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The Dark Crystal
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Product Description

The Dark Crystal is a masterful live - action fantasy starring some of Jim Henson s most imaginative creatures ever! Directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz and produced by Gary Kurtz the Dark Crystal brilliantly weaves a timeless myth of Good and Evil!In another time The Dark Crystal - a source of Balance and Truth in the Universe - was shattered dividing the world into two factions: the wicked Skeksis and the peaceful Mystics. Now as the convergence of the three suns approaches the Crystal must be healed or darkness will reign forevermore!It s up to Jen - the last of his race - to fulfill the prophecy that a Gelfling will return the missing shard to the Crystal and destroy the Skeksis evil Empire. But will young Jen s courage be any match for the unknown dangers that await him?System Requirements:Directed By: Frank Oz and Jim Hensen. Running Time: 94 Min. Color. This film is presented in "Widescreen" format. Copyright 1999 Columbia TriStar Home Video.Format: DVD MOVIE Genre: SCI-FI/FANTASY Rating: PG UPC: 043396028494 Manufacturer No: 02849

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. --Sean Axmaker

Customer Reviews:

  • 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
    Legend (the Ridley Scott film)...more info
  • Cool movie
    One of my favorite movies, great for the kids and not bad for an 80's flick....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
  • A real world of puppets
    This have to be Jim Henson's best movie - too bad it is hard to find or unknown by a large number of people - I was shocked to find this movie in a walmart - I thought the muppets, big seasame street and the other characters from the late 80s onwards were Jim Henson's only work (Labyrinth was a except - I saw it in high school class) - I only caught fleeting images of his other works from old Sci Fiction vhs ads which I either rented or watched at other people's home. This movie is amazing - I meant amazing into that it show even ecosystems - not digitalized or anything that are made of puppets or props (no real plants were used or large amount of fake plants) - I can't just stop thinking of that scene which show a fast turtle - like creature chasing fireflies - like creatures into the mouth of a creature which have the vague resemble to Jabba the Hutt that live in the ground which showed its sastify of the meal by blowing and moving the coral/sponge thing on its back in an alien forest ecosystem that is like a hybrid of a coral reef and a tropical rainforest. And that's just the short sideshow - the other characters, while rather clique like other sci fi movies moves and behave like any other modern movies. And that is not to even say of the crab - like golem? guards which are just a secondary character which are able to move its multi legs using just strings and other stage props - no digital erasing - the stage props are invisible to us - the viewer and behave like a creature/machine hybrid with jerking motions and then when it moves away it moves like a living creature. And then there's the ending to this movie - amazing.
    I would like to recommend this movie to those who like special effects and the work the crew of Jim Henson put in this movie - the story is stale but the special effects and puppets are worth watching...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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Fantastic Movie
    The Dark Crystal is a fantastic puppetmation movie. You are taken to a whole new world with new creatures. There truly alien life forms everywhere and that's what makes the movie so special. It's not just another alien movie because it happens somewhere else. You actually feel like you're on an alien world. It's just as powerful now as it was when I first saw it as a kid....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
  • The Dark Crystal DVD
    I have seen this DVD before but never had one of my own. I enjoy fantasy and this is one of my favorites. I would have preferred full screen, but the wide screen version is nice. If you like fantasy, I would recommend this this one....more info
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Wonderful
    This movie is so dear to me. Brian Froud is a master at art and fantasy. The Dark Crystal is a children's classic to me, and to those that claim to have 'nightmares' from it, then you need help. I wouldn't recommend letting a small child see this movie because it does have a few frightening images but I don't understand how someone can be 'scarred' for life from this movie. Anyway, this movie is great. I love it....more info
  • Fantasy at it's best
    Charming fantasy with impeccable art and story. In the character Jen you see the soul of "Kermit" (and of Jim Henson his creator). Any Muppet fan will be touched deeply....more info
  • Xmas Gift
    My 22 year old son and his girlfriend, who are Animation Majors at San Jose State University loved this "Dark Crystal 25th Anniversary Edition", but I have no clue why. As a Mom, it just doesn't appeal to me, but hey, it was a Christmas gift, they loved it, that is all that matters....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
    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 Collector's Edition
    Nice packaging job and a few extras on the discs that are not available on the regular DVD. ...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:
    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
  • Dark Crystal - 25th Anniversary
    This movie was amazing! Incredible to think how far ahead of his time Henson was when they did this film...(when I saw it the first time)
    But now the sound and images are soooo crisp & clear - totally made the movie an awesome experience. Proud to add to my collection!
    ...more info
  • dvd review
    Received this DVD on time and without a problem. Made my son very happy at Christmas. Thanks....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
  • A Live-action Puppeteering Masterpiece!
    Organic over CGI any day! There is an intimate feeling in this fantasy film that is all too often lost in the sterility of computer animation these days. Even with texture rendering abilities breaking new ground everyday, in my opinion there's still nothing comparable to the soft magic which Jim Henson has created here. A team of creative wizards, free from the bonds of a cubicle, are literally submerged into the world of their creation. The Dark Crystal changed my understanding of puppetry forever....previously associated with the more simplistic creations viewed on television shows like Sesame Street & The Muppets, their full potential is revealed here! Some how, the more bazaar and unusual the characters become, the more real they seem to be.
    Enjoy this film; it may be one of a kind!
    This 25 year Anniversary Edition should be something Special! Damn...was it really that long ago? ...more info
  • Masterpiece!
    You can not go past theis classic masterpiece by Jim Henson and his pupet masters. Classic....more info
  • Like watching a movie with your head wrapped in dirty cellophane
    The Dark Crystal is one of the movies I first saw when I was a kid. The movie has lost little of its charm over the years. I bought this version because I couldn't find the 25th anniversary version locally and didn't want to wait on shipping. The box said it had been 'mastered in HD' so I figured that meant it would look good on my 1080p HDTV. Well, I was wrong.

