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The Behind the Scenes Pic of the Day heals the crystal! Check out these rare Dark Crystal pics straight from The Frouds!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with today’s Behind the Scenes Pic!

I can’t tell you how happy I get when I see proof of this column spreading out into the world. One of the great joys of my day to day is seeing reader submissions of BTS images. My geek brothers and sisters have heard the call and many hundreds have pitched in to help keep this column going strong.

It humbles me daily and when I hear from people within the industry out of the blue with rare shots that feeling gets turned up to 11. It’s quite exciting, actually, as a person who nerds out about these images not only to see them, but to be able to share them with you good people.

That happened just this past weekend when Ms. Sarah Froud, daughter-in-law to Brian and Wendy Froud reached out with some rare Dark Crystal shots, asking if I’d be interested in sharing them with you guys.

Um, yeah.

I grew up with Brian and Wendy’s work with Jim Henson in films like The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth as well as their contributions to Empire Strikes Back and The Muppet Movie! Much of my fascination with movie magic springs from their work.

They sent over three images. The first is Wendy Froud (mother of Toby, by the way… yes THE Toby from Labyrinth… you know, the babe… the babe with the power…) puppeting Jen on top of the Crystal with Jim Henson. The next shot is Henson with an early version of Jen and the last is the crew photo featuring everybody who worked on the flick! You can see Frank Oz, producer Gary Kurtz and Henson right up front in that one.

They are all very cool!

Thanks to Sarah Froud for sending these shots on! Click to embiggen and be sure to visit Wendy and Brian Froud’s Facebook Page and Blog to keep up with them, interact, check out their great fantasy art and see more rare behind the scenes shots!





If you have a behind the scenes shot you’d like to submit to this column, you can email me at

Tomorrow’s behind the scenes pic… oh yes… wait, no. I mean no…

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Click here to visit the complete compilation of previous Behind the Scenes images, Page One

Click here to visit the complete compilation of previous Behind the Scenes images, Page Two!

Readers Talkback
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  • Aug. 8, 2011, 7:46 p.m. CST

    fucking awesome


    Too awesome!

  • Aug. 8, 2011, 7:47 p.m. CST

    Cool stuff

    by Elsewhere

    Always fun to see Henson at work. I much prefer Labrynth, but love seeing Henson pics.

  • Aug. 8, 2011, 7:49 p.m. CST

    Talk about a labor of love.

    by Medas360

    CGI will never compare to this movie magic.

  • Aug. 8, 2011, 7:49 p.m. CST

    Wendy Froud is cute

    by rev_skarekroe

    Also, someone recently pointed out the uncanny resemblance between Real Dolls and Gelflings. And by golly, it's true.

  • Aug. 8, 2011, 7:53 p.m. CST

    that is cool


    but meanwhile London is ablaze and it's the fault of those loveable 'attack the block' style chavs.

  • Aug. 8, 2011, 7:54 p.m. CST

    Gelflings also = Carly Simon and Steven Tyler


  • Aug. 8, 2011, 7:54 p.m. CST

    That first shot is iconic

    by Elsewhere

    after loooking at them all for a few more minutes, those first two shots are epic and some of the best pics that have been featured in this column. Everything looks great in that first shot. I'd have that framed in the living room if that were me in it.

  • Aug. 8, 2011, 7:57 p.m. CST

    I still have the programme for this...

    by Geoff Clingan

    ... from back in the day when you actually got programmes at the movies. I seem to recall that last pic being in it. And my Mum took me to see a display of the original puppets that was on at a local shopping centre. Made a big impact on me at 7 yrs old.

  • Aug. 8, 2011, 7:57 p.m. CST

    Ever meet them at Cons?

    by TDH1138

    The Froud's are very nice but effin' WEIRD! Their panels are filled with fucking whackjobs.

  • Aug. 8, 2011, 7:58 p.m. CST


    by Finch

    Carly Simon...hahahaha. Glad I was drinking anything when I read that. Nice one.

  • Aug. 8, 2011, 8:05 p.m. CST

    When Kira had her essence drained..


