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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 co-director 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
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Details

CastFrank Oz, Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, Jim Henson, Kathryn Mullen
DirectorFrank Oz, Jim Henson
Genre:  Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Release Date:  Dec. 1982
MPAA Rating:  PG
Screen WriterJim Henson, David Odell
DVD Release Date:  October 5, 1999
Runtime:  93 minutes
Studio:  Universal Studios, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
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More The Dark Crystal reviews
review by . July 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I had mixed feelings about The Dark Crystal. The puppet animation holds up surprisingly well even in the age of digital animation. Some of the scenes are beautiful, such as the heroes rowing on the lake with papyrus. The movements are generally smooth and not jerky. It shows Jim Henson's genius with puppets. My problem with the movie is with the human side - the script and voice acting. Sometimes, it seems the scriptwriters got lazy and just copied scenes from Star Wars, including characters suspiciously …
Quick Tip by . October 06, 2009
One of the most spectacular fantasy films ever!!! This Jim Henson-directed film features all puppet characters & philosophical depth. =D
review by . January 16, 2002
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Beautiful from beginning to end.     Cons: Too often passed over!     The Bottom Line: A Henson masterpiece suitable for most ages from child to adult. Younger kids may find some characters or situations frightening.     Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot. I was raised on the innovative form of animation given to us by the marvelous Jim Henson. From Kermit the Frog to the goblins in the Labyrinth, …
review by . February 27, 2002
posted in Movie Hype
Jim Henson was one of the greatest artists and filmmakers of the 20th century. It took awhile for his genius to be appreciated in the United States, but over a decade since his death people are finally beginning to recognize the mastery of his creative mind. For example, THE DARK CRYSTAL. The film had a fairly decent run when it was originally released in theatres in 1982. However, the film wasn't acknowledged or heralded for the creative and complex masterpiece that it is until recently.THE DARK …
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