The Dark Crystal 2

When I was a kid, one of my all time favorite movies was The Dark Crystal. Released in 1982, it was a dark children's fantasy, created by Jim Henson and Frank Oz, the creators of The Muppet Show. Jim wrote the story, both Jim & Frank directed, and they collaborated with Brian Froud, a fantasy artist, to create a really unique and excellent film with amazing puppets and a lush world. Incidentally, this team went on to create another favorite film, Labyrinth, a few years later.

Every single character in the film is a puppet, which is pretty impressive as there are a large number of characters and creatures in the film. Some are humans in costume, some are more animatronic. Henson and Oz really upped the standards for puppetry with the film. I re-watched it a few days ago and I'm impressed by how good it still looks. And watching it reminded me that it kind of scared me as a kid - the Skekis and the Crystal Bats and the beetle things, and, well, a lot of dark creepy stuff happens. And I LOVED it.

(FUN FACT: Gates McFadden, AKA Dr. Beverly Crusher in Star Trek: The Next Generation, was the puppet choreographer for the film. Thank you DVD special features for teaching me this.)

There has been talk of a sequel for years but as of this month, it sounds like a sequel is really going to happen. The sequel is called The Power of the Dark Crystal and it will be directed by Michael and Peter Spierig (who recently directed the Ethan Hawke vampire film Daybreakers). The really cool news is that the Spierigs will be collaborating with Brian Froud and are going to use puppets and not do straight up CGI. They are planning to shoot the film in 3-D with James Cameron's Avatar system. The film is a joint venture between the Jim Henson Company and Australia's Omnilab Media (who made, among other things, Where the Wild Things Are) and the film will be made in Australia. The Jim Henson Co. published an official press release with details, including a plot summary here.

I am cautiously optimistic about this. How about you all? Any Dark Crystal fans out there?

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