Saturday, 21 December 2013

Ray Harryhausen in the UK: Clash of the Titans

Here we have the final feature film to which Ray Harryhausen lent his animation: 1981's Clash of the Titans. This time, his creations were a giant vulture, the satyr-like Calibos, Pegasus, some giant scorpions, the mechanical owl Bubo, the two-headed dog Dioskilos, Medusa, and the giant Kraken.

Harryhausen's films have sometimes been criticised for using their monsters as set-pieces rather than integral parts of their narratives, but Clash of the Titans goes some way to avoid this flaw: the animated creatures include two of the heroe's sidekicks (Bubo and Pegasus) along with the main villain, Calibos. However, it is worth mentioning that all three are portrayed in close up using live action - a real horse for Pegasus, a puppet for Bubo and an actor in make-up for Calibos.

The film also includes this brief sequence, where an animated shadow shows Calibos' transformation from man to monster. I'm not entirely sure if Harryhausen was responsible for thies piece of animation.

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