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The Dark Crystal/Labyrinth Two-Pack (1982)
Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
List Price: $26.95
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Editorial Reviews:
The Dark Crystal
Jim Henson's fantasy epic The Dark Crystal doesn't take place a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, but like Star Wars it takes the audience to a place that exists only in the imagination and, for an hour and a half, on the screen. Recalling the worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien, Henson tells the story of a race of grotesque birdlike lizards called the Skeksis, gnomish dragons who rule their fantastic planet with an iron claw. A prophecy tells of a Gelfling (a small elfin being) who will topple their empire, so in their reign of terror they have exterminated the race, or so they think. The orphan Jen, raised in solitude by a race of peace-loving wizards called the Mystics, embarks on a quest to find the missing shard of the Dark Crystal (which gives the Skeksis their power) and restore the balance of the universe. Henson and codirector Frank Oz have pushed puppetry into a new direction: traditional puppets, marionettes, giant bodysuits, and mechanical constructions are mixed seamlessly in a fantasy world of towering castles, simple huts, dank caves, a giant clockwork observatory, and a magnificent landscape that seem to have leaped off the pages of a storybook. Muppet fans will recognize many of the voice actors--a few characters sound awfully close to familiar comic creations--but otherwise it's a completely alien world made familiar by a mythic quest that resonates through stories over the ages. --Sean Axmaker

Sarah (a teenage Jennifer Connelly) rehearses the role of a fairy-tale queen, performing for her stuffed animals. She is about to discover that the time has come to leave her childhood behind. In real life she has to baby-sit her brother and contend with parents who don't understand her at all. Her petulance leads her to call the goblins to take the baby away, but when they actually do, she realizes her responsibility to rescue him. Sarah negotiates the Labyrinth to reach the City of the Goblins and the castle of their king. The king is the only other human in the film and is played by a glam-rocking David Bowie, who performs five of his songs. The rest of the cast are puppets, a wonderful array of Jim Henson's imaginative masterpieces. Henson gives credit to children's author and illustrator Maurice Sendak, and the creatures in the movie will remind Sendak fans of his drawings. The castle of the king is a living M.C. Escher set that adults will enjoy. The film combines the highest standards of art, costume, and set decoration. Like executive producer George Lucas's other fantasies, Labyrinth mixes adventure with lessons about growing up. --Lloyd Chesley

Product Details
  • Starring: Frank Oz, Jim Henson, Kathryn Mullen
  • Director: Frank Oz, Jim Henson, Gary Kurtz
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
  • Video Release Date: September 5, 2023
  • Running Time: 196
  • Language: E (E), O (O)
  • ASIN: B00004U5RH
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 Based on 16 reviews.
  • Sales Rank: 7769

Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:

5Two Great Fantasies From the Heyday of Fantasy Filmmaking!, Mar 10, 2023
Begin With "The Dark Crystal": Another Time, Another World...

From the age of wonder comes a tale so bizarre, so mystical, so magical, it has to be seen to be believed! A world that once thrived is now nearly a wasteland, ruled over by cruel, half bird/half lizard creatures called the Skeksis. The planet's more humble creatures flee from their presence. Their evil is countered only by a race of good and kind wizards called the Mystics, but it is the Skeksis who maintain power over the Dark Crystal. The only hope for returning balance to their world is in that of a small gelfling boy named Jen, who, with the help of his new friends, Kira and Fizzgig, and the guidance of a wise old woman named Aughra, must reunite the Dark Crystal with its missing shard and heal an ancient species.

An adventure that could only have come from the mind of Jim Henson, "The Dark Crystal" is a masterpiece in every sense. Bringing to vivid life the fantastical and grotesque illustrations of Brian Froud, and clearly influenced by "The Empire Strikes Back" and "The Lord of the Rings," Jim Henson and Co-Director Frank Oz have invented a world all their own. Every creature and character that appears onscreen is a figment of the imagination, and each one is as real as you or I. The visual effects and scenery are a feast for the eyes, but the simple and engaging story is equally captivating. In the Gelflings, the filmmakers manage to capture the very embodiment of pure innocence and goodness, and in the Skeksis, the very essence of evil. The Special Edition DVD release has more than enough extras to satisfy, the most overwhelming of which is the hour long making-of documentary, "The World of the Dark Crystal." Other features include deleted and work-print scenes, trailers, character art profiles, talent files, and an isolated music score. Well worth the purchase for anyone looking to own the quintessential 80's fantasy film. And, while I don't think her much to look at, Kira's voice is heavenly.

Then, Get Lost In the Labyrinth...

Sarah is a beautiful but delusional teenage girl living with her overbearing parents and incessantly crying baby brother. She immerses herself in a world of fairytale fantasy to forget her day-to-day strife, and rehearses lines from books in the hope of one day becoming a great actress like her real mother. But on one particularly stormy night, Sarah is left alone to tend to her baby brother yet again, and the assignment is more than she can bear. She finally makes a hasty wish for the infant to be taken away by goblins, to trouble her no more! --- Her wish is granted. --- Sarah suddenly finds herself alone in a fairy kingdom on a magical quest to save her brother, journeying beyond the gates of the goblin city and to the castle of the very Goblin King himself, but to get there she first must solve the Labyrinth!

