“SMELL like Gelfling…”

I feel that going to the movies when I was little was a rare treat. Most of the films that I got to see were after their theater release on HBO.  This next movie was one that all of my friends were able to see at the theater months before me.  I remember seeing trailers for it and asking my friends after they had gone to them for specific information….they did not really want to share with me.  1) They didn’t want to spoil me.  2) They saw the movie and they were over it.  They wanted to play cops and robbers.  I was briefly jealous.  Two movies in particular come to mind that this happened with.  “The Dark Crystal” and “The Neverending Story.”

For those of you that read this that are not children of the 80s, you will not understand what a rock star Jim Henson was for us.  “Sesame Street,” “The Muppet Movie(s),” “The Muppet Show,” not to mention “Fraggle Rock,” and “The Dark Crystal.”

I remember seeing the characters on the trailers being as close to looking, moving, and acting like real life people as I had ever seen since Yoda on “Empire Strikes Back“.  The sets looked epic, and the dialogue was extremely interesting.


That was just the trailer.

I really wanted to go to the theater but the timing never worked out and we ended up doing something else. I’m sure it was outside and active, which is a good thing.  So, months later I was able to see it and the movie delivered.  I looked for the strings and could not see any.  The movements to the creatures was well attended to in this feature and the story was great.

I really enjoyed the “child likeness” of the heroes and really made a connection with them on an equal level.


To this point, I felt that all things possible in a fantasy type setting had to be animated.  Not for Jim Henson. He was always amazing at finding a way to make us believe that all things were possible in live action with the characters he created and manipulated with his hands.

“Sesame Street” to me doesn’t seem as epic as a film like this.  Don’t get me wrong, “Sesame Street” is neverending and you have to continue to come up with different teaching topics and different ways to teach a lot of the same topics #Respect.  I just feel that introducing an entire edition of new characters on a different planet, with a number of different set pieces, on an large scale the way Henson took on this picture made it truly Epic.

I feel like my friends growing up not wanting to give you too much about this picture.  I really want to encourage people to view this if they have not seen it. If you and your children have not seen it, watch it with them for the first time together. If you don’t have children, nieces/nephews? Young cousins? I think that it will be an enjoyable experience.  I don’t feel that I can “hype it up” too much.  It’ll deliver.

I hadn’t connected with a lead character like this since viewing “E. T.” and it was different.  Eliott was still a real child in the real world that had a cool friend that could help him do amazing things.  Jen (I know, it’s a girl’s name, but it is the dude lead character) was a boy who was thrown into a quest and had to figure things out along his adventure and save the only world he knew.

If that kid could do that, why couldn’t we?

As we continue this writing adventure together, you’ll notice this children hero theme resonating through a lot of the movies that I watched in the 80s.  It’s going to be fun writing about my theories on how that type of pop culture effects us Gen Xers and how our parents talked to us.

But let’s save some of that for the next one…

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14 thoughts on ““SMELL like Gelfling…”

  1. I’ve always thought “The Dark Crystal” gets a bad rap for little reason. Perhaps because it is not for the REALLY young–being the mother of three ages 5 and under, I would not dare show them this, or “Labyrinth”–not yet, anyway. Those of us who grew up in the 80s were given darker films to ingest, especially from Disney–“The Great Mouse Detective,” “Something Wicked This Way Comes,” “The Black Cauldron,” and, lest we forget, “The Black Hole.” Have you ever seen Jim Henson’s take on fairy tales and Greek myths? I’ve struggled to find copies of them: Michael Gambon narrates the Greek myth collection, and the work there is AMAZING.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am intrigued and definitely need to check that out. I grew up watching–and loved–everyone of those movies you mentioned. I agree with the darker lessons. My son is 4 and he’s watching what I grew up with 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What other movie could prompt you and your siblings to wear laundry baskets on our backs to fight each other? (Garthim guard reference, if some of you haven’t seen the movie in a while!) I always joke that in my house, arguments were resolved through a Trial By Stone. That’s growing up in the 80s!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right on. I will say the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles prompted some laundry basket on your back wearing. Coincidence? I think not. Like minded people are brilliant. 😉


  3. So a tad late to the party on this one but The Dark Crystal doesn’t hold a candle to The Labyrinth. The Dark Crystal always creeped me out for some reason…but David Bowie dancing around with puppets and what one can only assume is decades worth of Aquanet in his hair was fantastic!

    Liked by 1 person

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