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O’Brien, Willis Harold (02 March 1886–08 November 1962), movie special effects creator, was born in Oakland, California, the son of William Henry O’Brien, who ran a military academy and was an assistant district attorney, and Minnie Gregg. O’Brien ran away from home several times, starting at the age of ten or eleven, at about the time his family, previously well-off, suffered financial reversals. For nearly twenty years he held numerous jobs, including positions as factory worker, boxer, draftsman, and newspaper sports cartoonist. A period spent guiding scientists in search of fossils first acquainted him with prehistoric life....

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Pal, George (01 February 1908–02 May 1980), animator, film producer and director, and special effects expert, was born in Cegled, Hungary, the son of George Pal and Maria (maiden name unknown), entertainers in a traveling theater. Pal studied architecture at the Budapest Academy of Arts. After graduation he was hired by Hunnia Films of Budapest to draw subtitles and posters for silent films. Interested in animated cartoons, Pal learned the basic techniques from George Feld, a Hungarian who had been a Hollywood editor. In 1930 he married Zsoka Grandjean; they would have two children, both born in the United States....