Sunday, July 17, 2005

The Dark Crystal

1982, Dir. Jim Henson, Frank Oz
color, 93 minutes
Ages 6 or so and up

Henson and Oz pushed their muppetry to its mythic potential in this story of a world split into good and evil on the eve of its reintegration. The Dark Crystal gets extra credit points for two strong female characters, one an eccentric astronomer who can remove an eyeball and pop it back in again and the other a gifted animal communicator who (unlike her male counterpart) can unfold her wings and soar; also note the gender-neutral skeksis, creatures reminiscent of vultures. Inventive sets and lyrical interludes make this well worth watching even for any age. The skeksis can be frightening and there are some scenes my children find so suspenseful that they turn their heads away, but in general, they love this one. Bonus features include extensive interviews with the artists about the making of the sets and creatures. A must see for any child into the plastic arts, puppetry or fantasy stories.

No comments: