Book Review: The Art of Ray Harryhausen

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This review is a follow-up of the earlier one I wrote for Ray Harryhausen's Fantasy Scrapbook.

It's large 230-page hardcover and available in French and English editions so be careful to get the English one.

This book is quite different from Fantasy Scrapbook. It features more art — the storyboards and key drawings from Ray Harryhausen himself. It's also an autobiography on his career in film making where he talks about his influences, challenges, and production techniques. All the photos and illustrations are reproduced in large sizes. There are less photos of model figures. Overall, there isn't much duplication of content with Fantasy Scrapbook.

Ray Harryhausen's key drawings are impressive. They are mainly charcoal and pencil but you can see that he has a good grasp on tonal values. Together with cinematic composition, his drawings capture the action and story wonderfully. It's fascinating to look at a world created from his imagination. A lot of art is included.

The autobiography gives detailed information on film making and provides wonderful insight on producing animation at that time. There's a lot to learn from what he says when looking back at the films he made, the things he could have done differently. This is the book to get if you want to learn more about the man himself.

It's a nice film companion and a compliment to Fantasy Scrapbook. Recommended to fans of Ray Harryhausen and film makers.

The Art of Ray Harryhausen is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | JP | CN) and Book Depository

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