Man, I'm bummed to hear that pioneering special effects animator Ray Harryhausen passed away today. For many here, especially those under about 25 - 30, his films must look rather quaint or even cheesy with his now outdated style of stop motion animation but back in my day, especially in my pre-teens, his films were hugely imaginative and unlike anything else anyone was doing. Along with Hammer horror films and Toho Godzilla flicks, Harryhausens films were the three cornerstones of my youth. Even though he retired from films in the early 80's and lived 3+ decades to enjoy his retirement, his work remains hugely influential to many film makers.
I met him once, pretty much by accident at a mid 90's San Diego Comic Con. I happened to be in San Diego for a few days for my wife's surgery and on the Saturday had nothing to do for a few hours so I went to the Comic Con at the convention center. Wandering around, I noticed this old guy sitting alone and unbothered behind a table with some books and models he was apparently plugging and autographing for a toy company and recognized him as Ray Harryhausen. I'm not a guy who approaches "celebrities" under just about any circumstances no matter how much I may have admired their work but I had to at least say "hi." We talked for just a couple minutes before a group of people also recognized him and mobbed the table but it was cool actually talking to someone who had a huge influence on my childhood imagination.
For better or worse, I expect the various movie studios to capitalize on his passing and release more of his films on Blu-ray in the coming months. Perhaps coincidently, the Sony channel had been running the 2nd and 3rd Sinbad movies in HD for the first time this week (AFAIK).
Here's a decent compilation video of his movies although the music is wildly inappropriate: