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The Story of 'The Tortoise & the Hare' (2002)

The classic Ray Harryhausen tale that still proves "slow and steady" wins the race.


, (co-director) (uncredited) | 1 more credit »


(based on: the popular fable by)


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Based on the classic European fairytale. A young girl is pursued and tricked by a big bad wolf who wants to eat her. Animated by Ray Harryhausen.

Director: Ray Harryhausen
Stars: James Matthews


Credited cast:
... Narrator (voice)


The classic Ray Harryhausen tale that still proves "slow and steady" wins the race.

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race | sleep | judge | gate | forest | See All (17) »




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Release Date:

5 December 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Tortoise & the Hare  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Begun in 1952, the film was interrupted by other Ray Harryhausen projects and was not completed until 50 years later. Fortunately, most of the original models survived the long delay and were available for visual reference. See more »

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User Reviews

Given the history of this project, in more than one sense, "slow and steady wins the race" is indeed appropriate.
29 June 2003 | by See all my reviews

Ray Harryhausen started this short back in the early 1950s as part of a series of stop-motion animation shorts using fables as the starting point in order to develop the techniques in a more immediate and cost-effective manner. He had about three to four minutes shot when he quit because larger, better paying, projects called. He kept the footage and most of the models, however, and some younger animators learned about the short a few years ago and got Harryhausen's permission to complete it themselves. So out came the models and completed footage. Ironically (considering the looong, slooow pace of the project) the model they found largely missing was the tortoise! I suspect the original got tired of waiting around for the boss to come back and started off again, ponderously but patiently, on his way to his finishing line.

The completed project works exceptionally well and is largely seamless, with little indication as to where the original footage is versus the newer work. Given the fact that film ages, this means that the current animation team did a great job in making things mesh together. The short also fits the style of the other shorts in the series that Harryhausen completed so many years ago (I think there are five others) and I can only hope that some enterprising soul decides the whole series should be released on DVD and/or VHS. Fascinating in many ways. Well worth watching. Recommended.

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