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The Dark Crystal (1982)

Trailer
0:56 | Trailer

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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:

,

Writers:

(screenplay), (story)
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Popularity
2,792 ( 159)
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Aughra, a Keeper Of Secrets (performer) / Chamberlain (performer)
...
...
Scientist (voice)
Louise Gold ...
Gourmand (performer)
Brian Muehl ...
Ornamentalist (performer and voice) / Urzah (performer) / Dying Master (performer and voice)
Bob Payne ...
Historian, Scrollkeeper (performer)
...
Slave Master (performer)
...
Treasurer (performer)
Jean-Pierre Amiel ...
Weaver (performer) (as Jean Pierre Amiel)
Hugh Spight ...
Mystic Cook (performer)
Robbie Barnett ...
Numerologist (performer) / Landstrider (performer)
Swee Lim ...
Hunter (performer) / Landstrider (performer)
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 {[email protected]}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Another World, Another Time... In the Age of Wonder.


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

17 December 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Dark Chrysalis  »

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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  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (70 mm prints)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Conceptual designer Brian Froud was behind the look and feel of virtually every aspect of the film's production, from creatures and landscapes right down to the font of the opening title. In total, it took up five years of his life. See more »

Goofs

When Aughra squats down and tells Jen "There is much to be learned and you have no time." As she says that there is a piece of hair in her mouth, as she says the line it falls out, but when they cut back to her the hair is back in her mouth. 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 ...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: The Fantastic Four (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Gelfling Song
(uncredited)
Written by Trevor Jones
Performed by Lisa Maxwell
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A major accomplishment!
1 October 2006 | by See 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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