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The Dark Crystal / Le Cristal Magique (Bilingual) [Blu-ray]

Jim Henson , Kathryn Mullen , Jim Henson , Frank Oz    Unrated   Blu-ray
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (204 customer reviews)
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Frequently Bought Together

The Dark Crystal / Le Cristal Magique (Bilingual) [Blu-ray] + Labyrinth / Labyrinthe [Blu-ray] (Bilingual) + Neverending Story 30th Anniversary [Blu-ray]
Price For All Three: CDN$ 36.99

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Product Details

Product Description


Jim Henson's fantasy epic The Dark Crystal doesn't take place a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, but like Star Wars it takes the audience to a place that exists only in the imagination and, for an hour and a half, on the screen. Recalling the worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien, Henson tells the story of a race of grotesque birdlike lizards called the Skeksis, gnomish dragons who rule their fantastic planet with an iron claw. A prophecy tells of a Gelfling (a small elfin being) who will topple their empire, so in their reign of terror they have exterminated the race, or so they think. The orphan Jen, raised in solitude by a race of peace-loving wizards called the Mystics, embarks on a quest to find the missing shard of the Dark Crystal (which gives the Skeksis their power) and restore the balance of the universe. Henson and codirector Frank Oz have pushed puppetry into a new direction: traditional puppets, marionettes, giant bodysuits, and mechanical constructions are mixed seamlessly in a fantasy world of towering castles, simple huts, dank caves, a giant clockwork observatory, and a magnificent landscape that seem to have leaped off the pages of a storybook. Muppet fans will recognize many of the voice actors--a few characters sound awfully close to familiar comic creations--but otherwise it's a completely alien world made familiar by a mythic quest that resonates through stories over the ages.

The DVD features the 50-minute documentary The World of the Dark Crystal, with interviews and illuminating behind-the-scenes glimpses. The VHS edition includes a shortened 15-minute version of the documentary. --Sean Axmaker

Special Features

The greater definition and richer colors of the Dark Crystal Superbit DVD make it much more pleasant to watch than the Special Edition DVD. The print, however, is the same, with several scratches on the film still showing. The new DTS track is good, but the original Dolby Digital 5.1 was good as well. As with most Superbits, the higher bit rate and DTS track mean the disc doesn't have enough storage capacity for extra features, and in this case the loss is significant: the Special Edition has an hourlong making-of documentary, deleted scenes, artwork, and an isolated music score. So aficionados might want to upgrade to the Superbit edition for the film while holding on to the original for the features, although the picture quality of the documentary and deleted scenes is so poor that watching it after getting used to the Superbit picture might make one's eyes water. --David Horiuchi

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glorious! June 13 2004
By A Customer
I admit to being scared out of my wits by the Skeksis and the Garthim when I was little (reptiles combined with vultures and spiders combined with crabs are still terrifying to me), but I've come to really cherish this Tolkien-esque/ Froudian film. The gentle, nurturing Mystics, and cute little dog/ dust ball Fizzgig are among my favorite characters. The Podlings are simply adorable... the Gelflings are finely- featured and beautiful(Jen is very ponderous, if somewhat passive... Kira shows just how women can be, and are, just as strong as men!)... the Landstriders (which gracefully manage to combine the aspects of cats, moths, giraffes, camels, bats, rabbits, and who knows what else, into such beautiful creatures) are swift, courageous animals, and are very dear to me (for some odd reason). Possibly because I love animals(and I just have a thing for the underdog/unsung hero.) And there's the gentle Nebrie and many other creatures.
It's incredible to me that they were able to do this whole film without human actors! I seriously thought when I first saw it that they were real, flesh-and-blood creatures! Jim, Frank, Brian, and the rest of the crew really put their time and effort into making this film! Their hard work really paid off; the facial expressions and movements are impeccable! And the scenery is unbelievably lush, beautiful, and realistic. All of it looks so natural and earthy. It is as if they actually had real-live creatures acting, in my eyes... and they fact that they took the time to make up all of the history beind this story! That's just amazing!... and I could not get enough of "The Making of The Dark Crystal". How they all managed to sculpt, design, and perform these characters is mind-blowing for me, since I'm far from an artist like this crew. No matter...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my all time favorite movies now on DVD!!!! April 23 2001
No words can describe this flawless and brilliant fantasy classic from Jim Henson. The Story deals with a Elf-like being called a Gelfling who's called " Jen" and must return a Crystal Shard back to the castle of the Dark Crystal before the Vulture-like Monsters called " Skeckis" take over the world and the universe. Entertaining, breathtaking and stunning movie that is one of those that changed my life forever. The Disk here is sharp, clear and meant to be in Widescreen with extras that you fans of Dark Crystal can own.
Recommendations: Labyrinth, The Last Unicorn, The Hobbit, The Fifth Element, The Matrix, Return to Oz, Willow, Total Recall, Stargate, Dune, Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, Army of Darkness, Heavy Metal and Highlander.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dark Gem Oct. 26 2004
Directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz. This was a masterpiece delivered by Henson's Creature Shop. Visually brilliant. Musically brilliant. The story is also genius. Big feelings in a surreal fantasy world. For adults or the kids (some dark profanity IS NOT suitable for younger children.) Made of puppets and artifical landscapes. If you liked the Lord of the Rings films, you'll love this rare gem. It's like getting lost in a dream, and you won't want to leave.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Power of Myth brought home by Jim Henson Sept. 1 2010
By bernie TOP 50 REVIEWER
Only saw the Blu-ray version

The story is of a myth being fulfilled in a strange but seemingly familiar land. A land that was split asunder with the shattering of a great crystal. The reason for this is revealed in time. However we are concerned with a Gelffling that was charged with either healing the world or letting it live in evil for all time.

