The Jim Henson Company knows how to keep things in the family. The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance features the return of Brian Froud, one of puppetry’s greatest creators, who’d worked on The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. But it also features the work of his son, Toby Froud, who you might recognise as one of the 1980s’ most famous babies. Something that wasn’t lost on star Taron Egerton.
“I nearly made a really bad joke of him reminding me of the babe,” Egerton said during a press conference at San Diego Comic-Con this past weekend. “But I resisted.”
Also in attendance to promote The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance was Lisa Henson (Jim Henson’s daughter), who spoke about the work that went into creating the new puppets. Surprisingly, it largely involved returning to the past. Many of the puppets from the original Dark Crystal have been preserved in museums, with a few others that had not been restored yet. According to Henson, she personally made sure that The Dark Crystal’s puppets, creature work, and other items were preserved. Even things no one else thought needed to be kept.
“I’ve been wanting to make, you know, either a sequel or a prequel to this for so long that when we when we closed our Creature Shop in London, which is where everything was stored — even though they were inclined to get rid of the ephemera of a workshop, like things that wouldn’t have to be kept, I wanted to keep everything to do with Dark Crystal. Because I thought, well, we’re going to do something with Dark Crystal someday,” she said.
Since they had so many of the original puppets preserved, the first thing the puppeteers did when returning for The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance was copy the old ones to use as blueprints for the new designs. And it’s not the only way Age of Resistance and the Jim Henson Company are paying homage to their own history.
Henson mentioned that puppeteer Brian Froud, artist Wendy Froud, and their son Toby Froud were key creators on the show. Toby Froud, who starred as baby Toby in Labyrinth and has since gone on to do creature work on ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls and other projects, was the design supervisor for Age of Resistance. And Brian Froud returned to his roots.
“Just as another tie to the past, it’s really important that we had Brian Froud, who is the original designer. He came back, he designed every character, every costume,” she said. “We have the whole Froud DNA from the original film, you know, that is our design team.”
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance arrives on Netflix August 31.