    For some reason it aroused me when I was a wee chop. Henson and co opened the door to feelings not yet understood by me. Still barely do.

  • I still have the paperback novelization and the Marvel Comics adaptation. As amazing as the film is, I appreciate it even more when watching the documentary about the making of the film. This was truely a handmade "Lord of the Rings". The sets are absolutely mind boggling.

  • Aug. 8, 2011, 8:12 p.m. CST

    i love this column!

    by skelly

    Quint, great job every day. So many of these pics have turned into my facebook profile. My favorite has been Kirshner and Vader.

  • Aug. 8, 2011, 8:16 p.m. CST

    W-Whoaa! Whoaa!

    by MooseMalloy

    That was awesome!

  • Aug. 8, 2011, 8:19 p.m. CST

    Once more, they will replenish themselves.

    by blackwood

  • Aug. 8, 2011, 8:19 p.m. CST

    Cheat death again.

    by blackwood

  • Aug. 8, 2011, 8:19 p.m. CST

    With he power of their source...

    by blackwood

  • Aug. 8, 2011, 8:19 p.m. CST

    ... the Crystal.

    by blackwood

    Love it.

  • Aug. 8, 2011, 8:20 p.m. CST

    Correction: That is not an early version of Jen, it is a rehearsal puppet... p

    by Emperor_was_a_jerk

    Correction: That is not an early version of Jen, it is a rehearsal puppet. So as to not damage or put other while un-needed stress or wear on the puppets, they often used lower quality, more resilient versions of the puppets during rehearsals and while blocking the scenes. While making The Empire Strikes Back, they did the same with Yoda.

  • Aug. 8, 2011, 8:21 p.m. CST

    I have the original book...

    by zinc_chameleon

    with a ticket to the 1982 premier at the Palace of the Arts in San Francisco, signed by Jim Henson and Gary Kurtz. The bound volume is a true classic, with vellum dividers and templates, and hundreds of color plates. Truly Brian Froud's masterpiece.

  • Aug. 8, 2011, 8:28 p.m. CST

    Bonus points if you can spot Gates "Beverly Crusher" McFadden

    by samuelk

    in the third pic.

  • Aug. 8, 2011, 8:29 p.m. CST

    Love, love, love Dark Crystal

    by lochkray

    But never liked the design of the Gelflings. Something too plastic-y and dead-like about them that I really didn't like as a kid. I equate it to the whole "uncanny valley" affect that people talk about when discussing CGI. Which bugged me, because they were the leads and every other muppet in the movie was f***ing amazing to watch move about and interact - with the possible exception of the podlings (did I get that right?) which looked like background characters in any big musical number on the Muppet Show. But at least they didn't creep me out. That said, I love that movie.

  • Aug. 8, 2011, 8:33 p.m. CST

    Bonus points if you can spot Deep Roy in the third pic


    i couldn't find Bev Crusher, but half of the women have their head turned.

  • Aug. 8, 2011, 8:43 p.m. CST

    Tres Cool

    by DrMorbius

    Many Thanks Ms. Froud, for sharing. CHAMBERLAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • My Dad, God bless him, hated the shit out of this movie. So did Mom. But God damn I loved it.

  • Aug. 8, 2011, 8:47 p.m. CST

    Ha ha - tha choppa

    by Geektard_Smasher

    wanted to fuck a puppet. Now that you are an adult, do you "drain your essence" all over your Real Dolls (aka Mrs. Choppa #3) face?

  • Aug. 8, 2011, 8:48 p.m. CST

    And now I know who to blame

    by Geektard_Smasher

    for the Muppetification of the Star Wars universe.

  • Aug. 8, 2011, 8:54 p.m. CST

    Ah, Gates Mcfadden

    by Geektard_Smasher

    She was hot in the 90's, but is kinda looking like The Crypt Keeper nowadays. I love how she was fired from Next Generation for sucking, but the replacement sucked so bad they got her back because she "sucked less."

  • This opened the week of my Christmas vacation in a little second run theater called J-town 4, not in our town's big multiplex. I could ride my bike over to see it, and I did three times. I even saw it on Christmas day. It was a big deal for me at that time that I didn't have to get my parents to drive me to the big theater across town to see it, but I could walk right over to the place I usually watched grindhouse and second run flicks and see a first run film like "The Dark Crystal". I imagine it must not have done well at the box-office at the time, but it's become a cult classic over time.

  • Aug. 8, 2011, 9:05 p.m. CST

    This movie kind of disturbed me in 2nd Grade.

    by Mr Soze

    I loved it though...

  • Aug. 8, 2011, 9:06 p.m. CST



    I suppose you were fantasizing about draining Mr. Rogers' essence.

  • Aug. 8, 2011, 9:08 p.m. CST

    is the guy on the bottom left with the beard

    by wattos new hat

    the same guy from the empire strikes back hoth cave pic?

  • Aug. 8, 2011, 9:20 p.m. CST

    WHy did the sequel die damnit!!!

    by MurderMostFowl

    Hell they should have had a public fundraising campaign. It was such bullshit that they were just shut down like that.

  • Aug. 8, 2011, 10:12 p.m. CST


    by Jaboc

    We need an archive of BTSPOTD. Something like the list that used to appear after each column, but on it's own page. Does the fancy new site architecture let you guys do that? or at least make it it's on column so I don't need to squint past a bunch of headlines to find one that is BTSPOTD Love the column

  • Aug. 8, 2011, 10:15 p.m. CST

    The Power of The Dark Crystal

    by ZOMBRE

    At the Museum of Moving Image in Astoria Queens in July, 2011, Craig Shemin was asked how things were going with the movie. He explained that the film was still in development, but it was unlikely they would start filming soon.

  • Aug. 8, 2011, 10:16 p.m. CST

    that was from:

    by ZOMBRE

  • Aug. 8, 2011, 10:19 p.m. CST

    Hey you're not allowed to put the title of the movie in the BTSPOTD headline.

    by highfunctioningsociopath

  • Aug. 8, 2011, 10:20 p.m. CST

    I don't know what's holding back Power of the Dark Crystal

    by DOGSOUP

    But they need to move forward NOW. We will make it worth your while by showing up in droves. Just the interest in these pics alone proves your audience is still there.

  • Aug. 8, 2011, 10:24 p.m. CST

    LOOKS like Gelfling! SMELLS like Gelfling!

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    BOO-shay BOO-shay BOO-shay.

  • Aug. 8, 2011, 10:56 p.m. CST

    The Henson Company Couldn't Get A Movie Made...

    by ThisBethesdaSea

    To save their collective lives. Power of the Dark Crystal is still in development because they've lost about 3 directors. It's simply a DEAD project. Dead. Dead. Dead.

  • Aug. 8, 2011, 10:58 p.m. CST

    @wattos new hat, the "guy with the beard" is Gary Kurtz

    by kevred

    Just one of the prime movers of the first two Star Wars films, that's all. And yep, he was also in that awesome Hot cave pic. That is one of my fave BTS pics so far.

  • Aug. 8, 2011, 11:03 p.m. CST

    My guess as to where Gates McFadden is:

    by kevred

    Close to the middle of the group, between the burly guy with the beard, the less-burly guy with the bigger beard, and the Steve Miller-looking guy with the striped shirt and sunglasses. What a great-looking bunch. You can just tell there are all kinds there - nerds, artists, craftsman, technical guys, laborers. Young hotshots and guys that have been doing it for decades. A living, breathing, three-dimensional space. This type of thing is not gone from today's filmmaking world, but there's less of it. We can see the effects of that.

  • Aug. 9, 2011, 12:27 a.m. CST

    Perfect 80's fantasy movies

    by aigam

    Both Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. After revisiting them on BluRay I was surprised how good they hold comparing to most of the recent genre flicks. Real soul and heart, beautiful movie craftmenship.

