The fantasy film The Dark Crystal is a live-action feature performed entirely by puppets created by the Jim Henson organization, also responsible for the Muppets. As such, it is visually unusual, but Trevor Jones' score is a traditional orchestral work in the Hollywood tradition. In Randall D. Larson's liner notes to the 25th anniversary edition of the soundtrack album (reissued to coincide with a similarly commemorative DVD release), Jones reveals that the initial idea was to come up with music just as inventive as the look of the film, but that plan was abandoned when it was decided that audiences needed something to feel comfortable with in contrast to what they were seeing. Still, Jones augmented the London Symphony Orchestra with synthesizers to evoke some of the fantasy elements. He also, in "The Pod Dance," brought in medieval instruments like the crumhorn and a double-flageolet to suggest a period sound (although the period was as fantastic as anything else in the story). Jones follows the film's plot, which concerns fragmentation of the magical crystal and its restoration, by creating musical themes that eventually weave together in the seven-minute "Finale," which also serves as a medley of all that has gone before.
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann
|The Dark Crystal, film score|