The Dark Crystal Reviews

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July 17, 2014
Despite some heavy-handed exposition and pacing issues, The Dark Crystal remains a stunning example of practical effects and good ole movie magic.
½ June 5, 2015
Una de las pelÝculas que marcˇ mi infancia
June 2, 2015
"Lord of the Rings" meets Jim Henson's creative genius in this underrated fantasy adventure.
½ May 18, 2015
This is about as dark as it gets from the people that also bring you the muppets! It's an adventure with a lot of drama. The story itself is not that invigorating, but the effects and style have stood the test of time and it does not look dated at all.
½ July 4, 2008
Thank goodness for the Labyrinth saving Henson.
½ May 13, 2015
85% on my Tomatometer.
½ March 24, 2015
recently re-watched this and I have to say it doesn't hold up very well seems dated.
Super Reviewer
March 22, 2015
Fantastic puppetry with a charming and well-executed fantasy universe. The voice acting is quite good as well. On the other hand, the story is flat and the characters lack any depth whatsoever. All in all, an entertaining adventure story.
½ February 20, 2015
A fantasy film staple.
February 18, 2015
ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS MOVIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
February 18, 2015
One of the Greatest Achievements in movie history. With compelling story, beautiful and stunning visuals and very unique creative characters, there seems to be nothing here not to like.
January 29, 2015
Jim Henson's world is vivid and dark, with incredible scenes and a mythic storyline. Full review later.
½ January 1, 2015
I was really expecting/hoping to like this, but I was already waiting for it to be done about 10 minutes in.
June 6, 2007
I haven't seen it for many years, I thought it was scary as a kid.
December 18, 2014
It's "The Lord of the Rings," meets "The Muppets." Amazing movie, with an amazing story, and amazing creature efffects. Jim Henson was simply amazing. My only complaint is that one of bad guys makes a really annoying whining sound. Other than that, everything else about this movie was simply amazing!!
December 13, 2014
Though the visuals are good-looking, The Dark Crystal is nothing but a mash-up of Lord of the Rings and Jim Henson's Muppets.
October 18, 2012
Some of the story elements are clunky, however, The Dark Crystal is one of the rare children's movies that provides kids a chance to understand more complex subject matter, is very sensitive in its depiction of violence, and above all, is a high mark in the world of practical effects. This is a movie adults may enjoy for its artistry (though an understanding of visual effects may be necessary to fully appreciate it).
½ November 26, 2014
Mixed emotions on this one. Great puppet effects and a creative and imaginative world, but lacks a lot in the character department. The main character, Jen, is hardly even a hero and Kira seemingly does more and shows more courage than Jen does. It's a kids movie, so it doesn't need the deepest character development, but Jen is so cardboard boring as a character that it's hard getting invested. That's probably the biggest problem with this movie, which otherwise would be a great movie for kids.
September 2, 2011
The best movie Jim Henson has ever made.
½ August 29, 2014
Jim Henson and a very large group of designers set out to make a film in which no humans would appear on screen. They accomplished more than that: they made a film in which hardly any recognizably Earth-ish being can be detected. They did this by making creature creation a priority; story, dialogue, and the rest of the necessaries came later. The team's obsessive work to get the characters, the supporting animals, and even the background plants to look and move in a way that was feasible and consistent with the world paid off with a collection of the best and most diverse puppets ever to populate a motion picture. The large, bulky costumes with speaking roles, such as the bird-like baddies, the sloth-like goodies, and the beetle-like enforcers, are tapestries of fur, feathers, hair, leathery skin, and movement: moving arms (sometimes four to a character), moving antennae, moving heads and mouths and beaks. It's quite a feat, and knowing that there is a person or persons crouching inside making all of that movement happen by contorting their bodies makes it all the more impressive.

But this was always Henson's stock-in-trade as a puppet-maker and designer of elaborate costumes. The real breakthrough with "Dark Crystal" is in the extension of his passion for creature creation to the world at large. Kermit sat in a normal Earth swamp when he sang "It's Not Easy Being Green," but the characters here trudge through undergrowth that is as alien and sentient as they are. A large trunk standing in water suddenly uproots itself and skitters up a hill. Nearby, an innocuous-seeming boulder claps shut, revealing that it was no boulder, but a rock-like creature with a huge mouth for catching unsuspecting prey. The adjacent fungus pods twitter in excitement. Later, creatures with four stilt-like legs run at speed on their way to a battle with the beetles in the most exciting action sequence of the movie.

Speed, though, is something of a rarity within this approach to filmmaking. People wearing heavy and complicated costumes can only move so fast, and there is a lot of lumbering and sluggishness in the presentation of "Dark Cyrstal" that causes the mind to wander. The story does not do much to keep our attention; it was never Henson's priority, and it is as pat, predictable, and derivative as his creatures are fresh and innovative. The bland lead characters, called Gelfings, have a wooden feel in more ways than one. A power of theirs called "dreamfasting" adds a creative dimension, but their overall lack of depth makes it is easy to understand why a real human star was chosen for Henson's later, similar project, "Labyrinth" (1986). That film, though, is ultimately less ambitious than this one, which remains unique in its approach to world- building through puppetry.
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