Really sad news from Twitter:
The Harryhausen family regret to announce the death of Ray Harryhausen
We knew this day had to come at some point, that he couldn't go on much longer, and yet it's still devastating. The world feels a little emptier for the loss. Such a warm human presence as well as a great talent and great man.
Ray achieved almost all you can achieve with stop motion. I am willing to bet he died a very satisfied man. He touched so many people. Even if you didn't like his style - you have to admit he gave many people reasons to create their own films. His inspiration will love on forever.
I don't know what I can add to this, it will take a while for it to sink in. An inspiration not only to all stop motion animators but the whole special effects industry. Seeing his films is certainly what got me hooked on stop motion. Very few live as long a life as well lived, and almost none are as appreciated and in demand in their later years.
I remember thinking just a year ago what a poorer place the world was when Ray Bradbury died at the age of 91. Now, almost a year to the day later, his best friend Ray Harryhausen has joined him.
It would be hard to find another pair who made the world such an interesting place for me to live in.
The legacy of the two will live on a long long time. I guess I will be watching 'Jason and the Argonauts' tonight, along with I suspect a lot of other folks.
There were loads of touching comments on Twitter, but one of my favourites was this by the critic and author Kim Newman:
@AnnoDracula: It now takes 500 pixel-wranglers to do what Ray Harryhausen did better single-handed.
It is also a mark of how iconic Ray Harryhausen is that his death has been announced on the homepage of a major British newspaper, The Guardian:
It's the kind of media treatment reserved for movie megastars or high-profile directors, so as sad as the news is for those of us who didn't know him personally (it is, of course, an entirely different thing for family members and personal friends) it's tremendously touching, cheering even, to see how respected and loved he was and is.
RIP Ray, we'll never see your like again.
I've been posting about Ray's passing over on Facebook since I learned of it today but, I put off posting here on SMA until now because somehow I knew posting here would be harder. In short, I am crushed. I learned of Ray's passing while animating a Dynamation style shot on the film 'Legend of the Golden Fishcake' and I felt that there was nothing more appropriate I could be doing when that moment came.
I've spent the bulk of my career trying to follow in Ray's footsteps and especially in the past 4 years or so, it's been my total focus - having done the bulk of the stop motion on 'Sinbad the Fifth Voyage'. I will confess to having fantasized what Ray might think when eventually he would see that film but sadly, that time will never come.
When Ray was turning 90 years old, I was proud to push for a group of stop motion animators to shoot short tribute films to send to Ray to celebrate that birthday. Many pushed hard to get it done and I was thrilled to send that DVD and a birthday card with all our signatures on it to him. Today I took a photo of the puppet I made for my film in that compilation to reflect how we all feel on this day...Thanks for all the dreams you gave us Uncle Ray, I will miss you forever.
A sad, sad day. Thank you for always inspiring us, you will be missed Uncle Ray.
No words, just heavy sadness.