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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)
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Popularity
2,076 ( 264)
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:

When evil screams throughout the world, when all three suns converge, when all that's fair and fine seems lost... a hero will emerge! 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

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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

Originally the Skeksis and Mystics were supposed to speak in their own alien languages (the Skeksis version being a more crude version of the Mystic language) and David Odell developed words for the actors to speak on set. Ultimately, the only word in the Skeksis language that remains in the film is 'Haakskeeka', meaning 'Judgement by stone'. After the first test screening, British Sci-Fi writer Alan Gardner was brought in to write an opening narration for the film and Odell had to 'translate' his Skeksis dialogue back into English, all the while making sure the lines matched the creature's mouth movements on screen. See more »

Goofs

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 »

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

Spoofed in Robot Chicken: The Ramblings of Maurice (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
A major accomplishment!
1 October 2006 | by CuriosityKilledShawnSee 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.


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