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Your Thoughts: Dark Crystal and Labyrinth Anniversary DVD's

Discussion in 'Fantasy Worlds' started by Phillip, Aug 14, 2007.

  1. Phillip

    Phillip Administrator Staff Member

    Not to be overlooked by The Muppet Show Season 2 release, The Dark Crystal Anniversary Edition DVD and Labyrinth Anniversary Edition DVD both release today. These discs contain never before released material and are a must add to your collection.

    I'd like to mention that if you order any of these releases from Amazon using the links above, a small portion of your order will go to Muppet Central to help keep the site, forum and radio running smoothly. It's a great way to help MC and get a great price on the DVD set with free shipping.

    When you receive these DVD’s post here and let us know what you think of them, espescially the new additional bonus material.
  2. Kermieuk

    Kermieuk Well-Known Member

    Quick heads up for UK fans, various web sites report that these special edition DVD's will be released in the UK on Oct 1st 2007.

    Looking forward to getting them!

  3. cabbageheat

    cabbageheat Well-Known Member

    Let me see

    Well, i have to admit, and I'm still chewing at the bit here, but I have not been all that impressed by what I've seen thus far from the Dark Crystal 25th anniversary edition.

    I have yet to watch the actual film, or listen to the commentary, but I did pop in disc 2 to check out what I thought, were fairly mediocre behind the scenes reflections or features. To be honest, if you loved the film and have been following it all these years (via magazines/ old interviews, script material and the novelization), you've seen and heard much of this already. There were a few tid bits here and there, but nothing jaw dropping in the slightest.

    I was also disappointed in the drab and static menu's. Very ugly, sorry. I've seen Mario treated better. I'm not sure if this disc really replaces anything on my DVD shelf, and probably would have been fine just sticking with the Superbit version, and the original that was released on DVD years ago.

    I look forward to hearing Brian Froud (who has influenced much of my own artistic renderings and insight) give his commentary which I hear is very good, but as for the whole package, I was expecting more, or perhaps better treatment. This is on par with the recent CD re-release. Nice to see it again, but not much of anything new, and could have brought SO much more to the table.

    And one last note. I am once again disappointed that filmmakers don't give the composer any time to talk about his craft. I thought for sure, for the first time, they would really acknowledge the beautiful music, that practically made Dark Crystal what it is, but sadly, there is no mention of Trevor Jones, and his input would have been gold for a 25th Anniversary edition.

    So, in my most honest, humble, opinion, it could have been better. A lot better. I think this might be my last quadruple dip for a title. For those who just enjoy the film, and perhaps were not as influenced by it, this may be right up your alley, but for the purist, you will be asking for more. But perhaps, the well has just gone dry?
  4. Jeffboy

    Jeffboy Member

    Been a long time since I stopped by at the muppetcentral forums; I went out today specifically to purchase the 25th anniversary edition, and I can't help but agree with cabbageheat. I've seen the movie more times than I can count; it's been my favorite film for 20 years and while I won't go into any detail, I have since spent a fair bit of my small allowance and other savings collecting memorabilia. The news of a rerelease that boasted "newly discovered footage" from the Henson archives alone had me sold. I think in total the collected footage made up about 1-2 minutes of the documentary, transposed with the reflections of different performers/crew, but there was no context for them; the test footage could easily have been a series of different shots ala Aliens special edition; we see the gradual development of the puppets until the fully-realized versions on screen are completed. Instead, they were edited into the documentaries without any explanation, and I really can't help but feel somewhat cheated; it was the main reason I purchased it to replace the last 2-disc edition.

    The World of the Dark Crystal documentary has been available in every DVD release, and while it has certainly sufficed as an in-depth guide to the making of the film, it really shows its age. This is the third Dark Crystal DVD release, and I really feel like the only difference between this and the previous releases is the feature-length commentary by Froud.

    I love the movie. Once I get a better television, I'm sure I'll see a difference between this remastered version and the previous copy, which should be a significant difference, but I really did expect more from an "anniversary edition." I was born the same year as the movie's release. Hopefully there will be a better anniversary edition on my 50th birthday. ;)
  5. cabbageheat

    cabbageheat Well-Known Member


    I wholeheartedly agree with jeffboy on many of the issues concerning this dvd release. Very, very lackluster.

