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"For my will is as strong as yours, my kingdom as great... " - Sarah.
When I have to list my top five favourite films my answer is different according to who I am speaking to. My official favourite list includes films like Battle Royale and Vanilla Sky. If you know me well you will know that actually, my real favourite films list is made up entirely of guilty pleasures, like Best of the Best, The Goonies, Dirty Dancing and Labyrinth, with Labyrinth riding the top spot.
A real adventure of a film, as a youngster this film really appealed to the fairy tale obsessed nature of my personality. It had enough of a dark undertone to excite my curiosity and interest, but was light enough for me to enjoy even as a child. And it was actually this film that spawned my first ever crush as a fourteen year old. Jareth and his all seeing power had quite the effect on me. I wanted to have my own Goblin King, and whilst all my friends were covering their rooms in Boyzone posters and Backstreet Boys soft furnishings I was staring at a poster of David Bowie dressed as the Goblin King. It started a life-long appreciation of David Bowie's voice and style. I used to rewind the final scene over and over again, just to watch Jareth say "I have reordered time. I have turned the world upside down, and I have done it all for you!"
The story follows the adventures of a young woman named Sarah, who we meet performing lines from her favourite book 'Labyrinth'. Realising she is late home she runs through the rain with her trusty dog to a household of angry parents. She is a typical teen feeling hard done by, having to babysit her grisly step brother.
Carried away by her dramatic tendencies and over active imagination, she asks for the Goblin King to take the child far away, never actually expecting it to happen. When Jareth appears (looking all lush in spandex...) she begs for the child to be returned, and he gives her 13 hours to solve the labyrinth and find young Toby.
Cue 90 minutes of adventure and incredible characters, designed by none other than the wonderful Jim Henson. When I was younger I was desperate to have my own Ludo, something I was never lucky enough to get (Christmas is coming, maybe if I'm lucky Santa will bring me one?).
A fantastic fairy-tale/fantasy/coming of age adventure, the story is interspersed with fantastic songs, many performed and written by David Bowie. As I've said my favourite scene is the final one, when Jareth and Sarah come face to face for the final time, and his voice as he sings to her and walks underneath her is haunting!
This is a fantastic fantasy, regardless of your age, and is beautifully appealing to all audiences, who either believe in the lives of the characters and the adventures within, or even those slightly more cynical who see all of the characters inconspicuously visible in the young girl's bedroom before the adventure even begins. Watch it for, obviously my favourite character; the gorgeous Ludo, Hoggle, the worm and the noble Sir Didymus.
Beautifully written, with pace and excellent characters, wonderfully composed and choreographed and.... ummmm....puppeted?? Not entirely sure that's a word, but you get the idea. If you haven't seen this film, then do so, even if you use the kids as an excuse. It's a timeless fantasy adventure that everyone should go on at some point in their life!
The Labyrinth was first released in 1986 and directed by the legendary Jim Henson. The fantasy film also starred wierd but wonderful David Bowie as Jarath, and Jenifer Conelly as young adventurous teenage girl Sarah.
The story begins in some sort of park where young Sarah is reciting some lines from her favorite book The labyrinth. The book seems to be her escape from the outside world. Her half brother Toby is accidentally wished away to The Goblin Kings Labyrinth. Desperate and worried, Sarah begs The Goblin King to return her brother. After his refusal, she begins her adventure to find and save Toby within the 13 hours provided. On the way she meets some interesting characters such as Hoggle, a brutish misunderstood dwarf. Ludo, a kind hearted Yeti, Sir Didimus, a bumbling raccoon who believes himself a knight accompanied by his dog.
The film is a classic for young children, but will also capture your teenage girls too due to Bowie's abnormally tight tights!
Labyrinth is a fantasy film starring David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly. Directed by none other than Jim Henson.
As you would expect from Henson, this film contains a lot of puppets and the majority of the cast are in fact puppets.
The story follows Sarah (Connelly), a kind natured teenage girl with a love for books and theatre, who is finding it difficult to get along with her step mother with the arrival of her new baby (step) brother Toby.
When her parents leave for a Saturday night out, a resentful Sarah is left to babysit Toby - frustrating building up she reverts to her theatre and recites and short monologue asking the Goblin King (Bowie) for help. What she doesn't know is that the Goblin King is real and as soon as she leaves the room - he takes Toby, just as she'd ask. After all - he wants to please her - he's in love with her.
Sarah then has to embark on a journey through the Labyrinth - a notorious maze which keeps changing, with many characters within it, thought the Goblin City and to the Goblin King's Castle for a showdown with Jareth, the King himself.
The story is fantastic, full of trails, realisations and puzzles. And although some may find it weird - particularly young children - all will be pulled into the story wanting to know what happens next.
The characters are strong and well developed and the puppetry is excellent. Every effort has been made to make the puppets look, move and sound fantastic. Each puppet is excellently designed and fits the characters personality excellently.
