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Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan [DVD]
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The remarkable career of the movie industry s most admired and influential special-effects auteur, the legendary Ray Harryhausen, is the subject of Gilles Penso s definitive documentary Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan.
Leaving no doubt as to Harryhausen s seminal influence on modern-day special effects, the documentary features enlightening and entertaining interviews with the man himself, Randy Cook, Peter Jackson, Nick Park, Phil Tippet, Terry Gilliam, Dennis Muren, John Landis, Guillermo Del Toro, James Cameron, Steven Spielberg and many more. These filmmakers, who today push the boundaries of special effects movie-making, pay tribute to the father of Stop Motion animation and films such as The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms , It Came From Beneath The Sea , The 7th Voyage Of Sinbad , Mysterious Island , Jason And The Argonauts and The Golden Voyage Of Sinbad the films that enthralled them as children and inspired them to become filmmakers in their own right.
Audio Commentary with Gilles Penso, Alexandre Poncet, Tony Dalton and Tim Nicholson
- Featurette "A Treasure Trove" 13'36
- Q&A at the Cinémathèque française 18'05
A Chat With...
- Edgar Wright 4'13
- Peter Lord 2'20
- Rick Baker 4'55
- Simon Pegg 3'35
- Colin Arthur 2'33
- Dennis Muren 4'59
- Greg Broadmore 4'01
- Joe Dante 5'41
- John Lasseter 4'44
- Ken Ralston 3'24
- Martine Beswick & Caroline Munro 2'
- Nick Park 6'35
- Phil Tippett 4'41
- Randy Cook 3'41
- Steve Johnson 7'26
- Vanessa Harryhausen 3'17
8 Deleted Scenes
- Intro 33''
- First Take 1'15
- Sharp Stars (with Douglas Trumbull and Jean-Pierre Jeunet) 2'03
- Nathan Juran 45''
- Dino on Wires 28''
- Chaffey & Cooper 29''
- Hessler & Rozsa 59''
- Fighting Kali 46''
- The Touch of Harryhausen 52''
- Special Effects Titan Trailer (2'30)
- On the Set of The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (3')
- A Message to Ray (2'15)
- Trailer collection : Mighty Joe Young, The Beast From 20 000 Fathoms, It Came from beneath the sea, 20 Million Miles to Earth, Earth Vs The Flying Saucers, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, The 3 Worlds of Gulliver, Mysterious Island & Jason and the Argonauts.
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The remarkable career of the movie industry’s most admired and influential special-effects auteur, the legendary Ray Harryhausen, is the subject of ‘RAY HARRYHAUSEN: SPECIAL EFFECTS TITAN.’
Leaving no doubt as to Ray Harryhausen’s seminal influence on modern-day special effects, the documentary features enlightening and entertaining interviews with the man himself, Randy Cook, Peter Jackson, Nick Park, Phil Tippet, Terry Gilliam, Dennis Muren, John Landis, Guillermo Del Toro, James Cameron, Steven Spielberg and many more. These filmmakers pay tribute to the father of Stop Motion animation and films such as ‘The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms,’ ‘It Came From Beneath The Sea,’ ‘The 7th Voyage Of Sinbad,’ ‘Mysterious Island,’ ‘Jason And The Argonauts’ and ‘The Golden Voyage Of Sinbad’ and the films that enthralled them as children and inspired them to become filmmakers in their own right, not felt before. These are the wonders of a world without words, viewed through man and nature’s own prisms of symmetry, savagery, chaos and harmony.
Cast: Ray Harryhausen, Peter Jackson, Terry Gilliam, Guillermo del Toro, James Cameron, Tim Burton, John Landis, Henry Selick, Ray Bradbury, Tony Dalton, Nick Park, Randall William Cook, Phil Tippett, Steven Spielberg, Dennis Muren, Steve Johnson, Joe Dante, Vincenzo Natali, John Lasseter, Ken Ralston, Robert Townson, Christopher Young, John Cairney, Greg Broadmore, Andrew R. Jones, Martine Beswick, Vanessa Harryhausen, Colin Arthur and Caroline Munro
Director: Gilles Penso
Producers: Alexandre Poncet and Tony Dalton
Screenplay: Gilles Penso
Composer: Alexandre Poncet
Video Resolution: 1080p and 480i
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio: English: 2.0 LPCM Stereo Audio and 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo Audio
Subtitles: English SDH
Running Time: 97 minutes
Region: Region B/2
Number of discs: 1
Studio: Arrow Films
Andrew’s Blu-ray Review: The career of the legendary Ray Harryhausen, the special effects genius who perfected the art of stop-motion and whose monstrous creations in films like ‘The Golden Voyage Of Sinbad’ who has thrilled both children and adults for decades and inspired virtually two generations of filmmakers. ‘RAY HARRYHAUSEN: SPECIAL EFFECTS TITAN,’ which has been made over the course of five years, is the definitive documentary about, and tribute to, Ray Harryhausen.
