Bringing Legacy to Life 2021 – Ray Harryhausen: Re-Animator

Raz Greenberg

Raz Greenberg is an animation researcher and a teaching fellow at the Tel Aviv University. Among his areas of research are the history and definition of animation – especially the influence that different forms of animation, as stop motion, have on other forms, as hand-drawn animation. He is the author of “Hayao Miyazaki: Exploring the Early Work of Japan’s Greatest Animator”, published by Bloomsbury Academic.


In his article “(The) Death (of) the Animator, or: The Felicity of Felix” (2007), scholar Alan Cholodenko argues that animation retains the primal response to cinema as a whole – the feeling of watching “the animation, reanimation of death”. Acclaimed stop-motion animator Ray Harryhausen (1920-2013) has presented elaborated visions of such reanimation of dead skeletons in both “The 7th Voyage of Sinbad” (1958) and “Jason and the Argonauts” (1963). However, in both films, the (re)animator of the dead is very much represented on screen by a live actor. Is he the villain or the true hero?  

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