The Dark Crystal
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Product Description

Jim Henson's fantasy epic The Dark Crystal doesn't take place a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, but like Star Wars it takes the audience to a place that exists only in the imagination and, for an hour and a half, on the screen. Recalling the worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien, Henson tells the story of a race of grotesque birdlike lizards called the Skeksis, gnomish dragons who rule their fantastic planet with an iron claw. A prophecy tells of a Gelfling (a small elfin being) who will topple their empire, so in their reign of terror they have exterminated the race, or so they think. The orphan Jen, raised in solitude by a race of peace-loving wizards called the Mystics, embarks on a quest to find the missing shard of the Dark Crystal (which gives the Skeksis their power) and restore the balance of the universe. Henson and codirector Frank Oz have pushed puppetry into a new direction: traditional puppets, marionettes, giant bodysuits, and mechanical constructions are mixed seamlessly in a fantasy world of towering castles, simple huts, dank caves, a giant clockwork observatory, and a magnificent landscape that seem to have leaped off the pages of a storybook. Muppet fans will recognize many of the voice actors--a few characters sound awfully close to familiar comic creations--but otherwise it's a completely alien world made familiar by a mythic quest that resonates through stories over the ages.

The DVD features the 50-minute documentary The World of the Dark Crystal, with interviews and illuminating behind-the-scenes glimpses. The VHS edition includes a shortened 15-minute version of the documentary. --Sean Axmaker

Customer Reviews:

  • A dark and complete fantasy realm
    Dark Crystal is completely puppets with no human actors making an appearance. Gorgeously inventive scenes and music that fully create a whole other worldly experience. Not just some children's tale- It has corruption, death, greed... It is similar to Lord of the Rings in it's epic journey/prophecy storytelling where the small must perform a big task with help of friends for the larger good; only he's healing a crystal in order to banish evil, not banishing a ring of evil.
    I'm not familiar with each releases extras, for as long as I have the movie itself I'm happy. But you may want to compare the various releases before purchase to find the edition with the extras you prefer....more info
  • The Dark Crystal Review
    This movie is a classic. Jim Henson had a hand in it, and it is about a small looks like a teenager-type male who has to take a crystal shard to heal a larger crystal that is being controlled by these evil and UGLY larger characters (and I DO MEAN UGLY) called Skeksis. If he doesn't get the shard to the main crystal in time the world will blow up. Although this movie could be watched by children, and enjoyed by them, I think it was mostly made for adult entertainment. There are a lot of adult concepts. No nudity, no language, no situations unsuitable for children. This movie is a lot of fun, and the Henson characters are amazing, they are so beautifully done. Great movie, a great addition to any library. ...more info
  • Mom loves this movie!
    This is a pretty good movie, it was better to me when I was little though :) Since technology has come so far along now. I couldn't get over the price though, it was $6.99 so I couldn't resist adding it to my collection.

    An all time favorite!...more info
  • LOTR fan? Watch this movie
    This movie is one of my all time favorites. Henson's masterpiece. It's inventive, its interesting, engaging and the world is quite wonderful. There are lessons learned and many parallels between the world Henson created and our own. It's a wonderful fantasty film that really breathes a life all its own. It's also a film that can be enjoyed by all, adults and children....more info
  • "Another World, Another Time, in the Age of Wonder..."
    So begins Jim Henson's 1982 masterpiece The Dark Crystal, an amazing fantasy film that primarily uses puppets as its main characters. The Dark Crystal is perhaps the Muppet creator's most thoughtful endeavor and is a must-see for all fans of fantasy films or for fans of Jim Henson. The level of detail and the precision of the artistry that went into this film is a testament to what a great filmmaker can do, and Jim Henson was (and still is) a great filmmaker.

    The story concerns Jen, a Gelfling, who must save his planet by restoring the legendary Dark Crystal, which must be done before the three suns of his planet meet in the Great Conjunction. If he fails chaos and destruction shall reign eternal. He begins his mission after his mentor, the wisest of the Mystics, dies. To a young Gelfling like Jen, the world seems an enormous and strange place. He encounters numerous dangers but finally reaches the home of the ancient being known as Aughra. Aughra gives Jen the crystal shard that he seeks, but the forces of evil invade her home and Jen has to flee before she can tell him anymore about his task. Meanwhile the cruel Skeksis are hunting Jen, for it is prophesized that a Gelfling will bring about their doom. But Jen finds an ally in Kira, the only other living Gelfling to survive the Skeksis' slaughter of their race years before. Jen and Kira, along with her furry and ferocious pet Fizzgig, set out for the castle of the Skeksis. But can they survive the dangers of the journey and restore balance to their world?

