The world of puppeteer(ing) through Jim Henson productions has been long gone in the world of film has all but vanished and as much as I loved Team America it’s clearly not the same thing. The Dark Crystal is one of those films that falls into obscurity as the years roll by us having the average movie goer embrace their faces of confusion when I ask them if they’ve seen this classic fantasy film. For those who don’t know, The Dark Crystal is set in a grim world of magic, sorcery, and creatures only the most fantastical minds could conjure. It centers around a Gelfing named Jen (Stephen Garlick) who is adopted by ancient, but peaceful beings known as Mystics as Jen journeys to find the missing peace of the Dark Crystal to restore balance and peace to the land.
With my description of the film, I can understand the trepidation when you decide to get this on Netflix or DVD, but what you will get is a film that will make you believe in magic like when you were a kid. Puppets can be weird and tough to watch, but this isn’t Sesame Street, instead of constantly goofy and colorful characters, we are given muted visuals of a stark but lush scenery to constantly marvel at.
The creation of original characters and concepts is not as dead an art as we like to think it is, but like most gems (pun intended), they are hard to find. It’s when we find them we can only smile at the feelings of tribulation and success brought forth to us. It’s heartfelt and gripping and can be appreciated as a frightened child to a humbled adult and it will still release the endorphins that you had through childhood playing pretend.
It becomes heartbreaking and heart replenishing through its run-time and leaves you captivated like you were staring up at the stars. Often funny in it’s dark and mangled ways, you can’t help but wait to see what the villainous Skeksis will do next. Vulture like creatures with the avarice and coveting nature fit for the most tyrannical of kings and queens, they seduce us with their cruelty and sing to our twisted levels of human nature. They are cunning and vile like most villains but all are unique in the sense of personality.
While it may not be everyone’s cup of tea in the fantasy/adventure department of films, you are going to get a film that I consider to be a classic in film making. From the backdrop of the dark and gloomy world of Gelfings, Mystics, and Skeksis, you are immersed in this world like you were viewing quicksand up close and it will take your breath away just the same. But if you are lucky enough to come out of this metaphoric pit of sand, be thankful you are still breathing after what you just witnessed because The Dark Crystal is unlike anything you will ever see. It is clearly another A+ here at Gunn’s Range and will remain that way until I’m six feet under dirt.
I encourage you all to view this Jim Henson and Frank Oz masterpiece on a nice night with popcorn and a cozy blanket because only then…only then will the full effect of this film hit you.