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The Dark Crystal (1982)

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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.

Directors:

Jim Henson, Frank Oz

Writers:

David Odell (screenplay), Jim Henson (story)
Reviews
Popularity
144 ( 50)
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jim Henson ... Jen, a Gelfling (performer) / High Priest, a Ritual Master (performer)
Kathryn Mullen ... Kira, a Gelfling (performer)
Frank Oz ... Aughra, a Keeper Of Secrets (performer) / Chamberlain (performer)
Dave Goelz ... Fizzgig, a Friendly Monster (performer) / General, Garthim Master (performer)
Steve Whitmire ... Scientist (voice)
Louise Gold Louise Gold ... Gourmand (performer)
Brian Muehl Brian Muehl ... Ornamentalist (performer and voice) / Urzah (performer) / Dying Master (performer and voice)
Bob Payne Bob Payne ... Historian, Scrollkeeper (performer)
Mike Quinn ... Slave Master (performer)
Tim Rose ... Treasurer (performer)
Jean-Pierre Amiel Jean-Pierre Amiel ... Weaver (performer) (as Jean Pierre Amiel)
Hugh Spight Hugh Spight ... Mystic Cook (performer)
Robbie Barnett Robbie Barnett ... Numerologist (performer) / Landstrider (performer)
Swee Lim Swee Lim ... Hunter (performer) / Landstrider (performer)
Simon J. Williamson 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. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Site

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 December 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Dark Chrysalis See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,657,335, 19 December 1982, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$40,577,001
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo (35 mm prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As co-directors, Jim Henson and Frank Oz were both in charge of every aspect of the film, but according to Henson, his own strengths lay in composing camera shots and movement while Oz was more in tune with character development and the dynamics of a scene. See more »

Goofs

The Gelfling puppets have three fingers and one thumb on each hand. When Kira and Jen make their way into the castle via a mouth-like entrance, Kira's right hand has five fingers in the long shot (actors, not puppets, were used for long shots of the Gelflings). See more »

Quotes

[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 ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

A Skesis funeral scene for the Emperor was cut from the original release. The negatives from this scene were lost, but a home video of the scene appeared years later on special-edition LDs and DVDs. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Triangles and Tribulations (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

The Pod Dance
(uncredited)
Written by Trevor Jones
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The beginning of the new and improved Muppets; one of Henson-and-company's best
15 September 2000 | by Quinoa1984See all my reviews

This sprawling, part-homage-part-totally original fantasy brings us Jen, the last of a group of near extinct creatures who is the only one who can save all existence by bringing a crystal shard back into the balance of the dark crystal, in order to save the world from the evil Skekses. This is quite an enthralling film, and like with the other full-on Muppet films this works on different levels for kids and for adults. Kids may be both scared and enthralled by the scope and details, not to mention the graphic nature of the darker elements portrayed (as a kid I cringed a bit when the 'vital essence' scenes came up). And for adults there's a lot of great craftsmanship that goes into the story, which is with all of the effects and over-the-top creations very well told by directors Henson and Oz. Without the massive usage of CGI or the more controlled visuals from the past fifteen or so years, the mix of the production design (maybe some of the best ever in any fantasy film) and the inventiveness put into the set-pieces and character-creations, is a knockout even by today's standards. It's almost a shame looking back on how a film like this that employs so many people and such time is now spent clicking away on a computer to get it all done. As it is, the Dark Crystal is one of those few examples in post-modern cinema that it does seem something like a sci-fi novel come to life.


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