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"Ray Harryhausen – Mythical Menagerie" exhibit opens at Science Museum OK

Jason Doyle Oden / Red Dirt Report
Ray Harryhausen’s Hydra model, from the 1963 film “Jason and the Argonauts," will be on display as part of the exhibit “Ray Harryhausen – Mythical Menagerie" at Science Museum Oklahoma.
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OKLAHOMA CITY-  “Release the Kraken!” said a dad to his young son pointing out a large model of the mythological creature brought to life by stop-motion animation’s first wizard, Ray Harryhausen. Science Museum Oklahoma is playing host to many of the filmmaker’s models, sketches, and storyboards in its smART Space Art Galleries. The museum held an opening reception for the public on Friday where dozens of parents shared childhood memories with their kids and aspiring filmmakers couldn’t stop their gasps of wonder.

The “Ray Harryhausen – Mythical Menagerie” exhibition attracts both people who saw the movies in the theater and younger generations interested in science fiction and fantasy. Harryhausen’s best-known work is likely the 1981 movie, “Clash of the Titans.” Compared to today’s blockbuster CGI films, it looks a bit dated. However, in its time, Harryhausen’s movies captured the imagination of the audience over and over again.

Medusa from the 1981 film "Clash of the Titans" (Jason Doyle Oden / Red Dirt Report) 

The exhibit includes models from “Clash” as well as the “Sinbad” films and “Jason and the Argonauts.” Harryhausen was considered a pioneer for bringing mythological creations to life on film.

“This exhibition showcases the importance of Ray Harryhausen as the forerunner of movie special effects and how his innovation in stop-motion animation has led to the special effects and CGI animation people are familiar with today,” said Scott Henderson, director of Science Museum Oklahoma’s smART Space.

Harryhausen created the process called Dynamation. It inspired filmmakers who are house hold names today.

“Film giants from George Lucas and Steven Spielberg to James Cameron, Peter Jackson and Tim Burton credit Ray’s work as an inspiration source. This exhibition offers a rare and special opportunity to see original models and art that make up a huge part of cinematic history,” Henderson added.

More than 100 artifacts are on display at the exhibit. Visitors can stroll through pieces from every movie. Familiar characters from the Harryhausen films include the Cyclops from “The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, Medusa, Bubo the Owl and, of course, the Kraken from “Clash of the Titans,” among other characters are on display. Story boards reveal the initial vision for the creatures. A short film also documents Harryhausen and his influence on other film makers.


The Harryhausen Foundation provided items in the exhibition as part of its #Harryhausen100 countdown to Harryhausen’s centennial in 2020. The Foundation works to preserve and restore the works of Harryhausen and uses them as film history education pieces.

Ray Harryhausen – Mythical Menagerie will run at the Science Museum Oklahoma through December 3, 2017. 

Ray Harryhausen – Mythical Menagerie
Saturday, July 29th, 2017 9:00am to Sunday, December 3rd, 2017 11:00am
Science Museum Oklahoma
2020 Remington Place
Oklahoma City, OK 73111
(405) 602-6664
Prices from: $15.95

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Jason Doyle Oden

Jason Doyle Oden is a proud Oklahoman. He's an experienced broadcaster and award-winning...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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