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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default So, Dark Crystal.

    It's almost out, anyone anxious to see this series?

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    Default Re: So, Dark Crystal.

    *raise hand*

    So what's the Dark Crystal? I mean, I can research the tvtropes or Wikipedia page, but I only get that it was a cult fantasy movie of the 1980s. Anything special about it?

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    Default Re: So, Dark Crystal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    *raise hand*

    So what's the Dark Crystal? I mean, I can research the tvtropes or Wikipedia page, but I only get that it was a cult fantasy movie of the 1980s. Anything special about it?
    From memory it was one of the last things Jim Henson worked on, possibly just before Fraggle Rock?

    I never saw it, but it always looked interesting in that sort of 'okay so I like fantasy' 'but wow do the pictures of the puppets look terrifying and uncanny valleyish'
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    Default Re: So, Dark Crystal.

    This movie freaked the {scrubbed} out of me when I first saw it around about the time it came out. A few years ago, I tried watching it with the kids and it freaked them out. Not sure how this ever qualified as a 'kid' movie, but it is definitely worth a watch.

    I'll check out this prequel series, for sure
    Last edited by Peelee; 2019-09-07 at 12:32 PM.

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    Default Re: So, Dark Crystal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    *raise hand*

    So what's the Dark Crystal? I mean, I can research the tvtropes or Wikipedia page, but I only get that it was a cult fantasy movie of the 1980s. Anything special about it?
    I loved it as a kid (not as much as The Never Ending Story but still.) I only remember a few scenes now, what really stands out is how amazing the puppets were.
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    Default Re: So, Dark Crystal.

    Love the movie and the previews look really good. However:

    Spoiler: Original movie spoiler, kinda
    Show

    I'm pretty leery about going in just because we already know that the Gelflings are all wiped out except for two babies, right? Unless we find there's a hidden colony somewhere or something, this seems to be a story about watching genocide happen.
    Some people think that Chaotic Neutral is the alignment of the insane, but the enlightened know that Chaotic Neutral is the only alignment without illusions of sanity.

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    Default Re: So, Dark Crystal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    *raise hand*

    So what's the Dark Crystal? I mean, I can research the tvtropes or Wikipedia page, but I only get that it was a cult fantasy movie of the 1980s. Anything special about it?
    There are many reasons I loved this movie, but the things that stand out the most are the impressive practical special effects (Henson animatronics at its best) and the beautiful aesthetics of the world and (most importantly) its many creatures. It was also scary as hell as a kid.

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    Default Re: So, Dark Crystal.

    A favorite of mine that I rewatch on the regular! I have an amazing art book with Brian Froud's concept sketches for the original movie. Very excited about the series, though I share PontificatusRex's complaint. Particularly given:

    Spoiler
    Show
    We ALMOST had a sequel, Power of the Dark Crystal, directed by Genndy Tartakovski! I saw a preview of some early work and puppets, and it looked great. This was 2005-6 maybe? The story was eventually turned into a comic series, and there's an ongoing one in the world that takes place after the movie that I love right now.


    I'm sure I will watch the new one a hundred thousand times, just as I have the original. A particularly vivid memory of mine was going to a drive in theater in 1983 to see Dark Crystal and Jedi on a double feature, and I was crazy excited because I had already seen them, but the rest of my family hadn't (I was 6). I also remember an awesome making-of feature on tv at the time.

    And can't go wrong with that Trevor Jones score:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNOa50Lsge8

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: So, Dark Crystal.

    Originally Posted by JoshL
    And can't go wrong with that Trevor Jones scoreÖ.
    I loved the movie, and loved the score even more. I played it countless times on cassette when I was a kid, and the funeral march remains one of my favorite items from any soundtrack. Iím planning to use it in an upcoming game session.

    Iím a little confused by this thread, though. I thought there was already a Dark Crystal series? Or, like the Jedi, was I deceived?

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    Default Re: So, Dark Crystal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    *raise hand*

    So what's the Dark Crystal? I mean, I can research the tvtropes or Wikipedia page, but I only get that it was a cult fantasy movie of the 1980s. Anything special about it?
    The plot of the 1982 movie is effectively Lord of the Rings but with less characters in a 90 minute movie instead of 10+ hours the 3 LOTR movies are in together.

