The Dark Crystal is a 1982 high fantasy adventure film directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz and stars the voices of Stephen Garlick, Lisa Maxwell, Billie Whitelaw, Percy Edwards, and Barry Dennen. The plot revolves around Jen, an elf-like "Gelfling" on a quest to restore balance to his alien world by returning the lost shard of a powerful but broken gem.
It was marketed as a family film but was notably darker than the creators' previous material. The animatronics used in the film were considered groundbreaking. The primary concept artist was fantasy illustrator Brian Froud, famous for his distinctive fairy and dwarf designs. Froud also collaborated with Henson and Oz for their next project, the 1986 film Labyrinth.
The Dark Crystal was produced by Gary Kurtz, while the screenplay was written by David Odell, who had worked with Henson as a staff writer on The Muppet Show. The film score was composed by Trevor Jones. The film was produced by ITC Entertainment, the British production company responsible for producing The Muppet Show. The film earned mixed to positive reviews from multiple critics, with particular praise on its special effects.