THE Dark Crystal is worth revisiting – or discovering for the first time – for the awe-inspiring puppetry and visuals alone.

Jim Henson and Frank Oz’s movie has been relaunched, including a 4K ultra HD edition, to mark its 35th anniversary.

But despite being released in 1982 the sumptuous fantasy remains unique. The whole feature has been immaculately put together with models and incredible puppets which stand the test of time against the digital trickery and CGI era of cinema today.

Despite everything that moves on screen being some kind of puppet it is not hard to suspend your disbelief because of Henson and Oz’s pure mastery of this format.

The pair, of course, famously worked together on The Muppets whereas The Dark Crystal strikes a darker tone with the likes of the soul-stealing Skeksis.

But the film is essentially a classic good versus evil tale produced by Gary Kurtz, who worked on A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back.

At times The Dark Crystal has a similar feel to those George Lucas classics which is accentuated by Oz’s wise, hermit-like character Aughra who is reminiscent of Yoda.

The film is about two factions – the ruthless, sinister Skeksis and the peaceful Mystics – who are created when a powerful crystal that brings balance to the universe is damaged.

With time of the essence and to fulfill a prophecy, a Gelfing called Jen – the last of his kind – must heal the crystal to finally destroy the Skeksis’ evil empire.

In terms of appearance and mannerisms, all of Henson and Oz’s characters and curious creatures are fully fleshed out down to finest details from the beaky grins and grand robes of the Skeksis to the wizard-like flowing hair and staffs of the Mystics.

The sound effects are brilliant too. The scuttle of the beetle-like warriors, the Garthim, and the snap of their pincers will stay with you as will the cackle of the Skeksis.

Yes, the story may be a bit bare and linear but in terms of its charm, style and achievements you cannot help but fall in love all over again with this cult classic.

RATING: 7.5/10