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The 27 greatest stop motion movies of all time

Sean Wilson Sep 16, 2016

With Kubo & The Two Strings now playing, we salute some of our favourite stop motion animated movies...

With Laika's visually sumptuous and breathtaking stop motion masterpiece Kubo And The Two Strings dazzling audiences throughout the country, what better time to celebrate this singular and remarkable art form?

The effect is created when an on-screen character or object is carefully manipulated one frame at a time, leading to an illusion of movement during playback - and such fiendishly intricate work, which takes years of dedication, deserves to be honoured. Here are the greatest examples of stop motion movie mastery.

The Humpty Dumpty Circus (1898)

What defines the elusive appeal of stop motion? Surely a great deal of it is down to the blend of the recognisable and the uncanny: an simulation of recognisably human movement that still has a touch of the fantastical about it. These contradictions were put
See full article at Den of Geek »

DVD Savant 2015 Favored Disc Roundup

or, Savant picks The Most Impressive Discs of 2015

This is the actual view from Savant Central, looking due North.

What a year! I was able to take one very nice trip back East too see Washington D.C. for the first time, or at least as much as two days' walking in the hot sun and then cool rain would allow. Back home in Los Angeles, we've had a year of extreme drought -- my lawn is looking patriotically ratty -- and we're expecting something called El Niño, that's supposed to be just shy of Old-Testament build-me-an-ark intensity. We withstood heat waves like those in Day the Earth Caught Fire, and now we'll get the storms part. This has been a wild year for DVD Savant, which is still a little unsettled. DVDtalk has been very patient and generous, and so have Stuart Galbraith & Joe Dante; so far everything
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

25 Great Horror Movies for Halloween

  • Cinelinx
It’s Halloween, the time of year for watching horror films with the lights out. You may be trying to decide which films you should watch for your Halloween scare-fest. There are many good films, depending on your taste. As a Halloween gift to you, Cinelinx lists 25 of the best horror films to watch, for your Halloween enjoyment. All these films are of excellent quality and convey the requisite eeriness and suspenseful mood to keep you in the creepy Halloween mood.

First…here’s a couple of Honorable Mentions:

Silence of the Lambs (1991) Hugely successful suspense thriller film that isn’t technically a horror movie but it’s close. This classy chiller became one of the few movies ever to capture the 'Big Five' awards at the Oscars. (Best picture; Best director for Jonathan Demme; Best actor for Anthony Hopkins; Best Actress for Jodie Foster; and best screenplay by Ted Tally.
See full article at Cinelinx »

Randall William Cook: As Never Seen Before, ‘New’ Vintage Stop-Motion on Blu-ray

In honor of Halloween, I once again have a special essay-article up, and this time I can name the contributor. Randall William Cook rates special celebrity status around DVD Savant despite being a friend from way, way back. I hope he's writing a book about his career, because his Hollywood experiences range far afield, from UCLA film school, to acting and directing film and TV, to doing special make-ups, animation direction, front-rank stop motion direction, and second unit direction on big features. Heavily into digital work since the 1990s, Randy supervised character animation and sequence direction for the three Lord of the Rings movies, netting him an amazing three Oscars, three years straight. And he's still the same guy from college -- a new Harryhausen or Welles disc comes out, and he wants to know all about it. Oh, and Cook is a fine writer as well -- as I think this thoughtful piece shows.
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Warners’ Special Effects Blu-ray Collection

I'll trade you two RKOs for two Warners', an even swap! This quartet of movie-magic wonderments offer a full course on old-school film effects wizardry at its best. Willis O'Brien passes the baton to disciple Ray Harryhausen, who dazzles us with his own effects magic for the first '50s giant monster epic. And the best monster thriller of the decade is offered at its original widescreen aspect ratio. It's all special enough to merit a mid-week review. Special Effects Collection Blu-ray The Son of Kong, Mighty Joe Young, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, Them! Warner Home Video 1933-1954 / B&W / 1:37 Academy - 1:85 widescreen / 335 min. / Street Date October 27, 2015 / 54.96 or 19.98 separately Starring Robert Armstrong, Helen Mack,, Frank Reicher, Victor Wong; Robert Armstrong, Terry Moore, Ben Johnson, Frank McHugh; Paul Christian, Paula Raymond, Cecil Kellaway, Kenneth Tobey, Donald Woods, Lee Van Cleef; James Whitmore, Edmund Gwenn, Joan Weldon, James Arness, Onslow Stevens,
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

100 years of animated characters in live-action films

  • Den of Geek
From 1914 to Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes in the present, Ryan charts the evolution of animated characters in live-action film...


Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes and this year's Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes chart the ascendance of a new, genetically-modified species of intelligent ape. Yet behind the scenes, these films also show us the technical evolution of digital effects, and how seamlessly live-action and computer-generated characters can be blended.

Where 20th Century Fox's earlier Planet Of The Apes films, beginning in 1968, used actors and prosthetic effects to bring their talking simians to life, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes used the latest developments in performance capture to create some extraordinarily realistic characters. With its story told largely from the perspective of a genetically-modified chimpanzee named Caesar, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes' success hinged on the quality of its effects
See full article at Den of Geek »

Telluride Horror Show Announces Final Wave of Film Programming and Special Guests

In just one week the fourth annual Telluride Horror Show kicks off in picturesque Telluride, Co, with Ben Ketai’s anticipated trapped-in-a-mine thriller Beneath rounding out the weekend.

Other films in the line-up include All Hallow’s Eve, a Halloween-based anthology that features the return of the demonic Art the Clown, who was first seen in the terrific short film Terrifier; Jesse T. Cook’s subversive and incredibly divisiveSeptic Man; and the World Premiere of Chemical Peel, directed by Grand Junction, Colorado, native Hank Braxtan.

Joining the fest will also be Guest Director Phil Tippett, who will be on hand to present a special sneak preview of Phil Tippett’s Mad God: Part 1, a surrealistic stop-motion nightmare featuring hundreds of detailed puppets. He will also present a special screening of his short film Mutantland.

For more info visit the official Telluride Horror Show website, "like" Telluride Horror Show on
See full article at Dread Central »

Ray Harryhausen Tribute to Be Held in Los Angeles

From a press release:

Ray Harryhausen spent his career turning ancient myth and modern technology into a succession of wondrous creatures, including living skeletons in The 7th Voyage Of Sinbad, harpies in Jason & The Argonauts and dinosaurs in One Million Years B.C. Born in Los Angeles in 1920, Harryhausen got his first taste of movie magic when he saw King Kong as a boy, and it was that film's animator, Willis O'Brien, who gave Ray his first feature work, on Mighty Joe Young in 1949. 

See full article at shocktillyoudrop »

How Ray Harryhausen made a difference to filmmaking

  • Den of Geek
Feature Ryan Lambie 9 May 2013 - 06:05

We pay tribute to the remarkable work of the late Ray Harryhausen. Here's why his stop motion work was so important to artists everywhere...

When you really think about it, there's something quite innocent and childlike about the process of filmmaking. Actors put on funny costumes and makeup. Writers dream up make-believe dramas and arguments and fights. Set-builders construct pretend shops and houses for the characters to walk around in.

Perhaps this is why so many filmmakers have always been inspired by the movies they saw as youngsters; those images etch themselves on their young minds, and although they'll come up with startling ideas of their own in their later careers, they'll always be informed by the things they saw as children.

Ray Harryhausen was about 13 years old when he saw the original King Kong in 1933. He loved it so much that he went
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Ray Harryhausen obituary

Special effects master on fantasy films including Jason and the Argonauts and Clash of the Titans

In 1933, the 13-year-old Ray Harryhausen saw King Kong at the cinema and was hooked – not only by Kong, who was clearly not just a man in a gorilla suit, but also by the dinosaurs. He came out of the theatre "stunned and haunted. They looked absolutely lifelike … I wanted to know how it was done." It was done by using stop-motion animation: jointed models filmed one frame at a time to simulate movement. Harryhausen, who has died aged 92, was to become the prime exponent of the technique and its combination with live action. He created the special effects for fantasy films such as The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad (1958); Jason and the Argonauts (1963), with its famous army of skeletons; and Clash of the Titans (1981).