    Yet what makes it special is the art, the designs, it being puppets. It seems unnatural and alien, yet simultaneously inviting. You watch Dark Crystal not just for the fantasy but because it seems alien like a horror movie would be. It does this while still keeping a PG rating and it is age appropriate for 9 or 10 years old where it would feel unnerving (I would not recommend this movie for 7 years old unless you want to give your kid nightmares and trauma. This is one of those wonderful movies that if you can get the appropriate age right for your kids it will scare them in a good way which is usually 9, 10, or the preteen years, but get it too early and nothing good comes of it only nightmares and trauma so avoid it for 7 year olds. Aka the kids should be almost middle schoolers.)

    One of the most memorable things about Dark Crystal is the giant diabolical vulture puppets known as Skeksis. Literally google them and look at them for they are awesome villains. Each of the 10 or so Skeksis has its own design if you study it, yet they seem to blend together. And how the characters move creep outs the eye for it is unnatural much like how our eye finds tracking a snake movement to be unnatural while we are much more comfortable watching bipedal or quadruped mammals move easily. This puppetry and puppet design is unnatural enough it keeps the eyes invested.

    -----

    You are either going to enjoy it alot or find it boring and derivative. Except when it came out it was fresh fantasy that you cutting edge in the late 70s and all through the 80s. A lot of modern stuff is heavily inspired / influenced by The Dark Crystal and other similar fantasy / sci fi from this time period and right now we are in the 30 year cycle where the kids who were inspired by this stuff are now making tv shows and movies as adults, and they are selling it to other former kids now adults and this is one of the reasons why Netflix picked up this show. (I have not watched the Netflix show at the time of this post.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    Iím a little confused by this thread, though. I thought there was already a Dark Crystal series? Or, like the Jedi, was I deceived?
    The Netflix prequel series comes out tomorrow August 30th. It has been previewed at the typical online review places like Polygon and so on prior to the 30th so there are now reviews and buzz.

    And prior to Netflix picking it up the prequel tv series, there was a sequel movie project for Dark Crystal from roughly 2006 to 2017 but in the end this project was in developmental hell and nothing came out of it besides them deciding to take the idea and make it into a comic book after the project was finally canceled.
    Last edited by Ramza00; 2019-08-29 at 02:54 PM.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: So, Dark Crystal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    *raise hand*

    So what's the Dark Crystal? I mean, I can research the tvtropes or Wikipedia page, but I only get that it was a cult fantasy movie of the 1980s. Anything special about it?
    If you've seen Labyrinth and liked it, there's a chance that you'll like The Dark Crystal. Both use animatronics and The Dark Crystal sort of looks and feels a little like a spiritual precursor to Labyrinth. Though I feel like Labyrinth is more character-driven and The Dark Crystal is a great deal more lore-heavy.

    As you probably know there's quite a few fantasy fans that loves them some setting lore, which I believe is a big reason why The Dark Crystal has its cult status.

    Anyway... hopefully the series is as memorable and unique as the movie, but I guess we'll see.
    Iop brain.

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    Default Re: So, Dark Crystal.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Fury View Post

    Anyway... hopefully the series is as memorable and unique as the movie, but I guess we'll see.
    Just finished watching season one on a binge and well... they certainly knocked it out of the park.

    I wonít go into spoilers, but for those who watched the 1982 film as a kid and were in any way affected by the Skeksisí appearance on screen then... be ready for that same feeling and then some with the prequel.

    I can only hope they release at least another season, given how good this one turned out to be.

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    Default Re: So, Dark Crystal.

    Not really interested at all, i watched the movie a lot of times, it's very doubtful that the series will get a second of attention from me though.

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: So, Dark Crystal.

    Originally Posted by AlanBruce
    Just finished watching season one on a binge and well... they certainly knocked it out of the park.
    I was about to ask if anyone had watched it. This is definitely a recommendation.

    Alas, I donít have Netflix, so it may be about forever before I can see this; but Iím really, really glad that they did it justice. Iíve always loved Brian Froudís art, and based on what you say about the Skeksis, it sounds like theyíve done a great job of capturing the mood.

