[R.I.P.] Ray Harryhausen 1920 – 2013


Some sad news this morning as the family of Ray Harryhausen has confirmed that the pioneering special effects legend has died at the age of 92. It’s impossible to overstate the impact Harryhausen had on motion pictures, not only did he revolutionize stop motion animation, but the aesthetic he brought to his models was always note perfect – tonally matching the project we has working on like a second skin.

The Harryhausen family issued the following statement on their Facebook page, “The Harryhausen family regret to announce the death of Ray Harryhausen, Visual Effects pioneer and stop-motion model animator. He was a multi-award winner which includes a special Oscar and BAFTA. 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.

Harryhausen’s work can be seen in films like Mighty Joe Young, It Came From Beneath The Sea, Mysterious Island, Jason And The Argonauts and of course Clash Of The Titans. His influence can be felt everywhere from The Lord Of The Rings to the junkyard skeleton fight in Dream Warriors.

Let’s hope the news of his passing and the consideration of his legacy reignites the attention to character and detail he held so dear. 1981’s Clash Of The Titans may not be a perfect movie, but his work in that is exceedingly memorable. Can you say the same about the visual effects in the remake? We need more visionaries like this and, just as importantly, we need an environment in which they can thrive.

  • STRIK9

    Too sad. His medusa terrified me as a kid and its still creepy lookin. This guy was a real talent.

  • Jasonicus

    Brutal. He was just amazing. Really opened my eyes as a kid. He’ll be missed.

  • DeathValzer

    Very sad to hear, a legend to say the least. R.I.P.

  • Joe-Banger

    Yeah thats too bad, but he did live to be nearly 100! How many people can you say did that in this day and age?! Not alot. Great special effects artists are a rare breed.

    • dr.lamb

      Yes, 92 years is a pretty long life. Don’t let us be sad but rejoice in the great works he left us !

  • GoreFaceSupreme

    Wow. I just used him as the subject of a school art assignment (stop motion animation)last week. I’m tripping out. What a legend. I watched Jason and the Argonauts, Sinbad and Clash of the Titans last weekend. The skeleton fight in Argonauts is my favourite. A true pioneer of special effects.

  • Mr.Mirage

    I recently stumbled on a copy of Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers, and pretty much bought it just because of the extras, all about the Other Ray (one of them had a long tribute from Ray Bradbury, a life-long friend). He is the man that totally turned me on to stop-motion, a passion that exists even today.

    What a terrific career he had, and a great life.

  • Darkness69

    R.I.P. We definitely need more visionaries like this nowadays, instead of (mostly) inferior CGI work!