Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Review Of 'Dark Crystal'

http://www.loftcinema.com/files/dark%20crystal.jpg

The only way to describe black crystal is Kermit The Frog put in a blender with Star Wars and Lord Of the Ring Saga. Without doubt Jim Henson stepped outside his boundary from childish television (although having a considerable amount, of sexual innuendos). Dark Crystal explores the Dark side of puppetry as well as depicting the basic story of good versus evil. Yet I find myself pondering the idea of what the target audience was for this movie. As the less than imaginative script depicts the film for a younger generation and yet by the character design you couldn’t dream of letting a 5 year old sit through this movie without having terrible nightmare about the Skeksis or even the Aughra. Still a visual and mechanical representation Dark Crystal shows the vast imagination of both directors Jim Henson and Frank 
 Oz.
Dark Crystal is a generic storyline depicting the ‘chosen one’ having set a quest from the wise to restore the earth from evil (Like I said no different than J RR Tolkien).  Henson depict the voyage of Jen a G(elf)ling who must restore the missing shard. Interestingly enough Henson incorporates the idea of being the last Gelfling supposedly only to stumble across another a female Gelfling (fortunate). $26 million film should restrict itself to a very basic pulp fantasy plot - the hero's quest to free his world from the ravages of an evil race – DP Finally ending in the classic decision between his lover or saving the planet for the greater good. Nevertheless ending in the classic hero gets the entire what he wants scenario after his noble sacrifice. 


When looking into the character design we can really see the Brian Froud (creative directors) mind at work demonstrating the full aptitude for creature outlandish creatures unimaginable statue making for a very interesting world which as viewer we can immediately immerse ourselves into the dark crystal world. Not to mention having such fluid motion that almost counters are beliefs that the movie is puppets. Nevertheless the character design hit a snag as the main characters are often lost in between other characters within the scene; as most are bustling with life form within the environment (i.e. planets eating small fur balls or big frog looking creature bulging out of sinking holes). - Vincent Canby also believe this as he states ‘A further problem is that the animated ''characters,'' with the exception of the Gelfling boy and girl, are so unexceptional that, most of the time, they could be part of the very busy background, which is often alive with anthropomorphic plants. The film is as much of a visual muddle as a dramatic one.’ 



Yet the most notable element throughout the movie was the environment the lush expanse of architecture, the forest and the interiors. All of which were loaded with detail. Interestingly the outside environment was of most appeal as Froud gave us the perception of a living forest which until Avatar has not been accomplished. Froud displayed the forest as alive; the lushness of the environment is some ways drowns out the characters as a viewer is more interested with the gimmick going on around them with other creatures. Nevertheless, the interior architecture was second to none. The integrated details leave nothing to the imagination as they depict perfectly the evil temple with rigid walls, dark symbolism and not to mention the colour scheme is well chosen. In result proving that as a vision it was nothing more genius and a great resource in which creative directors base their environment on.


In conclusion as film dark crystal has no unique quality in regards to storyline and yet apart from the release of Avatar; Froud vision and ability to show the world as living and brief is a really feat even for its time. Naturally the environment deters away from the story but for that reason makes Dark Crystal a must watch for the intelligence and expensive animatronics which are shown to us by Froud.

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