It’s been one Henson of a wait, but the trailer for Netflix’s The Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance is here, and it delivers on the promise implied by the very cool-looking images released earlier this month. In fact, at first glance, it seems almost impossible that this was all practical puppet work. But series director Louis Leterrier has insisted the only digital effects work done on the show was using green screen to remove the puppeteers. If so, they did one hell of a job: This thing looks as impressive and richly rendered as a Hollywood blockbuster.
The storyline, set long before the events of the original film, is conveyed in broad, ominous strokes. The world of Thra is under threat from the Skesis, in the form of something called “The Darkening.” A vision of the encroaching darkness is shown to a Gelfling, which presumably kicks off the epic adventure contained in the 10-part series. It seems to have something to do with the Crystal Of Truth (a source of power for Thra) being attacked by said Skesis, which is pretty much what you assume is going to happen. Skesis gonna Skesis.
The voice cast is strong, with the three lead Gelfling voices provided by Taron Egerton, Anya Taylor-Joy, and Nathalie Emmanuel (and supporting voice work from Andy Samberg, Caitriona Balfe, Helena Bonham Carter, Alicia Vikander, Natalie Dormer, and Eddie Izzard, among others). But the real draw here, of course, is the astonishing practical effects work that’s been captured. It’s honestly hard to watch it and not suspect CG trickery, which is a compliment that doubles as a sad lament for the fact that good practical effects are now hard to separate from their normal replacements. But we’ve still got the world of The Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance. The puppet resistance (to CGI) drops on Netflix August 30—and bonus points for ending the trailer with a classic “MmmmmMMMMmmmm!” exclamation.