Taglines: Another World, Another Time… In the Age of Wonder.
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.
The Dark Crystal is a 1982 American–British fantasy adventure film directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz and stars the voices of Stephen Garlick, Lisa Maxwell, Billie Whitelaw, and Percy Edwards. The plot revolves around Jen, an elf-like ‘Gelfling’ on a quest to restore balance to his alien world by returning a lost shard to a powerful but broken gem. Although marketed as a family film, it was notably darker than the creators’ previous material.
The animatronics used in the film were considered groundbreaking. The primary concept artist was the fantasy illustrator Brian Froud, famous for his distinctive fairy and dwarf designs. Froud also collaborated with Henson and 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, while the screenplay was written by David Odell, who had previously worked with Henson as a staff writer on The Muppet Show. The film’s score was composed by Trevor Jones. The film was produced by ITC Entertainment, the British production company responsible for producing The Muppet Show. The film earned mixed to positive reviews from multiple critics, particularly commenting on its special effects.
The Dark Crystal (1982)
Directed by: Jim Henson, Frank Oz
Starring: Jim Henson, Kathryn Mullen, Frank Oz, Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, Louise Gold, Brian Muehl, Robbie Barnett, Swee Lim
Screenplay by: David Odell
Production Design by: Harry Lange
Cinematography by: Oswald Morris
Film Editing by: Ralph Kemplen
Costume Design by: Brian Froud
Set Decoration by: Peter Young
Music by: Trevor Jones
Distributed by: Universal Pictures
Release Date: December 17, 1982