Show 020 – Ray Harryhausen

Ray Harryhausen

“I’m proud that we’re leaving a trail of inspiration, instead of desolation.”

For over 50 years, Ray Harryhausen single-handedly animated the most captivating stop-motion creatures in movies such as Mighty Joe Young, The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, Earth vs. The Flying Saucers, Jason and the Argonauts, and of course, Clash of the Titans. He’s an animation legend and inspiration to countless animators and filmmakers the world over. This is a one part interview.


Continue for Show Notes and audio file download links…

Get the MP3 here: Show 20: Ray Harryhausen
Animation Podcast Show 20 MP3(15.5MB, 33:51 minutes)

Or get the enhanced version playable only with Quicktime, iTunes, or iPods. (Includes pictures and links in addition to the audio.)
Get the AAC here: Show 20: Ray Harryhausen
Animation Podcast Show 20 AAC(17.9MB, 33:51 minutes)


32 Comments on “Show 020 – Ray Harryhausen

  1. HOLY …..MOLY

    Harryhausen, Clay you have out done yourself this time. Although i love ALL of the other interviews i cant wait to hear this one.

    I wanted to get into VFX and animation and got side tracked into modelling (which i love), all because of of guys like these. Now i feel ive gotten to a point in modelling where practise is the only thing i can do to imporove my skills, so now im venturing into other areas of CG, namely VFX and Character animation.

    I know this will be good, will there be more on this series?


  2. YAY!!
    Another awesome podcast Clay!
    It was amazing to hear from such a legend. I was really surprised to see Harryhausen up there.
    And it is great to hear about another form of animation too.

    Keep up the great work!
    And good luck with the triathlon! 🙂

  3. Wow! And I just bought a 6-disc Ray Harryhausen DVD-box! Can’t wait to listen to this and watch the films (and then listen to it again to see if there were some hidden secrets). Would’ve never expected that you’d interview him, but it’s a great surprise.

    Thanks a ton!

  4. Cool Clay!

    I hope you’ll be interviewing different animators i love that you stepped outside of the Disney box. Not that it’s a bad box but you know it’s not the only animation box.

    Keep up the great work and keep up interviewing diverse talents.

    Grtz Lars

  5. Andy stole the words right out of my mouth – WOW! You REALLY HAVE outdone yourself, Clay! Talk about monumental. It’s clear you’re doing this for more than just kicks… you’re doing it for the ages. THANK YOU!

  6. Andy – That’s what I thought too – HOLY MOLY! Just this morning I was checking to make sure all was well with the files and all, and I stopped and said to my wife how amazing it is that I’ve actually interviewed someone who helped shape my life. Alas, it was only a half hour time slot for the interview, so that’s all for now. Ray lives in London, which doesn’t bode well for any new parts coming soon. I hope you enjoy it anyhow!

    Hannah – Thanks! I’m glad to spread out a little too. I admit I’m not as knowledgeable in other fields of animation, but I try to keep up. I never said this was a Disney thing, that’s just how it’s been so far! I like the change too.

    Benjamin – Which box set did you get – the Legendary Monster Series?

    Lars – Thanks for the feedback. It’s nice to move out of my comfort zone. Next time, I hope I’ll have more time to prepare. 😳

    Rob – You’re too kind. But truly, I do it for the kicks. 🙂

  7. Awesome job Clay!

    I can’t count how many times I’ve watched Clash of the Titans and Jason and the Argonauts. It is inspiring just listening to Harry talk about his process and how things were made in stop motion back in the day. His work continues to inspire me to this very day. Countless thank yous Clay. You are spoiling us. =)

    Take care,


  8. I don’t think my box is available in the US. It’s the 2-disc Early Years Collection combined with the 3 Sinbad’s and Jason and the Argonauts. I’m ashamed to say I haven’t seen any of those before! My knowledge of Harryhausen so far limited itself to videos on YouTube etc, and the huge praise by everyone. But when I read about this box in the newspaper a while back, I couldn’t resist finally delving into his work.

  9. Patrick – You’re just the type of guy this one was for. Thanks for the comment.

    Benjamin – That’s a pretty choice combo. You’ve got to check out the dancing statue, Kali, in The Golden Voyage of Sinbad. INCREDIBLE! Such great timing. Yeah, he’s pretty good, that Ray.

  10. More time to prepair?! You did fine i mean you almost live at disney so it’s logical you know so much more about what goes down there. Btw i heared you went to see the Quay Brothers in the Harryhausen interview?! Does this mean we’ll be hearing a podcast about them soon?!

    Greetz Lars

  11. Hi Lars – I appreciate it. I only spoke to them briefly when they did a talk at Disney last year. Sorry, no podcast planned with them yet. Although I find their films fascinating, that’s one interview where I would REALLY be out of my element.

  12. Ray Harryhausen?
    Gee, Clay. I didn’t know you interviewed an animation giant like him. I haven’t seen his projects, but I reconized him from Pete Docter’s commentary on “Monsters, Inc.”. Please note that the Monsters, Inc. restraunt, Harryhausen’s, is named after Ray Harryhausen. Also, Clay, thanks for getting a new guest. I’m sure that your other guests are happy because it took a whole year to put the Burny Mattinson interview parts.


