(out of 5)
Leave it to Jim Henson to give children the experience of what grownups go through when they watch 2001: A Space Odyssey. Employing his New Age philosophies and his incredible skill with puppetry, Henson tells a beautiful story about a world plunged in darkness by the evil Skekses, vulture-like creatures that will send your children to bed with nightmares for sure. The only hope to save the planet is for a mystical crystal to be restored to its full shape, something that can only be done by the last two remaining Gelfings (cute, fuzzy little creatures) on the planet. The film encompasses their wondrous journey, and Henson’s team have created such incredible backdrops, augmented by such incredibly good puppet work, that you’ll forget that you’re watching a film version of Sesame Street. It’s truly a work of art, though some of its deeper ideas will sail right over the little ones’ heads.
Story by Jim Henson, Screenplay by David Odell
Cinematography by Oswald Morris
Music by Trevor Jones
Production Design by Harry Lange
Costume Design by Brian Froud
Film Editing by Ralph Kemplen