|Ray Harryhausen (June 29, 1920 - May 7, 2013)|
I was saddened to learn of the passing, earlier today, of film legend, Ray Harryhausen. Ray was one of the icons of my youth and remains one of my great gaming inspirations. Who can ever forget the awe-inspiring skeleton fight scene from Jason and the Argonauts, which is surely what many of us still imagine when we fight skeletons in our games.
I've posted before on how influential The Golden Voyage of Sinbad was and is, and its status as probably the greatest sword & sorcery film ever made.
And, in Valley of the Gwangi, Harry showed us that dinosaurs are like peanut butter: they make everything taste better. The only thing better than cowboys is cowboys vs. dinosaurs!
I'm happy to say that Ray Harryhausen's influence continues even today: my little girl is a fan of his work and has spent many a Saturday afternoon curled up on the couch with me watching his movies and eating popcorn; she loves the giant creatures of Mysterious Island.
A legend has passed on today, and an era in film making has passed with him. CGI effects will never thrill me the way Ray's hand-made models do and their absence takes a bit of the shine and magic out of movies today. Special effects are now so pervasive that they are taken for granted rather than marveled at the way we did when a gigantic horror lurched onto the scene of one of Ray's movies. He will be greatly missed.