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The Dark Crystal (1982)

PG  |   |  Adventure, Family, Fantasy  |  17 December 1982 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 39,187 users  
Reviews: 210 user | 81 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.




(screenplay), (story)
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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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 ...
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)


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


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


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

17 December 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Dark Chrysalis  »

Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (70 mm prints)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


In February 1978, Jim Henson and his daughter Cheryl Henson found themselves stuck at an airport hotel when Kennedy Airport was struck by a New York snowstorm. They spent the time working out the details of the world of The Dark Crystal on numerous sheets of hotel note paper. These notes became the inspiration for The Dark Crystal's screenplay. Work on the film didn't begin in earnest until 1979, after the completion of The Muppet Movie (1979) which was shot in Los Angeles. The Dark Crystal however, was shot back to back with The Great Muppet Caper (1981) in England. See more »


When Jen and Kira are climbing into the Castle via the water duct, Kira bumps her head on the tooth of the water-spouting gargoyle. See more »


[first lines]
Narrator: Another world, another time, in the age of wonder. A thousand years ago, this land was green and good - until the Crystal cracked. For a single piece was lost; a shard of the Crystal. Then strife began, and two new races appeared: the cruel Skeksis, the gentle Mystics. Here in the castle of the Crystal, the Skeksis took control. Now the Skeksis gather in the sacred chamber, where the Crystal hangs above a shaft of air and fire. The Skeksis with their hard and twisted bodies, their ...
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Crazy Credits

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


Featured in Animation Lookback: Don Bluth Part 5 (2012) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A very imaginative tale that's easy to love.
12 October 2005 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

"Another world. Another time. In the Age of Wonder." So begins the classic fantasy story that is The Dark Crystal, Henson's best and, to date, only all-creature film. My father bought this movie for me the day I was born, so I quite literally grew up watching it. It's a story that never gets old. The characters are unforgettable, with a wonderful musical score that sticks in the head. Jen, the main character, finds that he is ordained to fulfill a prophecy finally revealed to him by his master, the wisest of the Mystics. A single crystal shard was lost long ago, and must be recovered before the three suns align in the sky. But Jen must first find the shard, and then figure out what to do with it once he has it, all the while trying to stay one step ahead of the cruel Skeksis. And time is running out. The thing that I think makes this movie so memorable is the fact that it is so unlike other fantasy films. It exists in a world all its own, with new creatures and characters you don't find in other films. If looking for a companion to the film, I recommend the book of the same name. It goes into more detail about the world of Thra, and I feel it greatly enhances the immersion into the film. I recommend this film to any fantasy fan who has not seen it, and if you have seen it, I find it worth seeing again.

23 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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