The Dark Crystal
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In another time, The Dark Crystal - a source of Balance and Truth in the Universe - was shattered, dividing the world into two factions: the wicked Skeksis and the peaceful Mystics. Now, as the convergence of the three suns approaches, the Crystal must be healed, or darkness will reign forevermore! It's up to Jen - the last of his race - to fulfill the prophecy that a Gelfling will return the missing shard to the Crystal and destroy the Skeksis' evil Empire. But will young Jen's courage be any match for the unknown dangers that await him? Revisit this masterful fantasy epic from the brilliant imagination of Jim Henson.
Jim Henson's fantasy epic The Dark Crystal doesn't take place a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, but like Star Wars it takes the audience to a place that exists only in the imagination and, for an hour and a half, on the screen. Recalling the worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien, Henson tells the story of a race of grotesque birdlike lizards called the Skeksis, gnomish dragons who rule their fantastic planet with an iron claw. A prophecy tells of a Gelfling (a small elfin being) who will topple their empire, so in their reign of terror they have exterminated the race, or so they think. The orphan Jen, raised in solitude by a race of peace-loving wizards called the Mystics, embarks on a quest to find the missing shard of the Dark Crystal (which gives the Skeksis their power) and restore the balance of the universe. Henson and codirector Frank Oz have pushed puppetry into a new direction: traditional puppets, marionettes, giant bodysuits, and mechanical constructions are mixed seamlessly in a fantasy world of towering castles, simple huts, dank caves, a giant clockwork observatory, and a magnificent landscape that seem to have leaped off the pages of a storybook. Muppet fans will recognize many of the voice actors--a few characters sound awfully close to familiar comic creations--but otherwise it's a completely alien world made familiar by a mythic quest that resonates through stories over the ages.--Sean Axmaker
The Book of Thra: Dark Crystal Collector
SkekTek’s Crystal Challenge Trivia Game
Original Skeksis Language - Test Scenes with Introduction by Screenwriter David Odell
The World of "The Dark Crystal"
Reflections of the Dark Crystal: "Light on the Path of Creation"
Reflections of the Dark Crystal: "Shard of Illusion"
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Any fan of fantasy owes it to themselves to watch this movie, especially now that there is going to be a Netflix prequel series. I hope the series renews interest in this cult classic movie that deserves way more attention then it gets.
Rented from Amazon to watch with my 5yo son.
Good: The Dark Crystal is a technical masterpiece, showing the value and timelessness of true craftsmanship and practical effects. In the 21st century, this film would cost $200 million to make and be loaded with shoddy CGI and overbearing voice actors from your favorite Thursday night sitcoms. But in 1982, Jim Henson, Frank Oz, and crew were given the creative freedom and resources to produce a tale that captured the imagination of viewers for generations. Images from TDC still both amaze and haunt to this day, from Trial by Stone, to Kira taking flight, to anytime the Garthim appear to terrorize. A terrific cast of characters and creatures, many of whom remain unnamed (yet unforgettable).
Bad: Unfortunately, the lead, Jen, is very weak. Although he starts off in a tropish, by-the-numbers foundling quest, his story quickly falls by the wayside as he is ushered from plot point to plot point. He's doesn't have much to do, and repeatedly ends up watching his female companion, Kira, steal the show. Not only does Kira repeatedly save the duo from imminent danger, [SPOILERS] but SHE is the one that makes the ultimate sacrifice in the climax while Jen sits mostly dumbfounded, waiting for inspiration.[/SPOILERS]
Other: I had no idea that Netflix was planning a 2018 prequel series to TDC before randomly settling down to watch this with my son, but the timing was great. Don't miss out on catching up on this classic before the new series hits!
Either way, my kids (and I) loved this 1982 movie, and since the grandson is now at a good age to view it, we have this remastered 2–disc 25th anniversary addition. I would also direct anyone of similar interest to volumes #1–3 of the graphic novels entitled “Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal: Creation Myths”. Conceptual designer Brian Froud is heavily involved, the imagery is awesome, and it offers the origin of Thra before the events depicted in the film. A second wave of books entitled “Shadows of the Dark Crystal” are due out this summer.
For what it’s worth, the following details are basically what Amazon has advertised with a couple minor adjustments.
* New High Definition Film Transfer
* New Commentary by Brian Froud
* Original Making of Documentary “The World of the Dark Crystal”
* Deleted Scenes
* Work Print Scenes
* Character Drawings
* Reflections of the Dark Crystal: “Light on the Path of Creation” & Shard of Illusion” – Two All–New behind–the–scenes documentaries that include rediscovered footage from the Henson archives and newly recorded interviews with the people who created The Dark Crystal.
DVD / Region: 1 / 2.35:1 – Anamorphic Widescreen / Rated: PG / Dolby Digital / Remastered in High Definition / Languages: English & Japanese 5.1 Dolby Digital / CC / Subtitles: English – French – Japanese / Color / Approx. 93 Minutes / © 2007 Sony Pictures Home entertainment Inc. / © 1982, 2007 The Jim Henson Company
** Latin – "To each person his own is beautiful"