The classic, King Kong, made its New York premiere on this day–in 1933. (It was released nationwide on April 7th).
It’s also Willis O’Brien’s birthday (who created the marvelous stop-motion effects for the film). He was born in 1886.
June 29 is the 95th birthday of the Master of Stop-Motion Monsters–Ray Harryhausen. He left us in 2013–at the age of 92–but his creations still live on in film and in the hearts of his many fans.
As a child, I–like many others–had some tragedy and trouble that we felt overwhelmed us and filled us with despair. My own personal childhood troubles made me felt unwanted, alone and afraid.
Ray Harryhausen’s films helped me survive. His creatures brought such wonder and excitement into my life and allowed me to escape into the world of film and myth. I remember seeing The Golden Voyage of Sinbad at the drive-in. I was immediately in love. Watching the creatures move across the screen fueled my imagination. Overnight, I became a fan of monsters, mythology and movies. And Ray’s masterful manipulation of what I’d learn was called “stop-motion animation” became the catalyst for my lifelong long of all things monsters.
Though my interests and tastes have evolved, and de-evolved, over the years, my love for Ray’s films has never faded.
Thank you, Ray, for keeping my imagination aflame.
Check out his official website at – Ray Harryhausen