"John Scully's" comic strip that has a farewell every day (drawn and written by Ruben Bolling)

"John Scully's" comic strip that has a farewell every day (drawn and written by Ruben Bolling)
"John Scully's" comic strip that has a farewell every day (drawn and written by Ruben Bolling)
September 19 is the last post for this blog. Thanks to all my readers!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Never to be forgotten:
Ray Harryhausen 1920-2013

Ray Harryhausen, the master of stop-motion animation, has died at his home in London today at the age of 92.

By today's special effects standards, stop motion does not look "real", but for me, that completely misses the point. It looked magical and fantastic and that's what it was supposed to be.

I grew up loving Harryhausen films. I especially remember seeing Jason and the Argonauts at the Grand Lake theatre in Oakland when it opened in the Summer of 1963. I had seen his movies on TV, but on the big screen it was nothing I had ever seen before. When Tom Hanks awarded Harryhausen a special Oscar in 1992, the actor said, “Some people say Casablanca or Citizen Kane. I say Jason and the Argonauts is the greatest film ever made.” I know Hanks saw it at the same theatre where I saw it. We might have even been at the same screening on a Saturday matinee. For a young boy like me or Hanks, it was an unforgettable experience.

This extra posting today is to honor the life and work of Ray Harryhausen. He will never be forgotten.


  1. Elsewhere, someone made the point that unless handled well, CGI can look very unreal also. I recall a scene from Jurassic Park where a raptor falls down, and gets back onto its feet without any real balance or leverage of its limbs; kind of like a plastic toy dinosaur being flipped so it stands up by a four year old boy. Talk about being yanked out of a suspension of disbelief.

    Stop motion animation, from it's very nature, is able to have a realistic range of motion, and is much easier made to represent the textures of actual things; also, a lot of times CGI kind of botches mass and impulse of an item.

    Not saying CGI can't do that, of course; just that in either case, a talented artist needs to be in control.

    Also, I miss the sci fi movies that used models for spaceships. tricked out CGI just doesn't quite cut it. Also, the special effects guys don't get to blow up a bunch of tiny little ships.

    In any case, Harryhausen was a star in his field and his work changed moviemaking forever. Which, I guess, you said.

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Zombie Rotten. It is fair to say you had need to express yourself about the state of the art of special effects and you expressed yourself well.

    It should also be noted that Harryhausen did a lot of the work that made it possible to have tiny people or giants in moving matte shots in color films. Stop motion animation was not his only skill.

    I cannot disagree with your last paragraph in any way.


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