Harryhausen's "Animal World" segment on DVD!

Discussion in 'DVD' started by soop.spoon, Oct 17, 2003.

  1. soop.spoon

    soop.spoon Supporting Actor

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    According to the fantastic , Ray Harryhausen's 10 minute dinosuar segment from Irwin Allen's The Animal World has been included as an extra on Warner's 10/21 release of The Black Scorpion.

    Definitely a huge win for Harryhausen fans... especially with the release of Gwangi and 20,000 Fathoms making their DVD debut the same day.
     
  2. JeffMc

    JeffMc Supporting Actor

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    Yes, that's good news. That review mentions that the actual feature of "The Animal World" is possibly "lost" which is incorrect. I rented a tape of it about 10 years ago so there is some original source print out there. Don't know if the studio 'lost' their negative or not, but the film still exists.
     
  3. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    here is the direct link http://www.dvddrive-in.com/reviews/a...scorpion57.htm

    with the following

    The extras are really special here. A featurette has Ray Harryhausen talking about his mentor, Willis O'Brien and how he came to meet him and the effect he had on his life. Also included is Harryhausen's and O'Brien's full animation sequence from Irwin Allen's THE ANIMAL WORLD (1956), a documentary feature showcasing different animal species. The sequence (10 minutes) depicts various dinosaurs in battle and eventually dying out. The feature reportedly no longer exists in its entirety, and parts of this dinosaur segment where also used in the British horror film, TROG (1970). Also included is two bits of animation test footage shot by O'Brien assistant Pete Peterson in the 50s; the first depicts a large mutated baboon ("The Las Vegas Monster" on a rampage, the second brief clip (in color) depicts a race of marching alien creatures ("Beetlemen"). Rounding out the extras are trailers for THE BLACK SCORPION (which actually compares it ro THEM and THE BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS), VALLEY OF GWANGI, THE BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS and CLASH OF THE TITANS.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    That's terrific news. Warner has never acknowledged AFAIK that they even had this in their back catalogues, and for them to actually have released it is a Harryhausen fan wet dream. No one cares about the other 2 hours of Allen's extravaganza, but this has been a stop-motion holy grail for a long time. Kudos!! But why no mention of it in any of the publicity????
     
  5. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    Jeff - the tape you rented must have been a boot. This movie was NEVER commercially available on video. I, too, own a copy, but it looks abysmal - color-faded, soft focus, etc. After its 1956 release, this movie just disappeared, except for pirated copies made from 35 or 16mm school prints. I suspect that, other than the aforementioned 10-minute Harryhausen sequence, the remaining 70 minutes were deemed uncommercial for reissue (and, indeed, they are boring to the max, with overly cute and unfunny narration and stunningly ordinary animal footage). I am so incredibly pleased with Warner's decision to resore and include the animation as an extra (although why it wasn't put on the VALLEY OF GWANGI or BEAST FROM 20,000 FEATHOMS discs I can't guess - they added it to the only disc that had nothing otherwise to do with Harryhausen!) This is just another reason why Warner Bros. has become my favorite DVD source, whereas a mere three years ago they were very much like Universal is now - the bottom of the barrel.
     
  6. JeffMc

    JeffMc Supporting Actor

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    Dick, yes the tape I rented was obviously a boot. I either rented it at Eddie Brandt's or Jerry's - can't recall which. I know the film was never officially released on home video. I was just indicating that since there are boots out there (and you indicate that they may have come from 16mm school prints and whatnot) that the film isn't really "lost" or "no longer exists". It may look awful and the original negative may be destroyed or who knows what, but this is not a "London After Midnight" situation where there are absolutely no prints out there.

    And I agree, the feature version is pretty dull and for completists only. Only the Harryhausen segment is worthwhile and it's great that it's been restored on this DVD. I do wonder, however, that if WB restored this segment of the feature only, does that mean they only had kept the 10-minute Harryhausen sequence in their vaults instead of the whole feature? That seems unlikely. I guess there's also a chance Harryhausen himself had his own copy of his segment. Who knows. It is highly unlikely WB would ever have bothered releasing the feature version on DVD anyway, even if they do still have the source materials. Putting the Harryhausen segment just as an extra was a better idea all around.
     
  7. Mark_TS

    Mark_TS Screenwriter

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    with all due respect to the late L.B. Abbott, Head FOX effects technician (approx 1955-75 -and he did some great work over the years if given the budget for it-his Dimetrodons in JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH were great)

    it is a puzzle then, why Allen didnt use Harryhausen just 5 years later in his remake of THE LOST WORLD...

    -not that it wold have saved it from the Cheese factor-but as a kid it did thrill me-even as i watched incredulously as they called a blown-up Iguana a "Brontosaurus" etc...
     
  8. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    Yeah, the LOST WORLD remake blew a good opportunity. I, too, enjoyed it as a kid regardless, but knew as I watched it (age 10, and an avid reader of Famous Monsters Of Filmland) that the "dinosaurs" were blown-up lizards. I saw this again film recently and can't imagine what the attraction was for me, except that I reveled in attending Saturday matinees almost regardless of the film being shown. But I had seen THE ANIMAL WORLD when I was six, and was totally enraptured by the Harryhausen sequence. I actually remember when the screen (and theater) turned a dark and very frightening red during the apocalyptic volcano eruption, and damn near freaking as the dinos all fell screaming into the cracks opening in the earth. How could THE LOST WORLD remake impress me after that? Can't wait to see the ANIMAL WORLD footage on DVD... it might come close to replicating that early movie-going experience, as it is apparently restored. The copy of the full-length ANIMAL WORLD I own on DVD (from a boot) is terribly color-faded and one could not glean from it a hint of the power those few minutes might have upon an impressionable child.
     

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