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Long before computers allowed filmmakers the achieve the impossible, effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen — who died at age 92 on Tuesday — brought fantastical creatures to life using cutting-edge stop-motion animation techniques.
This fan-made video features glimpses of all of Harryhausen’s spectacular special effects sequences, featuring everything from sensitive gorillas to massive sea beasts to swashbuckling skeletons. (Visit harryhausen.com for a full list of the creatures and the films they come from.)
Some of the most significant:
0:01: Mighty Joe Young — Mighty Joe Young (1949)
Harryhausen worked under the tutelage of his hero, King Kong effects guru Willis O’Brien, on this movie about a girl and her huge gorilla. Harryhausen’s skills are seen here in the subtle character work and fur movement.
1:42: Talos — Jason and the Argonauts (1963)
A massive, metal statue on the Isle of Bronze comes alive when Hercules steals treasure from the gods. It’s Harryhausen’s most immense creature, and its inspiration is still seen in films like Guillermo del Toro‘s upcoming Pacific Rim.
1:50: Hydra — Jason and the Argonauts (1963)
A seven-headed, two-tailed, serpentine beast attacks Jason in a dark forest. Jason slays it, allowing him to steal the Golden Fleece.
1:53: Skeletons — Jason and the Argonauts (1963)
Harryhausen takes what he learned about animating skeletons in The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958) and multiplies it by seven in this spectacular fight sequence, which has earned a place in the pantheon of Hollywood classics.
4:21: Medusa — Clash of the Titans (1981)
The snake-headed woman who turns men to stone with one petrifying glare was painstakingly brought to life in this Greek mythological extravaganza. Hero Perseus (Harry Hamlin) must fetch her head to defeat the mighty sea colossus the Kraken and save Princess Andromeda.
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