As a huge fan of animation, I was a huge fan of Ray Harryhausen films growing up. One of my favourite films of all time is Jason and the Argonauts, which I first saw at the early age of six years old, and immediately loved it for Harryhausen’s brilliantly designed and animated monsters. Of course at the time I didn’t even know what that film was, I meerly walked in whilst Mum and Dad was watching it, but years later when I watched it again, when it got to scenes with the living statue, the hydra, and, in particular, the famous skeleton battle, I immediately remembered that I had watched it years earlier because those scenes had that big an impact on me without me even knowing it. I also had no idea how much of an impact it had on many other lives.
Now, it’s easy to say “this guy does great animation” but you should really take into account the blood, sweat, and tears it takes to animate, especially with stop-motion.Harryhausen was an artist, not just any artist but a legendary one; his attention to detail, the beautifully timed movement, and the dedication to making these creatures imaginative and scary. I only wish I could have met Harryhausen and told him how much films meant to me.
Nowadays, I’m a 19-year old student, eagerly awaiting going to university this September to study animation. And I am also in the dark ages where stop-motion is under-appreciated and most of todays films rely heavily on CGI. It’s sad, but no matter what happens, I will always remember the day I watched skeletons come to life right before my eyes.