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The Dark Crystal (1982)

PG  |   |  Adventure, Family, Fantasy  |  17 December 1982 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 37,961 users  
Reviews: 209 user | 80 critic

On another planet in the distant past, a Gelfling embarks on a quest to find the missing shard of a magical crystal, and so restore order to his world.

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(screenplay), (story)
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Title: The Dark Crystal (1982)

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Kathryn Mullen ...
...
...
Fizzgig, a Friendly Monster (performer) / General, Garthim Master (performer)
...
Scientist (voice)
Louise Gold ...
Brian Muehl ...
Ornamentalist (performer and voice) / Urzah (performer) / Dying Master (performer and voice)
Bob Payne ...
...
Tim Rose ...
Jean-Pierre Amiel ...
Weaver (performer) (as Jean Pierre Amiel)
Hugh Spight ...
Cook (performer) / Landstrider (performer)
Robbie Barnett ...
Numerologist (performer) / Landstrider (performer)
Swee Lim ...
Hunter (performer) / Landstrider (performer)
Simon J. Williamson ...
Chanter (performer) (as Simon Williamson)
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Storyline

Another planet, another time. 1000 years ago the mysterious Dark Crystal was damaged by one of the Urskeks and an age of chaos has began! The evil race of grotesque birdlike lizards the Skeksis, gnomish dragons who rule their fantastic planet with an iron claw. Meanwhile the orphan Jen, raised in solitude by a race of the peace-loving wizards called the Mystics, embarks on a quest to find the missing shard of the Dark Crystal which gives the Skesis their power and restore the balance of the universe. Written by Anthony Pereyra {hypersonic91@yahoo.com}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Another World, Another Time... In the Age of Wonder.


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

17 December 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Dark Chrysalis  »

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (70 mm prints)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Special Edition DVD and the Blu-Ray disc feature 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!" Moreover, in the film's German dubbed version the Mystics are also referred to as ur-Ru. The filmmaker's decision to rename them came too late for the German dialogue track, which was already in the making at the time. See more »

Goofs

When Aughra squats down and tells Jen "There is much to be learned and you have no time." As she says that there is a piece of hair in her mouth, as she says the line it falls out, but when they cut back to her the hair is back in her mouth. See more »

Quotes

Chamberlain: Hmmmmm...
General: I hate your whimper!
Chamberlain: HMMMM!
[they proceed down the hallway]
Chamberlain: Hmmmmmmm-mmmmm...
General: QUIET!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits show only the credits for the crew. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Castle: Home Is Where the Heart Stops (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Gelfling Song
(uncredited)
Written by Trevor Jones
Performed by Lisa Maxwell
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A major accomplishment!
1 October 2006 | by (The Penumbra) – See all my reviews

It took an infinity of imagination to make The Dark Crystal, a film so overflowing with invention that you literally have to watch it about 100 times just to take it all in. Everyone involved, from the director to the best boy gave the film such loving affection and made it the best it could possibly be. Kid's movies (if you want to call it that) these days simply are not what they used to be and probably never will be again. This is yet another thing that makes The Dark Crystal so damn precious.

The film is set in another world, in another time in an age of wonder. It has been 999 years and 1 year since the powerful, life-giving crystal cracked and stopping shining. Since then the land has become barren and the Urskeks (a race of God-like beings) have split into two separate races, the peaceful Uru 'Mystics' and the evil Skeksis-a horrific cross between bird and reptile. The three suns that shine upon the land are about to line up in a great conjunction that only happens once every 1000 years. If the crystal is not repaired before then the cruel Skeksis will rule the land forever.

Jen is a Gelfling (a sort of fairy creature), believed to be the last of his race. A prophecy tells of a single Gelfling defeating the Skeksis and restoring peace to the land. Raised by the Uru, Jen begins a journey to repair the crystal when the Skeksis Emperor dies (in a truly disturbing scene). On his way he meets Aughra, a sort of witch creature and Kira, another Gelfling and her race of Podling people (sort of like Fraggles). Though there is no specific love scene between them, there is a very nice romance developing through-out the story.

Filmed in gorgeous locations across England and Scotland (with the use of a lot of matte paintings of course) the film really, really does take you to another world. There's not a single human in sight (a perfect world or what) and, with exception to the awful Skeksis, almost every creature is cute and fluffy (such as Kira's Fizzgig). The production design, in particular the genius contributions by Brian Froud, is so immense and impressive that you wish you could jump through the screen and actually be there in order to appreciate it more.

Trevor Jones' breathtaking, beautiful score is among his best work (tying with Merlin in 1998) and is surely some of the best film music you are ever likely to hear. Ever! There was a limited edition of the score put on CD a few years ago but only 5000 were ever printed. It's sure to be quite expensive now but it's so goddamn worth it! Henson, Oz and Froud teamed up again a few years later to make Labyrinth which seems to be more fondly remembered as it's not as sinister as The Dark Crystal and has human actors in it to make it more accessible to those with narrower minds. I prefer this one though (no fruity songs, no David Bowie!) as it has a certain edge to it that Labyrinth lacks.

An epic. A masterpiece. An unforgettable classic. The Dark Crystal is magical, mystical timeless classic. I can't recommend it enough. If only we still had movies like this. I'll take risk-taking The Dark Crystal over PC drek like The Shaggy Dog any day.


38 of 50 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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What disturbed you most about this film? crazytwinks13
Why didn't Aughra heal the Dark Crystal herself? jessicahjoy87
Dark Crystal or Labyrinth nessanddave
Miscellaneous and plot hole gibsonrickenbacker-1
Puppet monsters with glowing eyes are scary, CGI monsters are not lisacamillek
A Masterpiece matthewcs25
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