Features
The Secret Garden of Ray Harryhausen
Erik Goulet · From fps #1 · Mar 1, 2006 | This compilation of the early work of Ray Harryhausen is an absolute gem for all the fans out there. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science went through the painstaking process of restoring the films, which were in varying conditions because of their age, and did an amazing job.

While computer animation and other styles are attracting most young animators, stop-motion remains in a class apart. I've always felt that the skill required for puppet animators was, by far, more demanding than any other style. In Ray Harryhausen: The Early Years Collection, you get to see a young animator experimenting with visual effects and sharpening his animation skill for the bright future that lies ahead of him. It is the energy and enthusiasm infused in his work that impresses and captivates us.

Ray Harryhausen: The Early Years Collection
Sparkhill, 2005
233 minutes

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Ray Harryhausen is a master of stop-motion puppet animation. Although few people draw attention to puppet animation, most people are familiar with the likes of the Hydra or the skeleton fight scene from Jason and the Argonauts, the chest-beating baboon or the dancing statue of Kali from the the Sinbad adventures. Harryhausen was the mastermind behind the effects that brought the larger-than-life characters to the silver screen that our protagonists had to fight to save the day. If we go back even earlier, some of you will remember the Ymir, the beast from 20 Million Miles to Earth or even the alien saucer from Earth vs. the Flying Saucers. The body of his work has been heavily documented in books, magazines and many television interviews. But what happened during the early years of his life?

Want to read the rest of this feature?

You'll find it and many other articles in the March 2005 issue of fps, available as a free download.
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