ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Film Review: The Dark Crystal

Updated on June 12, 2016
Film Frenzy profile image

Written by: Jason Wheeler, Film Frenzy Senior Writer & Editor.

Background

In 1982, Jim Henson and Frank Oz released The Dark Crystal, which starred Stephen Garlick, Lisa Maxwell, Billie Whitelaw, Percy Edwards, Barry Dennen, Michael Kilgarriff, Jerry Nelson, Thick Wilson, John Baddeley, David Buck, Charles Collingwood, Steve Whitmire, Brian Muehl, Sean Barrett, Miki Iveria, Patrick Monckton, Sue Weatherby, and Josephy O’Conor. The film grossed $40.6 million at the box office and was nominated for the Saturn Award for Best Special Effects, the BAFTA Award for Best Visual Effects and the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation. It won the Saturn Award for Best Fantasy Film and the Avoriaz Fantastic Film Festival Grand Prize.

Synopsis

Nearly one thousand years ago, the Dark Crystal cracked on the day of the Great Conjunction of the planet Thra’s three suns. This caused two new races to emerge. One, the aggressive and evil Skeksis and the good and passive Mystics. Centuries later, the Skeksis discover a prophecy stating that Gelflings would heal the crystal and undo their reign so they killed all of them. However, two have survived and set out to fulfill the prophecy.

Review

An enjoyably dark fantasy, The Dark Crystal is a great film as well as one that does a great job of throwing the audience into a dying world. In the very beginning, the film states that the Skeksis have ruled for a thousand years but the land is now dying with only 10 left and one Gelfling alive to fulfill the prophecy. Though many films have thrown viewers into the middle or end of their worlds like this before, this one is particularly notable as what comes after the introduction. It delivers on showing a world that was once vibrant and full of life but has become desolate and barren thanks to the Skeksis. Further, since it’s apparent that at least one Gelfling has survived to carry out his end of the prophecy, seeing this world in such desolation after an explanation that it’s about to be healed sucks the audience to make them want to see just what happens.

All of that sets up for this great adventure by Jen, the Gelfling tasked by the Mystics to restore the world of Thra, who travels through the world that the filmmakers have set up. Along the way, Jen comes across some pretty fascinating characters and creatures, both friend and foe alike. For one, there’s Aughra, an astronomer who can remove her one eye at will and use it anywhere she wants. She only believes that Jen is a Gelfling because he looks and smells like one. There’s also Kira, the only other Gelfling that was left alive after the Skeksis destroyed all of them because she was taken in by Podlings after they were killed. The Garthim the Skeksis send after the two Gelflings are pretty great as well, with all of these beings and the destinations Jen and Kira come across on their journey showing how Henson was not only a masterful creator of characters, but a great world-builder as well.

What’s really great about the Skeksis and the Mystics is how they’re two different halves of the same immortal creatures that ruled Thra before the Crystal cracked. As such, their fates are distinctly tied making it so that a Mystic will die when the corresponding Skeksis dies as well. T vhis is seen twice: the first being when Jen’s master and the ruling Skeksis both die and again when a Skeksis falls down a chasm, causing the Mystic half to disappear in a very sparkly manner.

The Skeksis may not have started out as blatantly evil creatures, instead slowly becoming that way after generations of passionate hedonism made it so they rotted from the inside out. These characters have the appearance of ghastly birds and value strength and cunning more than anything. They’re also not very smart, seeing as one of them stabbed Kira after she throws the Shard to Jen, causing them to lose any sort of advantage they had over him.

On the other hand, the Mystics are pacifistic and virtuous side of the immortal race. However, that doesn’t mean that they’re perfect characters. Rather, they’re so nonviolent that they have to send a more assertive creature, Jen, to fix the world. Further, where the Skeksis are living extravagantly in a castle, the Mystics live as humble hermits.

It all combines to bring the audience a great film that drops them into a dying world and takes them on an adventure to revitalize it as well as make the immortal race whole once more.

5 stars for The Dark Crystal

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)