Review: ‘The Dark Crystal’

The Dark Crystal, besides being a dazzling technological and artistic achievement by a band of talented artists and performers, presents a dark side of Muppet creators Jim Henson and Frank Oz that could teach a lesson in morality to youngsters at the same time it is entertaining their parents.

The Dark Crystal, besides being a dazzling technological and artistic achievement by a band of talented artists and performers, presents a dark side of Muppet creators Jim Henson and Frank Oz that could teach a lesson in morality to youngsters at the same time it is entertaining their parents.

While there is plenty of humor in the film, it is actually an allegory of the triumph of good over evil, of innocence over the wicked. This world is inhabited with monstrously evil Skeksis, who are temporarily in command of the world wherein only a handful of wise and virtuous creatures manage to stay alive.

Until, of course, Jen and Kira, a boy and girl gelfling, set out to defeat the Skeksis by replacing a shard that has been taken from the Dark Crystal, which awaits its return before Doomsday is due.

The creation of a small world of memorable characters is the main contribution of Henson and Oz. The outstanding character is the Aughra, an ancient one-eyed harridan of an oracle who somehow reminds one of a truly blowsy Shelley Winters.

The Dark Crystal

UK

Production

ITC. Director Jim Henson, Frank Oz; Producer Jim Henson, Gary Kurtz; Screenplay David Odell; Camera Oswald Morris; Editor Ralph Kemplen; Music Trevor Jones; Art Director Brian Froud, Harry Lange

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1983. Running time: 94 MIN.
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