A Tribute To A Hall-Of-Fame Special-Effects Expert
Special-effects wizard Ray Harryhausen is the honored guest star of this presentation, a bonus feature on the "Mighty Joe Young" DVD. The Chiodo brothers - three of them - all interview Harryhausen on the 50th anniversary of the film. The Chiodo brothers - Charles, Edward and Stephen - are modern-day special-effects movie men.
Harryhausen said his idol and the guy whom he patterned himself after was a man named Willis O'Brien, "who was the first one to bring stop-action to the forefront Few people remember who was in the film, 'The Lost World,' but they remember the dinosaurs. So, he made stars out of these animated puppets." Harryhausen seeing that film as a child, and then "King Kong" later, inspired him to do what he's done all these years.
These four guys discuss what made "King Kong" and "Mighty Joe Young" so successful, in addition to the stunning special-effects. For instance, "Mighty Joe" is given personality and empathy. He's not just some little puppet (and he was very little, even though he didn't look it on screen) but the expressions put on his face make him real and someone audiences would care about. However, Harry didn't want to overdo it "like they did on Son of Kong where he's cartoonish, doing things humans, not apes, would do. There's a fine line about that sort of thing."
Later, Harryhausen is asked about other aspects of the film, problems they had making "Mighty Joe Young" and a lot of details that had to be done on each scene. It's fairly interesting, nothing super, but the veteran didn't shy away from any questions. You could see the awe on the faces of the three brothers talking to this legend in the film business.
There also was some interesting comments about Merion C. Cooper, the producer of King Kong and a co-writer of Mighty Joe Young. Harryhausen said people should read the biography of Cooper because he lived an incredible life.
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