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The Ray Harryhausen Creature List.
June 30, 2011 3:40 PM   Subscribe

The Ray Harryhausen Creature List A video compilation of all Ray Harryhausen's stop-motion animated creatures.
posted by marxchivist (22 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is one of my favorite YouTube videos of all time.
posted by brundlefly at 3:43 PM on June 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Finally I can use the word awesome again on Metafilter and mean it. THIS IS FUCKING AWESOME!
posted by Elmore at 3:48 PM on June 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nice
posted by Sailormom at 3:51 PM on June 30, 2011


As a kid, I saw The 7th Voyage of Sinbad a lot more than 7 times! It was like, if I was born 15 years later, it would have been Star Wars.
posted by Danf at 3:55 PM on June 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


The tribal drum music in the background is a nice touch.
posted by lauratheexplorer at 4:00 PM on June 30, 2011


This was fantastic. Come for the monster squirrel, stay for the mechanical owl.

There's also a Harryhausen/Harry Hamlin joke in here somewhere that I just can't quite put my finger on.
posted by amy lecteur at 4:01 PM on June 30, 2011


Can't have too many fighting skeletons!
posted by Liquidwolf at 4:28 PM on June 30, 2011


I assembled this glorious video eons ago. It's actually a compilation of clips I captured for a tribute web site, but the YouTube video has always been more popular.

I've already spoken about my admiration for Mr. Harryhausen's skills on this and other web sites, but let me indulge myself by sharing a few notes about this actual video:

* There are remarkably few trolls leaving thoughtless comments on this YouTube video. Mr. Harryhausen's fans are more thoughtful and respectful than most YouTubers. I seldom need to delete comments left in poor taste.

* The clips were captured back in the '90's from my low-fi VHS collection and an ancient Truevision Targa 1000 video capture card, but Mr. Harryhausen's character animation skills still shine through the pixelated video.

* Talos is greatly under-represented in the video. The seven sword-fighting skeletons? Just right.

* Technically, Pegasus from Clash of the Titans doesn't belong. Pegasus was animated by Jim Dansforth.

* The copyright holders of these clips deserve some sort of acknowledgement. Five years on YouTube, and not a single copyright complaint! I can't say the same for my now-defunct Land of the Lost video tribute, which YouTube yanked around the time that awful Will Ferrell vehicle appeared. These words are seldom spoken by me, but please reward their good behavior by buying yourself a copy of Jason and the Argonauts tonight.

* It's a "creature" list, not a "monster" list. Some of Mr. Harryhausen's creations, like Trog, often act and emote with more conviction than their human counterparts. That doesn't account for the appearance of hardware like flying saucers, rocket ships, and steampunk space spheres, but how could I not include them?

* My favorite creature, you ask? Medusa of course.

At this point, you may desire to know the names of the creatures that appear in the video. Allow me to pollute this comment thread with the answer! The list is in order of appearance.

Mighty Joe Young
Mighty Joe Young (1949)

Rhedosaur
The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953)

It (giant octopus)
It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955)

Brontosaur (The Animal World)
The Animal World (1956)

Allosaur (The Animal World)
The Animal World (1956)

Brontosaur Hatchling
The Animal World (1956)

Stegosaur
The Animal World (1956)

Sceraptosaur
The Animal World (1956)

Triceratops (The Animal World)
The Animal World (1956)

Tyrannosaur
The Animal World (1956)

Flying Saucers
Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (1956)

Spaceship
Twenty Million Miles to Earth (1957)

Elephant (Twenty Million Miles to Earth)
Twenty Million Miles to Earth (1957)

Ymir
Twenty Million Miles to Earth (1957)

Cyclops
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958)

Serpent Woman
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958)

Roc hatchling
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958)

Roc
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958)

Skeleton
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958)

Dragon
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958)

Squirrel
The 3 Worlds of Gulliver (1960)

Crocodile
The 3 Worlds of Gulliver (1960)

Crab
Mysterious Island (1961)

Phororhacos
Mysterious Island (1961)

Cephalopod
Mysterious Island (1961)

Bee
Mysterious Island (1961)

Talos
Jason and the Argonauts (1963)

Harpies
Jason and the Argonauts (1963)

Hydra
Jason and the Argonauts (1963)

Skeletons
Jason and the Argonauts (1963)

Moonship
First Men in the Moon (1964)

Space sphere
First Men in the Moon (1964)

Moon cow
First Men in the Moon (1964)

Kate Calendar’s Skeleton
First Men in the Moon (1964)

Selenite
First Men in the Moon (1964)

Grand Lunar
First Men in the Moon (1964)

Brontosaur (One Million Years B.C.)
One Million Years B.C. (1966)

Archelon
One Million Years B.C. (1966)

Allosaur (One Million Years B.C.)
One Million Years B.C. (1966)

Triceratops (One Million Years B.C.)
One Million Years B.C. (1966)

Ceratosaur
One Million Years B.C. (1966)

Pterodactyl
One Million Years B.C. (1966)

Rhamphorhynchus
One Million Years B.C. (1966)

Pterodactyl hatchlings
One Million Years B.C. (1966)

Horse
The Valley of Gwangi (1969)

Eohippus
The Valley of Gwangi (1969)

Pteranodon
The Valley of Gwangi (1969)

Ornithomimus
The Valley of Gwangi (1969)

Gwangi
The Valley of Gwangi (1969)

Styrathosaur
The Valley of Gwangi (1969)

Elephant (The Valley of Gwangi)
The Valley of Gwangi (1969)

Homonicus
The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1974)

Figurehead
The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1974)

Kali
The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1974)

Centaur
The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1974)

Griffin
The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1974)

Ghouls
Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977)

Baboon
Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977)

