Groundbreaking visual effects artist Ray Harryhausen refined and elevated stop-motion animation to an art. His Dynamation technique of matting animated creatures into live-action settings revolutionized the use of stop-motion visual effects in feature films.
Ray Harryhausen's creations aren't the most realistic in the realm of special effects, but Ray's touch is instantly recognizable. His creations are absolutely alive; in each frame his creatures move, twitch, breathe, act with personality and pathos. Few other low-budget monster movies of the time match the technical competence and respect for the subject as Mr. Harryhausen's films.
The Ray Harryhausen Creature list emphasizes Ray's work in feature films. Not included are his early Mother Goose shorts; test reels and unrealized projects; some stop-motion effects shots (like the discus toss in Jason and the Argonauts); live-action effects (like the Iguana stand-in dinosaur from One Million Years B.C.); miniatures (including the Mysterious Island balloon); makeup & prosthetics, and animated replacements for humans caught in creatures' clutches. Ray Harryhausen deserves further credit for his groundbreaking work in composite effects, demonstrated to great effect in The 3 Worlds of Gulliver.
Joe, the title character, is a tamed gorilla brought to Hollywood. Ray Harryhausen assisted his mentor Willis O'Brien (King Kong) on Mighty Joe Young and animated most of Mighty Joe Young's performance.
A fictitious species of dinosaur, awakened from a 100,000 year hibernation in the Arctic Circle by an atom bomb test.
A 200 foot long, radioactive, mutated Octopus that wreaks havoc on San Francisco.
"Engineered by nature in a freakish manner so that she can hardly support her weight in land," as described in The Animal World.
"Mortal enemy of the Bronty," as described in The Animal World.
"The prehistoric sun incubates one of the few remaining Bronty eggs."
From the film: "A dinosaur of gentle nature, even though 20 feet long and 10 tons weight."
This sceraptosaur battles with both a stegosaur and another sceraptosaur.
"One of the species fated to disappear from the face of the Earth," as narrated by The Animal World.
"Deadly enemy of the Triceratops," as narrated by The Animal World.
Saucers soar, land, battle, and smash buildings into stop-motion animated rubble.
The crash-landing of the first Venus expedition on its return trip.
Never named in the film, the Ymir is a native of Venus. Returned to Earth as an egg, the Ymir rapidly grows to monstrous proportions in Earth's atmosphere and runs amok.
The Ymir tangles with this elephant on the streets of Rome after escaping from captivity at the zoo.
Mr. Harryhausen imagined the mythical cyclops as a goat-legged, horned, wild creature. Two cyclopses appear in the film: The first is defeated by Sinbad, and the second is killed by the fire-breathing dragon that guards Zokora's cave.
Princess Parissa's waiting woman Sadi, transformed into a dancing serpent woman by Zokora's magic.
Discovered while seeking a Roc eggshell, a critical ingredient for the potion to restore Princess Parissa to her proper size. This hatching is attacked and consumed by Sinbad's famished pirate crew.
Payback for the slaugter of her Roc hatchling.
Brought to life by Zokora's magic to steal a magic lamp, this skeleton swordsman fights Sinbad in Zokora's cave.
Guards the cavern entrance to Zokora's liar, slays a cyclops, and attacks Sinbad's crew before being slain by giant crossbow.
Lost in Brodbdingnag, a land of giants, the newlywed Gullivers are menaced by a giant squirrel.
The king of Brobdingnag forces Gulliver to battle his "miniature" crocodile in a fight to the death.
Attacks the castaways on Mysterious Island. After the battle, the castaways cook the defeated crab in a convenient hot spring.
A giant, scrawny, prehistoric bird that threatens to trample the castaways of Mysterious Island.
The nautiloid cephalopod is a gigantic prehistoric mollusc. The cephalopod attacks Captian Nemo's diving crew as they attempt to raise a sunken pirate ship.
This bee drives two members of the Mysterious Island party into its giant honeycomb and seals them in with beeswax.
Massive statue on the Isle of Bronze who guards over a treasure chamber of the gods. Talos comes to life when Hercules steals from its treasure.
Two harpies are assigned by Zeus to torment the blind prophet Phinneas for abusing his power of prophecy. Phinneas agrees to help Jason in exchange for the harpies' capture.
Jason slays the mythical Hydra to steal the Golden Fleece. The Hydra comes from a different myth (the twelve labors of Hercules), and appears in Jason and the Argonauts short two heads (the Greek myth had nine).
Seven "Children of the Hydra's Teeth" fight with Jason and two of his crew. Four are defeated in swordfights, and three plunge to their deaths following Jason off a cliff into the sea.
A hypothetical United Nations moonship service module lands on the moon's surface.
A Victorian era spacecraft, patterned after a diving bell and covered with railroad bumpers, powered by Professor Cavor's anti-gravity paint.
Both a moon cow and moon bull appear (both are the same stop-motion puppet), each a gigantic centipede-like beast with fierce mandibles and bad tempters.