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    Default Re: So, Dark Crystal.

    Boyfriend saw it and loved it but I found it meh. The puppets just take me right out of the experience, especially when they're running, jumping, kissing, or swinging weapons. It looks like something out of Crank Yankers. Like, I get it, it's about Jim Henson nostalgia, but Netflix does realize the puppets were because we had crappy CGI back then right? We have much better CGI now.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Default Re: So, Dark Crystal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    Boyfriend saw it and loved it but I found it meh. The puppets just take me right out of the experience, especially when they're running, jumping, kissing, or swinging weapons. It looks like something out of Crank Yankers. Like, I get it, it's about Jim Henson nostalgia, but Netflix does realize the puppets were because we had crappy CGI back then right? We have much better CGI now.
    Perhaps the goal of this show was to demonstrate that puppetry can still be relevant as an art form and a way to tell a story?

    If that were the case, I would have to say it succeeded. And yes, CGI would have been a quicker and far trendier route... just like every other animated show today, for the most part.

    Whether it sinks or floats, this show will be remembered for its medium.

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: So, Dark Crystal.

    Originally Posted by AlanBruce
    Perhaps the goal of this show was to demonstrate that puppetry can still be relevant as an art form and a way to tell a story?
    This.

    See also Kubo and the Two Strings, a lovely story done with incredibly detailed puppetry, rather than the current default of CGI. Thereís room for both techniques.

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    Default Re: So, Dark Crystal.

    Yeah, if you look at movies as being an art form as much as a form of entertainment, the puppet choice makes a fair amount of sense.
    Similar to how today, with cameras and digital art, we can make very accurate pictures and scenes very easily. They'll look more believable than an oil painting for a fraction of the effort, but people don't really claim that we have no need for paintings. There's a certain feeling behind a real painting, and real puppets, that goes beyond nostalgia. Personally, I'm not much of a fan of the puppet aesthetic, but I'd definitely say it's still a viable (if niche) medium, and that there are certain things where CGI or even animatronics simply won't do better.
    That's all I can think of, at any rate.

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    Default Re: So, Dark Crystal.

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanBruce View Post
    Perhaps the goal of this show was to demonstrate that puppetry can still be relevant as an art form and a way to tell a story?

    If that were the case, I would have to say it succeeded. And yes, CGI would have been a quicker and far trendier route... just like every other animated show today, for the most part.

    Whether it sinks or floats, this show will be remembered for its medium.
    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    This.

    See also Kubo and the Two Strings, a lovely story done with incredibly detailed puppetry, rather than the current default of CGI. Thereís room for both techniques.
    Said medium just isn't for me then. Between the thousand-yard uncanny-valley gelfling stares, the sheer weightlessness of almost every combat scene, and the unintended comedy that ensued anytime I could see their puppet legs, I just couldn't get into it.

    As for Kubo, I actually agree it was fantastic-looking - and a big part of the magic there was Laika's use of stop motion and the 3d printed models to make their puppets much more stylized (and consequently, more realistic) than anything in Dark Crystal. (And notably, they used a heavy dose of CGI there too.)
    Last edited by Psyren; 2019-09-01 at 12:56 PM.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
    Quote Originally Posted by gogogome View Post
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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: So, Dark Crystal.

    Originally Posted by Strigon
    Similar to how today, with cameras and digital art, we can make very accurate pictures and scenes very easily. They'll look more believable than an oil painting for a fraction of the effort, but people don't really claim that we have no need for paintings. There's a certain feeling behind a real painting, and real puppets, that goes beyond nostalgia.
    Very true, and nicely put.

    Originally Posted by Psyren
    And notably, they used a heavy dose of CGI there too.
    I wouldnít call their use of CGI ďheavyĒ by any stretch. It was used for cleanup, but thatís so much a part of the industry that itís barely worth commenting on. It certainly doesnít change the fact that Kubo is defined and set apart by the puppetry.

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    Default Re: So, Dark Crystal.

    Just binge watched the series and I have to say the Henson Company really stepped up, the story was engrossing and sometimes I actually forgot I was watching puppets.