    Henson's film (I should also mention that it was co-directed by puppeteer Frank Oz) is a stunning achievement in pre-digital special effects and features a profound philosophical/spiritual undercurrent that has fascinated viewers for over 25 years. The film is exciting, stimulating and perhaps at times too intense for younger children. But overall it's one of the greatest fantasy films ever made!

    The 25th Anniversary Edition DVD includes the following special features: a beautiful new high definition film transfer, a new commentary track with conceptual designer Brian Froud, The World of the Dark Crystal vintage documentary, deleted scenes, original work print scenes, character illustrations, the new Light on the Path of Creation & Shard of Illusion documentaries, and previews.

    Also recommended:
    Labyrinth
    Jim Henson's the Storyteller: The Definitive Collection
    The Witches
    Jim Henson's Fantasy Film Collection
    The Dark Crystal: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
    The World of the Dark Crystal by Brian Froud...more info
  • The Dark Crystal
    It's a Jim Henson movie, that's really all I have to say. If you havn't seen it, you should. This is a must see....more info
  • Masterpiece!
    You can not go past theis classic masterpiece by Jim Henson and his pupet masters. Classic....more info
  • The Dark Crystal Collector's Edition
    Nice packaging job and a few extras on the discs that are not available on the regular DVD. ...more info
  • AWESOME for the generation who grew up with Jim Henson, however...
    AWESOME collector for the generation who grew up with the Muppets, no doubt.... However, this movie may need to be carefully reviewed by parents before young children watch it.
    I was born in 1979, very young when The Dark Crystal was big. My mother watched EVERYTHING before she let me view any movie or TV show to understand the point that was trying to be made and whether she felt the subject matter was appropriate for me. (This is what parents SHOULD do). Instead of just thinking, 'Oh, Muppets... Jim Henson... Must be OK for her to watch,' she previewed it and was surprised by the angle of the film. Well, the angle of the Skeksis (sp.) anyway.
    The idea of sucking out 'The Essence' of small, inferior creatures to maintain life and youth was a message my mother didn't want me to be exposed to. Now that I'm an adult, I don't believe I would want my kids to see the movie at a very young age for the same reason. Plus too, that part of the movie is kind of scary, you have to see it to know what I mean.
    I don't take a single bit of credability away from Mr. Henson and his group. For that time, they did a tremendous job on the production of this film, considering what we know today about special effects and so on.
    I love this movie, I recommend it to anyone ages 15 and up. And parents, PLEASE monitor what your children are viewing and use the ratings system, but most importantly, use your best judgement on what you feel you want your children to learn from the media. PLEASE WATCH RESPONSIBLY!!! May you rest in peace, Jim. You made my childhood a memorable one!...more info
  • Oh, how I miss the days of puppetry...
    There is just something about vintage special effects (e.g. models, puppetry) that computer generated graphics will never compete with. This is a beautifully, lovingly crafted film that I still enjoy as an adult. It's only afterwards that I think of all the blood, sweat, and tears that must have gone into creating these sets and 'muppets'. I'm still completely in awe...Dark and haunting. Another Jim Henson masterpiece....more info
  • Classic Henson
    I bought this for the kid's and I to watch over the holidays, overall we all enjoyed it, however, my youngest (8 yrs) thought it was a little to scary and went in the other room. Overall, good lap through memory lane and good addition to my growing movie collection of classics from the late 70's through early 90's. It's the classic good against evil genre with the creative ingenuity of Jim Henson to boot. Thumbs up!...more info
  • oppressive and unrewarding
    It's hard for me to see how this movie is worth anybody's time these days.

    "The Dark Crystal" may have been big news back when it came out (in 1982), but it's hard to see what it has to offer anybody in the age of CGI and complete digitization. It hasn't held up well.

