The American Cinematheque’s "Tribute to Ray Harryhausen" at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood last night turned out to be a meeting of legends from the world of science fiction and fantasy. Among those who came out to honor the master of stop-motion animation and special effects were prolific sci-fi writer Ray Bradbury, Famous Monsters of Filmland publisher Forest J. Ackerman and The Golden Voyage of Sinbad director Gordon Hessler.
After the official premiere of the newly completed short The Tortoise and the Hare and a screening of Harryhausen’s early fairytale, King Midas, the guest of honor and collaborators Mark Caballero and Seamus Walsh took center stage of the packed movie palace and offered insights into the making of the film, which are covered in the Nov. issue of Animation Magazine.
Also in attendance was renowned voice talent Gary Owens of Laugh-In fame, who provided the narration for The Tortoise and the Hare, as well as documentarian Richard Jones, who was instrumental in getting the film finished.
Harryhausen stayed through a screening of a new 35mm print of The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, which was followed by a presentation of Mysterious Island. Both films were enthusiastically received.
The Tortoise and the Hare has recently been selected for competition at the Sundance Film Festival. Harryhausen, who is working on his autobiography, to be titled An Animated Life, hopes to release all six of his fairytale shorts on one DVD.