Stop motion pioneer Ray Harryhausen died in London today, May 7th.
Harryhausen was born in June 1920, and developed an interest in stop motion animation after seeing the 1933 version of King Kong. According to the obituary released by the Harryhausen Foundation:
“He made his first foray into filmmaking in 1935 with home-movies that featured his youthful attempts at model animation. Over the period of the next 46 years, he made some of the genres best known movies – Mighty Joe Young (1949), It Came From Beneath the Sea (1955), 20 Million Miles to Earth (1957), Mysterious Island (1961), One Million Years B.C. (1966), The Valley of Gwangi (1969), three films based on the adventures of Sinbad, and Clash of the Titans (1981). He is perhaps best remembered for his extraordinary animation of seven skeletons in Jason and the Argonauts (1963) which took him three months to film.”
Tributes began appearing instantly online, with Simon Pegg noting, “Ray Harryhausen an inspiration and a legend, even before he left us. His influence cannot be measured and has shaped cinema as we know it.”