He was born in Los Angeles to Frederick and Martha Harryhausen,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Ray Harryhausen, Stop-Motion Film Innovator, Dead at 92—Twitter Tributes Pour in

Ray Harryhausen, Stop-Motion Film Innovator, Dead at 92—Twitter Tributes Pour in
Ray Harryhausen, you'll be sorely missed. The Hollywood visual effects pioneer, famed for his stop-motion animation techniques that brought to life fantastical creatures like a hibernating dinosaur in 1953's The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms and terrifying skeletal warriors in 1963's Jason and the Argonauts, died Tuesday in London. He was 92. Harryhausen's family announced his death on his Facebook page. The Tinseltown innovator influenced generations of filmmakers chief among them Peter Jackson, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, and Nick Park thanks to his trailblazing model work. Inspired as a child by Willis O'Brien's creations in 1933's King Kong,...
See full article at E! Online »

Visual Effects Pioneer Ray Harryhausen Passes Away at Age 93

  • MovieWeb
Visual Effects Pioneer Ray Harryhausen Passes Away at Age 93
The Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation announced today that legendary visual effects pioneer and stop-motion animator Ray Harryhausen passed away earlier today, at the age of 93. The foundation released the following statement, which illuminates the artist's iconic career, and includes quotes from top filmmakers such as Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, and Peter Jackson, who pay their respects to the late legend.

Raymond Frederick Harryhausen

Born: Los Angeles 29th June 1920

Died: London 7th May 2013.

The Harryhausen family regret to announce the death of Ray Harryhausen, Visual Effects pioneer and stop-motion model animator. He was a multi-award winner which includes a special Oscar and BAFTA. Ray's influence on today's filmmakers was enormous, with luminaries; Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Peter Jackson, George Lucas, John Landis and the UK's own Nick Park have cited Harryhausen as being the man whose work inspired their own creations.

Harryhausen's fascination with animated models began when he first
See full article at MovieWeb »

Special Effects Legend Ray Harryhausen Has Passed Away at Age 92

Legendary filmmakers like Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Peter Jackson and George Lucas are household names, but they might have never become the filmmaker's they are today without Ray Harryhausen. The special effects legend was responsible for groundbreaking, mind-blowing effects from films of decades past like Mighty Joe Young, Jason and the Argonauts and the original Clash of the Titans, and the aforementioned directors have all sited Harryhausen as one of their major influences in cinema. Sadly, Harryhausen's family issued a statement announcing the effects genius has died at age 92. Here's a video compilation of Ray Harryhausen's creations from the big screen: The Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation issued a statement on their Facebook page (via BloodyDisgusting) with the sad news. Harryhausen's work was inspired by another classic effects mastermind: Willis O'Brien. His work in the original 1933 King Kong inspired Harryhausen's fascination and obsession with animated models. Funnily enough, he
See full article at FirstShowing.net »

Ray Harryhausen: 1920-2013

It was announced today that stop-motion animation legend Ray Harryhausen died at the age of 92.

If you're a fan of cinema and special effects, chances are you're already a fan of his work. His influence can be seen in the work of Tim Burton, Phil Tippett, Harry Selick, Rob Bottin, Dennis Muren, Sam Raimi, James Cameron, Sid and Marty Krofft, and countless others.

Harryhausen's influence extends beyond stop-motion and into the realms of traditional and computer animation. This is primarily because he was a storyteller first and an animator second. A movie with Harryhausen effects has its own special feeling. The design work, the fluidity of movement (though it is less fluid by far than modern stop motion), and the little humanizing touches all set him apart from his contemporaries. 

One reason fans embrace Harryhausen's work so much is because he was one of us. He didn't go into special
See full article at Corona's Coming Attractions »

R.I.P. Famed Stop Motion Animator Ray Harryhausen (1920 – 2013)

Ray Harryhausen, a hugely influential animator and visual effects trailblazer, has passed away at the age of 93, his family announced today. With his pioneering use of stop motion animation, Harryhausen contributed memorable creatures to "Mighty Joe Young," "The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms," "The 7th Voyage of Sinbad" and, perhaps, most famously, for "Jason and the Argonauts," where Harryhausen created a platoon of animated skeletons for the titular demigod to battle. Almost every modern filmmaker, whether or not they work in the fantasy or horror genres, seems either indebted or in awe of Harryhausen's fantastical works – among them, Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson, John Landis, Tim Burton, Sam Raimi, Stephen Sommers and James Cameron. Harryhausen was first inspired by the world of stop motion animation when he saw "King Kong," which featured truly jaw-dropping work from Willis O'Brien. O'Brien would take Harryhausen under his wing on another giant ape movie, "Mighty Joe Young.
See full article at The Playlist »

Coming Soon: "Ray Harryhausen: Master Of The Majicks" Volume 1 By Mike Hankin

  • CinemaRetro
Ray Harryhausen - Master of the Majicks

Volume 1: Beginnings and Endings

by Mike Hankin

Foreword by Tom Hanks

Preface by Sir Christopher Frayling


Finally Completed and off to the Printer!

