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Overall Rating
4.49

Awesome68.97%
Worth A Look: 17.24%
Average: 10.34%
Pretty Bad: 1.15%
Total Crap: 2.3%

4 reviews, 63 user ratings


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Dark Crystal, The
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by the Grinch

"Jim Henson, I miss you dearly."
5 stars

Remember the almost dead art of puppeteering? Well, if you grew up watching the Muppets, Fraggle Rock, the Storyteller, or any number of Henson produced goodies, odds are you recall clearly. And I'm sure you've often wondered "Why won't anybody do MORE movies that showcase puppetry?" Do you know why everyone seems to have forgotten the magic? Because apparently, CG Imaging is the only way to bring the extraordinary to life. Bah! That's like only having sex in the missionary position! Variety, please.

So, most of us that don't bitch and moan about it on movie sites have to be content to watch masterpieces of storytelling magic from the past. And magic is the best way I can describe the Dark Crystal. One of the few movies that I begged my Mum to take me to see again and again. Henson and designer Brian Froud paid attention to every detail of the gelfing's world, right down to how the lifeforms of a planet with multiple suns would evolve to the environment, and what kind of ecology this would create. This attention to detail made for a world that you could wrap around yourself like a shroud of mystery and mysticism. Froud deserves alot of credit for this success, as his designs gave style and personality to many of the characters from the Dark Crystal and LABYRINTH.

The story is a simple one. And that ain't necessarily bad. The gelfling world has been enslaved by the evil, reptilian Skeksis. A young gelfling is chosen by his dying master to return a missing shard to the Dark Crystal, an ancient monolith that in some ways represents the lifeforce of the world. Unless the shard is returned to the crystal soon, the planet's inhabitants will forever be incomplete and the Skeksis power will grow like a black plague, forever controlling the land and its heart: the crystal.

The fx and sets in this are phenomenal...a million times more lifelike than JarJar Rinky Dinks. These ain't no rod-sporting talking frogs either, these are truly fantastical and anthropomorphic creatures that could very well exist on distant planets. The gelflings at times look disturbingly human and alive. The Skeksis are vulture-beaked fiends straight out of a child's worst nightmare. The masters are creepy and emotive. A very dark (go figure) yet beautiful movie. You can partly thank asswipes like George Pukeass, (who's claimed puppetry is too unrealistic to use effectively) for puppetry/animatronics losing favor in film. Yeah, George, I REALLY thought HarHar was actually there yukkin' it up with QuiGon and crew. Sell out. It's the story, stupid, not the geekboy digital fx.

The only thing that gives me gas is that Disney now owns Henson Productions. And when they FINALLY re-released the video, they gave it this cheery, tacky cover. Hopefully that's all they did. See it before it's "obsolete". And I say that with the utmost sarcasm.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=997&reviewer=156
originally posted: 11/10/99 16:00:49
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User Comments