Directed by Gilles Penso, ‘Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan’  takes a structurally watchable chronological journey through the acclaimed animator's remarkable career, from first feature ‘Might Joe Young’  all the way through the Greek epic, ‘Clash of the Titans’ . Never one to decline a challenge, Harryhausen consistently pushed the envelope of visual effects, creating his own bespoke armatures and with the aid of his supportive parents, for almost every type of fantastical creature imaginable.
The 92-year-old Ray Harryhausen, the legendary American film-maker of fantasy films 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, Ray Harryhausen is the animator as auteur, a craftsman and artist of genius, whose work is superbly illustrated in this riveting film by a French film historian and rightly celebrated by a roster of distinguished admirers, and especially Premier-league directors queue up to pay homage to the animating spirit of the creature feature, among them are Steven Spielberg, Terry Gilliam, Nick Park, Peter Jackson and Tim Burton and many more, who tell us of their continual delight in the body of work that Ray Harryhausen has produced.
These luminaries, and Ray Harryhausen was born in 1920 and pop up constantly as the documentary goes through Ray Harryhausen’s lifetime career from working with George Pal on the Puppetoon shorts to his first big break working with his hero, ‘King Kong’ creator Willis O’ Brien, on ‘Mighty Joe Young’ all the way through to ‘Clash Of The Titans,’ after which he retired as he felt that his type of film was becoming outdated. Ray Harryhausen’s face is cleverly merged into the poster of each film as the documentary races through the pictures at top speed. Some films are not talked about very much and things temporarily veer off into other matters. The film and trailer clips [some films are only represented by trailer clips, which is odd] are very brief which is fine, because it you’ve been unlucky enough not to have seen a Ray Harryhausen picture you will have been given enough tantalising clips to whet your appetite. If you have seen some, or indeed are like me and have not only seen them all over twenty times but have read a great deal of material about him including his own books, you won’t learn much that is new, but you will be thrilled to visit Ray Harryhausen’s study, to see that most of his work has been preserved, and see some previously unseen test footage and on-set shots which Peter Jackson is aiding the digital restoration of. I will be counting the days until these treasures are released.
Of course a distinct sadness creeps in. Some of today’s special effects geniuses almost seem to lament the fact that anything is now possible with CGI and that the “wow” factor, where you see something on a cinema screen and wonder how they did it, is fading away. James Cameron says that if Ray Harryhausen was still working today, he’d be using all the modern technology at his disposal, but Ray thinks he’d still be doing things his way, working alone in his garage, often taking a day to shoot just one second of film, but at least having total control, and in the process adding some of his own personality to a living skeleton, or a giant walrus, or a six-armed living statue, rather than it being the work of hundreds of people and coming out rather soulless. Often the idea of ‘realism’ takes away from the feeling of magic, but to me a lot of CGI doesn’t look anywhere near realistic anyway. I suppose it depends what you grew up with, but I doubt that anyone could see the roping sequence from ‘Valley Of Gwangi’ even today and not be amazed.
The onscreen, tactile magic of stop-motion, still infinitely aesthetically preferable to me over CGI, was the result of the most painstaking, detailed and dedicated work, and Ray Harryhausen's recollections and anecdotes about the process are a pleasure to see and hear. As many of those interviewed admiringly point out, Ray Harryhausen was an actor as well as a technician, a skilled illusionist who imbued his creations, never 'monsters', with such personality that audiences engaged, and often empathised, with them.
While Ray Harryhausen himself sees CGI as just another tool available for creating the 'magic' of cinema, several directors and effects artists hint towards that 'magic' being dissipated by the dominant effects techniques of our time. There is no doubt that those working primarily in CGI are as dedicated, gifted and creative as Ray Harryhausen in their own fields, it's just that the physical presence of his effects work is that little bit more special, to these eyes at least. Judging by the interviews in the documentary, many actually involved in the film-making business feel the same way. The term 'legend' is for once entirely justified in its use.
