Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Dark Crystal

When a magical crystal shattered, two new species came into existence on the planet Thra; the evil Skeksis and the kind Mystics. A third species, the Gelfling, are thought by the Skeksis to be extinct, but one – a young male named Jen – has been taken in and raised by one of the Mystics. The Mystics are growing older, and to save the world, Jen must go on a quest to repair the magical crystal. On his quest, Jen meets Kira, another Gelfling. Together, they must escape the hunters sent out by the Skeksis, and bring healing to their world before it is too late.


The Adoption Connection

Jen’s parents and Kira’s parents have died, and Jen and Kira were raised by kind members of other species.  Jen is surprised to learn that there is another Gelfling – someone who looks like him and who has had a similar history.

Strong Points

Jen and Kira act bravely and sacrificially for the good of their world, and they are rewarded.

The film provides an opportunity to think about the good and evil that are within all of us.

Jen reflects on the Mystic that adopted him, saying he is “family and friend.” A character reflects on the family that adopted them by saying that from them, “I learned the shapes of kindness.” That’s a great phrase.


The Skeksis, and the monsters they send out, are frightening. We learn that Jen’s parents were killed by Skeksis.

Jen’s adoptive father-figure dies in front of him, of old age.

A conniving character attempts to earn the trust of Jen and Kira, but intends to betray them. This could be triggering for children who have been exploited. The evil characters attempt to drain the essence out of Kira.

Kira is killed on screen. Although she is resurrected, she is a sympathetic, childlike character and her death could be traumatic for some young viewers.


The Dark Crystal is an interesting film. Every character is a puppet, and the world created in the film is one with a deep sense of history, but the tone is dark, and it seems likely to be frightening for most young viewers. Additional aspects could be make triggering for young viewers who have been abused, exploited, or who have unresolved issues regarding the death of parents or friends. The Dark Crystal could be an interesting film for older teens who could reflect afterwards on the spirit of adventure and the shape of kindness – but even they might experience some challenges with the fact that Jen’s adoptive parent does die.

Questions for Discussion
Who has shown you “the shapes of kindness?” What does kindness look like?

Jen and Kira are able to see each other’s thoughts and dreams. What dreams do you remember having? Would you like to see anyone else’s dreams?

If you could go on any adventure, what adventure would you want to go on?

Other Ideas

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