Minoton
Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977)

Hornet
Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977)

Walrus
Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977)

Troglodyte
Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977)

Guardian of the Shrine
Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977)

Vulture
Clash of the Titans (1981)

Pegasus
Clash of the Titans (1981)

Calibos
Clash of the Titans (1981)

Bubo
Clash of the Titans (1981)

Dioskilos
Clash of the Titans (1981)

Medusa
Clash of the Titans (1981)

Scorpions
Clash of the Titans (1981)

Kraken
Clash of the Titans (1981)
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot at 4:49 PM on June 30, 2011 [22 favorites]


Chinese Jet Pilot, let me congratulate you on some mighty fine work. I loved these creatures as a kid and as an adult they still maintain a certain level of charm that I find lacking in the CGI universe today. That is a very subjective opinion of course, no doubt heavily influenced by nostalgia, but there is something in Harryhausen's work that I will always find captivating. Perhaps because he is situated at the right place just before the plunge into the uncanny valley for his work to be most effective.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 5:03 PM on June 30, 2011


You know it was his birthday yesterday. HAPPY 91st BIRTHDAY SIR HARRY !
Yes I know he's not British but deserves a bloody knighthood.
posted by Webbster at 5:23 PM on June 30, 2011


Best Medusa ever. Harryhausen's Medusa is the image my mind conjures whenever I see the word.
posted by rahnefan at 5:44 PM on June 30, 2011


Even as a child of the sixties I found Harryhausen's stuff disappointing, because it looked fake. You could see it was fake. I wanted fake stuff to look real. That said, I'd take this over witless CGI mega-explosions any day. Also, it worked for the "Jason and the Argonauts" skeletons, because somehow it seemed to make sense that animated skeletons would move jerkily. Even though it didn't really make sense at all. You know.
posted by Decani at 5:46 PM on June 30, 2011


Thanks for the video and the comment Mr. Jet Pilot!
posted by marxchivist at 7:27 PM on June 30, 2011


This is marvelous stuff. Whenever I need to get pumped up to run D&D, I am gonna hit this youtube up.

There are remarkably few trolls leaving thoughtless comments on this YouTube video

The guy complaining about Tito Fuente can suck the painpipe.
posted by Sauce Trough at 8:02 PM on June 30, 2011


This does not include the nesuahyrrah monster from Flesh Gordon, therefore it is incomplete. Awesome, but incomplete.
posted by seanmpuckett at 8:02 PM on June 30, 2011


Great post, great video, and great follow-up post from the creator!

I thought for *sure* something would be missed in this compilation, but every time I thought of a possile oversight, it would show up. (the bumblebee from "Mysterious Island" and the Figurehead from "Golden Voyage" were my two prime suspects)

The VHS transfer gives this a certain charm (anyone over 30 who fancied themselves a moviemaker probably spent hours dubbing their own compilations like this) but I would love to see an updated version, using the same shots (maybe with a bit mofe Talos!) There have been some really nice restored releases of most of these films on DVD which would be great to see edited together.

Keep the drums, though.
posted by ShutterBun at 8:58 PM on June 30, 2011


That said, I'd take this over witless CGI mega-explosions any day.

Ray actually dug GGI:

Steven Spielberg: What Ray Harryhausen did, and Ray’s always been a humongous influence on my work and I was so honored to be able to show Ray Harryhausen the very first digital shot that Dennis Muren cranked out as a test. Ray happened to be visiting me that day and I said, “Ray, do you want to see a CG dinosaur?” He said, “Sure,” so he went over to the art department where I was prepping Jurassic Park and I put on the three-quarter inch cassette into the big machine and Ray and I watched the Gallimimus (scene). They were all just rendered as skeletons, they had not been fleshed, but the movement was so smooth that I just got to watch Ray Harryhausen’s face watching the natural evolution from his art to the new era of digital characters.

Harryhausen embraced it immediately as a positive. He wasn’t sad to see the paradigm shift; he was a jubilant as you can imagine a young boy would be. I saw the child in him at that moment, which was for me one of the greatest moments of my life; looking into his eyes as he was watching what Dennis Muren had created.
posted by Scoo at 9:00 PM on June 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


Whenever I need to get pumped up to run D&D, I am gonna hit this youtube up.
watching this compilation now totally gave me flashbacks to being 8 years old, and watching Jason and the Argonauts or Sinbad or Clash of the Titans and reminded me that there was a more or less causal link between this and my early attachment to D&D. If anything, AD&D was a system for making up Ray Harryhausen movies with my friends.
posted by bl1nk at 9:16 PM on June 30, 2011


"Whenever I need to get pumped up to run D&D(...)"

It was the skeletons and Talos in "Jason and the Argonauts" that always got to me as a kid. They were single-minded in their task: to put this sword through your torso. I don't ever think that I did enough skeletons, or at least did them well enough, to portray the nightmare of fighting these things in any D&D campaign. You can't hamstring a skeleton, and you can't cut an iron statue. And Harryhausen always made them look so angry, the ten-year-old me was pretty scared by them. What a vision-made-flesh (as it were).
Also, the square/cube law is for sissies, weaklings and and non-believers!
posted by Zack_Replica at 11:08 PM on June 30, 2011


Chinese Jet Pilot, this is wonderful work. And I had no idea this was you! I've shown this video to so many people in the past few years, both Harryhausen fans and the uninitiated. When I first saw this post, I was sort of surprised that it hadn't been posted here yet!
posted by brundlefly at 12:02 AM on July 1, 2011


Superb! Art over realism
posted by Redhush at 7:01 AM on July 1, 2011


Yarr! Skeleton Warrior lives!
posted by Kafkaesque at 4:13 PM on July 1, 2011


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