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This guy.

Aw. Ray Harryhausen has been and gone. As Wikipedia put it, “The Harryhausen family announced his death via Twitter and Facebook on May 7, 2013.” He had lived in London since 1960. I did not know that.

I adored every frame of his stop-motion animation, but I think there’s a reason everyone points to this scene from Jason and the Argonauts. A slight jerkiness spoils the effect of an animated monkey or the sinuous snakes on Medusa’s head, but these bone soldier guys? They were splendid little models, and they moved exactly the way you’d expect an animated skeleton to move: all crouchy elbows and knees.

Here’s the fight scene. And here’s a short clip of Harryhausen talking about animating the skeleton fight in Sinbad.

(I’m sure the skeletons in Skyrim are an homage, but I love the fact they’re the biggest pussies in the land: lob a rock at them and they disintegrate into comical bone xylophones).

Anyway, RIP Harryhausen. And no, no-one had him in the Dead Pool.

Comments


Comment from Bob Mulroy
Time: May 7, 2013, 10:29 pm

I remember Mom letting me stay up to watch that.


Comment from Bob Mulroy
Time: May 7, 2013, 10:30 pm

First!


Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: May 7, 2013, 10:34 pm

Yeah, Harryhausen’s stuff was great; I’ve seen all those movies, and we own several of his works on VHS which I haven’t gotten converted to DVD yet. He created wonderful stuff with incredibly low tech and it worked!


Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: May 7, 2013, 10:35 pm

You know, with some digital smoothing between frames you could make his stuff stop jerking and it probably would look astonishingly good.


Comment from QuasiModo
Time: May 8, 2013, 12:50 am

Ha, that was a pretty awesome fight scene.


Comment from GenghisJohn
Time: May 8, 2013, 2:05 am

His stuff scared the living crap out of me when I was a kid. He was a pioneer and an artist. May he rest in peace.


Comment from xul
Time: May 8, 2013, 2:37 am

Effing bummer! I loved his stuff when I was a kid and now he croaks on my birthday. :( And I could have sworn I picked him in the Dead Pool this round…so double bummer if I effed that up, too!


Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: May 8, 2013, 2:56 am

Man, why’d he have to die? :(


Comment from Redd
Time: May 8, 2013, 3:41 am

Ach! I had to be carried out of Sinbad because I was so scared – and I had already watched it once.


Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: May 8, 2013, 4:52 am

The skeletons in EverQuest giggled when they attacked and fell dead like a xylophone too, all clattering musical sounds. They did a great job on sound in that game, at least.

Happy birthday Xul.


Comment from Oceania
Time: May 8, 2013, 7:16 am

Ahhh Titties!


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 8, 2013, 9:45 am

Xul! You did! You did pick Harryhausen!

Happy birthday, you win the dick!


Comment from Oceania
Time: May 8, 2013, 9:47 am

If someone famous snuffs it on the 12th – do let me know!
:)


Comment from Hutch
Time: May 8, 2013, 2:52 pm

http://www.amazon.com/The-Fantastic-Films-Ray-Harryhausen/dp/B00069L0X6/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1368024683&sr=8-5&keywords=ray+harryhausen

I got this a year or two ago. I’m going to have the watch the whole series again this weekend.


Comment from xul
Time: May 8, 2013, 2:54 pm

Woot! :shock: And thanks for the Birthday wishes, y’all!


Comment from Bikeboy
Time: May 8, 2013, 4:19 pm

My father took me to “7th Voyage of Sinbad” when I was very young – scared the bejeebers outta me!

Several years later I watched “Jason” at the kids’ summer matinee movie at the cinema; thought it was the best movie I’d ever seen. (Long before beta and VHS changed the movie-viewing world forever… I kinda miss those glory days at the movie house.)

My kids loved watching Harryhausen on VHS; now my granddaughter loves ‘em on DVD; I got that box set a few years back and it’s fantastic!

Xul picked Harryhausen? That is AMAZING! Clairvoyance? Oh – happy birthday, xul!


Comment from Gibby Haynes
Time: May 8, 2013, 5:53 pm

‘Ahhh Titties!’

If that’s a reference to Judi Bowker in Clash of the Titans (1981), then I think you might’ve read my mind.


Comment from LesterIII
Time: May 9, 2013, 12:04 am

“Valley of Gwangi” is the earliest movie memory I have. Watched it in a Mumps-driven delirium. STILL love that (and ALL) Ray’s flicks, but have a feverish-fondness for the black-n-white ones. Favorite creature and film is still the Ymir from “20 Million Miles to Earth”

Thanks for everything, Ray.


Comment from thales
Time: May 18, 2013, 12:25 am

Art trumps technology, at least in this case. But my favorite scene in this movie, and my near top favorite in all special effects, is the battle between the argonauts and that giant bronze statue of a titan that, suddenly and unfortunately, became implacably alive.

My condolences to his family and friends.


Comment from treadmill reviews
Time: July 11, 2013, 8:43 pm

Have you ever considered writing an e-book or guest authoring on
other blogs? I have a blog based on the same subjects you discuss and would love
to have you share some stories/information.
I know my audience would appreciate your work.
If you are even remotely interested, feel free to send me an e
mail.

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