Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan

Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan

Gilles Penso (2011)

PG Certificate


Our Score
This lively and engrossing documentary celebrates the work of special-effects maestro Ray Harryhausen, whose pioneering stop-motion-animated creatures, in such films as The 7th Voyage of Sinbad and Jason and the Argonauts, have inspired film-makers right up to the present day. As the man himself talks candidly about his craft, painstakingly fashioning believable dinosaurs and giant octopuses on shoestring budgets and against all manner of industry obstacles, this excellent chronicle is interspersed with vintage clips and archive test footage of the beasts during construction. In addition, director Gilles Penso assembles an impressive roll call of A-list directors to pay tribute to the influence Harryhausen had on their own movies (Steven Spielberg describes him as "the father of all we do today in science fiction, fantasy and adventure"). Digital technology may have revolutionised the way fright-fests are made in the 21st century, but this documentary may have viewers hankering for the humble charms of a bygone era.


A tribute to the acclaimed visual effects artist, who created the stop-motion animated creatures seen in fantasy movies including Jason and the Argonauts, Clash of the Titans and The 7th Voyage of Sinbad. Featuring access to his workshop and contributions from the film-makers he inspired, including Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson, James Cameron and Tim Burton.

Cast & Crew

Ray Harryhausen Ray Harryhausen
Peter Jackson Peter Jackson
James Cameron James Cameron
John Landis John Landis
Tim Burton Tim Burton
Terry Gilliam Terry Gilliam
Steven Spielberg Steven Spielberg
Director Gilles Penso
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: ArrowReleased on: 9 Nov 2012
Documentary Arts