I was saddened to learn of the passing of Ray Harryhausen earlier today. Growing up his work meant a great deal to me, as they did to countless young folk across the world, in a feat of imagination that crossed generations. Even as technology left his weapon of choice, stop frame animation, behind, Harryhausen’s work remained an enigmatic curiosity to millions of people.
Harryhausen was that rare kind of figure in the film industry who, although not a director, placed his stamp firmly on the work he was involved with. Ask the average person in the street who “made” Jason & The Argonauts, The Golden Voyage Of Sinbad or One Million Years B.C. and they will invariably answer “Harryhausen”. Auteur theory be defied.
I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Harryhausen on a number of occasions, and he was a gracious and generous man. My thoughts are with his family.