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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
2,483 ( 603)
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

Director/puppeteer Frank Oz adamantly denies that he and Jim Henson ever considered ideas for a sequel, and has publicly denounced any attempts to make one. Nevertheless, The Jim Henson Company began touting plans for a sequel in the mid 2000's. Their plans finally came to fruition with the Netflix prequel series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. See more »

Goofs

In the commentary track, Brian Froud points out that the Podling drummer has gaffer's tape wrapped around his neck. 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

The original home video release replaced the theatrical end credit roll (the credits rolled over an image of the last shot of the film) with a different, video-based one (end credits rolling over an image of Aughra's face.). Subsequent home video releases restored the original end credit roll. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Goldbergs: Han Ukkah Solo (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Beautifully made but sometimes overwhelmingly disturbing
5 March 2012 | by trixie-k-88See all my reviews

The Dark Crystal is a fantastic film made by Jim Henson. It truly is one of those movies that prove what a genius he was, and that his genius stretched past Kermit and Big Bird. However…I always have mixed feelings about this movie.

The Dark Crystal takes place in a fantasy land that has fallen out of balance and turned evil because "the dark crystal" has lost a shard. Then comes Jen, a "gelfling", a small creature with a sweet face and long hair. Jen has has been raised by the "mystics" large, peaceful creatures that tell him he is the last of his kind. He is the last of his kind because the "skeksies" have killed all the gelflings due to a prophesy that a gelfling will overthrow their reign. The skeksies are evil, bird/reptile like creatures that are the complete opposite of the mystics. Simultaneously, the leader of the skeksies and leader of the mystics die, and Jen goes on a quest to find the missing shard in the Dark Crystal. On his journey Jen finds Kira, a female gelfling raised by "podlings", who also believed she was the last of her kind. Together, Kira and Jen must find a way to restore the shard to the dark crystal, therefore creating balance in their world once more.

This movie is a visual feast. It is absolutely amazing what Henson managed to do with the muppets and the worlds he created. As many have said it is even more amazing to see it in comparison to today's CGI and advanced special effects, and appear superior. The plot is also solid, with lots of meaning and spirit. However…I personally always found the film difficult to enjoy. As a child this movie gave me horrible nightmares, as it did for many other people. This is probably high on the list of traumatizing children's movies! So parents be forewarned, this shouldn't be shown to children under age 8, or even those a bit older who scare easily. In fact, adults can still find many aspects of this film disturbing, including scary characters, music, voices, and actions. One of the most disturbing aspects is how the skeksies would suck the "essence" (soul) out of podlings, drink it to prolong their own youth, and then make the podlings into slaves. As an adult I can look past the scary parts to recognize how well the film is made and written, but I still find it difficult to enjoy. That aside, it's definitely worth a watch.


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