Monsters In Motion

Brendon Connely eulogizes Ray Harryhausen, the legendary guru of stop-motion animation:

I visited the set of Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie a couple of years back, where more than 20 little stages were in use at once, its scenes being animated and filmed in parallel. I saw characters frozen in motion as they made their way about the scaled-down suburbs slower than the eye could see. Only the camera shutter and the animator’s imaginations could move with the right patience to perceive the motion and not just the stop.

Ray Harryhausen was a master of stop-motion because of his command of this time-bending imagination. And Harryhausen was an actor, performing in super slow motion, one frame at a time and through tiny proxy bodies, often several of them, simultaneously as they interact with one another. The lives of the characters start in the animator and dribble out, drip by drip, through his or her fingertips. A stop-motion animator in the Sistine Chapel might look up, see God giving life to Adam in a single, all-at-once bolt, and wonder why they don’t get it so easy.

A compilation of Harryhausen’s work is seen above.