Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Dark Crystal (1982)

Basic Info:

The Dark Crystal is a 1982 joint British and American fantasy film directed by puppeteers Jim Henson and Frank Oz, creators of The Muppet Show. Although still marketed as a family film, it was notably darker than previous material created by them. Characters for which they are famous do not appear, but some of the same performers are used. The animatronics used in the film were considered groundbreaking at the time. The primary concept artist was the fantasy illustrator Brian Froud, famous for his distinctive faerie and dwarf designs. Froud also collaborated with Jim Henson and Frank Oz for their next project, the 1986 film Labyrinth, which was notably more light-hearted than The Dark Crystal.
The Dark Crystal was produced by Gary Kurtz and Slipstream. The screenplay was written by David Odell, who had worked with Henson as a staff writer on The Muppet Show. Trevor Jones provided the film's atmospheric music. The film makes an attempt to study the nature of good and evil in terms of conscience, destiny, and the triune nature of harmony. The film was produced by ITC Entertainment, the British production company responsible for producing The Muppet Show.


The world of the dark crystal is the place where concept art shines in all of it's beauty. Starting from character design and finishing at envirouments. Even though the world there is over-done sometimes it is usuall for such genre of the stories. It was easy to find a huge resemblance to the "Lord of the rings", because of the taking a certain artefact to a certain place and in that way bringing back the harmony to the world aspect. The world was so full of life, that it was even a bit hard to catch everything sometimes. After getting used that everything is made from puppets you can understand how close it is to the cg arts and that this is probably never going to be made in the same way again. As it was told in the review of  IGN: "sometimes it's very easy to forget that these are just puppets you're watching, as their manner and characters are exceedingly well developed. The voices are for the most part very fitting, and the whole production it's just top-notch stuff."

It should not be hard to notice that directors tried to create something darker then they used to do until then. According to review: "What makes this so distinctive and why it manages to hold such strong memories from childhood is all down to the imagery. A lot of what’s on display is quite nightmarish with both directors clearly more interested in the darker elements of the story. This is clear to see in the designs for the Skeksis and their soldiers, the Garthim."  The scene of bringing back the harmony was also very effecting and some of "fading out" effects could have been allready called cg. 

All in all I agree to the book.mice review that "The Dark Crystal is one of the best movies of its time  ".
The fact that it was made by the same people who made "the Muppet show" shows how different can be ecranisation in the same style.

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