RAY HARRYHAUSEN: THE EARLY YEARS

rhdvd.jpgRay Harryhausen is making several live appearences in L.A. during the next few weeks to promote his book (which I got for Christmas) and a new DVD (which I watched last night). The new DVD is called RAY HARRYHAUSEN: THE EARLY YEARS, and it’s a must-have for fans of Harryhausen, stop motion animation, students of Hollywood history and everyone who grew up with Jason and the Argonauts and Famous Monsters of Filmland.This dvd collects Harryhusen’s rare Mother Goose Stories and Fairy Tales, newly restored and more vivid and vibrant than they’ve ever looked. This dvd also collects all of Ray’s early stop motion experiments, tests, commercials and wartime training films. There is a nice featurette on the making of The Tortoise & The Hare that shows the modelmaking and painstaking process required to make these films. And that’s only disc one.On disc two are various interviews with Ray (sometimes with old pals Forry Ackerman and Ray Bradbury) including his recieving a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame and an extensive interview with Leonard Maltin at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. There are still photo galleries, tributes by famous filmmakers and a wonderful mini-documentary on the restoration of these fairy tale films and test fragments. There is more material than I can list – suffice to say, check the website and buy this dvd. It goes on sale February 1st and I highly recommended it.