By Neil Pettigrew. Foreword by Ray Harryhausen.
McFarland & Company , Inc. Illus. £82.50
|You can be assured
that with a foreword by Ray Harryhausen (the doyen of stop motion animators
worldwide) that this weighty tome carries the same amount of weight in
its superbly researched and informative text and illustrations. It is a
reference work that provides in-depth analysis of all puppet animation
sequences in every film that has featured the process up until the time
of publication. These include King Kong (with animation by Harryhausen's
mentor Willis O'Brien) and Jason and the Argonauts (with animation
by Ray Harryhausen himself).
The focus of the writing is on how effective the sequence was and how it was executed. Therefore, the volume provides a valuable source of information for all you budding animators out there. In addition to the analysis, each entry provides details of the title, the year of release, cast, producer, director, and screenplay, director of photography, art director/production designer, armature builders, puppet makers, stop-motion cameramen, sequence supervisors and more.
The text is immaculately researched
and written in a lucid and very readable manner by an author with a real
affinity for his subject matter. The illustrations are top class (with
189 photos - 51 in colour). It would have been a treat to have had more
illustrations/ photos in a work of this detail and visual subject matter.
However, the author's choice of works to include is well balanced and should
appeal to stop-motion animation researchers, fans and those who are curious
about this craft in these day of Computer Animation and Computer Generated
Imagery (CGI). The volume is provided with a comprehensive
It makes a very welcome companion to Ray Harryhausen's own contribution to the subject entitled "Film Fantasy Scrapbook". However, it should be pointed out that the latter title covers only Ray's films whereas Pettigrew's volume is literally all encompassing.