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The World of the Dark Crystal Hardcover – Bargain Price, May 1, 2003

53 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, May 1, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This lavish, oversized picture book revisits the collaboration between Froud, prominent fairy artist, and Jim Hensen, Muppeteer, in the creation of their cult favorite The Dark Crystal. Reissued after 20 years, this portfolio of sketches and backdrop paintings retains a certain mystique, crammed to the margins with moss-covered runes and medieval diagrams, and peopled by the movie's menagerie of grotesque, shambling puppets. Unfortunately, the narrative fails to support the elaborate art direction, offering a dim echo of the Lord of the Rings with none of the complexity or scope. The long-nosed Gelflings and vulturish Skeksis-as well as the whole hodge-podge of occult symbols and carefully antiquated tools-come across as strangely arbitrary, constantly reaching for a profundity that never appears. But for the many fans of the movie and young children interested in fantasy-adventure, the book will satisfy greatly. Also included in the package is a preliminary 20-page sketchbook for the production, unseen until now.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Brian Froud, award-winning artist, author, and designer, served as the concept designer of Jim Henson's films The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. He is also the best-selling author of Abrams' newly released Lady Cottington's Fairy Album, as well as such blockbuster hits as Good Faeries/Bad Faeries, Lady Cottington's Pressed Fairy Album (with Terry Jones), and Faeries, his million-plus-copy bestseller, co-authored with Alan Lee and just re-released by Abrams in a special 25th-anniversary edition. Froud lives with his wife and son in Devon, England.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 132 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams; Collector's Ed edition (May 1, 2003)
  • ISBN-10: 0810945797
  • ASIN: B001H55MBY
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 0.8 x 13.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,777,210 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Inspector Gadget on April 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Anyone who's seen this movie will be familiar with the breathtaking level of detail and effort that went into the production design. One could watch the film a hundred times over and still pick up on small things and be totally puzzled over the meaning of it all. When you think about it, The Dark Crystal is a small miracle. Not only is it a very grim kids film, hardly any of the mythology is explained and there's loads of subtext and hidden meanings. How many can say that about Finding Nemo?

Brian Froud has always been fascinated with faeries and goblins and such so when he was hired by Jim Henson to work on this movie it must have been a dream come true. The first section of this book covers Froud's experiences working on the movie. It's an interesting read but the remaining part of the book requires the reader to have a vivid recollection of events in the film and patience to add it all up. Not an easy read or your typical 'making of' book at all.

Two thirds of the book is told from the point of view of Aughra, the one and only of her race, the prophet born of rock and stone. She explains to us the history of her world, the great divide of the Urskeks and the creation of uUru and Skeksis.

The depth of Brian Froud's imagination is astonishing. The triangular and circular imagery of the film is spelled out so vividly that several reads of each page are needed in order to fully understand it all. The quality of the presentation is of the highest standard. The book is a huge hardback with beautiful pictures in color, black and white and daguerreotype. Some pages are translucent trace paper laid over spirals to give us a better idea of what they mean. A reproduction of Jim Henson's original presentation to potential backers of the film is included in the back page inserted in a pouch.

Investment in this book is well worth the money for fans of the film and those interested in faery mythology and even art students.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Katie on May 1, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The Dark Crystal... one of the most beautiful films created by two of the most talented artists our culture has ever seen- Jim Henson and Brian Froud. I collect Froud's books, and receieved the orginal edition of The World of the Dark Crystal last year for my Winter Solstice gift. If you are a Froud or Dark Crystal collector, but you aren't quite obsessed enough to search for months for this book, and then pay [dollar amount] for it (coughcoughME)--- this book is your salvation! Not only is the artwork brighter, and the paper of better quality, but the new cover is stunning, it features a lovely new forward and the fascinating promo book in the back. However--- If you already own the orginal copy of this book, and are looking forward to the 15 new artworks that the new version promises, I must warn you: THERE IS NO NEW MATERIAL IN THIS BOOK ASIDE FROM THE PROMO BOOK. I don't know how this happened, especially since it says right in the jacket that there ARE 15 new artworks. There is work that wasn't in the book before in the forward, but the only image no one's ever seen is the photo of Jen and Kira. While the new book is certainly exquisite, I was disappointed at this. I don't regret having purchased the book, however- for I'm very adement in my Froud collecting and seek to own every bit of Froud merchandise that comes my way. :) :) :) I hope this was helpful to all of you! Blessed Be!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Cybele A. Baker VINE VOICE on April 29, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I never saw this book the first time it was released, so when I saw this I ordered it imeadiatly.
What a georgeous book! Lovely illustrations throughout tell the story of this delightful Hensen masterpiece. From a friend of mine who had the original she says this book has many improvements and additional material not in the original release including a lovely sketch book attached to the back cover of more of Brian Froud's conceptual art for this film. Also in this edition but not in the original are some shots from the film but they are not behind the scenes shots with people or pupeteers but just nice artful shots of the Dark Crystal characters and scenery that only enhances the beauty of this book.
If you are a fan of this film this book is worth the price and even if you still own the original this book improves on the original and is worth buying.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Joerg Weber on October 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
Some years ago, I found a strange looking book in my favorite bookstore - it was an old paperback in a very bad condition, an oversized book almost 40 by 40 centimeters with a very beautiful, dark cover. The book turned out to be a book that was written about the movie "The Dark Crystal". But unlike other books of this kind, this book did not show me pictures of castings, stages, cameras and other about-this-movie-material - this book told me a story about a time long gone by. It had wonderful illustrations of mystical creatures and places and long stories about the creatures of the world of the dark crystal. Id did not tell the story of the making of this movie - it told me the story of the world of the dark crystal, about it's creatures and about the wonderful worlds of Brian Froud. With it's rich illustrations and stories, this torn old paperback won a special place among all my books.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Leon Geeste on August 1, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This covers every aspect of The World of the Dark Crystal.
The beggining of the book has beautiful artwork and explains how the Crystal was broken and how the skeksis came to be. The story itself is pretty short, but the sidenotes are great.
The sidenotes go into detail on the timelines, the meaning of the trines, the suns, the moons, the seoeration of the skeksis, everything. It even has an additional booklet in the back that depicts the origanal story and artwork.
If you love the Dark Crystal, this book should be high up on your list.
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