Labyrinth turns 30 today”
I’ll give you some time to feel a little old.
As far as the epitome of childhood movies goes, this great fete of imagination from the brilliant Jim Henson (creator of The Muppets and similar puppet characters for those who have no idea how to get to Sesame Street) is on the top of most lists. On every Christmas and always playing in my house (the lead was called Sarah, it was a thing I obsessed over,) it is actually surprising that Labyrinth bombed on box office release. It was the last feature film Henson did and the low commercial success of the movie actually demoralized him. This is a shame because if he were here today and saw the masses of people who love this movie, the constant showings at The Prince Charles Cinema, and the legacy it has left, he would proud.
Labyrinth stars David Bowie, his crotch, and Jennifer Connelly. When Sarah (Connelly) is scorned by her stepmother and her favourite toy is stolen by her baby brother Toby, Sarah foolishly wishes for the goblins to take her away. When Jareth (Bowie and crotch,) the Goblin King appears, and steals Toby, he tells Sarah she has 13 hours to solve his Labyrinth otherwise Toby will be lost forever. Racing against time Sarah, along with a whole host of new friends, must solve the riddles and thwart Jareth.
It actually hurts that this amazing fantasy adventure didn’t appeal to the eighties crowd who liked similar film such as Never Ending Story. The creatures that his workshop created were fantastic puppets that were brilliantly crafted and made. Hoggle, voiced by son Brian Hansen, is a great anti-friend who grumbles and groans through Sarah’s journey. There is also Sir Didymus, the crazy fox knight, played by Rob Muek of Gonzo fame. There is a whole host of beasts and puppeteers who collaborate on this purely innocent adventure. While this exclusive cast of puppets bar Bowie and Connelly may have been difficult for the humans to act with, it has left behind an incredible film that sparks the careless dreaming of the young and old.
While Henson’s genius would be enough to satisfy fans, added into the mix is David Bowie’s fantastic soundtrack from the chilling “Underground” to the gleeful “Magic Dance.” This incredible music is awash with toe tapping songs that Disney wished it made (and now owns.) Plus you have the brilliant Pythoner Terry Jones writing the screenplay so the comedy is great for adults and children. There are many treats for cinema fans and art fans, including mazes inspired by paintings and homage’s to the likes of The Wizard of Oz. It has everything you could ever need from a movie.
Labyrinth is that perfect combination for a fantasy movie. It is awash with daring scenes, riddles and puzzles, battles with monsters, new friendships, a scary villain and a journey unlike any other. With wide eyed wonder, you will be amazed at the adventure and follow the path that Sarah takes. Boasting the first ever realistic CGI animal (the barn owl,) Labyrinth is a breath taking technical movie that has so much heart. Standing strong today, Labyrinth is an outstanding film that finally has the praise and acclaim it so rightfully deserves.
So come see the magic dance and say “ello” to Labyrinth
HAPPY BIRTHDAY 30th LABYRINTH!