Before the advent of computers for camera motion control and CGI, films used a variety of approaches to achieve animated special effects in movies. One approach was one of the many kinds of stop-motion animation which used realistic miniature models (more accurately called model animation), used famously in King Kong (1933).

Ray Harryhausen with his contribution to the
'Kong' legacy, Mighty Joe Young (1949)
The work of pioneer model animator Willis O'Brien in King Kong inspired Harryhausen to work in this unique field, almost single-handedly keeping the technique alive for three decades. Springing from O'Brien's groundbreaking work, Harryhausen continued bringing stop-motion into the realm of live action movies. Ray Harryhausen has since proven himself the Master of stop motion photography with remarkably realistic miniatures, from The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms to the dreadful Kraken in Clash Of The Titans.
In 2005, Harryhausen released a 2-DVD set of a complete collection of all his non-feature film work, including all his tests, demos, military work, a re-edit of all the biographical material that had been released in the mid-90s to VHS video under the title Aliens, Dragons, Monsters, and Me, and his entire set of fairy tales, including "The Story of the Tortoise & the Hare". The second disc profiles a making of documentary, behind the scenes and interviews with Harryhausen, Walsh, Caballero and narrator, Gary Owens.
In July 2006, it was announced that Harryhausen has licenced Blue Water Productions to create six comic book follow-ups to some of his most famous movies. The first three are "Sinbad, Rogue Of Mars," "Twenty Million Miles From Earth" and "Wrath Of The Titans," and are scheduled for release in December 2006. A further three are due in 2007- According to the announcement, one will be a sequel to Jason And The Argonauts, and the other two are yet to be announced. Harryhausen will furnish new artwork, but not scripts. All will be five-issue miniseries.
Complete Filmography............Ray Harryhausen Official Website

Sinbad tangles with the incredible 'Cyclops' in
The Seventh Voyage Of Sinbad (1958).

A temple Shiva comes to life brandishing six arms with swords in The Golden Voyage Of Sinbad (1974).

One year before Toho Film Company rolled out a man in a rubber suit with Godzilla, Ray stunned the world with The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms (1953) putting a nuclear spawned dino smack in the middle of New York city, tromping Wall Street, no less! That's one of New York's finest in his mouth, by the way. There are moments in 20,000 Fathoms when the realism is truly extraordinary.


Ray teamed up cowboys and prehistoric dino's in
The Valley Of Gwangi (1969). You can't beat that!
Ray managed to have an utterly convincing sequence where
a live action cowboy interacts with a dinosaur, roping
a T-Rex like a prehistoric rodeo stunt. Gwangi remains
one of the all time great 'man meets monster' movies.

Ray's 'DINO-RAMA' (as it was billed) had some stiff
competition for visual favorites ala Raquel Welch in
One Million Years B.C. (1966). This film has some of
the most terrific dino-battles ever set to celluloid. The
film was also done entirely without human speech, just
grunts and hoots. And we can see why.

In 20 Million Miles To Earth (1957), Ray delivers a powerful alien creature from Venus to terrorize the city of Rome (below).

Many years later, an apparent homage from Ray's imagination called The Kraken arose from the sea to devour a sacrificial virgin in Clash Of The Titans (1981).

The 1957 beast clearly inspired young filmmaker & fledgling special effects creator Dennis Muren's monster in the low-budget student film that went international in 1970, Equinox.

Ray's inspiration was evident! Muren went on to work on such films as Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, The Abyss and E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial. It was reported in Cinefex magazine that some of the younger 'computer based' FX artists coming up had never even seen a Harryhausen film! One director sat his crew down and screened a couple of Harryhausen classics & the comments afterward were ho-hum. The boss's response was - "okay - I want to see you design the creature, make the armature, mold and paint the skin, make the tabletop sets, light the sets and match the rear projection plates, and then animate each frame by hand for 16 hours a day - all by yourself with no assistance - and we'll come back in about 5 days and see what your stuff looks like."

An army of living skeletons attack the crew in Jason & The Argonauts (1963). Long
before there was CGI (Computer Generated Imagery), Ray's stop-motion photography
was the cutting-edge, and scenes like this still amaze audiences worldwide. The complexity
of the frame by frame animation of the skeleton models must of have been
nothing short of grueling. Argonauts is a timeless classic!
Material compiled by James Neff for