When he was 13 years old, Ray Harryhausen and his childhood friend Ray Bradbury went to see the film King Kong at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood. From that one experience, a preteen mind was blown and a career was launched. Ray Harryhausen was enthralled with the giant ape and began making his own films at his childhood home in Los Angeles. Sixteen years later, in 1949, Harryhausen got a job as the lead animator for Willis O’Brien, the man who gave King Kong life, on the film Mighty Joe Young. That kicked off a legendary career as a stop motion animator bringing to life a variety of monsters and legendary creatures. Ray Harryhausen has passed away at age 92 in London, England. Take a look at his beautiful creatures below.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9kmjW73-v4
“The modern digital effects are very effective, but I don’t think they’re the be-all and by-all. You shouldn’t eliminate everything just because CGI (computer-generated imagery) came. It’s a wonderful tool, and I think you should treat it as a tool. It can enlarge everything we do with puppet animation — with hand puppets, with string puppets — and stop-motion. But it’s not right to kill off everything just because CGI came into the picture,” said Harryhausen at the Chicago International Film Festival in 1999.
The thing Harryhausen did in his movies, from the Sinbad series to Jason and the Argonauts and his 1981 masterwork Clash of the Titans, was to craft wonderful models and then pain-stakingly bring them to life using a technique called Dynamotion. From George Lucas to Nick Park and Henry Selick, stop motion animation lives on, and they are all directly inspired by Ray Harryhausen.
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