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    Default Re: So, Dark Crystal.

    I would have preferred a Labyrinth sequel, but I guess I might check it out.

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    Default Re: So, Dark Crystal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    I wouldnít call their use of CGI ďheavyĒ by any stretch.
    Okay. Point is, looked much better than DC, at least to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
    Quote Originally Posted by gogogome View Post
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    Default Re: So, Dark Crystal.

    Just started watching it; it's beautiful and I love it and I'm taking my time with it to really absorb it. However, I did spend the first 20 minutes or so distracted by the opening narration.

    Spoiler: I am a big nerd
    Show
    The Skeskis did not come to the land and start ruling. The urSkeks came during a conjunction and spent 1000 years teaching everyone, sharing their knowledge, and in that time built a castle to protect the crystal (not dark yet). Then at the next conjuction, the urSkeks attempted a ritual to purify the evil in their souls (they came from a land where no evil was tolerated and were more or less fugitives), which split them into the urRu and the Skeskis. This also broke the crystal, turned it dark, and at that point the Skeksis' reign of terror began, blighting the landscape. The movie takes place at the next conjunction (so 2000 years after the urSkeks arrived). The whole point of the movie is the reconciliation of the urSkeks' dual nature. Part of why I wanted a sequel, I wanted to know, after they came to terms with who they are, where did they go, knowing they can't go home and they didn't stay there. But that's beside the point. The point is, I'm a big nerd, the deep lore of the original movie is why it's one of my favorites, so why did they feel the need to re-write it?


    Anyway, looking forward to the rest!

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    Default Re: So, Dark Crystal.

    Watching it now... I'm pretty happy with it so far. it really captures the aestetic of the original.

    A question: I have a friend who has not seen the original (yes, I know, I should pick better friends)... should I lend her the DVD and have her watch it before she tackles the series on Netflix, or should she start with this prequel?

    Also, can we have a moment of appreciation for whoever threw so much money into this project that they managed to put together one hell of a cast to voice the characters?
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    Default Re: So, Dark Crystal.

    Quote Originally Posted by dehro View Post
    Watching it now... I'm pretty happy with it so far. it really captures the aestetic of the original.

    A question: I have a friend who has not seen the original (yes, I know, I should pick better friends)... should I lend her the DVD and have her watch it before she tackles the series on Netflix, or should she start with this prequel?

    Also, can we have a moment of appreciation for whoever threw so much money into this project that they managed to put together one hell of a cast to voice the characters?
    I think watching the movie beforehand puts a lot more weight into the show now, since we know what happens to all these very well developed characters in the end, but thatís a matter of personal preference.

    And yes: they definitely outdid themselves with the voice cast.

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    Default Re: So, Dark Crystal.

    It was a little slow at start, but then they needed to set the stage I guess.
    But once it reved up like episode 3, it was great.
    Hope there is a season 2 for the big war.

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    Default Re: So, Dark Crystal.

    Quote Originally Posted by JoshL View Post
    Just started watching it; it's beautiful and I love it and I'm taking my time with it to really absorb it. However, I did spend the first 20 minutes or so distracted by the opening narration.

    Spoiler: I am a big nerd
    Show
    The Skeskis did not come to the land and start ruling. The urSkeks came during a conjunction and spent 1000 years teaching everyone, sharing their knowledge, and in that time built a castle to protect the crystal (not dark yet). Then at the next conjuction, the urSkeks attempted a ritual to purify the evil in their souls (they came from a land where no evil was tolerated and were more or less fugitives), which split them into the urRu and the Skeskis. This also broke the crystal, turned it dark, and at that point the Skeksis' reign of terror began, blighting the landscape. The movie takes place at the next conjunction (so 2000 years after the urSkeks arrived). The whole point of the movie is the reconciliation of the urSkeks' dual nature. Part of why I wanted a sequel, I wanted to know, after they came to terms with who they are, where did they go, knowing they can't go home and they didn't stay there. But that's beside the point. The point is, I'm a big nerd, the deep lore of the original movie is why it's one of my favorites, so why did they feel the need to re-write it?


