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Stop motion innovator Ray Harryhausen had his work cut out for him with Clash of the Titans. Much like Jason and the Argonauts, this film featured multiple monsters that the artist would have to tackle. But Ray was up for the challenge. Below is a behind-the-scenes look at some of his creations!
What’s a hero without his faithful steed? Ray noticed that the great Pegasus was often drawn with unrealistically small wings that would hardly get any hero off the ground. He said, “I designed the character of Pegasus with very large wings, and he was able to take off very convincingly as a horse.” Rather than have the horse’s legs dangle while flying, Harryhausen wanted him to appear as though he was galloping through the air. The model used goat hair and dove feathers.
The film could have gone the simplistic route and had an actress wear rubber snakes in her hair, but Ray wanted to do this monster justice. He said, “Every statue I’d seen she was just a woman with a pretty face with snakes in her hair. Well, that wasn’t very dramatic so I gave her a rather demonic look.” He conceptualized her with a serpentine body that slithered, and the end result is creepy perfection!
Originally, Calibos was only an animated character. However, when the script was revised, he was given lines of dialogue. It was then a challenge to match the creature’s movements to the actor portraying him. “That was quite a difficult thing to do to match every frame,” Harryhausen said.
4. The Kraken
Harryhausen wanted to make the Kraken different from the dragon he helped create for 7th Voyage of Sinbad. His idea was a reptilian monster with four arms. Three models were made: a miniature, a larger size for close-ups, and a 15-foot sponge model that was loaded with lead so it would stay underwater.
Originally, this mythological creature had three heads. Ray said, “I felt it would look too clumsy to have a three-headed dog, so I cut one head off.” Animating the creature was especially challenging because it had fur. They had to be very careful when moving its body or else the stop motion would pick up every little shift in hair.