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In a far-flung world not so dissimilar from our own, disparate peoples from isolated kingdoms must overcome their differences if they hope to defeat powerful, unified, evil forces and save themselves–and their world–from destruction. That’s a solid if rather general fantasy story synopsis. It’s so familiar in fact that it could apply to anything from classics like The Lord of the Rings and The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe to contemporary fantasy favorites like Game of Thrones. So what’s the one thing that separates these iconic stories from the incredible tale told in Netflix’s new series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance? In a word: Puppets.
Netflix knows that this is the one aspect of their 10-episode fantasy series that’s going to make it or break it. It’s also impossible to separate the puppets and their miniature world from the late Jim Henson and his ground-breaking 1982 film The Dark Crystal or the superlative work by The Jim Henson Company that brings the denizens of the world of Thra to life, then and now. It just wouldn’t be the same without them; it wouldn’t be The Dark Crystal at all. So if you loved the original film and are anxious to see the puppet characters return, I’m happy to say that they’re better than ever, from the delightfully macabre and grotesque Skeksis, to the wonderfully sentient potato-like Podlings, to the heroic humanoid Gelfling. If you struggle to empathize with puppets but can find something to appreciate–like the remarkable technical prowess and artistry on display, the jaw-dropping production value, the compelling characterization and voice-cast performances–you’ll find this story is worth the journey. But if you opt to skip The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance altogether simply because of the puppet factor, I feel sorry for you; you’re missing out on one...
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