It's the most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, Muppetational episode of The Unenthusiastic Critic yet, as Michael and Nakea discuss Jim Henson and Frank Oz's 1982 film The Dark Crystal.
First, we're talking about the unparalleled legacy of Jim Henson, and how the Muppets shaped our formative years. Then—in anticipation of the new prequel series from Netflix—we're watching The Dark Crystal, a labor of love from Henson that was not particularly loved by critics and audiences. Is The Dark Crystal a misunderstood masterpiece, or was it a rare misfire from the late, great Muppet master?
0:00: Prologue: from The Muppet Show
0:46: Preliminary Conversation: Jim Henson & The Muppets
18:10: Interlude: from Sesame Street
18:43: Cultural Osmosis: Pre-Viewing Discussion
24:32: Interlude: Original Trailer for The Dark Crystal
26:40: The Verdict: Post-Viewing Discussion
51:33: Outro and Next Week's Movie
53:16: Postscript, from The Muppet Show
Notes and Links
—Movie Reviewed: The Dark Crystal (dir. Jim Henson & Frank Oz, Jim Henson Productions, 1982).
—"Bert & Ernie Go to the Movies" from Sesame Street Episode 2260.
—Statler & Waldorf clips from The Muppet Show episodes 208 and 320.
—References: Jim Henson: The Biography, by Brian Jay Jones; "Early Childhood Education by MOOC: Lessons from Sesame Street," Melissa S. Kearney & Phillip B. Levine, National Bureau of Economic Research; "How Sesame Street Started a Musical Revolution," Melena Ryzik, New York Times; Reviews by Vincent Canby, New York Times, and Richard Corliss, Time.
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—"Warm Duck Shuffle" by Arne Huseby is licensed under CC BY 3.0.