The Ymir’s Egg
I met Ray Harryhausen one time. He attended the Resinhead Show several year’s ago in the 90’s. I toted a 1991 Pioneer Special Edition Laserdisc to the show hoping he would sign the sleeve. Ray was walking around the dealer’s room looking at resin casts of myriad creatures. He was a fan and he was enjoying himself. Later, at a greeting and signing I asked him a single question. “Mr. Harryhausen, what media did you use to sculpt the Ymir’s egg?” I was surprised when he responded alertly to me and the crowd waiting in line “That’s a good question! This young man has asked what I used to make the Ymir’s egg. I used plain old Knox gelatin!” He went on to tell how the gelatin was cast around the Ymir puppet and how it melted quickly under the lamps.
My house is full of Ray collectibles. As I type I am looking at a huge Italian quad of A 30 Milioni di Km. Dalla Terra. An 8mm print of 20 Million Miles to Earth sits in a gaudy purple box to my left on the computer table. Two more colorful Belgian posters of the Ymir and a preposterous 6 armed Octopus drape my living room walls. I probably have no less than 30 books on stop-motion animation and several are dedicated to Ray Harryhausen and his passion for film making. Everywhere in my house is evidence of Ray Harryhausen.
Mr. Harryhausen’s passing is sad, but it is a celebration in film making. He leaves behind arguably the most influential legacy of fantasy films and whimsical creatures in all of filmdom. He’s made my life a better place.
RIP Ray —in the land beyond beyond.