Directed by: Jim Henson
Reviewed by: Dmitrij Polukarov
The Dark Crystal is a story about a young Gelfing boy Jen,whose parents were killed by the Garthim,soldiers of the Skeksis. He thought he was the last survivor of his bloodline. He was picked by the Mystics and raised as the protagonist to fulfill a prophecy,which required him to find a crystal shard and re-connect it with the Dark Crystal in order to restore the balance of the universe.
The main scenes with a strong visual language are: The Castle of the Crystal,The Village of the Mystics,The forest and the observatory of Aughra.
The Castle is formed in a twisted and gothic style mixed with the rocky design from the middle ages and earlier. The details on the castle on the outside is really monotonic but with a strong impression on the viewer. It's covered in spikes,pointy and sharp forms,creating an illusion of danger surrounding it. The castle on the inside is done in a very post-apocalyptic way. The corridors are like caves,the rooms are filled with sand and dust,the objects that are still left look grand but worn out.
The village of the Mystics is visualized in a really simple but appealing style. The village consists of caves and a small canyon where everyone lives. Everything done in round shapes and with light balance that's easy for the eye to react to. The whole design would symbolize harmony.
"The world is totally a new creation, perhaps influenced by mythology and Faery tales, but basically a new cosmology, freshly minted."
The forest is created with a lot of heavy decorating crafting. The nature scenes are overfilled with nature in motion and every few minutes shows the audience another new life form living in that world. The design is heavy with an intense concept for the details.
The observatory is designed to resemble the observatories from the real world,but with that same dusty feel as in the castle and is mixed with a library and laboratory. The design of the stars/universe in the center has a unique design that shows the viewer a galaxy far different from the one he is used to.
In overall,The Dark Crystal displays a strong visual language display in the form of decorations and sculptures. It performs to show both sides of the twisted dark and the harmonized light of those living in that world.
"Either from a technical perspective or from a storytelling angle, Henson had an unequalled talent for crafting worlds too perfectly realized to be disbelieved."
- Tasha Robinson