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4.7 out of 5 stars264
4.7 out of 5 stars
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This is a classic, a captivating and charming movie that remains in a class of its own. There's a spectacular array of creatures and a memorable plot with marvellous twists.
The fact is that all the species and characters come across as very real and believable - from the kindly and wise Mystics to the human Podlings to the awful and hideous Skeksis. The meal scene in the Skeksis castle is particularly vivid and memorable, although it's not for the squeamish! The visit to the lair of the witch Ogra is also quite humorous and spectacular, and I loved the little doggie, if it is a dog.
One of my favourite scenes is where the two Gelflings fall over a cliff and the girl spreads her wings, upon which the relieved boy exclaims: "But I don't have wings" to which the girl replies: "Of course not - you're a boy.". This is in the class of Lord of the Rings about 20 years before the latter was made, although it's probably not fair to compare the two.
Dark Crystal convinces with its world of believable puppets and impressive scenery, which adds a unique flavour to the film. I cannot fault this little gem on any aspect: the old myth is infused by new life here because of the amazing turns in the plot. The scenes are so colourful you cannot forget them, the characterization is of the highest calibre, and the cinematography is breathtaking.
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on 18 November 2009
This was a highly original concept from the team behind the Muppets. I first saw it with my young sons back in 1982 and 27 years on it still possesses that magical quality to entertain people of all ages. Blu-ray certainly has enhanced the picture quality as opposed to the previous DVD version though I could not detect any difference in the sound. A treat for all to enjoy.
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on 23 March 2012
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.
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The Dark Crystal is the brainchild of Muppets-creator Jim Henson. Yes, he's best known for creating Kermit and Miss Piggy, but, judging by his impressive body of other work, there's more to him than just chasing chickens with meat cleavers.

The Dark Crystal is an amazing film that's never really achieved mainstream status. It wasn't helped when it was released in the cinema up against ET, so it could never compete with such hype. It's set on a far away planet where a pair of `gelflings' (think innocent fairy-type creatures) must repair the titular Dark Crystal and send an evil race of creatures to their doom.

The Dark Crystal is often compared to Labyrinth (and you can also buy the pair on a double-disc set), but, apart from both of them being fantasy films starring Jim Henson's puppets, I really think they're very different films. Labyrinth is more cheesy, with its dance numbers and comic relief. The Dark Crystal has none of that. It's played straight all the way. Don't expect any laughs here. In fact, there are some downright disturbing and creepy moments (drinking people's `essence' comes to mind).

I would say that the film is perfect in every way, but, despite its brilliant (and incredibly lifelike) puppets and sets, in my opinion it has one major drawback - the two central characters - the gelflings themselves. Every secondary creature is brilliantly created and comes across as real beings. We either love or hate them accordingly, able to forget that they aren't real. But not the gelflings. Not only do they look and move like Thunderbirds without any knee or elbow joints, but the vocal artists don't seem to be able to inject much life into them.

However, that's just my personal small gripe. I still think it's a classic. It's possibly best viewed by those who saw and loved it during its release in the eighties. I expect there are a fair amount of children who only want to watch CGI films and may see this as outdated. But, as a parent, I'd still put it on for them anyway - show them how `proper' films were made in our day!
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True, the quest story is as old as mankind, but here it is told in such a cinematically captivating and charming manner that this movie remains in a class of its own. You’ll find a spectacular array of creatures and marvelous twists in the plot. One of my favorite scenes is where the two Gelflings fall over a cliff, the girl spreads her wings, the boy says: “But I don’t have wings” to which the girl replies: “Of course not – you’re a boy.” The fact is that all the species come across as very real and believable – from the kindly and wise Mystics to the human Podlings to the awful and hideous Skeksis. The meal scene in the Skeksis castle is particularly vivid and memorable, although it’s not for the squeamish! The visit to the lair of the witch Ogra is also quite humorous and spectacular, and I loved the little doggie, if it is a dog. This is in the class of Lord of the Rings exactly 20 years before the latter was made, although it’s probably not fair to compare the two. For one thing, Dark Crystal convinces with its world of believable puppets, which adds a unique flavor to the film. I cannot fault this little gem on any aspect: the old myth is infused by new life here because of the marvelous turns in the plot, the scenes are so colorful you cannot forget them, the characterization is of the highest caliber, and the cinematography is breathtaking.
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on 4 February 2002
I've been watching this film for as long as I can remember, and it's always had me hiding behind the couch! ... I fell in love with science fiction after watching this film, and I still have'nt got bored of it! This film combines everything you could wish for. There is the romance between Jen and Kira, the comical Fizzgig, the scary Ogra, there are action scenes, quiet scenses and joyous scenes with the Podlings. All this matched with the outstanding puppetry of Jim Henson and his crew. I'd recommend this movie to anyone who likes the wierd and wonderful, or just to anyone who appreciates a good movie!
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The story is of a myth being fulfilled in a strange but seemingly familiar land. A land that was split asunder with the shattering of a great crystal. The reason for this is revealed in time. However we are concerned with a Gelffling that was charged with either healing the world or letting it live in evil for all time.

This is a classic movie that can almost be placed in the cult class. I have watched several media versions and can say this is one film that is actually enhanced by the Blu-ray treatment. True the acting is the same and the story is the same. But the visuals and music, which are equal partners with the rest of the characters, are more intense.

Watching the Blu-ray extras, the voice over by conceptual designer Brian Froud, who also did the voice over for "Labyrinth", we find that the title of this film might have been "Dark Chrysalis" as it is a movie about change.

Take hart that they did not place a lot of coming attractions at the front of the DVD and that the Blu-ray extras sill do not get in the way of the film as some do.

Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth
Labyrinth (Anniversary Edition)
Jim Henson's the Storyteller - The Definitive Collection
Jim Henson's Fantasy Film Collection - (Labyrinth / MirrorMask / The Dark Crystal)
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on 21 November 2003
Absolutley a must see film, one of the best films of its time, effects and graphics are so much better on dvd quality. Have it on vhs and dvd the difference is noticeable. Love it, it is enjoyable for both adults and older children definitively a family film. Young children may find it slighly scary at times.
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on 16 March 2001
This is a film I have owned for many years on VHS and I have always been captivated by it. So, when I saw it was available on DVD I HAD to buy it and I have not been dissapointed. The sheer brilliance of what Jim Henson and his team created considering it was made almost 20 years ago is amazing!! What is also wonderful about this DVD is that the original colours have been wonderfully restored and I now notice things in the film that I never noticed on my VHS edition because they are so much easier to see. Some of the extras are brilliant as well, especially the documentary which is a fascinating insight into the making of this classic film! I have to say, I was a little dissapointed with the deleted scenes feature as I expected to have more commentary about why the scenes were deleted and also many of the scenes are just original takes on scenes that did make it into the film and were just altered slightly (sometimes u can't notice the difference other than the film quality).
However, if you have never seen this film, or if you are already a passionate Dark Crystal fan, I urge you to buy this DVD, it really is money well spent!!!
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on 4 March 2005
This is an fantastic film as the other reviews say, and Jim Henson's creature shop has done an amazing job with the puppets but all credit should go to Brian Froud for designing these characters and making them alive while they were still drawings on a page. I dont think enough people know about his genius being the starting point for this film!
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