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"Different people ask us about the Muppets and The Dark Crystal and they're so totally different," Jim Henson told a BBC interviewer in 1983, during an appearance with Dark Crystal co-director Frank Oz. "In my mind, I can't connect them at all. It's like you go out of one house and you walk over and you go into another house. It's like two totally different worlds."
Promoting the film, Henson, Oz, and Star Wars producer Gary Kurtz — who'd teamed with Henson after splitting with George Lucas — did their best to alert fans that The Dark Crystal would be a different sort of movie, but could any warning have been strong enough? Instead of Kermit and Miss Piggy frolicking, the fantasy film featured repellent monsters sucking the life from helpless creatures and other disturbing images. There was nothing whimsical or light about the film, which met with a cool reception when it hit U.S. theaters at the end of 1982.
Viewers - Others - Beautiful - Fairy - Tale
But what made it off-putting to some viewers made it beguiling to others. Those drawn to its beautiful, dangerous fairy tale world populated by evil Skeksis, brave Gelfling, and other fantastical creatures turned it into a cult classic and kept its flame alive. Now that flame has flared into a prequel series, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, produced by the Jim Henson Company and airing on Netflix. Like the original, it's an extraordinary technical achievement filled with stunning images and remarkable puppet work. And, also like the original, it won't appeal to everyone. The series doubles down on the darkness and goes to disturbing places. (It occasionally seems to be trying to outdo Peter Jackson's dark-side-of-The Muppet Show midnight movie Meet the Feebles when it comes to scenes of puppets emitting bodily fluids.) Even those not turned off by touches...
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