I first saw this movie on TV as a little boy in the early 60s. I watched with wide-eyed wonder as the Cyclops, the gigantic two-headed Roc, and the fire-breathing Dragon, creatures that even my young mind knew existed only in the imagination, came to vivid life on the screen.
The monsters' scenes remained a childhood memory more vivid than anything else I had seen on TV or in the movies. Then, a good 20 years later, we got our first vcr, a beta. At the neighborhood video rental store, I chanced upon this title. I thought, what the hell, I'll rent this just for kicks, it should be fun. But as I watched it again, I found myself reliving my childhood wonder and awe. Not exactly a just-for-kicks viewing experience.
Now, another 20 years later, I'm the proud owner of a DVD copy of The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad. The film, digitally transferred with remarkable sharpness and clarity, remains as spectacular as it was way back in 1958. The cast is still impressive, the costumes realistic, and the sets and locations awesome. But of course, the real stars are the monsters, brought to three-dimensional life by the undisputed master of stop-motion animation, Ray Harryhausen.
Science fiction writer Ray Bradbury once said that as young men, he and Harryhausen made a pact that they would grow old but never grow up. What Harryhausen probably didn't realize was that he would influence a lot of people -- myself included -- into following that same path.