Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Ray Harryhausen The Early Years Collection|
Director: Ray Harryhausen
Genres: Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Animation
For over a half century, Ray Harryhausen has amazed and inspired countless filmmakers and fans around the world with his breathtaking motion picture effects and stop-motion animation. presented here for the first time ever... more »
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Max | 01/16/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Odds are that if you're reading this you already know who Ray Harryhausen is and you've heard about this DVD. If that's the case, then you may as well click on "Add to Shopping Cart" or "Pre-order this item" right now (depending on when you're reading this).
If you don't know who Ray Harryhausen is, he made (amongst other things) "Clash of the Titans" and the Sinbad films that you probably saw when you were a kid (that's Sinbad the sailor, not the comedian :-) ). He's also the main inspiration to virtually *everyone* who's currently in the Hollywood visual effects industry.
This 2-disc set has some items that have appeared elsewhere, but the versions here are more complete, visually better (most coming from the original negatives), and for those that didn't have a musical score (such as tests and experiments) one has been created (by noted film composers Bill Stromberg and John Morgan). It also contains the complete Mother Goose and Fairy Tales series, including the recently completed "Tortise and the Hare."
This is a unique and highly recommended set."
Early work by the animation master
wiredweird | Earth, or somewhere nearby | 08/03/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Remember the cartoon movie, Monsters, Inc.,where the coolest nightclub in town was called Harryhausen's? That choice of name was homage to this brilliant innovator in animation and movie-making, Ray Harryhausen. Maybe he didn't invent stop animation, but he pushed the technology to heights no one could have imagined.
These are samples of his early work, from the days before he was "discovered," while he was developing his techniques and building a portfolio. The first part of this collection includes eight of his realizations of fairy tales and Mother Goose stories. They are all very charming stories, even if the stories and visual style look naïve by today's standards. In part, that was deliberate - he cleaned up some of the more violent moments, like the woodsman's rescue of Red Riding Hood and Grandma, to suit the tastes of his audiences of the 1940s and 1950s. The ninth piece in this set is an interesting collaboration. Decades after Harryhausen set "The Tortoise and the Hare" aside, unfinished, some fans contacted him about it. He still had the original puppets, which he let them use in completing the work. I'm glad he consented, since the product came out seamlessly.
Harryhausen also prototyped some ads and WWII training films, trying to interest potential employers in his work. The commercial work didn't hold my interest but "How to Bridge a Gorge" and a tribute to the Guadalcanal victory certainly did. Those two employed similar style, with no human characters shown but with bridges and buildings mysteriously assembling themselves. The rest of the set includes very brief experimental segments and historical notes. They're a mixed bag, in terms of topic, style, and degree of interest.
This collection might not be for the mainstream movie fan. If you're a Harryhausen devotees or someone interested in the history of moviemaking, it's a valuable contribution.
A Tribute to the Master
Zillamon51 | MI | 01/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This 2-disk set is a comprehensive collection of the early works of legendary stop-motion animator Ray Harryhausen. It includes restored versions of his Mother Goose Stories and Fairy Tales, military training films, commercials, and tests and experiments for unproduced projects. These films are both important for their historical value, and entertaining in and of themselves. The development of Ray's artistry both as an animator and as a storyteller is displayed here. Extras include featurettes, tributes, and image galleries. [...]"
For Die Hard Harryhausen Fans
John Gentile | Hoboken, NJ | 02/17/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This collection is a love letter to Ray Harryhausen from his fans. In the wonderful documentary "The Harryhausen Chronicles", we see snipets of the fairy tales, the lost projects, War of the Worlds animated Martian, Army films, etc. The first DVD has all the footage for all of these subjects. The second disc contains interviews, tributes, Harryhausen in Hollywood, a reunion with Rad Bradbury. The running time is almost 4 hours for both discs, and is well worth the price. I'm preaching to the choir here, because if you don't know Harryhausen, you should get to know him by watching his films. Start with Jason and the Argonauts and work your way through to Clash of the Titans. When you consider ALL OF THESE EFFECTS were done by hand by one man, Harryhausen puts today's computer programmers to shame. I enjoy computer animation in films as much as the next person, but it's not as impressive when you consider the human touch is all but lost."