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.