Cinema: Magical, Mystical Muppet Tour

THE DARK CRYSTAL Directed by Jim Benson and Frank Oz Screenplay by David Odell

No Kermit. No Bert and Ernie. Sam the Nixonian eagle and Grover, with his perpetually pubescent voice, are elsewhere. This movie is serious: Jim Henson's foray into the art, dammit, of puppetry. With the help of Star Wars Producer Gary Kurtz, Faeries Artist Brian Froud, fellow Muppeteer Frank Oz and $26 million, Henson has devised a luxuriantly original fantasy world as dark as the magic crystal totem at its center. The setting is "another world, another time, in the...

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