Did You Know ?


In the music video for the song “Bones” by The Killers, there are several references to the Skeleton fight in Jason and the Argonauts.

In the song “Worried About Ray’ by The Hoosiers there are references to Ray in the lyrics.  Also the music video of the same song features various Harryhausen creations.

Both Ray and Willis O’Brien are mentioned in Daniel Johnston’s song ‘King Kong’ and this song was also covered by singer Tom Waites.

The music video of ‘One Month Off’ by Bloc Party features footage from Ray’s Fairy Tales shorts, with additions depicting war courtesy of CGI.


In both Aardman’s Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2006) and Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride (2005), there appear pianos both labelled with the makers name of Harryhausen.

In the model animated feature Flesh Gordon (1974) the main antagonist is a god called ‘Nesuahyrrah’, which is Harryhausen spelt backwards.

In the first part of Peter Jackson’s trilogy, Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings (2001) the giant cave troll was a tribute to Ray’s animation in the form of how the creature moved, and specifically, how he held his arms.

In the animated Pixar feature Monsters Inc (2001) one of the main characters, voiced by Billy Crystal, has the following exchange:
Celia: So, uh ... are we going anywhere special tonight?
Mike: I just got us into a little place called, um ... Harryhausen's.
Celia: Harryhausen's?! But it's impossible to get a reservation there.
Mike: Not for Googlie Bear. I will see you at quitting time, and not a minute later.
Also, the octopus behind the bar at 'Harryhausen's' has only six tentacles, just like Ray's giant octopus in It Came From Beneath the Sea (1955).

In one scene in the 1998 Godzilla a section of It Came From Beneath the Sea is showing on a television set.

In the 1983 film War Games directed by John Badham, John Wood is seen watching a clip or clips from Ray's One Million Years B.C. of the fight between the ceratosaurus and the triceratops.

In the 1992 film Innocent Blood (1992) a group of Mafia hoodlums watch the Beast eat the policeman from The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms.

In Joe Dante's Explorers (1983) two boys encounter aliens who are watching, amongst other things, clips from Earth Vs the Flying Saucers and 20 Million Miles to Earth.

In another of Joe Dante's films, Gremlins 2: A New Batch (1990), the evil creatures watch the New York policeman being eaten by the rhedosaurus from The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms.

The 'Gartnok' featured in Coneheads (1993) is a tribute to Ray from fellow stop-motion animator and friend, Phil Tippet.

In the 1995 film Hackers there is a brief clip of the fight between the triceratops and the ceratosaurus featured in One Million Years B.C.

In the 1971 film A Clockwork Orange, Stanley Kubick used sections from One Million Years B.C. in which the cave dwellers are killed by rocks and lava falling on them.


In the opening of the US series Malcolm in the Middle, several scenes from Ray’s movies are shown.

In South Park – Imaginationland (2008) Medusa, the Cyclops and the Kraken make an appearance.

The American TV series, Veronica Mars (2004-2007), featured numerous Harryhausen references and clips - chiefly because the ultimate villain of the show was played by Harry Hamlin (Perseus in the original Clash of the Titans). One episode was even entitled "Clash of the Tritons" (sic).

Graphic novels

In the Italian Marvel comic ‘Rat-Man’, the episode Cinzia la Barbara by Leo Ortolani, the hero is overwhelmed by an army of skeletons, and has to kill their creator to win.  Rat-Man shoots an arrow and Harryhausen is shown dead at his desk.

In ‘tommysaurus rex’ by Doug TenNapel there is a scene in which the main character is seen fighting with a boy about whether King Kong is real and Ray pops up to explain stop-motion and present the boy with a signed drawing.  On the back cover of ‘tommysaurus rex’, Ray states, ‘You made me look like Mr Magoo’.

In the Marvel comic book Ghost Rider #24 there appears a villain called The Enforcer who believes that the Ghost Rider’s powers are the result of trickery, and says, ‘My ring can disintegrate anything! Anything! Including all your Harryhausen special effects tricks!’

In Issue #16 of Animal Man by Greg Morrison there features a tyrannosaurus rex that is wreaking havoc on a Parisian street called ‘Rue De Harryhausen’.


In the book Dinosaur Summer by Greg Bear, one of the characters who make their way back to The Lost World plateau and its dinosaurs is Ray.  He is accompanied by Willis O’Brien and Merian C. Cooper.  The novel takes place fifty years after the events set out in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s novel The Lost World.

Computer Games

In the Playstation 2 game God of War II there are several tributes to Jason and the Argonauts and Clash of the Titans.

The Playstation game Crypt Killer contains various enemies influenced by Ray’s creatures and also includes a giant floating head of Ray himself.

The Official Ray Harryhausen Website