531: King Kong Willis O’brien Articulated Wooden Figure
KING KONG WILLIS O’BRIEN ARTICULATED WOODEN FIGURE - (RKO, 1933) Willis O’Brien is considered the forefather of Motion Picture special effects and fantasy filmmaking. His stop-motion figures and animation are studied and revered to this day. This is a hand-carved 6 ¼ in. x 3 in. hand carved, wooden miniature from King Kong. The figure is a 6-piece articulated sailor in cutoff shirt (with fabric collar), pants, shoes and cap. Carved of Balsa wood and painted in flesh, gray pants and brown shirt and cap. The head and arms attach to sockets in the upper torso by aged elastic thread and rigid wire that serves as an axle linking the shoulders (elastic attaching head has broken). The legs are detached and feature fabric-covered knee-joints allowing them to bend. This was a generic character used in many scenes in this Merian C. Cooper, Willis O’Brien landmark in stop-motion animated filmmaking. The figure shows some production wear but is in Excellent condition for its age. From the collection of Orville Goldner.