Blu-ray Video Quality – Arrow Films presents this Blu-ray disc with a mixed bag of footage here, from new 1080p HD interviews, to some really shoddy quality 480i video interviews from a while back. There's even stuff that goes all the way back to behind the scenes footage of Ray Harryhausen's films and early projects. They are all tied together nicely but this documentary doesn't really do much to get excited about picture wise. All the old film clips look pretty great in the presentation and I could rattle on about textures on participants faces and colours and such but it seems a bit fruitless given this is a documentary. Generally highlights are the HD shot original models used in Ray Harryhausen's films, those are probably worth the HD price tag alone for fans who really want to study the incredible detail involved in this classic fantasy film creatures, so all in all Arrow Films has given us a good video presentation, especially with the limitations of the old material supplied to this special film documentary presentation. Playback Region B/2: This will not play on most Blu-ray players sold in North America, Central America, South America, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. Learn more about Blu-ray region specifications.
Blu-ray Audio Quality – Arrow Films presents this Blu-ray disc with a standard 2.0 LPCM Stereo Audio track. Once again, it hardly seems worth talking about the audio presentation. It is overall level of performance is clear and a sometimes crisp with the collection of talking head interviews inter-cut with the odd clips from the old films. There's the occasional volume hike when each film gets introduced to the documentary via a small animated splash but really this is a solid collection of interviews recorded in different environments but all perfectly adequate for the piece. Overall Arrow Films has brought you something truly special and something to be treasured.
Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:
Audio Commentary: Commentary with Tony Dalton [Co-producer]; Gilles Pensco [Director]; Alexandre Poncet [Producer/Composer] and Timothy Nicholson: This audio commentary was recorded at the La Cinémathèque Française in Paris, where all four introduce themselves and eager to talk about the genius that Ray Harryhausen is and this brilliant documentary film. When start to see a clip of Ray Harryhausen at the start of the film, Tony Dalton informs us that particular was filmed by Tony about 12 years ago, which Tony personally shot for this documentary film and it is the only film that shows Ray Harryhausen working on one of his mechanical puppets., somewhere in North London. One fascinating fact we find out from one of the French guys is that the documentary film took over a four year period, but started shooting eight years ago, but even more amazing is that it was done on a zero budget, because to them it was a labour of love and respect for the genius that is Ray Harryhausen. Gilles Pensco and Alexandre Poncet were worried while making the documentary film that they could not get any filmmakers or directors that were fans of Ray Harryhausen to appear in their film, which initially they were just going to insert photos of each particular person, but once word got spread around that these two French guys wanted them to be interviewed, they were all soon very eager and enthusiastic to participate in the documentary film and not one of them asked for a fee, on top of all that Gilles Pensco and Alexandre Poncet got tremendous help in acquiring all the very rare test film clips and were offered to them completely free. Gilles Pensco and Alexandre Poncet talk about how honoured they were able to interview Nick Park of Aardman Animations in Bristol, because he was so enthusiastic and a massive big fan of Ray Harryhausen, because of the type of animation they do, which is very similar to Ray Harryhausen’s work and of course Nick park was filmed next to the skeleton models and Gilles Pensco and Alexandre Poncet says that Nick Park definitely had a twinkle in his eyes being next to the rare skeleton mechanical puppets. Tony Dalton filmed all the personal film footage of Ray Harryhausen in his longue sometime in 2007. When we see some of the rare Black-and-White test shots, we are informed they were remastered by Peter Jackson and some else and they all comment how stunning they look. When we see Steve Johnson for the first time, they all praise him and says he is a very clever person, but Gilles Pensco and Alexandre Poncet says they wanted to interview Sam Raimi, but sadly and unfortunately he was not available to be interviewed. They all talk about the wonderful Bernard Herrmann and the wonderful film music composed for Ray Harryhausen films, especially for the film ‘The 7th Voyage of Sinbad.’ All four talk about the film ‘Mysterious island’ and what enjoyable time they all like viewing it and it is Tony Dalton’s favourite of all the Ray Harryhausen films for him personally. As we get near to the end of the audio commentary, they finally get round to talking about James Cameron and his personal input in getting this documentary film off the ground, and especially getting the copyright clearances for all the film clips used, and it took up to nine months to get the whole thing completely finished, and all of the film studios they contacted were incredible helpful, but of course it could not of all happened unless everyone agreed 100% to waver their copyright fees, but sadly there was too films they wanted to use clips of, but the particular film studio wanted to ask for a horrendous amount of money. But one sticking point was with 20th Century Fox and James Cameron sent a personal E-mail to them and begged them to waver their copyright fee and if they would not do that, then James Cameron told them he would pay for that copyright fee personally. They talk a lot about the daughter Vanesa Harryhausen, who was at first reluctant to talk to the camera about her early days with her father and the fun times Vanesa had, but they said I don’t know why Vanesa was concerned, as they thought Vanesa was very natural in front of the camera. When near the end you see Steven Spielberg with the microphone in his hand on the stage and it was at a press conference in Paris, and it Steven was the last person to be filmed for the documentary, and Gilles Penso and Alexandre Poncet like Steven Spielberg when he talked to the auduience, as it was like if he was just talking to one person personally and both Gilles Penso and Alexandre Poncet really liked that about Steven Spielberg, and could of listened to him for ages. Gilles Penso and Alexandre Poncet were really pleased to get all of the private home movie clips of Ray Harryhausen, and feel it adds cachet to the documentary film. They all talk about near the very end of the documentary film about when you see James Cameron talking direct to the camera and getting very emotional about Ray Harryhausen and how hit affected him wanting to go into filmmaking, especially when growing up and seeing all of Ray Harryhausen films, and this also goes for Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson when they have their final word on Ray Harryhausen, and all four in the studio also get emotional hearing those three directors speak and how they also love and admire Ray Harryhausen. But as the documentary finally comes to an end, all four say that they had a wonderful time getting involved in making the documentary film, even over such a long period of time, and Tony Dalton and Timothy Nicholson heap great praise onto Gilles Penso and Alexandre Poncet for their sterling and professional job on making one of the best documentary film on Ray Harryhausen. Also throughout the documentary film, Tony Dalton and Timothy Nicholson praise Alexandre Poncet for his brilliant composed film score for the documentary film, because they could not get the copyright clearance for the music on all the film clips used and shown, and Alexandre Poncet says although doing the film score was very hard, he feels very proud to have achieved what he did. And finally, they all thank us the viewer and hoe us listners ejoyed listening to their audo commentary cmtribution, well I did very much and I know anyone purchasing this Blu-ray disc will also get a great kick out of hearing this very personal audio commentary tribute to Ray Harryhausen, the master of stop motion film fantasy animation.
Special feature: A Treasure Trove  [480i] [1.33:1] [13:36] In June, 2009, the “Myths and Legends” exhibition opened up at the London Film Museum, gathering famous items for the legendary Ray Harryhausen archives. In November, 2010 and January, 2011, director Gilles Penso and producer Alexandre Poncet were invited by Ray Harryhausen and the Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation to film other rare models held in the Ray Harryhausen archives. They along with Curator Tony Dalton and associate producer Tim Nicholson rediscovered a real “A Treasure Trove.” At the start of this video documentary, we find three people in a garage with massive amount of boxes ready to open, and with the first one open we get a glimpse of some real treasure trove of wonderful rare model goodies sent to them from Ray Harryhausen. The people in that garage are Gilles Penso [Director] who is getting very excited in what is about to be revealed, and the other two people are Tony Dalton [Co-producer] who is frantically opening the boxes and Tim Nicholson [Associate Producer] is sort of helping. But out of the blue, in pops Alexandre Poncet [Producer] to see what is going on. But as time goes on more and more boxes are opened to reveal all of the famous Ray Harryhausen’s rare models used in all of his films. As we see all of the rare models being delicately unwrapped and revealed, suddenly out of the blue we get this background music build up and I have no idea why this was used, as it annoyed me for about 30 seconds, and suddenly fades away, then about a minute later, the dreadful music starts up again, which again I felt was a pointless exercise. At the end of this short video film, we get an announcement that The London Film Museum exhibition closed in late October 2012.
Special Feature: Interviews  [1080i] [1.78:1] 00:00] Here we get a selection of four individual interviews, which consist of Edgar Wright; Peter Lord; Rick Baker and Simon Pegg. What all these four fans of Ray Harryhausen have in common is that after originally seeing the stop motion fantasy films at the cinema when they were younger, made a great impression on them, which gave them in later life an incentive to go into a career in films, especially special effects films, and they all feel Ray Harryhausen is a total stop motion fantasy film genius. You can either watch each interview separately or Play All.