From fantasy masters Jim Henson and George Lucas comes a film that delighted a generation! Labyrinth is a magical fantasy that combines the Wizard of Oz, Alice In Wonderland, and the Return of the Jedi, with an 80's twist in the form of David Bowie's one of a kind musical style. The film follows Sarah's transformation from bratty teenage girl to sympathetic and endearing heroine, as she makes her way through all the traps and twists the Goblin King sets before her, picking up new friends as she goes, from the ugly but good-hearted dwarf, Hoggle, and an enormous, hairy simpleton called Ludo, to brave Sir Didymus the fox and his noble steed, Ambrosius the dog. Almost the entire cast is direct from Jim Henson's creature shop, featuring an assortment of weirdies and baddies the likes of which you've hopefully never seen. And there's more magic still, thanks to the sorcery of Jareth, the Goblin King, portrayed beautifully by the hypnotic personage of David Bowie. Jennifer Connelly holds her own as Sarah though, looking more beautiful than I have ever seen her, and far too hot to be the staying at home and reading Tolkien on a Friday-night type, but we'll let that slide in lieu of the gorgeous eye-candy. If Henson and Lucas were aiming for a timeless classic here, ala "The Wizard of Oz," they may have missed the mark, as the music of the film dates it as unmistakably 80's. Nevertheless, it is without a doubt a masterpiece of filmmaking in true Jim Henson style, a great trip for the 80's fantasy enthusiast, and an excellent piece of fantasy entertainment for anyone who is a fan of the genre. More than a few elements from the world of Harry Potter were clearly inspired by this film, just as it was inspired by the classic fantasies that came before it. "Labyrinth" is a true work of art, and a true milestone of fantasy entertainment!

The DVD is in widescreen, featuring a fullscreen theatrical trailer, and a long and informative behind the scenes featurette that includes interviews with the performers and creators, not to mention more lovely footage of Jennifer Connelly. Cast and Crew "Talent Files" are also included. Don't hesitate to add "Labyrinth" to your collection today!

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:

5Great film - teens and adults in our house loved it., Jan 11, 2023
The creatures truly come to life, and as you sink into it, the fantasy becomes richer and richer. Very memorable characters. Love the muppets, but in this film Hensen's mastery of the larger figures is amazing. It's one you'll want to watch more than once. Don't be surprised if you find yourself comparing acquaintances and family members to the characters.

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful:

5Two Great movies for the price of one., Nov 18, 2022
These two are Jim Henson's non-muppet masterpieces of fantasy and adventure, The Dark Crystal ( 1982) deals in another world where magic rules, a Gelfling named "Jen" must return an important shard back to the Dark Crystal from the evil Skeckis, then "Labyrinth ( 1986)" which deals with a Teen girl who babysits her little brother and wishes him away by the evil Goblin King which she has to go into a large maze to find him.

Both are inspiring works of genius from Jim Henson that can entertain young and old.

Highly recommended films if you enjoyed "The Princess Bride", " The Wizard of Oz", "Return to Oz", " Harry Potter", "Lord of the Rings", " Army of Darkness", " The Last Unicorn", " Secret of NIMH", "Legend", "Dragonheart", and " Neverending Story".

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:

4Special Features are a welcomed bonus, May 6, 2023
Simply put: Both are a must for any Jim Henson fan. I personally never really liked Dark Crystal but Labyrinth is a Henson classic. Both include items such as an hour long documentary on the making of Labyrinth and some deleted scenes from Dark Crystal. A great bonus to any DVD collection!

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:

5jim henson is a genious!, Mar 6, 2023
what stands out in my mind is the day i found out that jim henson died. I remember asking my mom why my sister was crying and she said "Because Jim Henson died." she absolutly loved his work. i, too, am a big fan. i love jim henson and wish he was still alive to create these brilliant movies and fascinating characters.
labyrinth is my all time favorite movie. i watch it at least once a day. it revolves around sarah, a girl who wishes the goblin king to take her baby brother away. he does and the movie focuses on her quest to get him back and the people/things she meets along the way. david bowie is excellent in this movie. the songs are great and i couldn't imagine anyone else being the goblin king. i don't think he's ever been so sexy. the sets are amazing and the creatures are just beautiful. they all have seperate personalities and if you left out just one, the movie would not have been the same. my favorite is ludo but i've always been a fan of big animals.
the dark crystal is completely different in almost every way. there are no humans at all, it's all puppets. the story revolves around the skeksis and they mystics who once were the same but became seperated (like the good part of a person and the bad part) when the crystal broke and a shard was lost. the skeksis worship the crystal becuz it gives them power. the story surrounds jen, a gelfling, who is the last of his kind. he is charged with finding the lost shard and replacing it in the stone to reunite the two halves and bring life back into the dead land. along his journey he meets kira (another gelfling), fezgig (her dog, sort of), the podpeople (who've taken care of kira since all the other gelflings were killed), augrah (the keeper of the shard and other knowledge), and many monsters who are minions of the skeksis.
both these films are awesome. the movement is wonderful, the dialogue is witty and the visuals are stunning. jim hensons team of set designers and creative developers are the best around and these movies will make you wish there were more like them.
as a side note, i'd like to point out that labyrinth was filmed at elstree studios, the same place as part of the rocky horror picture show which is also a favorite of mine.
buy this movie and enjoy it with everyone you know.


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