This is a classic movie that can almost be placed in the cult class. I have watched several media versions and can say this is one film that is actually enhanced by the Blu-ray treatment. True the acting is the same and the story is the same. But the visuals and music, which are equal partners with the rest of the characters, are more intense.

Watching the Blu-ray extras, the voice over by conceptual designer Brian Froud, who also did the voice over for "Labyrinth", we find that the title of this film might have been "Dark Chrysalis" as it is a movie about change.

Take hart that they did not place a lot of coming attractions at the front of the DVD and that the Blu-ray extras sill do not get in the way of the film as some do.

Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth
Labyrinth (Anniversary Edition)
Jim Henson's the Storyteller - The Definitive Collection
Jim Henson's Fantasy Film Collection - (Labyrinth / MirrorMask / The Dark Crystal)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not an improvement May 15 2003
By A Customer
As my first "Superbit" title, this is a disappointment. As the description states, the film is scratched (not an issue with the transfer, but still diminishes the film). The high-rate of encoding did not improve the video - in fact I found it dark and murky.
The biggest disappointment is with the audio, which has inconsistant volume in standard stereo - bass and score drown out voices in loud scenes, which are also muted compared to quiet scenes. This requires periodic master volume adjustments.
In all, not worth the cost. I admit I've not seen the "Special Edition" DVD. If it's worse than this, buy it on VHS.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Pinnacle of Puppetry Dec 13 2011
By Derek Draven TOP 100 REVIEWER
Jim Henson's wizardry of the puppetry craft has certainly become the stuff of legend, mostly due to the rip roaring success of the Muppets. However, at the latter half of the 1970s, Henson and his team set out to bridge the gap between simplistic puppets and seemingly living, breathing creatures. The result was "The Dark Crystal," an absolute landmark of puppetry. Together with Frank Oz, Henson set about constructing lifelike beings which would be controlled by a single person, or multiple crew members for larger creatures. A strong emphasis was placed on facial articulation and eye movements to craft a sense of life and comprehension in each character. Together with Brian Froud's astounding art direction, Henson had certainly created a stir within the fantasy world.

The film takes place in "another world, another time, in the age of wonder," which later became known as the planet Thra in a galaxy containing three suns. A thousand years prior, the near-omnipotent UrSkeks fought amongst themselves and shattered the Crystal of Truth, a powerful device which holds the key to their power. In that moment of fracture, the UrSkeks split apart and their life energy formed two distinct races, each based on the good and evil sides of their personalities. The gentle UrRu, or "Mystics" as they are commonly known, have remained passive and docile for a thousand years, while the vicious Skeksis have seized power and used their evil magics to craft a reign of terror over the world of Thra. A great prophecy once foretold the downfall of the Skeksis and a return of balance and peace in the land by the hand of a Gelfling, prompting the Skeksis to launch a genocidal campaign against the entire race. Now, only the young Jen remains to fulfill the prophecy.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this movie masterpiece and I'm extremely happy that I ...
I love this movie masterpiece and I'm extremely happy that I now have it on Blu-Ray in my collection.
Published 7 days ago by David Mullins
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very good, just the way I remember it. Thank you
Published 24 days ago by justin
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
livraison est rapide et l'emballage est parfait merci.
Published 24 days ago by nicole
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great One
A great fight of good and evil brought to you be the Jim Henson company. An eye and ear full of sight and sound.
Published 5 months ago by David Snow
5.0 out of 5 stars Michel R.
Excellent film, je le recommande fortement: mes enfants qui sont habituées de voir des effets spéciaux numériques ont étés éblouis! Read more
Published 10 months ago by Michel Rouleau
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a classic
I'm so happy that this movie is finally available in bluray. A family classic that I'll watch with my son.
Published 10 months ago by V. Gaudreau
5.0 out of 5 stars Mystical Crystal
I admit that I had only heard of ‘The Dark Crystal” because of my husband owning this dvd (which he has now done so for at least over ten years). Read more
Published 15 months ago by marriedutopianstriver
5.0 out of 5 stars Jim Henson Does It Again
Love all the old Henson Muppet movies. This is no different. Much darker so not for young kids but there is a good story to tell. Enjoyed it as a kid and as an adult as well.
Published 18 months ago by Ryan
4.0 out of 5 stars Mystic favourite
I had the video of this movie when my kids were small. I was so happy to get the dvd for myself now! Entertaining story, love Jim Henson's puppets.
Published 20 months ago by Judi Harker
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely amazing!
I can remember watching the original movie...wwaayy back when..(yes I'm dating myself) and loving it then, the kids enjoyed it as well but were also terrified of some of the weird... Read more
Published on Sept. 11 2010 by B. Degerness
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