The Muppets are back. But not those you know with “Kermit” and company, who now belong to Disney. These are the darkest and fantasy created in 1982 by Jim Henson and Frank Oz.
At that time, storytelling with puppets, especially for children, involved fun and exciting adventures. Henson and Oz innovated by daring with a dark fantasy narrative, involving a complex atmosphere that was totally unlike anything ever done before.
Thus was born The Dark Crystal. His story shows the world of Thra. It all begins a thousand years ago when the crystal is broken and a prophecy says that only if a Gelfling manipulates the crystal will peace be restored. This is how begins the journey of Jen and Kira.
It is a summary of the summary, removing all the reasons that lead the journey, so if you want to check it will not suffer from spoilers. The reason? This new adventure that arrives on Netflix on August 30th is a prequel to the events of the original history of 1982.
Keeping the same characteristics of the original puppets, since the current were created by artists Brian and Wendy Froud, who also sculpted the 1982 adventure remains the same sombre mood told by these characters. Some, besides puppets, are animatronics, but still no humans on the scene. This is even interesting and catches the eye. The story today is nothing new, but it is coherent and deeper than it is told today.
In this story – which features the voiceover by names like Mark “The Joker Skywalker” Hamill, Caitriona Balfe, Helena Bonham Carter, Taron Egerton, Nathalie Emmanuel among others – it is at the moment when Thra’s world is dying, and the Crystal of Truth is in the heart of Thra, an untold source of power, but one that has been corrupted by the Skeksis, and a disease spreads throughout the earth. When three Gelfling discover the terrible truth behind Skeksis’s power, they set off on an adventure to try to prevent the worst from happening and this form a rebellion. To represent these evils, emotive scenes are shown since the first episode, which become a little striking since the rating is 12 years old.
Dark stories with an emotional and moral appeal seem to have been lost, hidden in the excuses that the new generations are not prepared for them. Justifying that dealing with loss and evil, as well as responsibilities, are parts that should be left to when they are adults. But there is no problem when it comes to trade and violence, where the speech becomes that they must be prepared to face the world in this way. The Dark Crystal: The Age of Resistance may suffer from this new view, as the target audience fits the description above and is not as interested in it as it once was.
Inconsistencies aside, The Dark Crystal: The Age of Resistance has a clever script for all audiences. The use of puppets can unfortunately alienate children and teenagers, who prefer something more 3D, like Toy Story, to watch. The series has the potential to appeal to parents who grew up watching shows such as The Muppets, Garilbado, Topo Gigio, and other landmark programs that were at their peak during their childhood.
Unfortunately, the use of puppets has been almost forgotten for decades, with companies giving preference to other types of animation, and new generations will feel the impact of seeing something new with an old face.
Either way, The Dark Crystal: The Age of Resistance, with its 10 episodes coming on Sept. 30 on Netflix, is a great animation, which can be tiring for this audience, but will entertain the older ones if they are Smart, will remember this nostalgia and call your children to learn about manual work and storytelling that is more engaging than just “punching” buttons.