To many of you out there, the mere mention of The Dark Crystal will conjure up childhood memories from a far simpler time. Innocent, good natured, and delivered with a warmth and charm that made it stand out from the pack, this is a film that has stayed with many a genre fan since it was first released back in 1982. And now, this childhood favourite is getting a swanky new 4K release that may or may not have been nicely timed to coincide with the Dark Crystal TV series that’s planned to premiere later this year.
In terms of plot, the basic premise of The Dark Crystal ultimately revolves around a young hero who is tasked with finding a legendary relic. What’s at stake if said artefact can’t be found? Oh, y’know, just the fate of the entire universe. Taking place in a truly wondrous realm that showcases the imagination and creative genius of the minds behind it, The Dark Crystal didn’t take long to become thought of as a classic of its day as Geflings and Skeses became commonplace terms on the school playground.
Of course, there’s a ridiculously good chance that you’re well aware of The Dark Crystal and its charms. As such, the main appeal of this new release revolves around what added sauce it has to mark it out above the plentiful previous releases of Jim Henson and Frank Oz’s famed 1982 favourite. On that front, the obvious major difference is the new 4K restoration. Never has The Dark Crystal felt so vibrant and alive, with the meticulously clear 4K transfer allowing for every single piece of detail from Henson, Oz, Brian Proud and their team to be observed in unmatched clarity. This opens up a whole new world for The Dark Crystal, with viewers able to fully appreciate the master craftmanship that went in to designing the characters and locales which make up this magical world.
Elsewhere, the one new piece of bonus material is The Myth, Magic and Henson Legacy featurette. While this is only just over ten minutes in length, it is a fascinating watch as it looks back on the production of The Dark Crystal and its lasting legacy – complete with input from Lisa Henson (daughter of Jim) and Terry Proud (son of iconic designer Brian). For those hoping for information on the upcoming The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance TV show, however, there’s no mention of that prequel series anywhere on this release. Still, there is a huge amount of other special features included, though. As alluded to, the rest of the features have already been included on previous releases of the film, but it’s the 4K transfer and The Myth, Magic and Henson Legacy that are the main selling points here.
The Dark Crystal is well and truly a classic of its time, and it’s a classic that’s most certainly stood the test of time. A heart-warming tale for the ages, this childhood favourite of yesteryear has never looked better, and this is a release that should certainly be on the must-have list for longtime fans of this iconic 1982 effort.
Special Features: All-new The Myth, Magic and Henson Legacy featurette / The World of the Dark Crystal documentary / Audio commentary with Brian Froud / Reflections of The Dark Crystal featurette / Storyboard track / Original Skeksis language scenes / Deleted scenes / Photo galleries / Trailers / 30-page booklet
THE DARK CRYSTAL: ANNIVERSARY EDITION / CERT: PG / DIRECTOR: JIM HENSON, FRANK OZ / SCREENPLAY: DAVID ODELL / STARRING: STEPHEN GARLICK, LISA MAXWELL, BILLIE WHITELAW, PERCY EDWARDS, BARRY DENNEN, JIM HENSON, FRANK OZ / RELEASE DATE: MARCH 5TH