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The Dark Crystal [1982] (1 disc)

Director:Frank Oz
Jim Henson
Writer:David Odell
Composer:Trevor Jones
Length:94 minutes
(1 hour 34 minutes)
MPAA Rating:PG
Suggested Event Use:Halloween
Sorting Category:Fantasy
Sorting Tub:Juliet
IMDB Rating:7.0/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating:69%
Amazon Rating:4.5/5 stars
User rating sites like above
are subject to change
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  • Drama
  • Fantasy
  • Kids
  • Family
  • Puppets
  • Action
  • Romance
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Synopsis: Jen must go on a long journey to heal his world but without first knowing what it is he must do.

Reaction: Beautifully told and filmed, this is a wonderful fantasy from the mind of Jim Henson himself.

Personal Rating: 10/10

"Who sent ya?"
"My master, wisest of the Mystics."
"Is HE here?!"
"He's dead."
"Mmm. Could be anywhere."

Frank Oz => Director / Podling / Additional Characters / Aughra - A Keeper Of Secrets / Chamberlain
Jim Henson => Director / Podling / High Priest (Ritual Master) / Additional Characters / Jen
David Odell => Writer
Trevor Jones => Composer
Brian Froud => Conceptual Artist
Gary Kurtz => Producer
Wendy Midener => Puppet Designer
Barry Dennen => Podling (voice) / Chamberlain
Billie Whitelaw => Aughra (voice)
Dave Goelz => Podling (performer) / Dying Emperor (performer) / Fizzgig, A Friendly Monster (performer) / General (Garthin Master) (performer)
Deep Roy => Additional Performer
Jack Purvis => Additional Performer
Jerry Nelson => Dying Emperor (voice) / High Priest
Joseph O'Conor => Urskeks (voice) / Narrator
Kathryn Mullen => Jen, A Gelfling (assistant) / Additional Characters (uncredited) / Kira, A Gelfling (performer)
Kiran Shah => Jen (body) / Additional Performer / Aughra (body) (uncredited) / Kira (body) (uncredited)
Lisa Maxwell => Kira (voice)
Malcolm Dixon => Additional Performer
Michael Kilgarriff => General (voice)
Mike Edmonds => Additional Performer
Mike Quinn => Slave Master (performer)
Percy Edwards => Fizzgig (voice)
Peter Burroughs => Additional Performer
Robbie Barnett => Landstrider (performer) / Numerologist (performer)
Sean Barrett => Urzah (voice)
Simon Williamson => Ursol, The Chanter (performer)
Stephen Garlick => Jen (voice)
Steve Whitmire => Scientist (performer and voice) / Kira, A Gelfling (assistant) (voice)
Tim Rose => Treasurer (performer)

Random Trivia For This Title:

  • From a budget of $15 million, The Dark Crystal made slightly over $40 million, a rather disappointing figure. This was put down to the fact that many parents felt the film was too scary for their children and also because it opened against the box office juggernaut that was E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
  • Jim Henson personally trimmed twenty minutes from the film after a disastrous preview in San Francisco. Henson also ordered many of the character voices re-dubbed to eliminate some of the invented character languages to make the film more accessible and the plot easier to follow.
  • Was the highest-grossing box office release of 1983 in France and Japan.
  • Early drafts of the script featured Jen and Kira traveling through the underworld where they encountered a race of underground mining creatures. This concept was later integrated by Jim Henson into [Fraggle Rock] and served as the partial basis for the story of The Power of the Dark Crystal.
  • Conceptual designer Brian Froud was behind the look and feel of virtually every aspect of the film's production, from creatures and landscapes right down to the font of the opening title. In total, it took up five years of his life.
  • The Garthim costumes were so heavy that the performers had to be hung up on a rack every five minutes to rest whilst still in costume.
  • The Special Edition DVD features several "workprint" takes showing early passes at dialogue. This early voice-over work differs from the final dialogue in several ways: the Skeksis speak in a foreign language, Frank Oz provided the voice of Aughra (sounding very similar to his voice work for Yoda in the Star Wars movies), and the Mystics were referred to by (presumably) their original name, the ur-Ru. The novelization was apparently based on this earlier version, referring to the "Trial By Stone" contest by its original name - "Hakskeekah" - and calling the Mystics the ur-Ru. In the final film, one reference to ur-Ru was not redubbed: when the Mystics enter the Skeksis Great Hall, SkekOk, the Scrollkeeper sees them and shouts "Ur-Ru!"
  • Brian Froud's fascination with lobsters led to many crustacean touches in the design of the film, particularly in the design of the Garthim, the henchmen of the Skeksis.
  • This is the only movie made by the Henson workshop where 100% of the characters are puppets.