* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation: The Skeksis, life draining tyrants who destroyed an entire race to preserve their lives or [[JerkassWoobie senile old aristocrats who are desperately trying to keep their own identity]], but their other halves sent an agent to prevent this from happening.
** They don't constantly plot the destruction of Thra, they eat (with very poor table manners) and have their own hobbies; and anyone (with a Middle Ages mindset) would try to prevent their own demise [[spoiler:[[FusionDance even if they weren't completely accurate on it]]]].
** Then again, they ''also'' make a habit of kidnapping entire villages of people, throwing them into a dungeon, and then hideously stealing their life force, leaving them little more than zombies. And the fact that they tried to prevent the prophecy by committing genocide on the Gelflings.
* AwardSnub: How in the blue blazes did the film not get a Best Original Score nom from the Academy Awards?
* AwesomeMusic: The WHOLE soundtrack, especially the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPdowP_aBXY main theme]].
* CultClassic: Reviewers have said that this is a visually stimulating film, but is one of Creator/JimHenson's most underrated works.
* DuelingMovies: With ''Film/{{Krull}}''.
* FamilyUnfriendlyAesop: The lesson of the Ur-Skeks seems to be that [[BalanceBetweenGoodAndEvil the bad parts of oneself are just as important as the good]]
** Of course, considering [[PassionIsEvil the parts the Skeksis inherited from the Ur-Skeks]], it seems less about accepting the bad parts of yourself and more about not letting one aspect of your personality overshadow everything else.
* HilariousInHindsight:
** One of the heroes is named [[Manga/DeathNote Ki]][[Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure ra]]?
** According to ''The World of the Dark Crystal'', the Mystics are also called "urRu", which sounds vaguely similar to a smiley emoticon written as "[[http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/uwu uwu]]".
* {{Narm}} / NarmCharm: As technically groundbreaking the film may have been, writing and dialogue were not its strong points. It's common for many viewers (particularly those watching for the first time in the present day) to be instantly put off by the film for its incredibly clunky and awkwardly-delivered dialogue. Others, usually those who grew up with the film, view the inelegant script as part of the film's charm.
** Drew [=McWeeny=] commented, when his and Scott Weinberg's ''80s All Over'' podcast got around to this movie, "I've made fun of movies with better scripts than this" -- but he and Scott [[TakeAThirdOption took a third option]], feeling that the film is ''so'' beautifully mounted that it rises above the failings of the script.
* NostalgiaFilter: Many a reviewer on Creator/{{Netflix}} admits that it hasn't exactly stood the test of time. Some even regret ruining their fond memories and wish they had never re-watched it. Reversed by the hosts of ''80s All Over'', who like the film now more (despite its script) as adults than they did as kids.
* SpecialEffectsFailure: Nude Jen in the opening is the only time a character looks like a bad puppet.
** Also the Garthim. They are meant to stand on many legs, but you can clearly see the two humans' legs in the costume doing all the work.
* {{Squick}}: The Chamberlain near the beginning gives us a glimpse of what a Skeksis looks like completely naked. It's not pretty.
* TearJerker: [[spoiler:Kira's death.]] It's an in-story one too, for Jen, although the bright light of the Conjunction probably contributed as well. [[spoiler:Turns to TearsOfJoy when she is restored.]]
* UncannyValley: Realistic puppets in general invoke this, but this movie may escalate it into NightmareFuel. The Gelflings are particularly just-human-enough to be eerie, as are the creepily baby-like Podlings. Many of the other creatures are similar enough to real animals, anthropomorphic or otherwise (vultures, crabs, etc.) All together, they are prone to give the viewer a slight case of the willies, at the very least.
** The Gelflings are closer to human in appearance than any of the other puppets -- and perhaps for that very reason, some viewers tend to find them the least convincing.
** The Gelfling muppets have no capability for facial expressions, which is darn ''odd'' for the main character when considering the amount of effort put into the others.
* ViewerGenderConfusion: [=SkekEkt=] the Ornamentalist. WordOfGod says this is exactly what they were aiming for with all of the Skeksis.
* VindicatedByCable: A rather underwhelming theatrical release but it did much better in syndication and DVD -- enough to warrant two ExpandedUniverse prequels in other media.
* VisualEffectsOfAwesome: Admit it, the effects and world building on display here is darn impressive.
* WhatDoYouMeanItsNotForKids: That is, not for young kids (age 3-5). Despite Jim Henson being the director, this movie is no Series/SesameStreet (or Series/TheMuppetShow for that matter). The story is pretty dark for a Jim Henson production and there are some scenes in it that can be considered unsuitable for young viewers, like when the Skeksis drain the Podlings ([[spoiler:and Kira]]) of their vital essence.
* [[TheWoobie Woobie]]: YMMV, but for the first hour of the movie the Chamberlain isn't shown doing anything evil, except for that creepy whimper of his. And twice he tries to talk peace with the heroes. It's hard not to feel a little for even a [[ManipulativeBastard bad guy]] when he says he comes in peace and in return the hero stabs him. Also he was stripped of his rank and clothing, so it was easier to pity him.
** Jen and Kira being the [[LastOfHisKind only known survivors of the Gelfling race]].
*** The Mystics, [[spoiler:being the good halves of the Urskeks that make up them and the Skeksis,]] have seen several of their fellows die suddenly without much reason and likely knowing what the Skeksis are planning, but are too peaceful (and apathetic) to do anything.
*** The Skeksis. [[spoiler:Unlike the urRu, they were absolutely delighted with the separation from the Urskeks, and have no desire to merge with their other halves]]. They're self-serving, hedonistic, outright murderous creatures, [[JerkassWoobie but they're also locked in a desperate struggle to simply carry on existing]].
*** In the case of the [=urRu=], it was AndIMustScream. [[spoiler: Being the passive side of the Urskeks, they lived in half-memory, almost like Alzheimer's disease, unable to act until instinct told them to go.]] They were miserable as well, but unable to properly express it.
*** Aughra is very much the spiritual guardian of Thra. She is forced to watch her world be ravaged, polluted and violated for a thousand years.
*** In fact, every single character is a woobie to some degree.
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