Stop-motion-animation wizard Ray Harryhausen (1920-2013) is widely regarded as the master of old-school special effects. Harryhausen called his method of animating small models of monsters and superimposing them into live action scenes "Dynamation," and it was used to great effect in such movies as The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958) and Jason and the Argonauts (1963). Today's crop of special effects animators are split on which of two famous Harryhausen scenes had a stronger effect on their decision to enter the field: the rousing and meticulously choreographed skeleton fight in Jason, in which a team of seven undead creatures spawned from a hydra's teeth are acrobatically knocked, flipped, and stabbed out of commission by Jason and his cohorts, or the gray-skinned, 20-foot-tall Cyclops who gets seriously pissed off when Sinbad and his crew impale him with spears.
Here's a gallery of movie posters from Richard Holliss's new book, Harryhausen: The Movie Posters:
From the press release:
Harryhausen: The Movie Posters offers a celebration of his unique vision in a truly international collection from all of Ray Harryhausen's extensive movie catalogue. Author Richard Holliss has worked closely with the Ray & Diana Harryhausen Foundation – a charitable foundation started by Ray in 1986 to protect his body of work – to collect together a lavish array of full-colour posters and promotional material from the Foundation's own archive, as well as private collections from around the world.
Beautifully presented as a hardcover coffee table art book, Harryhausen: The Movie Posters features an introduction from director John Landis and offers a comprehensive guide to Ray Harryhausen's legacy that will delight film buffs everywhere.
"Without Ray Harryhausen, there would likely have been no 'Star Wars' – George Lucas
"My teenage years were fuelled by a desire to do exactly what Ray Harryhausen was doing– Peter Jackson
"The artist magician who breathed life into clay figures and wire armatures and made us, as kids, happily fear for our lives, was the dean of special effects… He inspired generations."
– Steven Spielberg
More about Ray and his legacy is available online at www.rayharryhausen.com
The Ray & Diana Harryhausen Foundation (charity number SC001419)
Posters are courtesy of the following companies:
Mighty Joe Young 1949 (An Arko Production) © RKO Pictures Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Earth Vs. the Flying Saucers 1956 (A Clover Production), renewed 1984.
Clash of the Titans 1981 © Turner Entertainment Co. A Warner Brothers Entertainment Company. All Rights Reserved.
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad 1958 (A Morningside Production), renewed 1986.
First Men in the Moon 1964 (An Ameran Film), renewed 1992.
The Valley of Gwangi 1969, renewed 1997 © Warner Brothers Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Jason and the Argonauts 1963 (A Morningside WorldwidePictures S.A.), renewed 1991.