The Dark Crystal

Photo via Caseen Gaines/Amazon Dark Crystal Wiki Remix by Jason Reed

Delve into Jim Henson’s genius with ‘The Dark Crystal: The Ultimate Visual History’

We're geeking out REAL HARD for this.


Colette Bennett


Posted on Aug 14, 2017   Updated on May 22, 2021, 8:39 pm CDT

35 years after The Dark Crystal was released, the cult classic continues to enrapture audiences both old and new. With the release of a brand new book called The Dark Crystal: The Ultimate Visual History, fans can learn more about the herculean effort behind the film’s creation.

As most longtime fans of Jim Henson’s fantasy masterpiece already know, there’s a terrific companion book to the film called The World of the Dark Crystal. It’s been printed twice, and getting copies has been fairly tough for collectors if they didn’t make it into the narrow release window.

One thing that book did not contain, however, is a comprehensive behind the scenes look at the making of the film. The Dark Crystal: The Ultimate Visual History offers that and more, calling on the film’s designers and creators to share their personal experiences helping the film come to life.

The book is littered with not only tons of photos of Henson and his crew in action, but also includes Brian Froud’s sketches that brought the world of The Dark Crystal to life. Many pages have reproductions of Henson’s original letters and notes, and the entire pitch booklet that Henson used to show off his passion project is also included.

While The World of the Dark Crystal acts as a guide through the world of Thra and its denizens, The Dark Crystal: The Ultimate Visual History communicates something that no other companion work before it ever has: the enormity of the project. Henson aimed to make the first film acted entirely by puppets and he succeeded, but not without a tremendous amount of work and conviction. These pages detail every step of that struggle, from imagining the world to finding time to bring it to life at the same time he worked full-time on The Muppet Show.

At 191 pages, The Dark Crystal: The Ultimate Visual History is a gem for any fan that wants to discover more about the mystical fan. Since the new Netflix prequel series is also on the way, this makes for the perfect primer. And if you can’t get enough Dark Crystal, check out the novelization and manga too.

The Dark Crystal: The Ultimate Visual History is on sale for just over $27 (regularly $45) through Amazon.

Buy it here


The Daily Dot may receive a payment in connection with purchases of products or services featured in this article. Click here to learn more.

Share this article
*First Published: Aug 14, 2017, 11:27 am CDT