    Set in another world, the story concerns the quest of an innocent elf-like creature who must return a crystal shard to its proper resting place in order to save the land. There are no humans in this movie, only Muppet-like creatures. (In case you don't know, this film is considered the masterwork of the two masterminds behind the Muppets, Jim Henson and Frank Oz.)

    Unfortunately for today's viewers, the technology available for breathing life into movie creatures has so comprehensively improved since this film was shot that the "Dark Crystal" cannot avoid showing its age at every turn. Fatally, for a fantasy, it's simply impossible to lose yourself in the world the film attempts to create, since in nearly every shot you cannot get it out of your head that you are essentially looking at a bunch of puppets, or, occasionally, some guy in a mechanized costume.

    As for the story, I found it predictable and marvel at those who claim it is "imaginative." I award very low marks on originality: nearly every story element had been done to death long before this movie saw the light of day.

    So who would like this movie? Children, I guess, -- or perhaps somebody who seems to have an unnatural admiration for all things Muppet.

    But even then I have reservations. The film is so dark, photographically as well as thematically, that it will probably bum you out for the day. Even during those few moments when the sun in shining, the film still comes across as oppressively dark. True, the directors attempt to relieve the gloom in the final ten seconds or so, but by then it's too little, too late. So basically it's like muppets but without the fun.

    Heck, this movie might be unsuitable even for kids. So unrelievedly grim and violent is it (stabbings, burnings, fallings to one's death) that it will probably give any kid under nine at least a couple of nightmares.

    There are plenty of kids' movies out there these days that also have something to say to adults, but not this one. I cannot imagine anything appealing to adults in this movie, especially if you make the mistake of viewing the "making of" documentary, also on this DVD, which will completely breaks any spell the film had a chance at.

    As for the story, I paid strict attention but was needled by crippling questions. The filmmakers seemed to do a terrible job explaining what's going on, where the crystal came from, how it works, how it got broken, or why anybody even needed it to begin with....more info
  • As much as I wanted to love it...
    This certainly is a one-of-a-kind movie, and its unusual production actually works in its favour, adding another layer of melancholic remoteness.
    It certainly stands as a singular achievement of its time, and also as a milestone in the development of film puppetry in general.
    On the strong side are also some great moments in collaboration with the soundtrack and the unusual sense of reality that comes with the intricate puppet technology.
    The movie's biggest problem on the other hand is that so much creativity seems to have been invested into making things look ugly. Not only are the Skeksis a bunch so awful to watch that they could give normally sensitive viewers a cramp in the stomach, it is also the action itself (how they crumble to dust, drain sweet innocent beings from the soul and drinking the juice, feast in the most awful possible way) that are hard to bear, could give children nightmares and leave you with a strange feeling in your belly.
    That being said, the movie certainly has a pretty unique look to it, and it makes some fun to figure out how they might have shot each of the scenes (how it may have actually looked like on the set).

    As much as I love this kind of speciality movie from the early 80ies (another gem from this period is TRON, for example) I would not want to watch "The Dark Chrystal" again any time soon - once was enough.
    I might want to maybe steel from the soundtrack though (e.g. the boating scene with the two Gelflings)...more info
  • awesome
    they really did a great job of remastering this muppet masterpiece. completely satisfied and thrilled i can watch this whenever i want....more info
  • Love the movie
    I only had the basic DVD of this movie awhile back, but saw this one recently and I just had to get it for my birthday. Which I got the The World of the Dark Crystal book as well.

    This one had much more documentaries than the other DVD and I especially liked the additional features and Brian's commentary audio track. It was interesting hearing him talk about parts of the movie.

    I cant compare it to any other of the DVDs so your milage may vary but if you are looking to get this movie and dont have a DVD of it yet... Get this one....more info
  • Fantasy Classic
    This film is one of my early memories, perhaps the first (coherent) memory I have of anything. I remember suddenly being aware of fantastic, amazing creatures and scenes. I'm sure this had an influence over my development.

    This is not a stupid, immature kid movie. It is filled with wonder, complexity and imagination. At times, it has an almost Miyazaki atmosphere. If there is any complaint, it is that the movie is too short. It is interesting, amazing and startling.

