The Dark Crystal Reviews
Jim Henson demonstrates him and his team could create complex puppets the likes of The Muppets could only dream. Henson builds wildly creative and superbly detailed puppets for his main characters and side characters in this all puppet made movie. Henson was clearly a fantasy visionary, crafting wondrous tales of magic and otherworldly locations. The Dark Crystal holds up on the merits of its dark atmosphere, imaginative puppetry, unique world and lore building, thoughtful storytelling, and loving natural romance.
The Dark Crystal does not exactly compare to Henson's later masterpiece Labyrinth, but The Dark Crystal will keep you guessing. Twists and turns with deadly situations will thrill children of all ages, while thoroughly delighting their parents. I highly recommend The Dark Crystal for an afternoon or nighttime watch with the family. It's a blast with fantastic sets, props, and puppets.
Trevor Jones' music sets the tone for terror and magical enchantments for The Dark Crystal. I think he improved a lot as a composer by the time Labyrinth comes around, but for 1982, this score is amazing and quite lovingly composed for this charming little fantasy film.
This exact version is the one you'll want to buy. It's the newest remastered Blu-ray edition. They really restored the images to bright and clear quality. The Dark Crystal has never looked so good. Included in this very set is a booklet attached to the inner sleeve with details and pictures of the making of The Dark Crystal. There are notes, sketches, and illustrations of the characters, vistas, and story lines that Jim Henson and crew went through. It's all quite neat to behold. The film not only looks spectacular, but the special features include more of the making of if you are interested in that kind of extra material.
All in all, this Blu-ray is the one you want. There's also the 4K edition if you want even better image quality. I got the regular Blu-ray version and I couldn't be happier with it. Even though Jim Henson and company improved their puppetry, realism, and acting by the time they made Labyrinth in 1986, The Dark Crystal holds up on its own merits as a successful experiment in puppetry and creative children's film-making. I think most families and even adults would appreciate all the love and care put into this highly imaginative tale.
I hate the way the Skeksis live. All they worry about is power, who's in control, and they solve their problems through violence. As oppose to the Mystics who live their lives like Jedi's, which I love and much prefer. These guys did a terrific job at creating a new world and such a diverse one with all matter of interesting creatures.
That part when the Gelfings are in the boat was beautiful, so peaceful and bliss. I can see how Star Wars might have influence on this movie. Watching the podling get his essence drained from him was pretty horrifying to watch. My god, when the two races meet and join one another, that was such a beautiful sight. So mystical and spiritual.
Overall, really great movie with a beautiful message.
The voice acting in the film is quite good. Joseph O'Conor's narration is a great introduction to the film and really helps to set the tone. Stephen Garlick is good as the voice of Jen and Lisa Maxwell is particularly strong as Kira, who is one of the best characters in the film. This brings me to one of the problems with the film, which is that the main protagonist, Jen, is the least interesting character in the story. Rather than actively advancing the plot, most of the events just happen to him and instead it's Kira who takes charge in most of these scenes and has a better character arc.
The plot as a whole is quite interesting and fits well into the high fantasy genre. However it's a little unclear who the intended audience is for this film as some of the outlandish characters and cartoonish voices seem suitable for children but there are a lot of darker and more gruesome elements that would be frightening for children and possibly not suitable for their viewing. There are also a few issues with pacing throughout the film, particularly in the middle, with some very long scenes that add little to the plot or the characters' developments.
The puppets of course are the films strongest point. All of the main characters are so well designed, articulated and wonderfully fantastical that it is a joy to behold. There are a few scenes when the Gelflings move very stiffly, such as when they're riding the landstriders, but for the most part they move quite seamlessly. The sets are also fantastic and the lighting, cinematography and music really helps to bring the world of The Dark Crystal to life.
Although this may not have been Jim Henson's greatest work, it was a huge accomplishment in puppetry and is an engrossing trip into an extraordinarily imaginative world that I personally loved to visit.
A very odd & creepy fantasy film about a fantasy world in chaos since the Dark Crystal is a held by a vicious & vile race & the most unlikely heroes rise to the challenge to obtain the crystal.
Some of the creepiest puppets ever put to the screen & be surprising if kids got into it, I assume the Dungeons & Dragons crew would get right into this. Quite an unusual film indeed.
- Good Voice Acting
- Beautiful Visuals
- Magnificent Script
- Fantastic Special Effects
- Spectacular Puppetry
- Very Imaginative World filled with creatively made creatures
- Memorable Characters
- Great Musical Score
- Terrific Pacing
- The story doesn't have the same kind of epic scale and weight as more recent fantasy movies/tv shows
Overall Grade: A- (9/10)