  • Aug. 9, 2011, 12:41 a.m. CST

    Such a magical childhood...

    by bubcus

    Saw STAR WARS in 1978 at a drive-in theater when I was 4 and my fascination with sci-fi fantasy movies blossomed from then onward. So many inspirational films in my childhood, I am so grateful for the magic back then. I still consider The Dark Crystal as one of my favorite films. The theme song plays in my head every so often and I still quote the film here and there. These pics are awesome, thank you so much!!!

  • Aug. 9, 2011, 1:15 a.m. CST

    Met Toby Froud at a Labyrinth quote-a-long last year.

    by Dennis_Moore

    Sweet, humble guy. He brought a cool goblin puppet he made named Ignatz. Toby said he is working in effects in HW.

  • Aug. 9, 2011, 1:44 a.m. CST

    Creepy or creative?

    by JohnIan

    someone recently pointed out the uncanny resemblance between Real Dolls and Gelflings.

  • Aug. 9, 2011, 2:37 a.m. CST

    kevred, yep, totally agree

    by Jaka

    Her hair is really dark and I've only ever known her with the red, but I'm pretty sure you're right. The nose, chin, and smile look correct. <p> Strange, we were just talking about this movie with my nephew and his friend on our last gaming night. He had just watched Labrynth for the first time (he thought it was "weird") and is going to watch Dark Crystal for the first time this week. Ah, to be 15 again.

  • Aug. 9, 2011, 3:10 a.m. CST

    Pics of Dark Crystal 2 would excite me more!!

    by marineboy

  • Aug. 9, 2011, 3:30 a.m. CST

    Happy days

    by kwisatzhaderach

    When movies really were magical.

  • Aug. 9, 2011, 7:16 a.m. CST

    This, my friends, is cool.

    by ClayMatthews

  • Aug. 9, 2011, 7:17 a.m. CST

    And yeah - this feature has become the best part of this site.

    by ClayMatthews

  • Aug. 9, 2011, 7:24 a.m. CST

    Looks like Brian Froud standing behind Gary Kurtz

    by ChaosReigns

    I met him recently at a Forbidden Planet book-signing in London. A real gentleman, who graciously signed my copy of The World Of The Dark Crystal and drew a Fizzigig alongside his autograph.

  • Aug. 9, 2011, 7:49 a.m. CST

    The masters at work. Proof positive CGI is a lazy man's tool.

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    I'm not anti-CGI, but I am anti-overuse of, let's forget any plot CGI.

  • Aug. 9, 2011, 7:55 a.m. CST

    Gary Kurtz (politely) kicked me out of a Dark Crystal display

    by zacUpquark

    At WorldCon 1981 (Denvention 2) they had a display of production materials, like set miniatures, maquettes, paintings/drawings, costumes, etc, in the exhibition hall. It was right next to the actual Spinner from Blade Runner (they'd turn on the lights every half-hour or so). We wandered in (past a velvet rope it seems), and Mr. Kurtz came up and told us the display was not ready for the public just yet, and we should come back in an hour. Good stuff like that has unfortunately migrated from WorldCons (a cool, literary convention) to ComicCon (a crazed, crowded pop-fest).

  • Aug. 9, 2011, 8:46 a.m. CST

    This movie is just "oooh" factor

    by Suskis

    As a movie, this was pretty mediocre. You can admire the work and the genius behind the costumes and setting, but the story... meh.

  • Aug. 9, 2011, 8:53 a.m. CST

    Deep Roy

    by GrabtharsHammer

    Far left in front, two heads left of Kurtz. What do I win?

  • Aug. 9, 2011, 9:01 a.m. CST


    by klytusnotdead

    My QA manager from a past job, man I swear she was a Gelfling. Good BTSP Quint.

  • Aug. 9, 2011, 9:02 a.m. CST

    Back when Hollywood had b@lls

    by avidavid

    Imagine if Henson came walking into an execs office today pitching the bat-shit insane (and brilliant) story of the dark crystal; after the initial OH GOD ITS ZOMBIE HENSON!!! He would surely be kicked out for such a different kind of movie pitch...

