The Dark Crystal
Release year: 1982
Director: Jim Hensen, Frank Oz
Screenwriter: David Odell, Jim Henson
Starring (voices): Jim Henson, Kathryn Mullen, Frank Oz, Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, Louise Gold, Brian Muehl
The young Gelfling Jen sets out on a quest to heal the Crystal and save his world from being ruled by the evil Skeksis forever. On the way he meets Kira, the only other Gelfling he has ever met, and the two join forces against evil.
The Dark Crystal was a shade darker than what had previously been seen from the father of The Muppets, something it received criticism for, and is the directorial debut of Frank Oz, many time Jim Henson collaborator. It failed to impress on its initial release but has later gathered a big fan base, which has led to a revival as a prequel TV series premiered on Netflix in 2019. The movie is innovative and imaginative with great details to the universe, but the characters are a mix of dark and dirty and the wooden doll Gelflings with expressionless faces. Along with a dialogue which often consists of grunts, this is far from the charming and witty Labyrinth Henson and Oz made together in 1986. The mixture of dark fantasy and puppets looking like something from a children’s program is confusing and the movie is famously known for being one you either hate or love. Chances are you are on the love-it-team if you grew up watching it as a kid.
Jim Henson‘s plan with this movie was to get back to the darkness of original Brothers Grimm fairy tales. He felt that children liked the idea of being scared and that this was a healthy emotion for them with which to deal.
Picture copyrights: Sony Pictures