Special Feature: Interviews Outtakes  [1080p] [1.78:1] [55:24] Here we have again another selection of this time 12 interviews that could not be fully shown in the main documentary feature on this Blu-ray disc and the following outtake interviews are with the following people: Colin Arthur; Dennis Muren; Greg Broadmore; Joe Dante; John Lasseter; Ken Ralston; Martine Beswick and Caroline Munro; Nick Park; Phil Tippett; Randy Cook; Steve Johnson and Vanessa Harryhausen. Once again you get a great deal of praise about the genius of Ray Harryhausen and his impressive stop motion fantasy films, and how they all feel he was the leading light with his adventurous and thought provoking filming techniques, as well as being ahead of his time. But once again we hear from these 12 individual people how it affected them personally when viewing his stop motion fantasy films when they were young and that it left a massive impression on them and also wondered at the time how did Ray Harryhausen create such impressive stop motion filming techniques. But what was really nice about this particular outtake interviews, was finally getting to meet his daughter Vanessa Harryhausen and hearing her personal stories growing up with her father Ray Harryhausen and especially living with her father and seeing all the magical items he created for his stop motion fantasy films and actually playing with the creatures he created and also watching his work on his stop motion fantasy films. You can either watch each interview separately or Play All.
Special Feature: A Message to Ray  [1080p] [1.78:1] [00:00] Here we get to hear some very personal tributes from the people who they loved and that were inspirational to their career and to also salute the genius of Ray Harryhausen and we hear from the following people, who are: Ray Bradbury; Ken Ralston; Randall William Cook; Guillermo del Torror; James Cameron and Vanessa Harryhausen. But with this particular special feature, you cannot play each interview separate. This was a Frenetic Arts and The Ray & Diana Harryhausen Foundation presentation.
Special Feature: Ray Harryhausen Special Effects Titan Deleted Scenes  [1080p] [1.78:1] [8:19] Here we get to view eight individual special deleted scenes, which consist of the following: “First Take;” “Sharp Stars;” “Nathan Juran;” “Dino On Wires;” “Chaffey & Cooper;” “Hessler & Rozsa;” “Fighting Kali” and “The Touch of Harryhausen.” But before we get started, we get some introduction information, that reads as follows: The first cut of ‘RAY HARRYHAUSEN: SPECIAL EFFECTS TITAN’ documentary film was 106 minutes long. Though that extended version was richer, the pacing was a lot slower, especially after the “Jason and the Argonauts” chapter. A decision was made to cut 10 to 15 minutes from the film. Most of those deleted scenes are presented here, in a very rough video quality, with unmixed sound. Since those sequences were abandoned before copyright clearances, you may notice some “missing clip” messages here and there. You can either watch each deleted item separately or Play All. This was a Frenetic Arts and The Ray & Diana Harryhausen Foundation production.
Special Feature: On The Set of Sinbad  [480i] [1.33:1] [2:59] Gilles Penso and Alexandre Poncet originally wanted to produce a stop motion opening sequence for the documentary. They worked with Sacha Feiner, a Belgian filmmaker and special effects wizard. Due to budget limitations, the concept was abandoned, but before leaving the project, Sacha Feiner gave the authors a Super 8mm reel filmed by his own father, Alex Feiner, in the late 1950’s . . . on the set of ‘The 7th Voyage of Sinbad.’ The only sound you hear is the 8mm projector working.
Special Feature: Paris Cinémathèque Q & A  [1080p] [1.78:1] [18:39] This particular Question and Answer session, that is both in French and English, was filmed on the 14th December, 2012, at the La Cinémathèque Française in Paris and is a French film organization that holds one of the largest archives of film documents and film-related objects in the world and the archive offers daily screenings of worldwide films. Up on the stage to answer the audience’s questions were Gilles Penso [Director]; Tim Nicholson [Associate Producer]; Alexandre Poncet [Producer/Composer] and Tony Dalton [Co-producer]. Throughout the session the people on the stage in front of the big screen were being asked several questions from the audience, which were “What was your intention when you did the documentary.” “How did you get all the film clips?” “Did Ray ever consider remaking King Kong.” “Why was Ray so severe towards Terence Fisher’s Gorgon?” “What can you say about Ray’s collaboration with Frank Capra?” “Do you think that Ray Harryhausen would work with CGI today.” “Iy sounds like Ray Harryhausen hates Godzilla!” “What is Ray’s Favorite Creature?” “Do you think that the legacy of Harryhausen is visible in visual effects of today?” All in all this was really lovely and fascinating question and answer session and we also hear some totally fascinating and extraordinary replies from the panel on the stage and is definitely well worth viewing.
