Spotlight on Ray Harryhausen -- The special effects master lets loose on CGI, film financing, and ''King Kong''

His wondrous movies have been anthologized repeatedly. But the Ray Harryhausen Gift Set, a trio of disaster-fantasy flicks (It Came From Beneath the Sea, Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, and 20 Million Miles to Earth), pays especially smart tribute to the rarefied art of stop-motion animation with a swell making-of booklet. Here’s more from the 85-year-old effects master himself.

You animated puppets by hand. Is that better than CG? CG is very smooth, but it defeats itself by overexposure. Did you struggle to finance your movies? We had to compromise tremendously. Most everything I’ve ever done was the first take. How many times have you seen the original King Kong, your chief career inspiration? About 200. Half the charm was, I didn’t know how it was done. It’s a pity today that in magazines, they tell you how things are done before the film even comes out!