Jim Henson and Frank Oz‘s 1982 cinematic fantasy The Dark Crystal remains a marvel of practical visual effects, puppetry, and classical storytelling more than three decades after it was first released in theaters. A longtime favorite of kids and adults, Crystal‘s cult following has grown over the years and the film continues to win over new fans every time it gets inserted into a DVD or Blu-ray player or screens theatrically.
I know it did with me. Earlier this year I blind bought the extras-packed Blu-ray release of The Dark Crystal from Barnes & Noble to see if the movie deserved the love and adulation that has been piled on it since its big-screen debut a week before Christmas 1982. As a proponent of practical effects, models, miniatures, and matte paintings over CGI creations I was amazed by the beautiful imagery that directors Henson and Oz – working from a screenplay by David Odell (Masters of the Universe) – and their team of FX wizards and puppeteers headed by concept artist Brian Froud worked tirelessly to bring to life at a considerable (for the early 1980’s) budget of $17 million.
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