    Last night I had the opportunity to also pop in the 2nd disc of Labyrinth, and I also found a mixed bag. I don't want to sound overly critical or pesimistic. I am certainly not trying to be. I am merely comparing this release with the many that have been released thus far, and you can easily see the shortcomings. And when you begin to announce spectacular anniversary editions, you naturally expect more, and both releases fall short of that goal. Which is frankly, very very surprising.

    Labyrinth, in some ways, was a little better (I stress little), which I was shocked at. I noticed more attention to detail, more information and time given to Brian Henson, and more thoughtful and insightful reflections. Granted, the new recordings still suffered from a blandness and a quick cut and run appeal, it makes you wonder at times, just what they were doing while preparing for this?

    Henson needs better designers that is for sure. The DVD's lack any kind of animation or interactive menus of any kind, and that just screams low budget and a half hearted effort. I don't think I'm being picky, I've seen worse movies, treated better, which is mind numbing (and DVD's have been out long enough for them to spend the extra time to make it engaging, its almost standard now). As far as new footage, I guess its in there, here and there, if you blink, you just might miss it. I was expecting a particular menu or button to lead you to some extra footage, but, well, its not there.

    I have yet to watch the movie, but since owning the Superbit of both of these films, I'm sure they are very close in their transfers.

    Sorry fellas. I've just got to be honest. I am disappointed. It leaves you scratching your head saying out loud "this is the anniversary edition. . .really?" I"m sure Brian Frouds commentary is fantastic, he seems to be an eloquent speaker, and that will be worth it alone probably. But the overall feel is just cheap, it feels like a quadruple dip and piece-mealed together.

    and as stated before, Trevor Jones was just left out again. Perhaps he declined an interview, ok, but no one even mentions the music outside of David Bowie. Trevor Jones has done two fantastic scores for the Henson company, and no one acknowledges it. Odd. Simply odd.

    Here is hoping that the 30th Anniversary Edition see's a DVD set that is given more time, energy, focus, interaction, reflection and restored footage that is more comprehensive and less bewildering.
  6. SarahOnBway

    SarahOnBway Well-Known Member

    :( I'm very disappointed by the reviews of these DVDs! I still own the VHS copies of Dark Crystal and Labyrinth from my childhood because I was waiting for a good edition to come out to make it worth spending the money on and I was expecting this to be it! I haven't bought them yet but I was planning on buying them soon and I probably still will, I'm just disappointed :( Ah well.
  7. MuppetDanny

    MuppetDanny Well-Known Member

  8. cabbageheat

    cabbageheat Well-Known Member

    I think this guy is generally on the money here.

    What makes this such a weird release, is its absence of a lot of great material, and options, that are found on "previous" editions. Which doesn't make any sense. I was personally hoping to get rid of my previous copies, to have one "ultimate" edition. One would hope the Anniversary Edition would fill the void, but it doesn't, in a seriously lacking way.

    It sounds like the Collectors Edition, from a few years ago, was the way to go, and I can shoot myself for letting that one slip by. If anything, the Col Ed should have been the Anniversary Edition. As it stands (of the 3 releases I now own) each one, has a little bit more then the other releases had, so it kind of strong arms you into keeping each release, eating up shelf space and laughing at you like a mad Chamberlain.

    A very odd, lacking release, which just feels like a half-hearted effort. It just leaves you bewildered, and for the first time I feel slightly cheated . The next one (which I'm sure there will be) I will tread lightly. They will really have to pull the stops out for me to pick up another copy of this film.

    JEANYLASER Well-Known Member

    I can't wait to buy the Dark Crystal in dvd in Disney Hollywood studios! in disneyworld.
  10. Super Scooter

    Super Scooter Well-Known Member

    I like the collector's edition. It has the deleted scenes and a copy of Jim Henson's notebook. If you can find it, I'd say it's probably the best way to go. I just dislike that it's so bulky!

    I am going to be getting the anniversary edition soon, mainly because I want to hear the Brian Froud commentary. Are there any thoughts about the Labyrinth set?
  11. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Do you mean the Super Mario Bros. movie, or something else?
  12. cabbageheat

    cabbageheat Well-Known Member

    Just the toons

    No, not the Super Mario Bros movie. Just the saturday morning toons, that were recently released on DVD. Not that that particular set was the standard in "how to put a DVD together" but I certainly expected more from the Henson company.

