(Above) (Left to right): Ken Ralston, RIck Baker, Karl meyer, Jonathan Sands, Phikl Tippett, Tony Dalton, Denis Muren at the launch of Myths and Legends
Way before CGI was used in films such as Jurassic Park, The Matrix and Toy Story, the original form of special effect was stop-motion animation. Also known as Dynamation, the first films to use this were The Lost World in 1925 and King Kong in 1933, deploying the technique under the direction of visionary creator Willis O'Brien.
John Landis and Ray Harryhausen. Image © Mark Mawston
Ray Harryhausen was taken under the wing of Willis for his next feature film, 1949’s Mighty Joe Young, which features a giant ape taken from Africa to Hollywood.
Ray Harryhausen takes a moment to cut the ribbon. Image © Mark Mawston
More than 60 years on, Harryhausen is seen as the Godfather of special effects, crafting mythical creatures and dinosaurs in six landmark fantasy films including Jason and the Argonauts (1963), One Million Years BC (1966), The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1973) and his last feature, Clash of the Titans (1981).
A Medusa installation from the show. Image © Ian Nicholson
To celebrate turning 90 last month, and to commemorate his cinematic artwork, Ray and The London Film Museum have opened an exhibition showcasing his art.
A less satisfied onlooker from the exhibition. Image © Mark Mawston
Myths and Legends features all of the original animated characters, illuminating his inspirations and demonstrating how he has influenced fantasy film directors such as George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson.
Harryhausen's 90th birthday cake. Image © Mark Mawston
His work includes a six-tentacled octopus called Sixtopus, flying saucers and aliens, Cyclops, a dragon, a towering colossus called Talos, a seven-headed Hydra, the Medusa, a giant crab and seven warrior skeletons.
Runs at the museum until June 11 2011, then moves permanently to the National Media Museum, Bradford.