    The quality of the picture in this version is terrible. It looks like they used a beat up rental VHS tape to make this DVD. Random pinpoint flashes of white marr just about every scene. There are also blemishes in the form of dirt specks and floating black hairs. For a short time near the end there are even faded thin bars that slide across the screen. The credits are even slightly blurry. I had to keep reminding myself that at least this was the first time I've seen the movie in widescreen format.

    I had previously bought season 1 of the Muppet Show and it looks WONDERFUL on the same TV. So bright and vibrant, with a clear picture. Never in my wildest dreams would I have figured that a TV show from the 70s would look better on an HDTV than a movie that was 'mastered in HD'.

    Don't waste your $10 like I did... Get the 25th anniversary verison instead. I'm not sure if the picture looks any better, but it sure can't look much worse....more info
  • Good
    I liked this movie; good family movie that the whole family can watch. If you like "muppets",you'll like this one....more info
  • Must Have
    This is an awesome DVD. Jim Henson was ahead of his time. If you don't have do yourself a favor and get it. It is visually spectacular. I have seen it dozens of times and each time I watch it I see something I have missed that just shows the attention to detail....more info
  • Great Classic
    Great movie which I consider a classic. The story of good and evil that can't live without each other. The graphics or puppetry is not as good as it is in 2008 but it was done well for the time it was made. The story will keep you entertained....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
  • Great fantasy, great puppetry!
    Jen is the last of the elf-like Gelflings. After the Garthim, servants of the evil Skeksis, slaughtered his people he was taken in and raised by the gentle Mystics. When his teacher dies, Jen set out into the world to fulfill a prophecy that a Gelfling will heal the Dark Crystal, and bring an end to the reign of the Skeksis. Jen's world is turned upside-down when he meets Kira, who also considered herself the last Gelfling, and discovers love.

    This movie was created by the incomparable Jim Henson, and includes some of the finest puppetry ever produced. The scenes are dramatic, and the action intense. This is one of the finest fantasy movies ever produced. And now, with the coming of the 25th anniversary of the release of The Dark Crystal, the movie has been digitally remastered, and coupled with a number of great extras!

    Now, I have found the younger children - 10 and under - often found this movie too frightening, but viewing the "Making of..." documentary (World of the Dark Crystal) takes the fright out of the Skesis. Nonetheless, this movie is rated PG, and is probably not a good movie for younger viewers. That said, though, this is a great movie and a thrilling fantasy!...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