Tuesday, 7 May 2013

The trigger event for a life of misdeeds on the tabletop.

Here it is.

An iconic still from the 1963 movie 'Jason and the Argonauts'.

This is the moment when it all clicked into place for a little Warlord Paul. No longer would I be King Arthur, Aragorn or one of the other good guys at playtime. From now on I would forever be cast as a necromantic dark lord causing no end of chagrin for all those pesky hero types. Though JatA was ably directed by one Don Chaffey the name forever linked to this childhood defining film was Ray Harryhausen.

Ray Harryhausen, patron saint of stop-motion, in his finest hour.

You may have missed it but today, buried in amongst the news reports about the miraculous story of those courageous young women in Ohio, there was a simple item about my all time favourite Hollywood star.

"Visual effects master Ray Harryhausen, whose stop-motion wizardry graced such films as Jason and the Argonauts and Clash of the Titans, has died aged 92."

Even though his 92 years qualify as what we Brits call 'a good innings' I was nevertheless deeply saddened by the loss of a childhood hero. My two hobby loves, war-gaming and movies, stem directly from an exposure the work of Mr Harryhausen at a very tender age.

A more recent snap of the great man with some of his props.

I only hope as my son grows up he and his generation find time in between hoverboarding and cybernetworking to enjoy Jason and the Argonauts even half as much as I did.

Goodbye old friend.

Thanks for stopping by.


  1. A sad loss indeed - ruined my drive home from work this evening.

    I was an early convert too and have already educated my two youngsters in the wonders of his work. They've much enjoyed the Valley of Gwangi (Cowboys and Dinosaurs - you don't get much cooler than that!) and recently were agog at the spectacle of the Ymir fighting an elephant in 20 Million Miles to Earth.

  2. A great loss I was numb when I heard the news, you cannot beat the old stop motion animation it was really believable, well more than CGI, in my opinion anyway

  3. Jason and the Argonauts, Clash of the Titans, and the Sinbad films were THE fantasy films of my youth.

    What does an magical, animated skeleton look like as it moves? Thanks to Ray Harryhausen, almost everyone has the same image in their minds.

    Incidentally, Ray Harryhausen's short films of classic fairy tales are available free online to Lovefilm subscribers - my daughter loves them.

  4. I agree with the comments above.
    I really enjoyed growing up with the films, they added a sense of wonder and magic to the stories, and the photo of the skeletons is one of the best to illustrate his work. I always remember the Trog from Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger.
    The Golden Voyage of Sinbad was on the other week, and it was still enjoyable to watch (and paint to! )