Movie Review – “Dark Crystal”

Today, Dark Crystal. Tomorrow,
Labyrinth.

Cast, Crew, and Other Info

Cast created by the Jim Henson creature shop.

Written by Jim Henson and David Odell

Directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz

Complete information is available from the
IMDB
.

Buy from: Amazon.com
or Amazon.ca

Past movie reviews can be found here.

Premise

A pair of gelflings must save the world.

High Point

Running in terror from a captive gelfling.

Low Point

The gratuitously happy ending.

The Scores

How original is this movie? It’s yet
another version of
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, but the massive
changes make it more
original that the other versions. An entire world
was created to
house this story. I give it 5 out of 6.

The effects were mostly lighting effects and
the fading
images in the Master’s pool or crystal shard. There
was also the
horrible animated launching of the crystal bats. I
give it 4 out of
6.

The story is extremely simple. The mystery
was obvious to me
the first time I watched it, partly because they
don’t give the viewer
anything else to really think about. (By my
calculations, I would
have been five or six; it was just after the initial
video release.)
I give it 3 out of 6.

The puppeteering is being judged in place of
the acting.
It’s a bit stiff, especially in the faces of the
Gelflings. There is
a very good range of expression in the Sleksis,
though. I give it 4
out of 6.

The emotional response is helped by
nostalgia, but not enough
to overcome the very flat characters. I give it 3
out of 6.

The production was incredible. An entire
world was built
from scratch. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a great film for the very
young or the
nostalgic members of my generation. I give it 4 out
of 6.

In total, Dark Crystal receives 28 out of
42.

4 replies on “Movie Review – “Dark Crystal””

  1. hitch says:

    watched it a few years back…
    for the first time in a long time.
    I remember being truly creeped out by the whole “essence” thing when I was a kid, so it was difficult to make myself sit through it…
    what I took away this time, however, was that in one shot there’s very obviously one of those wind-up flapping birds (the kind with the rubber band down the middle that makes the wings flap when it unwinds? I haven’t seen them in years, but my parents had a few a while back….) flying straignt at the camers, trying to be passed off as a real thing. While it’s definitely a classic of my generation, it’s definitely not up to Henson standards. In my opinion, labyrinth was better…I’m looking forward to that review.

  2. Damien says:

    Alternative ending?
    There’s supposed to be an alternative ending on the DVD, anyone watch it?

  3. y42 says:

    I LOVED the Dark Crystal
    But why oh WHY are Henson DVDs in English and Spanish only?

    There’s no nostalgia if you can’t watch it in the dub version you remember : (

  4. tgreco says:

    Love this Movie
    TDC is the first movie I saw multiple times in the theater. I’ve loved this movie since I was a kid. I think some folks are hypercritical of the puppeteering. A lot of what was used in the film had to be invented, and later refined with other Henson productions.

    Not mentioning Brian Froud is almost sinful, as he designed all the creatures in the film and gave it it’s unique look and feel

    For me it’s totally emmersive and I prefer it to Labyrinth. For others, the fact that there are no people creates a disconnection

    Not one mention of the incredible score for the movie. Trevor Jones work in this film is absolutely top notch.

    I own every incarnation of this movie ever sold.

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