Ray Harryhausen Collection, The (Blu-ray)



The Ray Harryhausen Collection on Blu-ray (click for larger image)Reviewed by Uncle Creepy

Starring (20 Million Miles to Earth) William Hopper, Joan Taylor, Frank Puglia, John Zaremba; (Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers) Hugh Marlowe, Joan Taylor, Donald Curtis, Morris Ankrum; (It Came From Beneath the Sea) Kenneth Tobey, Faith Domergue, Donald Curtis, Ian Keith; (The 7th Voyage of Sinbad) Kerwin Mathews, Kathryn Grant, Richard Eyer, Torin Thatcher

Directed by (20 Million Miles to Earth) Nathan Juran, (Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers) Fred F. Sears, (It Came From Beneath the Sea) Robert Gordon, (The 7th Voyage of Sinbad) Nathan Juran and Ray Harryhausen

Distributed by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment


It just doesn't get any better than this. Honestly, I'm pretty overwhelmed so just bear with me. For genre fans Sony's The Ray Harryhausen Collection on Blu-ray could very well be the high-definition release of the year right up there with the new Godfather box set. It's astounding. It's filled with more special features than you could imagine. I've been combing through these discs for the last week, and man, has hard work never been more fun!

The Ray Harryhausen Collection on Blu-ray (click for larger image)This box set is home to four of Ray Harryhausen's most incredible movies -- 20 Million Miles to Earth, Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers, It Came From Beneath the Sea, and The 7th Voyage of Sinbad. The coolest thing here is that each of these flicks offers fans something vastly different. From the grass-roots inspiration for such big budget hyperbole as Independence Day and Cloverfield to one of the most kick-ass screen creatures ever in the Ymir to the fabled Sinbad the sailor's most monster-filled journey ever, there's so much to do and see and experience it's hard to even pick a jumping off point.

It should be noted that all of these releases came out on DVD earlier this year in grand fashion. In fact these Blu-ray discs offer nothing new in terms of supplemental material other than being B-D Live Enabled, which essentially gives you the option to take the disc online and participate in quizzes, chats, etc. As a result I'll now direct you to those reviews (we didn't cover Sinbad) so you can get an idea of what to expect from the extras that are included here:

20 Million Miles to Earth (review here)
Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers (review here)
It Came From Beneath the Sea (review here)

I know what you're thinking -- "If I already own these DVD's, is there any reason to buy them again on Blu-ray?" Honestly there are two sides to be made for this argument. The DVD's are packing, look and sound good, and deliver everything that they should. However, for those of us who are high-def sticklers, even though those past releases were great, the image and sound quality offered on Blu-ray is without a shadow of a doubt incredible. How much that means to you is completely subjective.

The Ray Harryhausen Collection on Blu-ray (click for larger image)In full 1080p these movies are for the most part eye-popping, but there are a couple of concessions you have to make while watching -- namely, a lot of films from this era used a ton of stock footage to move along their stories. As a result, whenever said footage is employed, there's a dramatic dip in image quality. Things get ultra grainy and lose all of the otherwise vibrant colors. That, and when the creature F/X are in full swing, the matte paintings used, along with a lot of Harryhausen's other techniques, are a tad more noticeable in contrast. Thankfully there is also an option to watch these flicks in their original black and white state, and all of the abovementioned ticks are far less troublesome.

The real stand-out here comes in the Dolby TrueHD sound mixes. Holy cow! Every monstrous roar from the films' many beasts and every note from their old-school epic scores are downright amazing. The soundscapes presented here will thrill you and lift your imagination to the levels it reached back in the day when you were watching these movies as a little kid.

If you own a Blu-ray player and love monster movies, this is a dream come true. The old adage that they don't make them like they used to rings resoundingly clear when pertaining to these movies. The best part? If the entire box set is a little too spendy for you, a couple of the films are available on Blu-ray separately as well. Just click below, and get set to return to a time of incredible spectacle and delirious fun!

Special Features

20 Million Miles to Earth

  • B-D Live Enabled
  • Audio commentary with Ray Harryhausen along with visual effects artists Dennis Muren and Phil Tippett and film historian Arnold Kunert
  • Remembering 20 Million Miles to Earth featurette
  • David Schecter on the Film Music's Unsung Hero featurette
  • The Colorization Process featurette
  • Original Ad Artwork featurette
  • Tim Burton interviews Ray Harryhausen
  • Interview with Joan Taylor
  • 20 Million Miles More comic book
  • Video photo galleries
  • Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers

  • B-D Live Enabled
  • Audio commentary with Ray Harryhausen along with visual effects artists Jeffrey Okun and Ken Ralston and film historian Arnold Kunert
  • Remembering Earth vs. The Flying Saucers featurette
  • David Schecter on the Film Music's Unsung Hero featurette
  • The Colorization Process featurette
  • The Hollywood Black-List Bernard Gordon featurette
  • Original Screenplay Credits featurette
  • A Present-Day Look at Stop-Motion featurette
  • Original Ad Artwork featurette
  • Tim Burton interviews Ray Harryhausen
  • Interview with Joan Taylor
  • Flying Saucers vs. The Earth comic book sneak peek
  • Video photo galleries
  • It Came From Beneath the Sea

  • B-D Live Enabled
  • Audio commentary with Ray Harryhausen along with visual effects artists Randall William Cook and John Bruno and film historian Arnold Kunert
  • Remembering It Came From Beneath the Sea featurette
  • David Schecter on the Film Music's Unsung Hero featurette
  • A Present-Day Look at Stop-Motion featurette
  • Original Ad Artwork featurette
  • Tim Burton interviews Ray Harryhausen
  • It Came From Beneath the Sea ... AGAIN! comic book sneak peek
  • Video photo galleries
  • The 7th Voyage of Sinbad

  • B-D Live Enabled
  • Audio commentary with Ray Harryhausen, visual effects experts Phil Tippett and Randall William Cook, author Steven Smith and producer Arnold Kunert
  • Remembering The 7th Voyage of Sinbad featurette
  • The Harryhausen Legacy featurette
  • The Music of Bernard Herrmann featurette
  • A Look Behind the Voyage featurette
  • This is Dynamation featurette
  • Ray Harryhausen Interview by Director John Landis featurette
  • Music Video: Sinbad May Have Been Bad, But He's Been Good To Me
  • Photo gallery

    Films Combined:

    5 out of 5

    Special Features Combined:

    5 out of 5

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    syd13's picture

    this looks amazing! why haven't i heard of this sooner? guess i can kiss another 80 bucks goodbye. dvd/blu-ray is the new crack...i think i need a 12 step program


    Submitted by syd13 on Thu, 10/02/2008 - 9:56pm.
    moderator That's why we're here! To
    Steve Barton's picture

    That's why we're here! To keep you in the loop on things. Please order by clicking the provided links and we'll love you long time.


    Submitted by Steve Barton on Sun, 10/05/2008 - 12:14am.
    arandomthought's picture

    I dunno how big of an incentive that is.


    Submitted by arandomthought on Sun, 10/05/2008 - 12:55pm.

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