If it wasn’t a monster movie then it wasn’t worth watching. That was my fickle view of cinema when I was a child. For thrills it had to be werewolves, vampires, gelatinous blobs from outer space or stitched-together cadavers. All well and good—but nothing gave as much pleasure as one of Ray Harryhausen’s animated creatures moving across the screen. Whether it was those ghoulish killer skeletons in Jason and the Argonauts; or the Ray Bradbury-inspired Rhedosaurus that chewed-up fifties New York City in The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms; or the leathery terradactyl that picked up Raquel Welch in One Million Years B.C.; or the octopus that brought down the Golden Gate Bridge—these were the monsters that made so mine and so many other childhoods happy.
For every fantastic creation Harryhausen created he sketched out his ideas before turning them into a movable and workable model. This is a small selection of his drawings for the films Jason and the Argonauts, The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad, the unmade War of the Worlds, Valley of the Gwangi, Twenty Million Miles to Earth, and One Million Years BC.
Previously on Dangerous Minds
Special effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen’s animated ‘Mother Goose’ and other fairy tales
Via Muddy Colors and Book & Negative