Kate Calendar is observed in an X-ray observation chamber by the Selenites.
Insect-like inhabitants of the interior of the moon (most appearances of the Selenites were costumed actors).
The leader of the Selenites, encased in a crystal sphere. The Grand Lunar is sentient, and interrogates Professor Cavor.
This Brontosaur makes a brief appearance as Tumak wanders the wasteland after being expelled from his tribe.
A giant prehistoric turtle menaces the Shell people, who drive it into the sea.
Attacks the peaceful fishing village of the Shell people, but is impaled and killed by Tumak in a ferocious battle.
Gives chase to Tumak and Loana when they strike out on their own.
Attacks a Triceratops during Tumak and Lona's journey. In the chaos, Tumak and Lona are separated.
A Pterodactyl that suddenly drops from the sky and flies off with Lona in its talons.
A flying reptile that attacks and kills the Pterodactyl to steal Lona.
The mother Pterodactyl attempts to feed Lona to her ravenous offspring before being attacked by a Rhamphorhynchus.
A brief animation of T.J. performing a stunt on her horse: Diving from a tower into a water tub.
Named "El Diablo" by its captors, Eohippus is a miniature prehistoric horse. Its escape leads to the discovery of Gwangi.
Attacks Lope when he, Professor Bromley, and the cowboys first enter the forbidden valley.
A small dinosaur chased by cowboys while searching for El Diablo in the Forbidden Valley before being captured & consumed by Gwangi.
The title character of Gwangi is an Allosaur from the Forbidden Valley, an isolated spot where prehistoric life still flourishes. Gwangi is captured by a travelling Wild West show, but escapes and wreaks havoc.
Attacks Gwangi while Professor Brombely watches, and later interferes during the lasso-ing of Gwangi.
This performing elephant panicks and is slain by Gwangi after escaping from its cage.
A small humanoid, bat-winged creature who serves as an extension of Prince Koura's eyes and ears. The Homonicus is spontaneously generated from blood and sorcery.
The figurehead of Sinbad's ship, brought to life by Prince Koura's magic to steal Sinbad's navigation charts.
Six-armed statue of the god worshiped by the Lemurians. The statue comes to life with a potion from Prince Koura, and fights Sinbad's entire crew with a sword in each hand.
"God of the Single Eye," who resides in a pit leading to the Fountain of Destiny. The centaur represents the powers of evil, and is defeated by Sinbad with the aid of the Griffin in the film's climax.
Representing the powers of good, the Griffin battles the Centaur to defend Sinbad.
Three torch-wielding ghouls are summoned by Queen Zenobia to kill Sinbad and his crew. They are defeated by Sinbad's quick-thinking action when he crushes them under a pile of timbers.
Queen Zenobia puts a curse upon the future Caliph, Prince Kassim, turning him into a Baboon. Sinbad transports Prince Kassim to the land of Hyberboria to restore him.
A golden mechanical Minotaur created by Queen Zenobia for muscle in her pursuit of Sinbad.
After miniaturizing herself to spy on Sinbad, Queen Zenobia's restoring potion is consumed by a hornet while Melanthius interrogates her.
Named Walrus Giganticus by Melanthius, this giant beast attacks Sinbad's crew as they trek across the ice to Hyberboria.
Encountered by Sinbad's crew in Hyberboria. Melanthius identifies the Troglodyte as an ancestor of humans, and it accompanies Sinbad's crew to the shrine where Prince Kassim can be restored.
A Sabre-toothed cat, encased in ice and later possessed by Zenobia to kill Sinbad after losing her son in the Shrine. The Guardian does battle with — and defeats — the Troglodyte, but is later killed by Sinbad.
Carries Princess Andromeda's spirit away to Calibos, where she is given a new riddle to ask potential suitors. (The penalty for guessing the wrong answer is death by burning at the stake.)
The last of the winged horses. Perseus captures Pegasus to follow the Giant Vulture that abducts Princess Andromeda. The airborne Pegasus animations were accomplished by Jim Danforth.
Deformed by Zeus as punishment Calibos' unrequited love for Princess Andromeda drives him mad. In dialog scenes, Calibos is played by actor Neil McCarthy.
A mechanical owl created by Haephestus as a replacement gift for Perseus after he loses his helmet of invisibility in Calibos' swamp. Most shots of Bubo were animated by Steve Archer.
The two-headed dog which guards the entrance to Medusa's lair on the Isle of the Dead. Dioskilos animation was accomplished by Steve Archer and Jim Danforth.
The mythical serpentine woman whose gaze turns men into stone. Perseus must obtain her head so that he can defeat the Kraken and save Princess Andromeda.
Three giant scorpions are spawned from Medusa's dripping blood after Calibos punctures the bag containing her decapitated head.
The last of the Titans. Goddess Theta demands that Princess Andromeda be sacrificed to the Kraken, claiming offense when Princess Andromeda's beauty is compared to her own.