These guys made the medium.
// O’Brien did an epic, silent movie adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Lost World” and then the classic King Kong. The filmmaker had a tough
life and it often showed in his brutal action sequences.
// Before he became a sci-fi film specialist, Pal made a series of hugely popular Puppetoon shorts for Paramount — some of which were pilloried for their unintentional racial stereotypes. Pal made amends by making a powerful animated short about iconic African-American hero John Henry.
// No one did more to popularize stop-motion than Harryhausen, who was an O’Brien protégé. Harryhausen’s fantasy adventures The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad and Jason and the Argonauts still rank as some of the peak examples of the form.
// Tippett had the good fortune of doing some of his early work on Star Wars (the chess sequence) and The Empire Strikes Back (Imperial Walkers). His work on Dragonslayer is still the dragon to beat — and he successfully made the jump to computer animation, doing bravura work on films from Jurassic Park and Starship Troopers to the Twilight saga.
The Brothers Quay
// These British twin brothers have made a bunch of indescribable, dialogue-free, stop-motion shorts about strange creatures and characters living their lives in self-contained environments — characters who are hypnotic, creepy and compelling.
// Between 1912 and 1958, this Russian animator created some of the strangest and most eerily beautiful black-and-white, stop-motion shorts we’ve ever seen. Track down an Image Entertainment DVD called The Cameraman’s Revenge and prepare to have your mind blown. — J.B.