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.
The Dark Crystal, Vol. 1: Creation Myths Written by Brian Holguin
Illustrated by Alex Sheikman & Lizzy John
Lettered by Deron Bennett
Prose Stories by Barbara Randall Kesel
Pinup by David Petersen
Additional Lettering by Dave Lanphear
Designer Fawn Lau
Concept, Character Designs, and Cover by Brian Froud Archaia Entertainment
Release Date: December 28, 2011
Cover Price: $19.95
What I took away from The Dark Crystal Volume 1: Creation Myths was WAY different than what I thought I would, but it’s my own fault. I have fantastic memories of my mom and dad taking me to see that movie and I remember reading the comic adaptation until the cover fell off. While I was expecting to revisit that world and thoroughly enjoy it, which I did, but on a totally different level. The only problem — I haven’t seen The Dark Crystal film since 1982.