Bradford Animation Festival

All News

Ray Harryhausen's Dinosaurs go on display, as our annual animation festival comes around again

You may, or may not know, that the personal collection of the master of special effects animation, Ray Harryhausen, will be deposited here at the Museum. To mark the start of this exciting project, an alternating selection of material from the Collection has been on public display outside our research centre since May 2011. Today we reveal the final thematic display: Dinosaurs.

Ray Harryhausen with models from The Valley of Gwangi, 1969

I asked Toni Booth, our Collections Manager, about the latest Harryhausen install.

“Whilst Phil, our documentation officer, continues to work his way through the thousands of objects that make up the Ray Harryhausen Collection in London, here at the Museum we have a new taster of the kinds of creations that lurk both within Ray Harryhausen’s mind and currently his home.

“Many long deceased creatures have been brought back to life over his long career and chief amongst these are of course the dinosaurs. So gathered in the display area outside Insight: Collections & Research Centre, you will find a small herd of these prehistoric creatures.

Key drawing Brontosaurus sequence – cavemen attacking, One Million Years BC, Canal+, Ray Harryhausen, 1966, Courtesy of the Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation

“Described in the original trailer for One Million Years BC, as ‘a moving mountain of flesh and bone’, the original armatured model of the brontosaurus will be on display alongside some other slightly less mountainous beasts.”

These objects are part of one of the most significant collections we have received at the Museum in recent times. It contains several thousand objects, making its relocation to the Museum a major task. The entire collection is currently being catalogued, photographed and packed, ready to join the National Cinematography Collection, and to be enjoyed by the world.

Pterodactyl and prisoners at stake, People of the Mist, Ray Harryhausen, 1982,
Courtesy of the Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation

In the year that the Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation announced its intention to deposit the collection of Ray’s lifetime of work here at the National Media Musuem, Ray Harryhausen was the recipient of the Bradford Animation Festival 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Ray was unable to attend the festival in person, but John Landis presented the award to Ray on our behalf, and we recorded this short film of the two in conversation.

Well, Bradford Animation Festival has come round again, and this year we’ll be awarding John Halas the BAF 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award. The daughter of John Halas and Joy Batchelor, Vivien Halas, will accept the posthumous award on her father’s behalf, and will be sitting on the BAF Jury to select this year’s award winners. You never know, we may just discover a new genius of the craft, to follow in the footsteps of the great Ray Harryhausen and John Halas.

The 19th Bradford Animation Festival begins on Tuesday 13 November; Dinosaurs will be on display until April 2014, and we’ll keep you posted about this momentous acquisition.