Pure Magic

September 6, 2019
KEVIN BAKER—NETFLIX; INSET: MATT WINKELMEYER—GETTY IMAGES FOR ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

Jim Henson, the creator of the Muppets, released the movie The Dark Crystal in 1982. It tells the story of a planet that’s home to birdlike creatures called Skeksis, wise wizards called Mystics, and peaceful elves called Gelfling. Now, 37 years later, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance returns to the world Henson created.

The new Netflix series is a prequel to the 1982 film. It’s designed for parents and kids to watch together. The show was directed by LOUIS LETERRIER (pictured). Leterrier told TIME for Kids that when he saw The Dark Crystal, at age 10, it inspired him to become a filmmaker. “My mind was completely opened up by that movie,” he says. “I watched it and said, ‘I want to do that.’”

The 10-part series features 180 puppet characters and 90 sets. The puppets are voiced by actors and controlled by puppeteers. But no humans appear onscreen, and computer animation is rarely used. “We wanted to create a love letter to the art of puppetry,” Leterrier says. “I think puppetry is pure magic.”