Many centuries ago, in a fantasy world, the urSkeks came from another world and are the guardians of the Crystal of Truth. When their own arrogance shatters the crystal, the urSkeks are separated into two different species: the Mystics, a wise and good race, and the evil and grotesque Skeksis, who take over the world and are masters of the crystal. Many centuries later, a prophecy tells of a Gelfling, one of the few survivors of it’s race after a massacre by the Skeksis, will rise and unite the two together and put and end to the death and suffering. That Gelfling turns out to be Jen, who is forced against his will to take on this monumental task. With the help of a cooky witch Aughrah and female Gelfling Kira, they go to repair the crystal and make things right once more.
I’m a huge fan of Jim Henson, and this is my favorite of his dark fantasy films he made during his downtime with the Muppets (which I also love). I like it more than Legend and the over-rated Labyrinth. The story itself is magical but epic at the same time, delving into the double nature of humanity, and how each of us has both a good and evil side. I also love the puppetry and special effects, which are pretty realistic in some cases, especially the Gelflings, who sometimes look like real elves. These creatures were designed by famous fantasy artist Brian Froud, and his wonderful talents can clearly be seen. Now, many have accused this film to be very dark. While I consider Legend to be much darker than this, there are some scenes that are genuinely scary. The crab-like creatures that work for the Skeksis are very weird and move in a frightening way, and the nightmarish sequences where they capture the locals of the area, the Podlings, will make people recall Nazis taking over Jewish ghettos. By the way, is it just me, or do the Podlings look like a more retarded version of the fraggless from Fraggle Rock? If there’s anything I didn’t like about this movie, it was the Podlings. You might as well write ‘cannon fodder’ on their foreheads, because you know they’re going to get fucked. Still, with all it’s darkness, a lot of greatness shines through. It’s a perfect fantasy film and a genius achievement in the world of muppetry and special effects, and I wish Jim Henson was still alive so he could make more movies like this.