  13. wow… you raised the dead clay? i seriously thought this guy did King Kong and was well and truely gone! I thought this guy was a lot older than he is… i mean every time i hear about stop motion, i hear harryhausen… i almost thought he invented the modern form of it or something…lol… (as you can see, all in know about stop motion is aardman and tb’s movies…)… i honestly thought that you interviewd his next of kin about him… my mistake and apologies for these thoughts, you got the big man himself!…WOW!!… anyway, this interview will be in the archives for many years to come. This one is a keeper! lol… off to hunt down his dvds…

  14. Thanks a ton for that Clay.

    Every time I hear these pod casts, it gives me a shot in the arm, and helps make the 10 – 12 hr days a lot shorter and more meaningful. Thanks so much for the time you spent, and a special thanks to Ray for his time (his last name is too long to spell, and I’m lazy, though it would have been shorter than this explanation.:)


  15. Benjamin, where did you get that DVD box?

    great stuff clay! 🙂

  16. like everyone else, I am also a HUGE fan of stop motion animation, to me that is the orginal 3D animation.

  17. Incredible Podcast! Listened to it 4 times since yesterday… Maybe the most inspiring Podcast ever.
    I don’t even know how to thank you Clay, that is really too awesome for words…
    The fact that you are an animator yourself and that you ask “animators’ questions” to your guests (like for instance the bit on how to plan and figure out timing in stop-mo) really puts these interviews you’re making a step above any other interview you can find around… Because the competence of the interviewer DOES make a difference! And not a small one either…
    So thank you again and keep up the great work.

  18. Dan – We actually talk about the Monsters Inc. reference near the end of the interview. I’d highly recommend watching any of Harryhausen’s work. I was just watching Clash of the Titans again this weekend and there’s some stunning work there. I was amazed by the fact that he wasn’t satisfied to have Medusa’s hair full of snakes, but he added one to her wrist as a living bracelet. Funny that Milt Kahl’s last character (and arguably one where he pulled out all the stops, too) was also named Medusa.

    Emma – Ray is certainly alive and kicking. I just saw him down at the Comicon where they unveiled the latest print in his art series. I’m glad you’re going to check out his work.

    Andy – Thanks for the feedback. I like to know the work is fueling more animation.

    Oskar – You’re welcome!

    Brecht – Thanks!

    Chelsea – Agreed!

    Susanna – Wow, what a glowing review. Ever? The most inspiring ever? All right, now you’ve got me thinking how I can top this one (although I don’t know if it’s possible). Really, thanks for letting me know how you feel.

    I was just thinking about Ray’s work this weekend. It’s incredible how he was born at the right time to pick up the stop-motion torch from Willis O’Brien and carry it for the greater part of last century. He provided creatures and effects that couldn’t be done in any other way until technology caught up to the ideas, starting in the 80s. Then, as he reached the age of retirement, Ray finished with a fluorish in Clash of the Titans. Think of everything that we wouldn’t know about monsters and mythology without him. I wonder if we’d have Tim Burton’s and Henry Selicks stop-motion films if it weren’t for Ray. It’s as if he was chosen for this time by the animation gods themselves and all our lives are richer for it.

  19. I squeeed like a little schoolgirl this morning (well inside my head, didn’t want to be the token crazy person on the el this morning) when the podcast started.

    I can’t wait to get through the rest of this podcast later!!


    Thanks Clay I’m soo excited to hear what Mr. Harryhausen says. He’s such an ICON of animation.


  20. Indeed Clay, thank you for all your work.

    I swear you deserve an award for what you’re doing. From a historical standpoint (or any postive standpoint) we all can fathom how important these podcasts are.

    You’ve really outdone yourself with Ray Harryhausen.

    In contrast to Harryhausen, did you ever consider folks like Rob Coleman over at ILM? His work goes all the way back to “The Mask” in ’94….a film which broke serious ground in computer animation. Not to be a fanboy, but he is basically the guy who gave Yoda his “legs”.

    I don’t know if you have the chance to rub elbows with the ILM folks, but it’s just a thought.

  21. Awesome Cley – the fact that you’ve had this sitting on a DAT tape or whatever for a year or so makes me wonder who else you’ve gotten round to interviewing and have stashed away?! A certain Ollie Johnston hopefully…?! I remeber being sprawled on the floor watching Jason and the Argonauts as a child with my Mum raving about it and how I HAD to watch it, blew me away then – still does now. The bit when Talos first turns his head… WOW! So Harryhausen lives in London? I’ll have to keep an eye out for him. Again – many thanks.

  22. Oh



    I’d kind of gotten out of the habit of checking here frequently (not a judgement; just a statement…), and today I come ’round to find not only an interview with a living legend, but that it’s been up for over a month! I feel quite the fool, but I imagine listening to this interview will soothe my damaged psyche :0)

    Thanks Clay – can’t wait to hear it!

  23. Let me guess, Clay.

    You got sidetracked?

    That’s O.K. I always get sidetracked, every time there’s an event. Wish me luck on homecoming tomorrow.

  24. I can’t find any reference to the O’Brien picture “War Eagles”(?) that is mentioned. Anyone know what became of that?

  25. I love Ray Harryhausen’s interviews. He’s such a delight to listen too. I could hear his stories all day. He’s such a hero of mine. He really helped make my childhood a joy.

  26. Nice job-
    I had a great time listening to the man speak of his craft. Thanks for posting it here. Hope folks have minute to check out Ray’s personal site (went up last year).
    Marc Lougee
    Director/ Creative Producer
    Ray Harryhausen Presents: EA Poe’s The Pit and the Pendulum

  27. I’ve enjoyed every interview but I have to say this one was very special. As an amateur stop-motion animator this was a thrill, my only wish is that it was longer. It would be great to hear more people involved in stop-motion animation on here if you can wrangle a few. May I suggest maybe: Anthony Scott, Marc Spess, Webster Colcord, Tennessee Reid Norton or Tim Hittle.

  28. This is the best podcast in relation to Ray Harryhausen. It is good to see it covers a wide variety of his work, not just one or twop films

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