Vol. 1 is planned to ship in early Summer, 2013.

Written and produced over the past 10 years with Ray Harryhausen's cooperation and support, the complete 3-volume definitive 295,000-word career/biography features interviews with Ray and his colleagues and is profusely illustrated with several hundred rare photographs, artwork, and illustrations (many of which have never been previously published).

We published Volume 2 ("The American Films") first, then Volume 3 ("The British Films"), and are now wrapping up the set with Volume 1 (“Beginnings and Endings”).

Chapters in Volume 1 extensively cover:

Ray's Early 16mm Experiments, The Influence of Willis O'Brien and King Kong, George Pal's Puppetoons®, Ray's Film Work During World War II, The Fairy Tale Short Subjects, Ray's Retirement Years (including tributes,
See full article at CinemaRetro »

Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan Blu-ray review

  • Den of Geek
Review Ryan Lambie 21 Mar 2013 - 06:05

The life and work of stop motion genius Ray Harryhausen is honoured in the documentary, Special Effects Titan. Here's Ryan's review...

Like so many young artists and would-be filmmakers of his generation, Ray Harryhausen was inspired by 1933's King Kong, and in particular the remarkable stop motion effects work of animator Willis O'Brien. But unlike so many of his peers, Harryhausen not only had an opportunity to meet his hero, but even worked for him as an apprentice; a few years after World War II, he helped O'Brien bring another screen gorilla to life in 1949's Mighty Joe Young.

These were the formative years in Harryhausen's long career, in which he himself would grow in stature, to become inarguably the most influential and respected special effects artist of the 20th century. The highlights of his life and work, from his earliest experiments in stop motion to his final feature,
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The Forgotten: The Last Trick

  • MUBI
Pierre Etaix is much on my mind, you could say, since I've just written about 9,000 words on him (to be trimmed down considerably, I assure you) for the forthcoming Criterion Collection box set of his cinematic works. Though his last film for the cinema (as director: he has continued to act in films such as Micmacs and Le Havre), Etaix had a brief burst of activity directing for TV in the 1980s, which included one feature, L'âge de Monsieur est avancé, a filmed play which bursts its bounds and includes the audience and stagehand in the drama. It looks delightful, but as my French is at the level of your average two-year-old (and not even a French two-year-old), I can't really write about it.

But See Rank Le cauchemar de Méliès (The Nightmare of Méliès), produced the next year for a TV compendium tribute to Georges Méliès (also featuring contributions
See full article at MUBI »

The Good Dinosaur, Inside Out and more: Pixar news round-up

  • Den of Geek
News Ryan Lambie Jan 2, 2013

Pictures and information snippets from Pixar's future movies have been gradually emerging. Here they are in one handy post...

Pixar's currently concentrating its marketing energies on Monsters University, due out this summer, but tantalising details are also beginning to emerge from the production of its other projects, including the studio's 2014 movie, The Good Dinosaur.

Directed by Bob Peterson (co-director of the magnificent Up), it's a what-if story that imagines what might have happened if dinosaurs had avoided destruction by meteor in Earth's prehistory.

"They are kind of cartoony but they are dinosaurs," explained Pixar's John Lasseter last June. "They are not walking around with clothes on or anything like that, they still are kind of dinosaurs. We focused on mostly the plant-eaters, not the carnivores… Their society becomes more of an agrarian society, meaning farmers. They become farmers."

Although that's pretty much all we've known about the film up until now,
See full article at Den of Geek »

Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan – review

The 92-year-old Harryhausen, the legendary American film-maker of movies about legends, became hooked on stop-motion animation when he saw King Kong at the age of 13. After a sort of apprenticeship to its special effects designer, Willis O'Brien, he became the greatest figure in the business, working first in Hollywood on pictures like The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, and then in Britain since the late 1950s on such films as Jason and the Argonauts, which features the classic swordfight between the Greek adventurers and seven skeletons.

A modest, amusing, articulate man, Harryhausen is the animator as auteur, a craftsman and artist of genius, whose work is superbly illustrated in this riveting film by a French movie historian and rightly celebrated by a roster of distinguished admirers, among them Steven Spielberg, Terry Gilliam, Nick Park, Peter Jackson and Tim Burton. A continual delight.

Ray HarryhausenDocumentaryPhilip French

guardian.co.uk © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »
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