5/07/11 Blake A. A fantastic movie with the most beautiful, vibrant, I-wish-I-could-go-there worlds ever 5 stars
9/14/10 sunny day For a children's film, it sure has mature symbology that nonretarded adults can appreciate. 5 stars
2/09/10 Squeakie All beautiful handcrafted visualizations, with stunning and original fantasy lore. 5 stars
12/09/09 Dr.Lao Not a classic by any means, but an enjoyable, underrated film 4 stars
8/24/09 muppet hard on An excellent fantasy film - for kids at least 5 stars
7/17/08 C-NOTE a film for kids guaranteed to scare the hell out of kids. Stil,l fascinating stuff no doubt 4 stars
6/05/08 PAUL SHORTT A DISTANT, UNINVOLVING AND CHARMLESS EXPERIENCE 1 stars
2/09/08 bored mom Way better than all the anime crap out there combined. 5 stars
9/28/07 Noelle A classic. 4 stars
8/03/07 itchmr very few flaws, moving story 4 stars
8/01/07 Dark Enchantress Great movie, so vivid and wonderful! 5 stars
8/01/07 salemswildcat Took my kids to see it, WE loved it!! 5 stars
7/31/07 Chris Cama loved the film recomend it to anyone under 12 4 stars
1/19/07 Laszlo The greatest fantasy movie ever made ! 5 stars
8/31/05 Klondo perhaps the best 4 star movie ever - but a little too boring 4 stars
8/28/05 D Buckley The most interesting universe ever created in a movie. 5 stars
8/16/05 ES Still the only movie I can name with no humans in it on a totally alien world= that's cool 4 stars
6/30/05 Eric Crooks A True Jim Henson Classic, He pushed himself making it. It's defiantly a masterpiece ! 5 stars
10/29/04 xavier cruz Nice, but kind of slow 4 stars
9/11/04 NaturezRevenge Skeksis rock! Creativity like this can only come from the man Jim Henson. Fantastic! 5 stars
7/19/04 Ishtar To say this film is genius is an understatement. 5 stars
5/19/04 Brett Edyvane Absolutly brilliant!!! Fact... 5 stars
4/05/04 Neva this movie rocks my socks straight off it makes me believe 5 stars
2/02/04 Rudra Lorian YAWN! Just as fun as weeding the gardern! 1 stars
12/11/03 Johnlindsey Great movie, ranks with Labyrinth, Princess Bride, Last Unicorn and Harry Potter. 5 stars
9/03/03 gamer Very cool for an all-muppet flick. It's actually something different. 5 stars
8/26/03 Eloise watched it as a kid......scared me shitless..still have a thing about puppets 4 stars
7/24/03 Kit It's not that good...Labyrinth is much better 3 stars
7/15/03 Fonq35 Ah! One of the finest films I ever saw as a kid... or adult... 5 stars
6/14/03 Alice I used to love this movie when I was 15.I saw it again now and it was not all that anymore. 4 stars
6/09/03 Stacy M. Medina This movie is realy, REALY, touching...especially when Jen Finaly finds someone just like 5 stars
4/14/03 Charles Tatum The puppets were stiffer than Jim Henson 2 stars
1/01/03 louman great movie, incredibly life-like creatures, Jim Henson at it's greatest 5 stars
10/12/02 Nicole We watched this in school - it scared the hell out of me...looked way too real! 4 stars
4/06/02 Jessica the Platonist Returning to the film after many years, I was awestruck, fascinated. Brilliant, subtle. 5 stars
1/11/02 max zhang Short film for kids; on the other hand, Kira looks hot. 4 stars
11/26/01 Stark Well done 5 stars
10/12/01 franknspice this is a movie that crosses age lines and will forever be treasured as a film 5 stars
9/24/01 afrovio One of the B-E-S-T movies of all time - NO KIDDING !!! 5 stars
8/05/01 Julian This is the greatest fantasy movie ever made!!!!! 5 stars
6/30/01 wizzman All the digital fx morons should go back and watch(make that STUDY) this film!! 5 stars
4/23/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) I so totally lost myself in the fantasy...you'd swear the "performers" were really ALIVE... 5 stars
4/07/01 Paul Vaughn I wish they made more films like "The Dark Crystal." 4 stars
3/04/01 Corbin Dallas A Must see if you loved Labyrinth, The Last Unicorn and The 5th Element. 5 stars
2/27/01 Samantha This film is a must see 5 stars
2/23/01 Steve in Prague haunting film...one of my 10 best ever 5 stars
1/24/01 Drod Amazing effects, and decent story 5 stars
10/06/00 Jen I've liked it since I was a kid. It still Makes me shit my pants. 5 stars
9/21/00 Paul W. Truly one of the greats! 5 stars
9/20/00 Jeff decent, I guess 3 stars
8/09/00 Brian so good 5 stars
7/21/00 Alex Arcone A fantastic tour-de-force of puppetry. 5 stars
6/22/00 Jennifer Lanci I grew up watching this movie, and I loved it with all my heart. I wanted to be Kira. 5 stars
5/28/00 punkass Whahuh? Distinctly average. Show it to your kids. 3 stars
4/16/00 JDC What the heck's with puppets on kids shows anyway? Don't they scare EVERY kid? 5 stars
12/24/99 Christoph Gregorovich A visual masterpiece in storytelling and art direction. No complaint here. Go see the movie 5 stars
11/12/99 alyssa Wonderful movie. Still holds its edge after all these years. 5 stars
3/11/99 Bats Scary thing is, I know a guy who looks just like the male "lead" elf! 4 stars
11/24/98 {{{OZ}}} Eery muppets. Awesome. 5 stars
11/18/98 MinxxDaShorty This movie gave me me nightmres 7 years ago...come to think of it , it still duz! Very cool 5 stars
11/13/98 Jules Very well done, excellent mix of existing legends and fairytales plus some original touches 5 stars
11/12/98 Lord Of The Dunce Muppets with monsters. Yay!!! 5 stars
9/17/98 cheryl_ann i loved it as a child and i love it now. great movie fun for any age. 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  17-Dec-1982 (PG)
  DVD: 25-Nov-2003

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