRay Harryhausen, the special effects wizard who brought life to dozens of the silver screen’s most memorable stop-motion monsters has died aged 92.

An industry legend, his work went on to inspire modern monster movie kings such as Peter Jackson, James Cameron, Steven Spielberg and Guillermo Del Toro, all who’ve paid tribute to Harryhausen and his pioneering work, in its peak between the years 1941 and 1981.

And though many of Harryhausen’s clay model techniques have since been superseded by CGI, there’s a charm and life in his creations completely missing from the sterile computer-generated imagery that dominates modern cinema.

In tribute, here’s a look at ten of Harryhausen’s best stop-motion monsters.

10) Hydra (Jason and the Argonauts – 1963)

9) Kali (Golden Voyage of Sinbad 1974)

8) Cyclops (7th Voyage of Sinbad – 1958)

7) Tyrannosaurus Rex (One Million Years BC – 1966)

6) Kraken (Clash of the Titans – 1981)

5) Talos (Jason and the Argonauts – 1963)

4) Mighty Joe Young (Mighty Joe Young – 1949)

3) Pegasus (Clash of the Titans – 1981)

2) Medusa (Clash of the Titans – 1981)

1) Skeletons (Jason and the Argonauts – 1963)

Here follows a list of just some of the tributes pouring in from movie industry greats on the passing of Ray Harryhausen:

“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”
George Lucas.

“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”
Peter Jackson

“In my mind he will always be the king of stop-motion animation”
Nick Park

“His legacy of course is in good hands
Because it’s carried in the DNA of so many film fans.”
Randy Cook

“You know I’m always saying to the guys that I work with now on computer graphics “do it like Ray Harryhausen”
Phil Tippett

“What we do now digitally with computers, Ray did digitally long before but without computers. Only with his digits.”
Terry Gilliam.

“His patience, his endurance have inspired so many of us.”
Peter Jackson

“Ray, your inspiration goes with us forever.”
Steven Spielberg

“I think all of us who are practioners 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.”
James Cameron

Gerald Lynch
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