Veteran filmmaker and stop-motion magician Ray Harryhausen (author of the newly published RAY HARRYHAUSEN: AN ANIMATED LIFE with Tony Dalton from Billboard Books) will discuss and present five newly restored prints of his classic fairy tales at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on April 23 at 7:30 p.m., in the Samuel Goldwyn Theater. The event serves as the Academy's 2004 George Pal Lecture on Fantasy in Film.
Produced, directed and animated by Harryhausen in the 1940s and '50s, MOTHER GOOSE STORIES, THE STORY OF LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD, HANSEL AND GRETEL, THE STORY OF RAPUNZEL and THE STORY OF KING MIDAS Feature armatures crafted by Harryhausen's machinist father and clothes created and sewn by his mother. The stop-motion puppets were brought to life frame-by-frame by Harryhausen himself. The five short films will be presented in new 35mm prints, blown up from the best surviving materials of the 16mm originals by the Academy Film Archive. Leonard Maltin will moderate the discussion with Harryhausen and those who helped him preserve the films.
Born in Los Angeles, Harryhausen was first inspired by KING KONG (1933). What started as a hobby experimenting with three-dimensional stop-motion animation ultimately led to a career as one of the foremost craftsmen in the field of visual effects. Among his most notable credits are: THE BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS (1953), THE SEVENTH VOYAGE OF SINBAD (1958), JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS (1963), ONE MILLION YEARS B.C. (1967), SINBAD AND THE EYE OF THE TIGER (1977) and CLASH OF THE TITANS (1981). In 1991, he was honored by the Academy with the Gordon E. Sawyer Award, which is presented to an individual whose technological contributions have brought credit to the industry.
The George Pal Lecture on Fantasy in Film was established in 1980 in honor of the filmmaker whose career ranged from the creation of the PUPPETOONS animated series (on which Harryhausen worked) to producing and directing such fantasy classics as DESTINATION MOON (1950), WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE (1951), WAR OF THE WORLDS (1953), TOM THUMB (1958) and THE TIME MACHINE (1960). The lecture is designed to provide a forum for filmmakers and scholars to discuss the science fiction and fantasy film in all of its variations.
Tickets for the George Pal Lecture on Fantasy in Film featuring Ray Harryhausen go on sale April 1 for $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with valid identification. They may be purchased in advance by mail, during regular business hours at the Academy or on the night of the event, if still available, when the doors open at 6:30 p.m. The Academy is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. For more information call 310-247-3000, ext. 111.