The Dark Crystal (1982, UK/USA)

Before becoming a household name with Sesame Street and The Muppet Show, Jim Henson was an experimental filmmaker. He returned to these roots in The Dark Crystal, but this time armed with millions of dollars and the personnel to bring his wildest visions to life. 

The evil Skeksis have enslaved and ruled for hundreds of years. But their ways are dying ways. The good Mystics have taught the shapes of kindness for hundreds of years. But their ways are dying ways. The fate of the world lies with Jen, the last Gelfling, as he undertakes a journey to heal the broken crystal and the land that surrounds it. 

Beneath the convoluted trappings lies a standard fantasy tale that never quite grabs you. But no matter. Henson fleshed out the world of Thra so thoroughly that you can’t help but become entranced by it and its inhabitants. Every scene is visually captivating and brimming with details. It is this beauty, the unparalleled creature design, and it’s unrestrained creativity that makes The Dark Crystal so distinct and worthy of its cult classic status.

Directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz.
Starring Stephen Garlick, Lisa Maxwell, Billie Whitelaw and Percy Edwards.
93 minutes – Rated PG

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