  • Aug. 9, 2011, 9:30 a.m. CST

    So Toby is grown up and married? God damn.

    by Fawst

    I feel old. At least, I'm assuming it's his wife that sent these pics in, since it was the Froud's daughter-in-law that sent them. Of course, they probably have other kids. I have nothing to add other than this is one of my favorite ongoing articles of any website.

  • Aug. 9, 2011, 9:32 a.m. CST

    I had to embiggen the picture to find Gates McFadden

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    I could be wrong, but it looks like she's behind the little kid in the baseball on the shoulders of presumably his dad. Sunglasses older man is behind her. Sunglasses cheesy moustache man is checking her out. Gee, this is a lot more fun that looking for the other shooters in the Kennedy pictures.

  • Aug. 9, 2011, 10:48 a.m. CST

    Not one mention of the creepy gay asian guy in the front row?

    by proevad

    This board has gone to hell.

  • Aug. 9, 2011, 11:12 a.m. CST

    Is that Brian Henson?

    by moody by nature

    At the very back? This is the movie that made me want to make films. I had no idea what a director, or a producer, or a technician did. I just thought friends got together and made puppets in their shed. Sigh, to be 7 again.

  • Aug. 9, 2011, 12:36 p.m. CST

    Actually I change my guess. It looks like she's next to

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    the guy trying to impress her with his shirt unbottoned all the way down, and she's behind Bluto.

  • Aug. 9, 2011, 12:48 p.m. CST

    boycott the new movie until Henson gets name billing

    by Arcadian Del Sol

    Disney has removed the "Jim Henson's..." from all marketing for the new muppets. I say it should forever be part of their brand. Jim Henson's Muppets. Im boycotting the movie until I see his name somewhere.

  • Aug. 9, 2011, 12:48 p.m. CST

    Dark Crystal was the Avatar of its day to me

    by Dreamfasting

    I find myself thinking a lot about the parallels between my reactions to the Dark Crystal and to the first half of Avatar - in the sense that a huge amount of effort was taken in creating the mythology and environment and the importance of taking time for panning shots across the local ecology. I love fantasies that actually care about the world as the primary character. I'm hoping that Power of the Dark Crystal makes it through development hell some day, just to get see a fully developed vision of what that world would have become after an age of light and peace.

  • Aug. 9, 2011, 12:53 p.m. CST

    Dr. Crusher is behind the Geico Caveman, left side.

    by Centauri

    cool though. Fav movie, fav show coming together.

  • Aug. 9, 2011, 1:38 p.m. CST

    The 3 Gates McFadden's

    by proevad

    Really fucking weird. They all three could be her.

  • Aug. 9, 2011, 4:02 p.m. CST

    nah, asian guy with great gams makes me feel funny in the pants

    by soma_with_the_paintbox

    Billy Crudup in valley girl drag next to him--that's creepy. And "OH GOD ZOMBIE HENSON!" Holy fuck, I lol'd Anyone else smell ozone?

  • Aug. 9, 2011, 5:26 p.m. CST


    by s0l

    Is behind the boy with the baseball cap on the guy's shoulders...

  • Aug. 9, 2011, 5:31 p.m. CST

    The bigger question...

    by s0l

    Is the girl that did Kira's voice in the pic... (she still looks hot!)

  • Aug. 9, 2011, 5:56 p.m. CST

    Such a unique film

    by catlettuce4

    Totally believable alien world, no human characters... a classic.

  • Aug. 9, 2011, 8:40 p.m. CST

    geektard smasher re: Gates McFadden

    by Rebel Scumb

    actually she left because of unwanted sexual advances from one of the writer/producers (the same one that created the borg), but he left after season 2 and patrick stewart convinced her to come back

  • Aug. 10, 2011, 12:27 p.m. CST

    He must have seen that movie where she's full frontal about

    by UltraTron

    to be flamethrowered. That's all he could think about whenever she got near him I bet.

  • Aug. 10, 2011, 12:28 p.m. CST

    3 behind the scenes pics for the price o one! Great value!

    by UltraTron

  • They loved the puppets but forgot how to tell a story. It was disappointing.