    Anyway, looking forward to the rest!
    Spoiler: That opening narration
    Show
    The fact that the urSkeks are mentioned in later episodes and that Mother Augra evidently met them at some point suggests that the opening narration isn't a complete story and not exactly a departure from previous lore. All it really confirms is that Augra's device that allows her to explore the stars was built by the Skeksis, therefore after the urSkeks split.

    There's also supplementary material, (artbooks and the like,) that state that even the Skeksis were not always evil despite the fact that they're made of the dark half of the urSkeks. I think what they were going for is that the darkening of the crystal was gradual, rather than immediate.


    So... the series as a whole... I'm pretty impressed with how the lore was expanded. The Gelfling puppets, I think, look a bit better than they did in the film. The main thing I ended up noticing is how long this series is. I mean, I'd expect a series based on a movie with some intense lore and world-building to be pretty long but most of the episodes range from 45 minutes to an hour. Now for more spoiler-y thoughts on the series--

    Spoiler: Dreamfast with me!
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    I really enjoyed what they did with the Chamberlain. In the movie, the Chamberlain was sort of sympathetic, somewhat inept but still villainous. This time, the Chamberlain is much more cunning and relies more heavily on manipulation, and is oddly one of the more effective villains. In fact, his plan on pitting Gelflings against each other and selectively harvesting them for their essence was working. At least until the other Skeksis got greedy and short-sighted.

    This also ties into the other thing I thought was really cool-- the Gelflings as it turns out... not all of them were decent people. In fact the reason why the Skeksis were able to keep them under control as long as they were is that the Gelflings were prejudiced and mistrustful of one another. There was even the character of Seladon, who was trusting of the Skeksis and was quick to dismiss the idea the they were draining Gelflings of their essence as traitorous lies, and was happy to continue offering up her subjects as tributes to the Skeksis.

    If I had a complaint about the series, it would be related to the previous two points. I would have liked to see Seladon continue to be a villain manipulated by the Skeksis. It also seemed weird for the other Skeksis dismiss the Chamberlain's plan so callously, especially since it... y'know... was working.
    Iop brain.

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    Default Re: So, Dark Crystal.

    Quote Originally Posted by JoshL View Post
    Just started watching it; it's beautiful and I love it and I'm taking my time with it to really absorb it. However, I did spend the first 20 minutes or so distracted by the opening narration.

    Spoiler: I am a big nerd
    Show
    The Skeskis did not come to the land and start ruling. The urSkeks came during a conjunction and spent 1000 years teaching everyone, sharing their knowledge, and in that time built a castle to protect the crystal (not dark yet). Then at the next conjuction, the urSkeks attempted a ritual to purify the evil in their souls (they came from a land where no evil was tolerated and were more or less fugitives), which split them into the urRu and the Skeskis. This also broke the crystal, turned it dark, and at that point the Skeksis' reign of terror began, blighting the landscape. The movie takes place at the next conjunction (so 2000 years after the urSkeks arrived). The whole point of the movie is the reconciliation of the urSkeks' dual nature. Part of why I wanted a sequel, I wanted to know, after they came to terms with who they are, where did they go, knowing they can't go home and they didn't stay there. But that's beside the point. The point is, I'm a big nerd, the deep lore of the original movie is why it's one of my favorites, so why did they feel the need to re-write it?


    Anyway, looking forward to the rest!
    I saw the opening 5-10 minutes, and wondered about the Mystics who raised Jem. Didn't seem to see them at all.

    Still, I really loved the movie, so maybe I'll give this a shot.
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    Default Re: So, Dark Crystal.

    Having never seen the original film, I saw the first ep of the new series and I quite enjoyed the alien nature of it all, can't wait to see more!
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    Hangs out on the World building forums

    Giantitp projects: Caligoven the toxic seas, Baalbek Empire!3, Coatl Empire!4, Short and sweet world building
    Personal stuff: World of Tieg, Nexus: City of the Multiverse, Forgotten Planet Lost Between 2 stars, World of the 9 gates
    Spoiler: The gift that keeps on giving
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    Spoiler: and giving
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    Spoiler: and giving some more
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    Spoiler: Metric tons of giving
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    Spoiler: Keep going
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    Spoiler: Suprise
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