THE DARK CRYSTAL was a humongous undertaking. It is a film that takes place in a fantasy world, filled with frightening and mystical creatures; yet does not star one human being. The entire cast of the film consisted of nothing but puppets: some rather large and cumbersome, some that human performers were fitted in, some that were small, some that were animatronic; but all puppets nonetheless. Nothing like it had ever been attempted before and through the work on THE DARK CRYSTAL, Henson pushed puppetry and animatronics to a whole new level.
THE DARK CRYSTAL is about a young male Gelfling (think of an elf, but much smaller) named Jen and the journey he undertakes to save his world from an eternal dominion by a group of dragon-like creatures called Skesis. Jen's entire race was wiped out in a holocaust by the Skesis in an attempt to prevent a 1000 year old prophecy from being fulfilled. Jen is the last of his race, or so he believes. Jen leaves the race of Mystics who have raised the child since his parents' murder and sets forth on a journey to the great Palace to heal the Dark Crystal by inserting The Shard that had been broken from the crystal a millenium ago. Along the way he meets a variety of fantastical creatures from a one-eyed wise woman, the a race of miniture-round-headed people called Podlings, to a female Gelfling named Kira.
The plot of the movie is excellent and is told in the manner of such classic works as THE LORD OF THE RINGS, STAR WARS, and THE ODYSSEY. The world that Henson created is one of magic and fantasy, yet the story contains a great deal of Truth within it. It is a tale of adventure, love, sacrifice, and redemption; which speaks to the divinity in us all.
The movie is acceptible for an entire family to watch and contains several morals. However, children younger than five may find some of the creatures frightening. Nevertheless, THE DARK CRYSTAL is a fairy tale and like all true fairy tales, it does not gloss over the fact that evil is an ugly and nasty business. This movie is one of the best by one of the greatest.
What did you think of this review?