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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
> 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
> the figure still exists (mysteriously eluding the typical decay of its
> body). Tragically, the only animated footage of it was lost during editing
> "King Kong". The extant footage from "Creation" features another puppet.
> huge compared to more modern animation models. Its bellow was supposedly
> by grunting into a double gourd. DV

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

Cool shot either way, though.  Thanks, Dan!