Sarah manages to keep her innocence and stand up to the Jareth, whilst Jareth keeps his love for Sarah but his patience wears thin, and he becomes a rather threatening dark character.
Other characters come into the story to help Sarah on her way - some becoming her travelling companions. Each of these have their own distinct personalities and downfalls, however they all want to help Sarah.
This movie was realised in the 80's and another there is no CGI or special effects, this does not take away from the film - it adds to it.
The soundtrack is all written and sung by David Bowie himself - the music makes the atmosphere of the scenes all the more intriguing and the songs fit really well within the story and you'll soon be singing them around the house - some of them are quite catchy as it turns out!
This particular release of the DVD features an awesome and greatly informative documentary on the making of Labyrinth which includes behind the scenes access, how Hoggle is controlled and interviews from all the main players in making this great movie.
In my opinion it's one of the classics from my childhood and the 80's, it should be part of everyone's DVD collection. It's enchanting and compelling from start to finish. Innocent and Dark, a great film for all the family. I highly recommend it.
Are you a huge David Bowie fan? Ever wanted to see David Bowie as an actor as well as one of the world's biggest singers? Well this is the film to watch!
This is also one of the last pieces of work that Muppets creator Jim Henson directed before his death in 1990.
Sarah is 15 and is left to baby-sit her little brother, Toby while her parents go out for the evening. As soon as her parents leave, Sarah is so fed up of her brother's crying and wishes that he would just go to sleep, but she shouts by accident to get the 'goblins' to take her baby brother away, moments later the crying has stopped - Sarah is so scared as knows her brother has gone missing! Then, in a flash of light the king of the Goblins, Jareth visits Sarah and explains how she can get Toby back. Her task to travel through a labyrinth the task has to be done within 13 hours otherwise Toby will belong to Jareth and Toby will become a Goblin! But the labyrinth is bigger than Sarah thinks it is, but can she complete the task with only 13 hours to do it in? Can she win Toby back or will she loose him? Find out in this 80s heart warming family film with most of the soundtrack done by the film's star David Bowie!
Jareth king of the goblins: David Bowie
Sarah : Jennifer Connelly
Toby Fraud: Toby
Shelley Thompson : step mother
Shari Weiser : Hoggle (Brian Henson is the voice of Hoggle)
directed by Jim Henson
release date: 1986
run time : 1 hr and 35 minutes
a great family film a must see for David Bowie fans like myself! Or if you love 80s films it's a must see!
I only got the chance to see it once as I had to watch it for my college exam as we were performing the dance number 'dance magic dance.' personally, I liked the film very interesting and quite funny too!
Labyrinth is a 1986 fantasy film that has developed something of a cult status. I was only one when it came out, but watched it at some point during my childhood and forgot about it until I was seventeen, when I bought it on video. Of course I've since replaced my video with a DVD! I was prompted to watch the film again the other day as one of my coursemates admitted that she kept comparing all our lecturers to characters from the film! I won't mention any more about this during my review, as it won't mean anything to anyone who isn't studying in my university department, other than to say her comparisons were remarkably accurate!
Labyrinth boasts the legendary David Bowie as the Goblin King (how many modern musicians could star in a fantasy film and still retain their credibility?) and a young Jennifer Connelly as main character Sarah. The film was directed by Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets, and the film bears many of the hallmarks of his work, including a variety of weird and wonderful puppet characters. It was produced by George Lucas, known for the Star Wars films. Jim Henson wrote the screenplay along with children's author Dennis Lee and ex-Python Terry Jones. The film was designed by Brian Froud, a fantasy illustrator, who also worked on The Dark Crystal, another Henson effort. Interestingly, Sarah's baby brother Toby was played by Froud's little son, who was named Toby in real life!
Surprisingly, despite all these factors, the film was regarded as a commercial failure, only grossing $12,729,917 despite a budget of $25 million (according to Wikipedia). I find this really hard to get my head round, considering how brilliant it is, but sometimes these 'flops' become cult classics, and this is certainly what's happened to Labyrinth.
The film follows the adventures of a teenage girl, Sarah, who lives in her own fantasy world and loves to act out the story from her favourite book, Labyrinth. Angry at having to babysit her little brother on a Saturday night, she wishes that the goblins would come and take him away. When the Goblin King himself actually DOES spirit little Toby away to the castle in the centre of the Labyrinth, Sarah faces a race against time to make it through the maze and rescue her brother.
The plot is in many ways a typical fantasy adventure plot, in which the main character must battle against the odds to achieve some goal or perform some feat. It is gripping throughout and the film never gets boring. The opening sequence, set in our world, sets the scene concisely and it isn't long before you get into the Labyrinth. The environment within the Labyrinth changes continually: there's a desert with built-up stone walls, a paved maze, an underground oubliette and a hedged garden, as well as a lush forest and a goblin city. The castle itself is beautifully and cleverly set out like an Escher drawing. There is always something new to be amazed by, and the special effects stand up really well nearly 25 years after they were originally done. The models and the puppetry produce a rich organic feel to the film which is sometimes missing from modern films with their CGI effects.