Special Feature: London Gate Cinema Q & A  [1080p] [1.78:1] [8:56] This is a Ray harryhausen Special Effects Titan rare question and answer special session event with Ray Harryhausen and was filmed at the London Gate Cinema, which is an Independent arthouse cinema with ornate auditorium, tables between seats and imaginative programme, that is located in the Notting Hill Gate area of London and the event was held on the 9th November, 2012. Up on the stage with Ray Harryhausen [who sadly looked very frail] was Alexandre Poncet; Caroline Munro; Tony Dalton; Gilles Pnso; John Landis and Nick Park. Once again we get lots of questions from the audience, which were as follows: “Ray, which is your personal favourite of all the creatures you have created?” You also get up on the screen certain statements that read as follows: “Ray Harryhausen asked about the models he has created.” “Ray Harryhausen on the inspiration his films have given.” “Gilles Penso, Alexandre Poncent and John Landis on the film-makers that was not able to be included in the documentary film and especially with Ray’s place in cinema history of film.” “John Landis on Technology and Ray’s “Digital” film-making.” Once again this was a really fascinating question and answer session, and some of the answers we hear were brilliant, but the only thing was when everyone clapped, the sound was so harsh and terrible. This was a Tiger Digital presentation in cooperation with the Digital Media Services.
Theatrical Trailer  [1080p] [1.78:1] [2:47] This was the Original Trailer for the documentary film ‘RAY HARRYHAUSEN: SPECIAL EFFECTS TITAN.’ It is a brilliant presentation, but unfortunately the background music is so loud, it nearly drowns out the audio presentation from the announcer.
Ray Harryhausen Trailer Reel  [480i] [22:15] With this special Ray Harryhausen trailer reel, you get to view nine individual Theatrical Trailers of Ray Harryhausen films and they include: ‘The 3 Worlds of Gulliver;’ ‘The 7th Voyage of Sinbad;’ ’20 Million Miles To Earth;’ ‘Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers;’ ‘It Came From Beneath The Sea;’ ‘Jason and the Argonauts;’ ‘Mighty Joe Young;’ ‘Mysterious Island’ and ‘The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms.’ With each different trailer they are shown in either 1.33:1 or 1.78:1 aspect ratios and also in Black-and-White and Colour, but the quality varies greatly to very grainy, to some in very good quality. You can either play them separately or Play All.
Finally, we all would like a definitive book on Ray Harryhausen or a definitive documentary about the master animator Ray Harryhausen, but we definitely get close to it that covers everything that is satisfactory to every one of us and this Blu-ray disc ‘RAY HARRYHAUSEN: SPECIAL EFFECTS TITAN’ you need in your collection. Ray Harryhausen only worked on fifteen feature films, but like Stanley Kubrick or Sir David Lean, his few works are so superior to the competition that Ray Harryhausen remains legendary to this day. For what it is, this film is absolutely fantastic and really good. It has bunches of the usual talking-head interviews, but with true luminaries whose hero Ray Harryhausen was, inspiring them toward their own eventual greatness, but also the Blu-ray has plenty of film clips and behind-the-scenes footage, some extremely rare, so well worth purchasing this Blu-ray disc, especially if you are a fan of this totally brilliant special effects animation hero Ray Harryhausen, like I am. This thrilling small screen release, ‘RAY HARRYHAUSEN: SPECIAL EFFECTS TITAN’ is a testament to the imagination and the magic of the cinema. Highly Recommended!
Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom
The documentary traces Harryhausens early influences such as Melies - A Trip to the Moon (Restored) [DVD]  and King Kong (1933) [Special Edition] [DVD] through to his early work and then his classic films such as Jason & the Argonauts [DVD] [1963,One Million Years Bc [DVD] [1966 and Clash of the Titans [DVD] [1981
The contributing Talking Heads in the film are quite impressive featuring Harryhausen admirers such as Steven Spielberg, James Cameron and Peter Jackson. The special features feature heavily on interviews with Harryhausens spiritual offspring like the directors mentioned above and I found it very interesting to go into more depth in their appreciation of Ray.
All said and done I really enjoyed this Documentary. I grew up watching his creatures in the many films as a child and this film really brought back some fond memories, I highly recommend this film.
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