The Dark Crystal Movie Review: The Puppet Film that Traumatized Many Children.

4 stars
After watching the prequel series to Jim Henson and Frank Oz’s The Dark Crystal movie on Netflix, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, I decided to check out that original film again.
It had been a long time since I had seen the film.
I think I was about eight the first time I watched it with my dad, and I have fond memories of it giving me nightmares of melting Skeksis faces.
In any case, the fact I remembered quite a bit about it years after watching it shows how well crafted of a film The Dark Crystal is.
The story is set in the fantasy world of Thra, where a young Gelfling named Jen (voiced by Stephen Garlick), who is thought to be the last of his kind, is sent on a mission to heal the Dark Crystal and stop the Skeksis from ruling the world.

Jen gets a quest.jpg
Jen is given his quest by his old Mystic master.

Along the way, he surprisingly encounters another Gelfling, named Kira (voiced by Lisa Maxwell), who joins him on his quest.
The big thing that separates The Dark Crystal from other fantasy stories is that all of its characters are portrayed by puppets, which are amazing for the time.
Although, sometimes it can be a bit uncanny, the puppetry is great for the Skeksis, especially the Chamberlain (voiced by Barry Dennen) who has perfect facial expressions.
And, just like the prequel series, the Chamberlain is my favourite character.
He was the character I remembered the most coming into that series and there is a reason for that.
He is such a weasel in the film, being one of cinema’s greatest backstabbers, in my opinion.

the chamberlain 1.jpg
The Chamberlain’s puppetry is surprisingly expressive, highlighting his duplicitous nature perfectly.

The lore of The Dark Crystal is also great, with the connection between the Skeksis and their counterparts the Mystics being highly interesting.
That does not mean the film is flawless, however, because I did have one big issue after watching it.
That issue is Jen, who is quite a bland protagonist.
He is the typical, chosen one who does not really do all that much.
In all honesty, he pretty much gets helped the entire way and does almost nothing until the end.

Kira has to do everything for Jen, making her the more capable character.

Still, the problems with Jen do not limit this film’s grand scale and other interesting characters, helped by the magnificent puppetry.
The Dark Crystal is a great fantasy film, with a lot of imagination behind it.
I just feel sad after watching this again, now knowing for sure that the prequel series can only end in tragedy.

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