    The story centers on a Gelfling - which is an amazing looking elf like creature. It is the task of the Gelfling to mend an object with mythic power known as the Dark Crystal. Adults watching the film will soon catch on to what is happening. The crystal was intentionally broken with supposedly good intentions. It was an attempt to split apart the essence of a semi-divine entity so that it could be rid of its evil side. However, it goes horribly wrong...

    It is a film of contrasts and startling moments. Beautiful elf creatures in fantasy settings clash with scenes of torture and vile totalitarian behavior. Suddenly, the landscape itself could spring to life. Amazing patterns reveal themselves on the walls and pillars.

    This might be a stunning film - even a scary film - for a child used to the shallow, derivative, watered down (overprotective) garbage that is the usual kids fare these days (like a certain kind of derivative, lame and played out computer animated movie or its equivalent). One thing is for sure though - after watching this for the first time in many, many years - The Dark Crystal is an absolute must see.

    If you like this movie check out:
    Nausicaa (or any Miyazaki film)
    Lord of the Rings
    Final Fantasy series
    Zelda
    Legend (the Ridley Scott film)...more info
  • PRETTY DARN GOOD...
    I was not at all interested in getting this movie until my fiance saw it. She says it was one of her favorites as a child, so I had to grab it up and see for myself. I must say, it was very interesting. NOT BAD AT ALL!...more info
  • The Dark Crystal
    There are 10 Skekses left in the world. This cruel, violent species's emporer is dying. There are 10 Mystics left in the world. The wisest Mysitc is dying. When the Mystic leader (the dying one) was younger he rescued a Gelfling from a Skekses raid (there were more of each species back then) and dubbed him Jem. The Mystics taught him everything - except the prophecy (IF YOU TRY TO STOP A PROPHECY IN A MOVIE YOU WILL FAIL, PERIOD.) The prophecy said that if a Gelfling does not repair the Crystal, located in the Crystal Castle, before the 3 suns lined up the world will be plunged into a time of evil forever. Skekses send bug-monsters to catch and kill Jem. Jem goes to the ugly witch Olgra to get the shard which came off. As he turns to leave, the bug-monster things attack Olgra's dome-house. Then they carry off Olgra, but she turns out not to be a Gelfling, let alone Jem. Jem is running for dear life. Then this puffball dog thing growls at him. A girl Gelfling comes out and says something to the puffball, who shuts up. It turns out that the Pod People had saved HER from the SAME raid. Love love lovie dovie. Jem goes to the Pod People with Kira, but then the bugs attack again, and carry off the Pod People, who also turn out not to be Gelflings. Then the bugs actually almost get them, but Kira grabs Jem and flies down a handy cliff. Jem says that he doen't have wings, but Kira replies that, of course not, he's a BOY! Then a Skekse gets banished, and says NOT to repair the Crystal, because they didn't need to, no, they could just live out here forever. Jem thwacks him, and Skekse gets cut.

    Although the characters are Muppets, there are no real jokes. Plenty of adventure. So good, my critical-of-every-detail dad watched it twice a day for who knows how long. Also, in 2008, a sequel called the Power of the Dark Crystal will come out, but with (ugh) ANAMATRONIC PUPPETS. I will watch both, personally....more info
  • a must have....
    i own most of the old fantasy type movies that have gone down as classics and this movie is definetly one of those... enjoy....more info
  • AWESOME for the generation who grew up with Jim Henson, however...
    AWESOME collector for the generation who grew up with the Muppets, no doubt.... However, this movie may need to be carefully reviewed by parents before young children watch it.
    I was born in 1979, very young when The Dark Crystal was big. My mother watched EVERYTHING before she let me view any movie or TV show to understand the point that was trying to be made and whether she felt the subject matter was appropriate for me. (This is what parents SHOULD do). Instead of just thinking, 'Oh, Muppets... Jim Henson... Must be OK for her to watch,' she previewed it and was surprised by the angle of the film. Well, the angle of the Skeksis (sp.) anyway.
    The idea of sucking out 'The Essence' of small, inferior creatures to maintain life and youth was a message my mother didn't want me to be exposed to. Now that I'm an adult, I don't believe I would want my kids to see the movie at a very young age for the same reason. Plus too, that part of the movie is kind of scary, you have to see it to know what I mean.
    I don't take a single bit of credability away from Mr. Henson and his group. For that time, they did a tremendous job on the production of this film, considering what we know today about special effects and so on.
    I love this movie, I recommend it to anyone ages 15 and up. And parents, PLEASE monitor what your children are viewing and use the ratings system, but most importantly, use your best judgement on what you feel you want your children to learn from the media. PLEASE WATCH RESPONSIBLY!!! May you rest in peace, Jim. You made my childhood a memorable one!...more info
  • Holds up surprisingly well; fun for the whole family
    Dark Crystal / B000R8YC1I

