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I hate some things about this film and adore others. It has beautifully imagined puppets,it unashamedly throws you into the middle of an outrageous looking, sometimes almost horrific fantasy world and amongst truly vile bad guys without much exposition or back history blended in. Yet, it is a brave stab at elevating puppetry into high fantasy and I truly wish it had worked. It's decent entertainment in itself but you see glimpses of how good it could have been and it's frustrating that it didn't quite make it as a great movie. Nevertheless, it's a rare piece of uniqueness in an often bland cinematic landscape and for that it deserves a peek and perhaps more recognition than it got on its release.
Wonderful viewing experience, I have always loved this film, I have watched it many times since childhood. The Blu-ray is a great upgrade from the old video formats, you can see lots more details and colours. I really enjoyed watching the film in 4K, it enhanced the nostalgic pleasure of watching The Dark Crystal ( for the umpteenth time!). Also a few special features are a nice bonus.
I can remember seeing the trailer for The Dark Crystal when I was probably 7 or 8 years old and being absolutely gobsmacked at the visuals - and a bit scared too. I knew I had to see this film!
It certainly didn't disappoint and remains a film I watch with great fondness. Technically this film is something else, the designs are lavish and suitably fantastic with a look and feel that's unique amongst fantasy, and probably all, children's films.
Is this really a kid's film though? The themes are dark for sure and the Skeksis are genuinely horrible, but like the best fairy stories it doesn't shy away from the darker side of life. But I have to say I think it would freak out particularly sensitive youngsters.
The plot is pretty basic. The orphan Gelfilng Jen has to leave his adoptive 'Mystic' protectors to ultimately 'heal' the titular Dark Crystal whose shattering so many years ago has led to the current threat over the land. So it's your basic young lad needs to save the world whilst becoming a man (well, an adult Gelfling at least). There's talk of a prophecy and a portentious conjunction of three suns but it's all fairly generic. The real strength of the film lies in its setting and its visual design.
I should mention that this film is 100% puppets and no human actors appear at all - at least not as humans but a few performers in suits may be apparent. The film makers were meticulous in their efforts to make this convincing and have succeeded admirably given the restrictions on manipulating rod puppets.
The Bluray release is a definite upgrade over DVD. The film was made in 1981 but the presentation is clear and sharp with a lot of detail visible. Is it one to demo your system with? Well no, but it's by far the best home presentation of this film you can get.
A mention must be made of Trevor Jone's score which really is quite beautiful. It adds a lot of character whilst sounding unique and linking up to the visuals well - the opening motif of the film being a case in point; very otherworldly and a bit haunting - a great score overall.
Extras listed are a bit different to the old region 1 DVD I have of this film but the old 'making of' feature is still present and this gives possibly the best overall view into how the film was made. It's shame to have lost the isolated musical track but then again, you do get a truhd 5.1 soundtrack so...
I had noticed talk the interweb over the last few year of a possible sequel (something about a 'girl of fire' from within the planet's core posing a threat to all mankind) which seemed to have got quite far down the development path only to read earlier this year that the project had effectively been cancelled which is a real shame.
Anyway, for any fan of the film this bluray is a worthy purchase.
Amazing movie that I watched religiously when I was a child. kids these days will probably find it very scared of the skeksis and their soldier beetles. This movie is a huge influence on the art that I draw to this very day....30 years later. the mystics are covered in swirly Celtic like patterns that I use as a general filler in. I only noticed that when I went back to watch it and was astounded when I discovered this.
The story is way outside the box and is nothing like you will be used to these days. This is old school story telling at its best and the entire movie is done using puppets. It is strange to see how much I have actually bonded with this movie as an adult just by watching it when I was a kid. The two main characters are extremely likable and you want them to make it. the Skeksis are nasty, disgusting dark scrawny vulture type creatures that desire nothing but power.
This is a classic of a film. Jim Henson at his best. A very clever mix of puppets, with actors controlling life size figures. The effects are ok for the time when the film was made. It gives the Thunderbirds tv series a run for being the best puppet program. The story is about a Gelfling, a fantasy creature that looks like a small elf, by the name of Jen. He believes he is the last of his kind. He goes on a quest to find a shard of the Dark Crystal so he can rejoin it to the crystal and repair the world. On route he encounters a series of strange characters. Including another Gelfling called Kira. The story is written for older children, but also works for adults as it is not too childish. All in all I recommend this to anyone interested in fantasy movies or books.
Before you needed a computer to make a movie and before it disappeared into Muppet territory Jim Henson used to design and make puppets for movies (The Labyrinth among many). More than that they realised that kids can take dark themes and monsters without it causing them nightmares, if you give the viewer resolution. This is a dark, very dark in places, fantasy film. Henson's puppets and use of puppets is perfect, realising things you just couldn't with human actors on the same budget. It says PG, but for more sensitive under nines it might be too dark. It has all the trademark Henson humour and attention to detail, coupled with a good story. The one downside is the very anemic gelfling lead, Jen. A great blast from the past and a reminder that these days films for kids aren't as challenging and are more afraid to go to the dark places that Roald Dahl and others used to take us to.
Ordered this dvd as a Christmas present for my two small cousins. Of course, I had to check that it was ok for them to watch. And fell completely in love with it. Jim Henson as only he could do it. Finally gave it to the troops, but it was a wrench. They nearly didn't get it at all ! I won't spoil it for you by giving away the plot, but it is brilliantly written and all the characters are superb. I watched two small people sitting on the settee, completely engrossed in it from start to finish. It's not often any child will ask to see it again straight away. They did, and I don't blame them. Buy it, and see for yourself.
Nothing to say about the movie if your looking at this you have most likely seen it. One of the best 80's fantasy films presented perfectly. I brought the video the dvd the blu ray and I can honestly say I saw things I have not seen. Beautiful blacks colours and every costume detail and beautiful sets mindblowing. Let down only by the backdrops and final cgi effects that are ropey at best but always were. Finally the sound flawless if you love this film I guarantee you will love it more.