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Home  USA  Film  D  Dark Crystal, The

Dark Crystal, The


Original Air Date:
Prod. Co.:
Jim Henson Productions

Characters & Voices
Historian (voice) - John Baddeley
Jen (voice) - Stephen Garlick
Slave Master (voice) - David Buck
Chamberlain (voice) - Barry Dennen
Fizzgig (voice) - Percy Edwards
General (voice) - Michael Kilgarrif
Kira (voice) - Lisa Maxwell
Dying Mystic Master (movement) - Brian Muehl
Skeksis Ornamentalist (movement and voice) - Brian Muehl
Urzah - Brian Muehl
High Priest (voice) - Jerry Nelson
Dying Emperor (voice) - Jerry Nelson
Narrator (voice) - Joseph O'Conor
Aughra (voice) - Billie Whitelaw
Scientist (movement and voice) - Steve Whitmire
Gourmand (voice) - Thick Wilson
Jen (movement) - Jim Henson
High Priest (movement) - Jim Henson
Aughra (movement) - Frank Oz
Chamberlain (movement) - Frank Oz
Additional Performer - Kiran Shah
Weaver - Jean
Numerologist - Robbie Barnett
Landstrider - Robbie Barnett
Dying Master - Sean Barrett
Additional Performer - Peter Burroughs
Treasurer (voice) - Charles Collingwood
Additional Performer - Sadie Corre
Additional Performer - Mike Cotterill
Additional Performer - Malcolm Dixon
Additional Performer - Mike Edmonds
Additional Performer - Lisa Esson
Additional Performer - John Ghavan
General - Dave Goelz
Dying Emperor - Dave Goelz
Goumand - Louise Gold
Healer - Dave Greenaway
Podling (voice) - Mike Iveria
Additional Performer - Annie Jones
Additional Performer - Natasha Knight
Scribe - Swim Lee Hus Levant
Podling (voice) - Patrick Monckton
Kira - Kathryn Mullen
Historian - Bob Payne
Alchemist - Toby Philpott
Additional Performer - Jack Purvis
Slave Master - Mike Quinn
Treasurer - Timothy M. Rose
Additional Performer - Deep Roy
Additional Performer - Richard Slaughter
Cook - Hugh Spirit
Landstrider - Hugh Spirit
Additional Performer - Gerald Staddon
Podling (voice) - Sue Wetherby
Charmer - Simon Williamson
The Dark Crystal was produced by the same puppetry wizards responsible for the Muppets, but this 1982 fantasy was much more J.R.R. Tolkien than it was Kermit the Frog. Jim Henson, Frank Oz and their army of puppeteers and voice artists put together an entire world of dark, mysterious creatures, casting them in a classic tale of good and evil.

1,000 years before the events in the film, a race of powerful beings called the urSkeks decided to purge all evil from their bodies. At the time of the “Great Conjunction” (when all three of the planet’s suns aligned), the urSkeks focused the united light through their powerful crystal, hoping to burn the evil out. Unfortunately, the evil merely separated from the good, creating two separate races-the peaceful Mystics and the wicked Skeksis. One of the Skeksis smashed the crystal, separating a shard and turning the crystal dark.

According to prophecy, an elf-like Gelfling would return the shard to the crystal at the next Great Convergence, putting an end to the Skeksis’ dark reign. To keep their power (and assure their immortality at the next Great Convergence), the vulture-like Skeksis sent their giant servants, the Garthims, to kill all Gelflings.

In the film’s present day, a Gelfling named Jen thinks he is the last of his race, and he sets out to fulfill his destiny. As his journey continues, the young lad discovers another Gelfling, a female named Kira, who joins his quest to heal the crystal. Kira’s hungry pet Fizzwig signs on as well, as does a gnarled old witch named Aughra. Even this united front, however, faces a daunting task in trying to outwit the dangerous Skeksis and their evil Chamberlain.

The Dark Crystal was indeed dark, but no more so than the average Brothers Grimm fable. That didn’t seem to matter to most audiences, however, who had opened their hearts to E.T. - The Extraterrestrial earlier in the year. A financial disappointment in theaters, The Dark Crystal still managed to build a relatively small, but very loyal base of fans, who continue to treasure this underappreciated puppet fantasy.
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On this day:

In 1925, cartoonist Leonard Starr was born.