Saturday, July 21, 2007

Presented in this weeklong post are many photos showing the amazing talents of fantasy stop motion animator, Ray Harryhausen.

Clash Of The Titans

The last film to display Ray Harryhausen's imaginative and fantastic talent, Clash Of The Titans is certainly one of his best. Drawing from the strange beasts of Greek Mythology and partly from Norwegian Mythos as with the Kraken, the film is full of bizarre creatures. The scene near the end with the Medusa is one of my favorites out of all the Harryhausen movies.

If you're interested in seeing more artwork by Harryhausen you should check out a book that was recently released available at amazon.

To see additional art, screenshots, trailers and other info related to the films of Ray Harryhausen check out The Seventh

Check out this page with storyboard sketches and test animation screenshots of a never made Harryhausen film called "Elementals" concerning gargoyle like beasts attacking people.

3 minute clip of Harryhausen discussing his introduction to Stop Motion Animation.

"This Is Dynamation!" A trailer for Harryhausen's cinematic techniques.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Jason And The Argonauts

Here is a selection of artwork from one of my favorite Harryhausen films, Jason and the Argonauts. There's an interesting detail about the shields of the skeletons in this movie. If you look closely you'll recognize the face of the space creature "Ymir" from 20 Million Miles To Earth painted on one of the shields. There's also the form of an octopous, which might be a reference to the giant sea creature in "It Came From Beneath The Sea." As for the third face on the shield, I don't know. And if you're wondering what the deal is with the giant multi headed dog, it along with the twin monsters Scylla and Charybdis and a centaur were cut out of the film. I'm guessing the Cerebus seen in Clash of the Titans is associated with the version cut out of this movie. Scylla could have been one of the best Harryhausen creatures ever, but it wasn't meant to be. I stumbled across an illustration from this site which gives you an idea what Harryhausen might have done with Scylla.

More artwork from the film can be seen here and here. And check out some screenshots from the Hydra scene here.

Check out this great clip of Harryhausen discussing his model making and animation techniques.

Watch this clip of Jason battling the Hydra.

Tomorrow wraps up Ray Harryhausen week with Clash Of The Titans!

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Above are sketches for The Seventh Voyage Of Sinbad, the first in a trilogy of bizarre fantasy films based around the adventures of Sinbad. Fans of this film might not be familiar with the 2 cyclops fighting each other, that scene apparently didn't make it into the movie. And this was the first Harryhausen film to have Man VS Skeleton, a concept that would be further played out in Jason and the Argonauts. There's a detailed look at the making of this Sinbad film here.

Above are sketches for the second Sinbad film, The Golden Voyage Of Sinbad. As in the previous Sinbad film, this one also has a cyclops although of the Centaur variety. More artwork from this film can be seen here.

And last, here is a drawing and some screenshots of a weird group of bug demons from the third and final Sinbad film, Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger. See more art from this film here.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Prehistoric Beasts!!

The above artworks were made for "Valley Of The Gwangi" a film that can be summed up with the description, Cowboys VS Dinosaurs. More concept art for the film can be found here.

The above 2 sketches were rough ideas for what the creature in "The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms" would eventually look like. As a fan of Ray Harryhausen and Ray Bradbury I found it amusing that this film's script originally ripped off a short story by Bradbury concerning a dinosaur that seeks out a light tower for companionship. The story was later purchased before filming began and the title of the movie took on that of the short story it was inspired by. You can read more about the incident here.

The above couple of drawings were made for the Hammer produced film "One Million Years B.C." Nevermind humans weren't around during the age of dinosaurs, this was just another excuse to let Harryhausen animate lunatic beasts tormenting mankind. More artwork for the film can be seen here and here.

These three sketches were created for Mysterious Island. Considering most the creatures in this film were giant versions of modern day animals like bees and crabs, it felt like some weird prequel to Food of the Gods, a movie Harryhausen was originally going to have worked on but didn't. Other Dinosaur related projects from Harryhausen involve one of his earliest projects, the never completed "Evolution" a story about the beginnings of life on Earth. And then there is "Animal World" an impossible to find film with many stop motion animated Dinosaurs. Some examples from this can be seen here.
Below is a pic of Ray holding a dinosaur model from One Million Years B.C.