review for The Dark Crystal on AllMovie

The Dark Crystal (1982)
by Andrea LeVasseur review

A technical masterpiece, The Dark Crystal is a fantasy-adventure entirely populated by puppets, with no onscreen humans or animation. While better known for his cheery gang of Muppets, Jim Henson and his talented staff of puppeteers create a bleak fantasy world where evildoers have taken over. The tale is slow-moving at times, with a lack of action and urgency that is necessary for most fantasy films, and the standard adventure story is grim throughout, with little attempts at comic relief. However, the showcase of the film is the amazing complexity of the visual world hand-crafted with only puppets, matte paintings, and some miniature sets. Without available CGI technology, the special effects and creature designs are still wildly imaginative. While it could be seen as dated, The Dark Crystal remains a high point in the almost extinct art form of live-action puppeteering.