The Dark Crystal: Superbit

The Dark Crystal: Superbit (1982)
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Another wave of ’Superbit’ titles is upon us from Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment, and in this line-up we find Jim Henson’s and Frank Oz’s magical gem ’The Dark Crystal.’ It had been released earlier as a Special Edition – please visit our in-depth review here for additional details on the movie – and this ’Superbit’ version promises to improve on the overall presentation quality of the movie by leaving out all the extras and using all the DVD’s storage space for the feature presentation.

The result is marvelous to say the very least. The image is absolutely stunning with a richness and a level of detail that is staggering. While a few shots in the movie are still plagued by speckles and dust, the overall presentation is significantly better that the previous release. The colorful and atmospheric production of the film is coming through in all its glory. The gloomy scenes in the castle of the Skeksis is so full of detail that you will no doubt discover things you may not have noticed before. But also the outdoor scenes in this magical and grotesque world are wonderfully reproduced and especially the swamp with its varied critters and colorful hues throughout is a showpiece of DVD’s capabilities.

This DVD also contains a 5.1 channel DTS audio track, which adds immensely to the enchanting atmosphere of the film. Once again, the castle scenes are the reference here with a very subtle ambiance that howls through the corridors. It is wonderfully reproduced here and even the most subtle inflections in the sound production are shining through here. It is a marvelous track that is the perfect addition to this movie.

Once again, a ’Superbit’ release is playing its muscles. Very clearly this DVD is superior in quality to the previous Special Edition. As a hard-core fan of the movie, this is the version
I have been dying for. Never has the movie looked richer, more detailed and captivating than in this release! Thank you, Columbia!