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ORIGINAL THE LOST WORLD CONCEPT ART

Updated: August 10, 2012

Irwin Allen's 1960 version of The Lost World may be shot in CinemaScope, but stylistically it fits right in with his 60s sci-fi TV shows (indeed, stock footage from the film found its way into his Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea series, as did co-star David Hedison). Originally intended to feature state-of-the-art stop-motion animation from Willis O. Brien, the special effects genius behind the groundbreaking 1925 version as well as King Kong, the ever-economical producer opted instead for the tried and trusted and, most important of all, much cheaper technique of supergluing fins and horns on real lizards and having them double for dinosaurs despite looking like nothing so much as lizards with fins and horns superglued on them.

However, even had he spent the extra time and money, this modernised version was never going to be the definitive one: 'dinosaur' action is fairly thin on the ground and the novel's finale that sees a pterodactyl on the loose in London is unceremoniously dropped. Instead there's a lot of wandering around the Fox ranch and backlot, cameo appearances from the odd poisonous giant plant left over from Journey to the Center of the Earth, a tribe of natives with a yen for human sacrifice, a fortune in diamonds and the obligatory erupting volcano finale, though it retains a certain nostalgic Saturday kids matinée appeal even if most of today's kids wouldn't sit still for it. Claude Rains gets to grandstand as Professor Challenger while Michael Rennie's aristocratic big game hunter seems almost like a blueprint for George Lazenby's take on James Bond, with Jill St. John tagging along for no good reason other than Arthur Conan Doyle's thoughtless failure to provide any female roles in the original novel.

Shown here are original storyboard art, concept drawings, costume drawings, and other art drawn by Paul Z. art director for many if not all of Irwin Allen's productions.


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