The Dark Crystal (1982)

dark crystal poster 1982 movie
9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Great visuals, good story, realistic characters


Movie Info

Movie Name: The Dark Crystal

Studio: Jim Henson Productions

Genre(s): Action/Adventure/Family

Release Date(s): December 17, 1982

MPAA Rating: PG

dark crystal jen master

The Great Conjunction happens every thousand years…sorry I waited a couple days before to lay this all on you.

When single shines the triple sun, what was sundered and undone shall be whole…the two made one.  By Gelfling hand, or else by none.  The Great Conjunction is coming and the splintered Dark Crystal must remain broken for the Skeksis remain in control of the planet of Thra.  When word that a Gelfling named Jen has survived the purge, the Skeksis realize their reign is threatened, and Jen must be stopped.  Teamed with a second Gelfling named Kira who also survived, Jen must restore the Dark Crystal and save the world…before it is too late.

Directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz based on a story by Henson, The Dark Crystal is a fantasy adventure film.  The film was initially released to mixed reviews but has gained a cult following over the years.

dark crystal chamberlain

I’m not always trying to take over the world…but when I do, I go all in

The Dark Crystal was a childhood classic.  It came out at just the right time for me to fall in love with it as a kid and have tons of the merchandise surrounding it.  As a result, I have a bit of a bias toward the film, but I do think is a rather strong fantasy.

The film is a lot darker than Jim Henson’s other works, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t for children or that it is too scary for them.  As a kid, I liked to be scared and there are some good “safe” scares in The Dark Crystal (including a great jump by the furry Fizzgig).  The story is a good “epic” hero story that fits most myths and journey adventures (the classic “Hero with a Thousand Faces”) while it is still accessible for kids.

Despite being “Muppets”, the film builds great characters.  The realism of not being a cartoon creates three dimensional rounded characters from everyone from Jen and Kira to the Chamberlain and his whines.  Characters like Aughra (who is a little hard to take with Frank Oz almost doing Ms. Piggy) are only in the film a little while but feel like real, rounded characters.

dark crystal ending jen great conjunction

By the Power of Greyskull…I have the Power!!!

The real hook of The Dark Crystal is the visuals for both the young and adult.  Henson creates a vibrant world that is real and tangible.  Unlike the computer animated worlds of today, the movie uses sets and models that help not only enrich the story but help develop the characters

The Dark Crystal kind of fills a fantasy gap that feels different from Star Wars and other films of the time.  It isn’t quite sword and sorcery, but it also isn’t a space adventure.  It feels unique to itself.  For years a sequel to The Dark Crystal was planned and there have been books, comics, and other tie-ins.  The Dark Crystal:  Age of Resistance series was released on Netflix in 2019 and serves as a prequel to the movie.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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