The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Review (New podcast episode)
The Dark Crystal (1982) was one of the many fantasy films on high rotation for me and my siblings growing up. Its blend of enchanting, ethereal beauty and hideous, brutal darkness, and its adventure story steeped in deep mythology made it vastly appealing to our eager imaginations (though its depiction of cruelty, loss and atmosphere of doom sometimes meant that films like The Never-ending Story, Mary Poppins and The Wizard of Oz were sought out more often). In addition, the sheer magnitude and detail in its handcrafted artistry, combining the talents of puppeteer and filmmaker Jim Henson and artist Brian Froud, along with a vast team of creatives, has ensured the film’s iconic place in history as well as its indelible influence upon a generation of creative minds that grew up under its spell.
Recently, many of these creative minds were given a chance to enter these realms once more, but this time as artists, writers, puppeteers, actors and film crew, when Netflix commissioned The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance (2019), a prequel to the original film that delves into its mythology in much more detail. Bringing on many of the same creators and artists (including the Froud and Henson families), the television series format allows for a greatly expanded story, with entire new Gelfling clans and mythologies as well many of the same beloved (or despised) characters, such as Mother Augra and Chamberlain the Skeksis. With hand-crafted artistry on an unprecedented scale (the Netflix behind-the-scenes special is a must-watch), and with both the brutal darkness and ethereal beauty ramped up to epic proportions, this is a television event like no other.
Donning both my Creative Artist and Scholar of the Fantastic hats, I joined Dr Jimmy Van of Macquarie University’s From the Lighthouse podcast to chat about our thoughts on growing up with the original film and what we think about this latest expansion of the Dark Crystal universe. Talking with Jimmy is always enjoyable, and this chat was no exception: we ranged through childhood memories and what we loved about the original and its sequel, we talked about the 80s as a wonderful decade of incandescent brightness mixed with the darkest of gothic horrors, and we even ended up advocating for Podling rights (you’ll see what I mean). Listen to the episode below:
or follow this link: [‘The Dark Crystal” Age of Resistance’ podcast episode]
What did you think of The Dark Crystal or Age of Resistance?