Thoughts on the Film

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The Dark Crystal was released in theaters December 17, 1982. Nothing quite like it had ever been seen before. Those involved with the film created a level of detail that would be nearly impossible today, even with advent of computer generated graphics (which they didn't have!)

They began with the environment, including hints at an ancient past. Characters were created, and then they created the story. This is counter to the widely accepted but unwritten rule of Hollywood, where a script is written, roles cast, environment manufactured as quickly as possible, all surgically calculated to fit into a tight shooting schedule. The strength of The Dark Crystal lies in the intricate visuals, and the execution of the technically difficult puppetry and effects.

Both as a visual, creative experiment, and as a puppet film well beyond the "entertainment for children" mindset, it succeeded very well, though it was not considered a "blockbuster" by Hollywood standards. In DVD release, it has been discovered by a brand new audience. The effect it's had on the creative side of the entertainment industry is still leaving ripples in the waters for a new generation of film makers.

It won several awards and was nominated for many others. It won a Saturn Award for Best Fantasy Film in 1983, and was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best DVD Classic Film Release in 2008 (the 25th anniversary).

Jim Henson once said in a television interview that the technological advances were getting to the point that you could create just about anything your mind could imagine. The only limits are the ones you impose on yourself and your abilities.

To anyone with an imagination, this is like letting the genie out of the bottle. The genie is our unbounded imaginations. The bottle is our own pre-conceived, pre-packaged notions and creative limitations. If we step beyond the mundane happenings of everyday life, and outside the bottle ("the box" in colloquial terms), we can see beyond the ordered chaos of this world, and can envision wondrous things. All we need to do is ponder, "What if...?" and have the courage to create them.

Crystal Shard