Wednesday, 8 May 2013

R.I.P. Ray Harryhausen: RELEASE THE KRAKEN!!

Today at Drawbridge we honor recently departed stop-motion guru Ray Harryhausen, the special effects whiz behind such classic movies as Jason & The Argonauts, The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad, and Clash of the Titans (I'm talking about the 1981 original-- the recent remake was an execrable pile of something unspeakable).
Release the, uh, me!
Ah, Clash of the Titans, you're not that bad a film.  I enjoyed you as a child, even though I was driven nuts by the scads of mythological inconsistencies.

The top thing that drove me nuts was the Kraken. The Kraken is not Greek!! It's a Norwegian monster, from, like, two millennia later. In the original Greek Myth, the sea monster that jeopardizes Andromeda is Cetus, a giant whale monster. As an adult, I now know that the reason for the substitution was that  Harryhausen thought that a giant squid monster like the Kraken  would be more fun to animate than a giant whale.

In recent years the catchphrase of "Release the Kraken" has become something of a meme. And it is fun to yell-- I especially recommend shouting it while in the stall of a crowded public bathroom. I decided today to draw Harryhausen's Kraken to honor the man and his work, even if it wasn't Greek ;)

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  1. I wonder what one shouts when you want the Kraken to go back to it's cave (cage or lair?)?
    Re-LEASH the Kraken? Ha!

    I know, not funny...

  2. And across the interwebs, the groans were heard...

  3. Here Kraken, if you're a good boy and go back in your lair I have a treat for you. I loved Harryhausen's style, even when he fudges the myths. The skeleton warriors are amazing! Every time I show that movie I explain how arduous stop motion animation is and what an achievement that scene is.