Limited Series/Netflix

An Emmy Award-winning 10-episode prequel series for Netflix inspired by the groundbreaking 1982 feature film, The Dark Crystal, directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz.

The What

An Emmy Award-winning 10-episode prequel series for Netflix inspired by the groundbreaking 1982 feature film, The Dark Crystal.

The Why

The Jim Henson Company and Netflix wanted to build on the world envisioned by Henson and concept designer Brian Froud, telling the story of good against evil in a time when many Gelflings were populating the world of Thra. Recreating iconic characters like Aughra and the evil Skeksis and building entirely new species and heroes, the Creature Shop built more than 170 puppets for the largest puppet production ever.

The How

The Creature Shop worked closely with the executive producers as well as Henson and Wendy Froud on the design of existing and new characters that would populate the world of this epic fantasy.

Once designs were finalized, a team of more than 125 artists came together to realize every part of the puppet characters, including faces, bodies, costumes, hair and accessories.

Sculptors modeled characters out of clay, then created molds of the sculpts required to create the puppets’ foam latex skins and bodies. Simultaneously, the animatronics teams were developing the internal mechanical components that provide movement and facial expression. The fabrication team then assembled the full-body puppet and completed the process with a final paint and art treatment to fully realize characters that were true to the original design.

The costume team created the highly detailed, individualized costumes—sourcing and dying various fabrics and applying bespoke details such as buckles and jewels and handcrafted accessories like hats and crowns.

The puppets were shipped to the set in London for production and an on-set Creature Shop was in place to support shooting, build additional characters and provide any immediately required changes.

The shoot lasted 176 days and garnered multiple awards, including the Saturn Award from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films. The feature was also nominated for a BAFTA Award.