Jason and the Argonauts, a Ray Harryhausen stop-motion masterpiece

I recently watched the Ray Harryhausen stop-motion masterpiece, Jason and the Argonauts, with the kids. The movie still delivers. The kids loved it.

Holly has been introducing the kids to classic movies and TV. I haven’t participated much, mostly because I haven’t been too interested in the picks—wacky old comedies, like Spaceballs or the old Pink Panther. The kids have never enjoyed movies too scary or intense. But if their recent reaction is any indication, some of that is changing. I thought it might be fun to post their reaction to my picks, for better or worse.  

I was astonished to learn that Holly had never even seen Jason and the Argonauts. This 1963 film features some of the most compelling monsters in any film, even compared to modern films with advanced special effects work. I am not sure why this is. I suspect it has to do with the special effects being just real enough to suspend disbelief, but not so real as to make you squeamish. I love the grand finale battle with the skeletons and the first battle with Talos, the giant copper titan come to life. It may also be because the special effects that don’t work so well are cheesy enough to make you laugh—think: Jason’s battle with the multi headed hydra (especially when it has him coiled in its tail), and Poseidon, the giant sea god, who calms the Clashing Rocks.

The kids watched with one of their friends. All the children enjoyed the battles and special effects, but Kennedy and Aaron were particularly impressed by the Greek mythology. This is probalby because they’ve been enjoying the Percy Jackson series of books. Their friend hasn’t been reading Percy Jackson and his attention wandered, especially during the scenes featuring Greek gods looking down from on high.

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