R.I.P. Ray Harryhausen

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On Tuesday, animation wizard Ray Harryhausen passed away in his London home at the age of 92.

Generations of film-makers, as well as ordinary people, were inspired by the painstakingly created animated creatures Harryhausen designed and built for such films as "Jason and the Argonauts" and "One Million Years BC." Working long before the era of computer animation, Harryhausen had to incrementally move his models for every frame of film footage he shot, bringing to life monsters, skeletal warriors, dinosaurs, and colossal bronze robots.

Harryhausen himself was inspired by seeing "King Kong" as a teenager; building tiny jointed dinosaurs and filming them in his garage, he gained an audience with "Kong" animator Willis O'Brien. This eventually led to a collaboration with George Pal and, later, Charles Schneer. Along the way, he became friends or worked with Forrest Ackerman, Ray Bradbury, Frank Capra, and Ted "Dr. Seuss" Geisel, who asked him to create a manquette of Geisel's character "Pvt. Snafu" for use in animated Army training films.

Harryhausen's body of work has guaranteed him immortality. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Diana, and his daughter, Vanessa.

http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-me-ray-harryhausen-20130508,0,...

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