Ray Harryhausen is no longer with us, but boy did he leave so many of us with so much!
It’s hard to quantify a legacy as monumental as his. Ray’s contribution to animation, cinema and special effects as both a creator and technical innovator are vast.
Depending on when you first encountered Ray, you might remember him most for his Mother Goose Stories, his many prehistoric creatures, the metaphorical flesh he gave to the bones of his skeletal armies, and let’s not forget the mythical Medusa (Ray’s favourite, as he once said, “But don’t tell the others.”
John Landis & Ray Harryhausen in conversation at Bradford Animation Festival 2010
It’s the extent of the effect of these movie-magics that’s difficult to fathom… whether you’re a seasoned eater-upper of film, or in the business yourself, Ray and his creations have a really special effect.
Immeasurable his impact may be, but we can certainly go some way to tilt our hats to his genius. The many screens of social media have been strewn with tributes since his wife Diana, daughter Vanessa and Tony Dalton of The Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation shared their sad news with the rest of the world on their facebook and twitter pages.
So with the most humble of nods to the generosity of his family in warmly sharing these tributes with us all, what better way to quantify a legacy than to soak up the words of those who have watched, absorbed, learned from and been inspired by Ray…
“Ray has been a great inspiration to us all in special visual industry. The art of his earlier films, which most of us grew up on, inspired us so much.” “Without Ray Harryhausen, there would likely have been no STAR WARS”
“THE LORD OF THE RINGS is my ‘Ray Harryhausen movie’. Without his life-long love of his wondrous images and storytelling it would never have been made – not by me at least”
“In my mind he will always be the king of stop-motion animation”
“His legacy of course is in good hands
Because it’s carried in the DNA of so many film fans.”
“You know I’m always saying to the guys that I work with now on computer graphics “do it like Ray Harryhausen”
“What we do now digitally with computers, Ray did digitally long before but without computers. Only with his digits.”
“His patience, his endurance have inspired so many of us.”
“Ray, your inspiration goes with us forever.”
“I think all of us who are practioners in the arts of science fiction and fantasy movies now all feel that we’re standing on the shoulders of a giant.
If not for Ray’s contribution to the collective dreamscape, we wouldn’t be who we are.”
Ray Harryhausen: A natural born stop-motion Master, with a healthy overdose of pioneering whizz-geekery, changed what we’ll see forever.