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Special effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen may be gone, but his legacy lives on. The stop-motion maestro created the “dynamation” technique that was implemented in such classics as Clash of the Titans, Jason and the Argonauts, and many other classic fantasy films. Though the film industry has long moved on from his brand of special effects in favor of computer-generated visuals, many filmmakers and special effects fans still have a soft spot for Harryhausen.
One such fan is presumably filmmaker Michael Shanks, who recently debuted his incredible short film, Rebooted, about a Harryhausen-style monster trying to adapt to an industry that has left him behind. The film takes place in the present day and follows a stop-motion skeleton who starred in a hit swords and sandals epic called 10,000 Sandals decades earlier and has been trying to recapture his past glory ever since. He goes to auditions where he competes for bit parts against other monsters, but never lands a role and grows increasingly disillusioned with his life. His frustration reaches a boiling point when he discovers that 10,000 Sandals is undergoing a reboot and is replacing his role with a 3D motion-capture CGI character. The movie features a supporting cast that includes other special effects from Hollywood’s past, such as an animatronic dinosaur, a 2D animation cell, a rubber suit, and a Terminator 2-style early digital effect. You can check out the full short below.
The amount of work that Shanks (not to be confused with the Stargate SG-1 actor of the same name) and his crew put into this film is insane, and you can learn more about what went into the making of Rebooted here. This short is incredible, and if such a thing as The Oscars still exists in a post-coronavirus world, we fully expect Rebooted to win the award for Best Animated Short.