With The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance coming to Netflix this summer, there’s recently been a lot of talk about Jim Henson’s original 1980s movie, The Dark Crystal. This movie is truly one of a kind and a fan-favorite. But this film didn’t feature fancy props like prop movie money or special effects with CGI — which makes it even more special. So let’s take a look at some facts about The Dark Crystal that changed film forever.
The puppets required a lot of work. Puppets are not uncommon movie props, especially in older movies. But the puppets in this film required more work and effort than most — the puppets used throughout the film were all large, heavy, and had no special effects to help them move around. The Skeksis, for example, each needed six puppeteers to work. With two puppeteers inside and four more controlling external parts, these creatures came to life. Even though technology was available to help with the puppets, the movie makers stuck to the classic ways.
It took five years to complete. It’s no secret that movies can often take a lot of time to film, edit, and produce. This is especially true for films that require extensive fake movie props and special effects. Filmmakers have to get a lot of their ideas and props approved and have to follow regulations, like using digital copies of prop movie money that has a resolution of 72dpi. But The Dark Crystal took a whole five years to film, edit, and release. The deal to make the film took place in 1977 and the movie wasn’t released until 1982. With the characters all being puppets, this film was certainly challenging to make.
Audiences hated the film initially. When the film was first shown to a crowd in Washington D.C. in March of 1982, it was not received well. The audience was confused because they couldn’t understand what the Skeksis were saying since they spoke in a different language. Because of this, the filmmakers added in a few voiceovers and new dialogue that was recorded in English. This movie would not be what it is today if the initial test audience didn’t like it.
The Dark Crystal is one of the most well-known, and unusual, movies of all time. And hopefully, this article provided some fun and interesting information about the process of making this wonderful film.