Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Dark Crystal

I have loved The Dark Crystal for as long as I can remember. It's probably one of the first movies I saw that really had an impact on me.

Rewatching it, I can still see why. The plot isn't the most original, but it's a dark tale that's taken so damn seriously that you can't help but be drawn in. More importantly, the movie is a window into this world that's completely different than our own, yet portrayed with an attention to detail that is rare in movies these days.

Recall the scene in which Jen first meets Kira. The camera spends like 5 minutes just panning across the garden, showing all the plant and animal life living there, none of it real but all of it convincing. The next scene, we're treated to 5 minutes of watching the Skeksis eat. Scenes like these would probably get cut out of a modern movie, to keep up a nice music-video pace. But to me, it's absolute movie magic to be shown the details of the dining habits of a completely alien race

More incredibly, these hundreds of fictional plants and animals were created without the aid of computer graphics. And although some of the special effects look a little dated, there is still an indescribable sense of reality to the creatures that CG still hasn't been able to duplicate.

This makes me terrified for the planned sequel, but at least the creators seem committed to using muppet technology instead of computer technology whenever possible.

Oh and one thing I didn't notice when I watched this as a kid: Aughra's perky nipples.

Also, I want Fizzgig as a pet.


Anonymous said...

We have two copies of this in out apartment and I have yet to watch it.

Phronk said...

Hehe wow, you're missing out! I highly recommend getting on that. (And hope my opinion isn't driven purely by nostalgia).

Dead Robot said...

Holy shit, the director of Samurai Jack is doing the sequel? I have faith. He may not load as much detail as you mention, but it will be stylized and interesting to watch.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

When that movie came out I had the hugest crush on Kira and even dated a girl who looked like her. She was mildly retarded but what did I care?

Shora said...

I love this movie too. I found a copy recently for $1.99, raced home with it and played it for my kids. They just laughed and called it "dumb" and "fake". CG has jaded our children!

Phronk said...

DR: Sounds like I need to watch Samurai Jack.


Shora: That's horrible! Sure it looks fake, but at least it's real things that look fake rather than fake CG things that look fake. If that makes any sense.

Anonymous said...

Those nipples are soo going to haunt me now.

krista zee said...

...freaked the F outta me as a child.

Sean said...

You mentioned my favorite thing about that movie. I watched it again a couple of years ago after not having seen it since I was a child and I noticed the level of production value. For the oudoor scenes, we would have been down with it had they just gone outside and shot it. but no, they actually made trees and plants and scenery that are all like nothing we have in our world. Superb.