Directed by Jim Henson, Frank Oz, USA, 1982, PG – Some scenes may scare very young children.
With this dark, Tolkein-esque fairy-tale Jim Henson and Frank Oz leave the Muppets behind, instead delivering an exhilarating fantasy adventure filled with otherworldly beings. In the distant past, on an alien planet orbited by three suns, a race of hulking, dragon-like beings known as the Skeksis have enslaved the world with their evil magic. Shrouded from this all-conquering evil in a hidden valley the kindly Mystics have raised the orphaned elf-like Gelfing, Jen, the last of his kind. With the alignment of the three suns rapidly approaching, an ancient prophecy must be fulfilled. The Mystics send Jen on an epic quest to fulfil his destiny and find the crystal shard that will end the Skeksis tyrannical rule.
With a then-state-of-the-art mix of puppetry, animatronics and old school effects Henson and his designers managed to create richly detailed world that still wows today. Filled with untold numbers of fantastical beasties both scary and cute; from the grimacing visages of the evil Skeksis, to the adorable ball of fluff that is the friendly monster Fizzgig. The stunning set designs are a sight to behold; The Dark Crystal is truly a one-of-a-kind and still one of the most fully realised fantasy worlds ever depicted on film.
“The design concepts are a marvel, utilising the talents of celebrated fantasy illustrator Brian Froud, the film has a life and feel all its own, the puppets given vital energy by Henson’s brilliant workshop, their movements while not exactly human are free of the jerky obvious motions of a puppet.” – Ian Nathan, Empire
“A wonderfully invented world full of characters that transcend their puppet limitations thanks to the energy and creativity of the Jim Henson and Frank Oz team of puppeteers and voice actors.” – Urban Cinefile
15 April 13:30
A modern-day Alice in Wonderland. Jennifer Connelly plays a young girl who must travel through the labyrinth to save her baby brother from the Goblin King (the magnificent David Bowie). Full of Henson Creature Shop’s imaginative design, the film’s eye-popping sets create a whole world existing just behind the facade of reality.