As every avid reader of this website or my work will know, in my last piece I was all excited about the newly announced ‘Dark Crystal’ prequel trailer and had hoped it would herald a resurgence in 80s style film-making. I must say, I got a lovely and positive response from you guys!
Knowing how much of a beloved cult this movie is with you guys, I thought I’d indulge in some discussion on the moments that make The Dark Crystal a classic.
5. Mmmmmm Watcha Say
The first 10 minutes of The Dark Crystal features some pretty intense exposition to get everyone on board with what the movie’s wacky world is all about. Upon first viewing, I felt pretty cautious at this point as there hadn’t been any proper character reveals yet, but then BLAM! They hit us with some sweet-ass Mystique humming, harmonising. I was instantly hooked from this moment. Why do the Mystique’s do this? Communicaiton? Prayer? I don’t know but it sounds pretty cool, and you’re guaranteed to try it out for yourself with your mates a few times after watching.
4. Crazy Witch Lady
There are some characters in cinema that charm the socks off audiences and find a place in the hearts of cinephiles forever. Augrha – The Dark Crystal’s one-eyed, foul-mouthed troll witch creature – is such a beloved individual. She is the most quotable character in the film, and one of the coolest, giving children a good thrill in her first appearance by popping out her single eye to get a good look at Jen before dismissing him with a good “Bouji Bouji Bouji”. She is the woman who has got the gear and knows the business, and is eternally bored of all these ignorant noobs with whom the fate of the world rests with. In the face of an eternity of misery, she remains composed and seemingly not arsed.
3. Mary Sue Powers Activate
The best thing about this movie is that it’s fantasy for the sake of fantasy, with amazing creatures and a lot of unbelievable stuff happening. What’s more is that it’s done in such a way that is perfect for a children’s movie, leaving young minds in awe. Kira is the favourite of many, and one of the most jaw-dropping moments of the film is her-quick-thinking escape of Jen and herself from the Garthim over a cliff-edge; the fall broken by the sudden appearance of her wings. Thus, one of the most bad-ass exchanges in cinema ever:
“Wings? I don’t have wings!”
“Of course not. You’re a boy.”
Man, I wanted to be Kira so bad when I was bairn. Still do.
2. Dust to Dust
It’s a universal knowledge that 80s movies are full of disturbing and traumatising scenes (like the melty guy from Robocop) and the kids’ movies were no exception. Right after the dying and ageing state of the Skeksi race is revealed in The Dark Crystal, we are shown the emperor on his death bed. Now we all know children’s movies old and new feature upsetting deaths, but Henson, Oz and company really pushed the boat out, subjecting us to the Emperor’s final agonal breaths before he crumbles into dust. It’s a truly unforgettable scene likely to burn into your mind’s eye forever. This scene alone is probably responsible for the film’s enduring cult status.
1. Dr Dolitle
When revisiting the films of your childhood, you realise all the little seeds these movies planted in your young and impressionable mind, and more importantly how they helped to make you the person you are today. Upon re-watching The Dark Crystal, I have realised how much of a role model Kira was to me. Jen may have good intentions, but he is totally a wet flannel and would have gotten nowhere without Kira and her many talents. Thing is, she also gets the raw end of the deal, going through a lot more strife than Jen. Her finest moment comes when she has been captured and drained of her essence. In this moment, she manages to summon her strength and powers to call the captive animals to freedom. I mean yeah, it’s a total Mary Sue moment, but after 20 years, I still get the urge to cry out KAMALEIAH!
So what do you think? What are your top 5 moments from The Dark Crystal? Make sure to leave your comments below! In the meantime, check out my article “The Dark Crystal and Why 80s Nostalgia Can Be Good” and take a look at the rest of my work.