Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Dark Crystal on DVD

by Jim Henson and Frank Oz [DVD j Dark]

In 1982, Jim Henson and Frank Oz, fresh off the success of the comedic The Muppet Show (1976-1981) wanted to push the boundaries of storytelling with their puppetry, and the result was The Dark Crystal. Oz had also recently performed as Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back, and the various fantastic creatures of The Dark Crystal bear far more resemblance to Yoda’s almost lifelike qualities than the obvious felt-and-strings appearance of Kermit and Miss Piggy. The Dark Crystal features a classic “epic quest” saga, in an exotic fantasy setting. Jen and Kira, a pair of young gelflings, find themselves in the middle of an epic battle between the forces of good (the aged Mystics) and evil (the hideous Skeksis), as the Dark Crystal, a source of Balance and Truth in their land, has shattered and they must seek to heal it or their world will suffer ruin. The look and feel of this film is tremendous, as are the designs of all the fabulous creatures that populate it. This film should appeal to both kids and adults (who may remember seeing the film when they, themselves, were kids). The music by Trevor Jones is one of my favorite film soundtracks. This DVD also features a marvelous “Making Of” documentary, which is well worth watching. If you’ve never experienced The Dark Crystal before, don’t pass it up now!

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Labyrinth, starring David Bowie and featuring the same type of puppetry and fantasy setting. Or, the classic The Muppet Show, to admire the work of Henson and Oz and company in a more recognizable format.]

[ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ]

Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

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