    Having missed out on the majority of the 1980's fantasy flicks, for various reasons, I've been backfilling my knowledge in this area, with mixed results. I definitely enjoyed Conan - The Complete Quest and Red Sonja was fun, but Willow (Special Edition) was, in my opinion, a bit campy. I wasn't sure what to expect from a "kid's movie" like Dark Crystal, but I love the Muppets, so I was willing to give it a go.

    Dark Crystal is, in my opinion, a surprisingly good film, even watched 'for the first time' nearly thirty years after its debut. The plot is easy enough for a child to follow, but engaging enough to maintain an adult's interest. The idea that extreme good and extreme evil are two sides of the same coin is not a new one, but it is fascinating to explore the implications here.

    The characters are vibrant and imaginative; I was thoroughly sucked in by the quiet and kind Mystics, the bickering and vicious Skeksis, and the plucky and hopeful Gelflings. The puppet-work here is truly superb and really makes the viewer reminiscent for the old days - they just don't do puppet work like this anymore. (And though I love CGI-Yoda battles as much as the next person, there's just something more `real' about the puppets, somehow. But I'm showing my age now, I suppose.) Most appreciated of all, I was pleased and delighted to see that the heroine is - in many ways - even more capable and just as crucial to the fulfillment of the prophecy as our sweet Gelfling hero is. It is very nice to see a role for women in a fantasy movie that extends beyond "needs rescuing" or "looks great in a chainmail bikini".

    I would definitely recommend this movie to anyone looking for a good fantasy film, particularly one that is child-friendly and fairly non-violent. There is some scary material here - such as the crystal that removes the "life essence" of the captives - but everything is put right in the end. I actually enjoyed Dark Crystal more than the more recent City of Ember, and for a movie that is past its twenty-fifth anniversary mark, that's saying something.

    This movie provides captions for the hearing impaired....more info
  • Awsome movie
    This movie is excellent, it is a wild adventure with fascinating creatures. I have loved this movie for a very long time!...more info
  • Oldies
    This movie I bought because I had never seen it. If you don't mind squaking bird sounds and nails on a chalkboard- than go for it. I had a headache half way through. This movie has more noise than dialogue....more info
  • Good movie
    At first thought I thought this video would be too scary for my kids (31/2 & 6), but my husband insisted that they would love it. Guess what? He was right! They know the whole storyline and tell me "Don't worry mom it's not real they are just make believe puppets!" ...more info
  • Dark for Jim Henson, but a must for his hardcore fans!
    A lot of people dont like this movie..then I meet a lot who do..I love this movie because I am a big kid and a fan of both fantasy in general and Jim Henson so it really is a dark thrill. Might be a little scary for VERY small kids under 5....more info
  • good quality. good price
    my boyfriend loves this movie, cheesey story, thin plot, good animation...more info
  • Fantasy-children
    I buy these type of movies for my grandkids,they seem to enjoy these over cartoons and I don't mind watching them with them....more info
  • Remastered and with extra features
    This movie is Jim Henson's magnum opus. There isn't a fantasy movie out there that brings you to a whole different reality like The Dark Crystal does. Yes the movie is all performed entirely by puppets and yes there isn't a human being in site. That's the beauty of it. With a combination of an excellent story, innovative (for its time) animatronics, beautiful sets and cinematography you get a truly dazzling experience that any fantasy fan would be a fool not to miss.

    The biggest aspect of Dark Crystal is the setting. They created a whole different world with its own animals, plants and terrain. The level of detail put into creating this new world is staggering and you get some good scenes to soak yourself up in it. From the rock caves of the Mystics to the jagged spires of the Skesis castle to Aughra's planetarium to every landscape in between. You will get drawn into this alien world. The beauty of the sets and location shots is only enhanced with some fantastic cinematography and conventional effects.