    My point was, here was a simple cartoon, given better treatment, then a cult classic, that has sold millions (with almost every release) and deserved more respect and creative energy to really see a stellar release. I believe, the only thing really worthy on this new set is the commentary. Though (i've said it before, and I"ll say it yet again) something from Frank Oz and Trevor Jones would be fantastic.

    If you were lucky enough to pick up the collectors edition, to me, that is the definitive version (minus the commentary, which would almost knock it out of the park).

    I just think this is the first time I've picked up these movies and was really underwhelmed. I think they dropped the ball, pure and simple.
  13. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I have the first volume, and I really like those cartoons. I don't think those sets have too much great bonus features. Then again, I haven't bought this new Dark Crystal DVD, and don't have any of the previous DVD releases. Just the 1993 video release.
  14. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I have to admit, these sets are really underwhelming. There were actually some very thoughtful boxed set treatments of Labyrinth and Dark Crystal a couple years ago.

    Here's a webpage on the past Dark Crystal set

    And here's one forum entry about the specs of the Labyrinth set

    These delve a little bit deeper than in the MC review pages.

    The new interviews are kind of cool, but even the graphic design and silkscreens look stale and ordinary. I'd hate to say it, but it appears Disney's packaging of Muppet items is so much more thoughtful (while being cost-effective) than the Henson Company's latest offerings.

    Those manga comics...(shuddering) it all just appears that Henson Co. is in dire need of some quick cash. I hope all is okay with them. I am a little concerned. :smirk:

    At least they're doing some A+ work with the Fraggle releases. I am looking forward to the CD set. :excited:
  15. Laszlo

    Laszlo Well-Known Member

    I agree with all points.
    I also think the cover artworks are really bad. Lame booklets too.
    I have to say I have the German versions. I don't know how the booklets of the US Version look. Does anyone have pictures?
  16. Mistersuperstar

    Mistersuperstar Well-Known Member

    The 3D effect on the boxes are pretty good but I have to agree that the bonus features are not as good as they could have been. I wanted to see uncut, raw footage from Jim Henson's archives rather than it being intercut with the interviews. I haven't listened to the commentary from Brian Froud yet but it does seem that each Labyrinth and Dark Crystal release gets slightly better... but not by much.
  17. cabbageheat

    cabbageheat Well-Known Member


    The 3D effect is neat on the box, but the overall design is fairly ugly. Pretty much for both sets. I'm hoping to squeeze in some time this weekend to hear the audio commentaries.

    I really hope they get their act together for the 30th anniversary, or whatever release is planned next. As of now, this is the last copy I will ever own (granted I have 3 now, since each one has a bit more then the other, really aggravating).

    If your still on the fence, wait until the price goes down, they are currently not worth the price point. the only thing on here, worth owning, is the commentary themselves. So if you have the Collectors Edition, you pretty much have the best of the bunch. Tread lightly.
  18. BobThePizzaBoy

    BobThePizzaBoy Well-Known Member

    Well, I do need a new copy of Dark Crystal (my old DVD of it is stuck in my previous, now non-functioning computer) and I need Labyrinth on DVD. So if you don't have DVD's of those two, are they still worth getting or should I track down the older DVD's?
  19. cabbageheat

    cabbageheat Well-Known Member

    i guess

    wow. thats a tough question.

    It really depends on what you want. I think if you went to Best Buy, you would find about 3 different versions of each film. (I have the original DVDs's, the Superbits, and now this mediocre set, and unfortunately missed the collectors editions).

    I guess I would get the newest sets, based on the new transfer and audio commentary alone. You will at least get the documentaries that came with the previous dvd's as well. these sets are almost identical to previous releases, and offer very little that is new and engaging, but at least you will get the newest digital film transfer and 5.1 audio.

    that is my 2 cents. if you had already owned multiple releases, I would say steer clear of these, but since you need new ones, you might as well. i would wait for a sale though. . .or by them used.
  20. BobThePizzaBoy

    BobThePizzaBoy Well-Known Member

    All right. I'm probably going to go get them when I get FR: Season 3 so I'll just see. Basically, if they have the new editions of either movies and the original or Superbit editions (I don't think finding the collector's edition is likely), go with the new edition. Seems to work.

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