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‘The Dark Crystal’ Classic Jim Henson on HDNet Movies kidScene

DarkCrystal.jpgIn 1982, Jim Hensen was riding a popularity high with his amiable Muppets, and his attempt to use puppets to create a darker experience was not universally well received. Although The Dark Crystal garnered a prestigious BAFTA Award nomination in 1984 for special visual effects, a Hugo Award nomination in 1983 for dramatic presentation, and a Saturn Award win in 1983 from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films USA for Best Fantasy Film, much of the wide following it now enjoys has built over these intervening years.

KIDS FIRST! youth film critics give the film high marks for its technical achievement: Morgan Bertsch, age 7, credits Jim Hensen with creating some really spectacular effects, and Julianna Noone, age 12, especially applauds the puppets’ anthropomorphic qualities.

Catch The Dark Crystal on HDNet Movies kidScene when it screens Aug. 24 and 25.

The Dark Crystal
Reviewed by Julianna Noone
(See her full review on video.)

Do you enjoy the puppets used in the classic Muppet films but wish they had a darker storyline?  Well, look no further than The Dark Crystal.

This is a Jim Henson film that stars Jim Henson as Jen, Kathryn Mullen as Kira and David Goelz as Fizzgig. This movie is about an elf-like Gelfling who is sent by his dying master to find a shard from a broken lamp that will help restore the balance in his universe. This Gelfling’s name is Jen, and Jen  has some troubles along the way. First off, he has the shard but doesn’t know what to do with it. Also the Skeksis are trying to kill him so that the prophecy can’t be fulfilled and the Skeksis can live forever. However, Jen gets some help from Kira, the only other Gelfling alive, and the animals from the forest where the witch Kira lives.

I think that the puppets they use are very well designed and detailed so much so that they have anthropomorphic qualities. The cinematography is considered to be cutting-edge for this movie, but could have been better, as some scenes in the movie you can see the wires on the puppets. Julianna.jpg

My favorite characters are Kira and Fizzgig, Kira’s pet. I like Kira because she is brave and determined to protect Jen. I like Fizzgig because he is loyal to Kira and protective of her. Also, even when Fizzgig does not want to do something he still does it when Kira asks him to. My favorite scene is when Kira and Jen touch hands and share their memory with one another. I like these scenes because it is kind of the Podlings to share their village with a stranger. I dislike the scenes that are rude and/or cruel. The puppeteering is phenomenal, as expected from Jim Henson. 

I hope you guys out there enjoy this movie. I think that this film is for ages 8 to 14 because these aren’t your normal Jim Henson puppets, and the dark storyline may be too much for young children.    Overall, I rate this film 3 out of 5 stars because, while it was well done, the darker storyline just isn’t for me.  Look for this film playing on HDNet Movies kidScene this month. 

The Dark Crystal
Reviewed by Morgan Bertsch
(See her full review on video.)

The movie The Dark Crystal is playing all month long on HDNet Movies kidScene.

The Dark Crystal is a sci-fi fantasy-adventure that happened thousands of years in the past. It’s cast entirely of puppets, and Jim Henson also voices Jen, a Gelfling. You know Jim Henson as the creator of the Muppets. In this movie, he partners again with his creative friend Frank Oz to pull of some really spectacular effects. MorganBertsch.jpg

The Dark Crystal is missing a shard, broken in an ancient battle, and prophecy says that a Gelfing would heal the crystal. It’s an extraordinary adventure with creatures that are out of this world. When light and dark come back together, the world is healed.

Ages are 8 and up, or anybody who loves puppets.

I give it 3 1/2 twinkling stars.

Photos: The Dark Crystal poster (top), Julianna Noone (middle), Morgan Bertsch (bottom)

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