[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: Willis O'Brien Triceratops



"Dino Guy" Ralph W. Miller III
Docent at the California Academy of Sciences
proud member of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology


Dan Varner <Danvarner@aol.com> wrote:

> Here's a fascinating photo (new to me) of  Willis O'Brien, SEG. with
Marcel
> Delgado's stop-motion figure of Triceratops made for the aborted film,
> "Creation". To me, it is the finest stop-motion dinosaur ever created. I
understand
> the figure still exists (mysteriously eluding the typical decay of its
rubber
> body). Tragically, the only animated footage of it was lost during editing
of
> "King Kong". The extant footage from "Creation" features another puppet.
It's
> huge compared to more modern animation models. Its bellow was supposedly
created
> by grunting into a double gourd. DV
>
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3363105974&category=18826

Dan, I know that you are extremely knowledgeable about stop-motion lore, but
are you sure that this big head isn't instead a puppet (as indeed the
caption states) rather than a stop-motion figure?  Might not this be the
puppet head that was filmed live in close-ups crashing through the brush
during the chase scene in the "Creation" demo reel?  Not only is it way too
big even for a Willis O'Brien model, and completely out of scale for the 18"
King Kong models, but it doesn't appear to have much in the way of
postcranial material.  For example, where are the animal's legs?

Besides, given the immobile faces of these beaked animals, I wouldn't think
that it would be necessary to construct a stop-motion _Triceratops_ head
close-up model, either.  After all, Obie was able to get plenty of emotion
out of the face of the 18" Kong models, and apes have facial muscles (though
real apes don't sport the mobile brow ridges we have come to expect in movie
apes).

Cool shot either way, though.  Thanks, Dan!

-----Ralph