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Stop Motion Master Ray Harryhausen and His ‘Jason and the Argonauts’ Creation, 1963

Ray Harryhausen Jason and the Argonauts
Ray Harryhausen Jason and the Argonauts

Ray Harryhausen was a special effects and stop motion legend responsible for many of the mind-blowing scenes found in the 1963 classic “Jason and the Argonauts.” He created the innovative form of stop-motion model animation known as “Dynamation.”

What is Dynamation, you ask? It’s a technique that splits the background and foreground of pre-shot live action footage into two separate images into which he would animate a model or models, seemingly integrating the live-action with the models.

In a world pre-computers and pre-CGI, this was all incredibly cutting edge, revolutionary stuff. Add a sugar cube or two of LSD into the mix — after all, this WAS the ’60s, folks — and audiences would’ve had their minds blown like party poppers.

Upon Harryhausen’s passing in 2013, Peter Lord of Aardman Animations wrote that he was “a one-man industry and a one-man genre.” Director Edgar Wright said, “I loved every single frame of Ray Harryhausen’s work … He was the man who made me believe in monsters.” And in a statement released by the family, George Lucas said, “Without Ray Harryhausen, there would likely have been no Star Wars.”

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Check out the famous “Jason and the Argonauts” skeleton fight scene below.