Ray Harryhausen was one of the great pioneers of stop-motion animation in the movies. Harryhausen always said he was inspired by animation in the 1933 movie King Kong, and got his start working on visual effects in another giant ape movie, Mighty Joe Young (1949). Using stop-motion photography (that is, moving small models in tiny increments while taking still shots frame by frame), Harryhausen became one of the leaders of visual effects in fantasy films -- most notably with his fighting skeletons and other wonders for the 1963 film Jason and the Argonauts. In 1953 he teamed with friend and writer Ray Bradbury to make The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms, and he worked his magic for many other films including Earth vs. the Flying Saucers and The 7th Voyage of Sinbad. Harryhausen's last film was Clash of the Titans in 1981, but he remained a mentor and inspiration to animators until his death in 2013.
Ray Harryhausen was awarded a special Oscar in 1992 for his body of work.