    Since we are essentially talking about a puppet show brought to you as a feature film let's talk about the puppets. Granted they might seem a bit archaic by today's standards, they were nothing short of incredible back in 1982. To have puppets act and react in such an organic and lifelike fashion was never done on film before. This is the first movie where you get that sort of eye and mouth movements we have come so used to with current animatronics. Famed artist Brian Froud created all of the creatures and characters for Dark Crystal and if you're a fan of his work you will definitely see it. When you look at the majesty of the Mystics you forget they are just people covered in foam latex.

    Of course having a truly creative setting and truly creative characters would not be enough to make a great movie. Lord knows fantasy fans have seen plenty of examples that prove that point. However this movie has a story that is as classic as any fable you have read before. By the time you finish this movie if will feel like you just read a grand fairy tale... only about wondrous and fantastic creatures never seen before. It's not deep storytelling. Then again it shouldn't be considering the mythical theme.

    The original release of this DVD had a host of wonderful extras that made it the only DVD you would ever need... UNTIL NOW! This DVD has everything that made the original release great plus a good deal more. Here's what you get:

    REFLECTIONS OF THE DARK CRYSTAL - Two-part featurette (Shard of Illusion [16 minutes] and Light on the Path of Creation [20 minutes]) with more recent interviews from writers, directors, and performers including co-writer David O'Dell, conceptual designer Brian Froud, and Jim Henson's son Brian. These featurettes also include newly discovered test footage from Jim Henson's home in England.

    WORLD OF THE DARK CRYSTAL - The most amazing "making of" documentary one can ever ask for. It details over an hour of footage regarding conceptual design, character creation, production, cinematography, the philosophy behind the creation of this movie and the world it is based on, and more. This documentary was made while the Dark Crystal was released so you get interviews with the man himself, Jim Henson at the time of the movie along with scores of others involved in the movie. Most "making of" documentaries that come out with movies these days are little more than lip service to help promote the movie. I wish they would follow the model done on THIS documentary.

    WORK PRINT SCENES - The original concept of The Dark Crystal was to have many of the creatures speak their own language, which we would get subtitles for, in order to further put in that different world. I think that would have been a cool way to see the movie and with this footage you get an idea of Jim Henson's original concept. Keep in mind this is not fully produced footage and it's not the same as seeing the end product. Namely the character Augra is being dubbed with Frank Oz's Miss Piggy-esque voice over and of course there is no music or post-production. Still it's interesting to get a taste of what the movie could have been like.

    DELETED SCENE - Just one deleted scene, which was the Skeksis funeral. You're really not missing much taking it out if you ask me. The funeral itself is boring. The scene has some footwate with Jen talking to one of the Mystics about his quest, which was nice. No remastering on the scene of course. It's pretty grainy.

    Top all of that off with a newly remastered high definition print, dolby digital sound and an audio commentary by Brian Froud and you have the new winner on which is the definitive Dark Crystal DVD. The difference in video quality is almost night and day. The previous DVDs were grainy and the colors weren't as vibrant. The remastering does these movies a lot of justice in cleaning up the picture and breathing new life in a 25+ year old movie.

    Something I noticed on the audio. The original disk had a Spanish dub track in mono, but this version doesn't. It does, however have a Japanese 5.1 dolby track while the original didn't. There is also no Spanish subtitles (something I find odd considering how easy it would be to add). I suppose the spanish speaking Dark Crystal fans may be put off from this.

    I will admit that some people might be put off of this movie due to the lack of human actors in front of you and the fact the puppet animatronics might feel dated. It's a shame people would feel that way because The Dark Crystal is fantasy storytelling at its finest. If you are a fan of the genre this movie is an absolute must. If you're a Muppet fan... well these aren't Muppets so don't expect Fraggle Rock when you see it. Any fan of grand storytelling who wants to be whisked away to a strange faraway land will find what they are looking for in The Dark Crystal. Do yourself a favor and check this movie out.


    ...more info
  • Cult classic
    One of my favorite movies of all times. This movie is an inspiring example of what can be achieved when the mind is set free of conventional wisdom. An excellent movie for any age group, from toddlers to adults....more info
  • Cool movie
    One of my favorite movies, great for the kids and not bad for an 80's flick....more info