There are very few human characters in the film: most of them are puppets, apart from one dog! Sarah's father, played by Christopher Malcolm, doesn't have much of a role while her stepmother, played by Shelley Thompson, makes a similarly brief appearance but comes across as rather nagging. Baby Toby is very sweet in his little striped romper suit but I bet the actor is embarrassed about it now!
Jennifer Connelly has gone on to star in films such as Requiem for a Dream and A Beautiful Mind to critical acclaim, and it's not hard to see why as she does an excellent job in the film, even at the young age of 15. Sarah is still very childish in her outlook at the start of the film, prefers her fantasy life to her real life, and is rather stroppy and moody - in fact she is rather annoying, but you really see her grow and develop throughout the film. She is brave and loyal and devoted to her friends, and this really comes across as the film progresses.
Most of the characters in the Labyrinth are puppets, but they still manage to be three-dimensional characters, figuratively as well as literally. There's Hoggle, the grumpy goblin Sarah encounters as soon as she enters the Labyrinth (urinating into the lake!). Hoggle is torn between his growing friendship with Sarah and his duty to the Goblin King, who threatens to throw him into the Bog of Eternal Stench if he doesn't do as he is told. Whose side is he really on? Ludo is a large fluffy orange creature, who is very gentle despite his size, and has special powers. Sir Didymus is a quixotic fox-like creature who rides around on his trusty steed Ambrosius (who bears a remarkable resemblance to Sarah's dog). There is a wealth of other characters who make brief appearances: the little Worm, the frightening Fireys, the Wiseman and his talking Bird Hat, the Junk Lady, the Guards and the Door Knockers... too many to list! These characters, which are all puppets of some description, really add to the richness of the film and are the source of much wonder and humour.
Last but by no means least, there is Jareth, the Goblin King himself, played by David Bowie with a mean hairdo and rather tight trousers! I bet that if you are female and of a certain age you once had a bit of a crush on the Goblin King. Jareth is an interesting character - he is manipulative, cunning and cruel, and he is clearly the 'baddie' as he has spirited Sarah's little brother away and is threatening to turn him into a goblin, but you suspect he has done this out of ennui more than anything else, as the scenes with him in the castle suggest it is rather dull living with a host of silly goblins! Throughout the film his attitude to Sarah evolves and it seems that he starts to develop feelings for her!
The influence of ex-Python Terry Jones on the script is obvious as there is a lot of humour, much of it unexpected. Try and solve the puzzle of the Four Guards before Sarah does - it's incredibly difficult! The film was scored by Trevor Jones and also contains many incredibly catchy songs written and performed by David Bowie, including 'Underground' (which opens and closes the film), 'Magic Dance' and 'As the World Falls Down'. I do own a copy of the soundtrack album as well as the film! In a documentary included as part of the DVD extras, Bowie admits that he made the baby noises during 'Magic Dance' as the baby in the studio would not!
This is a film about growing up, and the difficult transition from teenager to adult. Sarah is a particularly childish teenager who is very attached to her fantasy life and material things. The film is about her adjusting her priorities and learning to put friendship and family before toys and trinkets, while at the same time maintaining the delicate balance between living in the real world and keeping that connection with your imagination and your childhood. At the same time it subtly explores sexuality and romantic feelings: it isn't something children would pick up on - the film is comfortably rated U - but any teenagers or older people watching would notice the changing relationship between Sarah and Jareth, who also represents the fantasy world that Sarah is in danger of completely succumbing to. Fantasy is a medium that is often used to explore important themes and after watching Labyrinth a number of times I think the film does this remarkably well. According to the DVD extras, the film has over time proved especially popular with teenage girls, and I can certainly understand why, as it certainly resonated with me as a teenager (and in fact still does).
Labyrinth is a film that repays repeat viewing. The storyline and characters remain exciting and fresh and are not dulled by familiarity. When watching again you notice things you didn't pick up on the first time. For example, in Sarah's bedroom you see things that are reflected in the world of the Labyrinth: a musical box with a doll in a white dress that looks remarkably like Sarah in the ballroom scene; an M. C. Escher poster that resembles the castle; a doll resembling Ludo; and more which I will leave you to spot for yourself. During the part of the film set in the Labyrinth, there is more to see: watch out, for example, for the three standing stones that when viewed at a certain angle look just like Jareth! The makers of the film obviously took great care and time when designing and filming it.
My DVD is the 2007 2-disc Anniversary Edition which is currently available on Amazon for only £4.47. The DVD includes a number of extras including a very informative and entertaining documentary, including interviews with the main people involved and a look at how the characters and sets were made. There are also a number of featurettes and some beautiful concept art. Unlike some DVD extras these are really worth paying attention to.
While I was doing research for my review I found out that Labyrinth was also turned into a novel by M. C. H. Smith, although it is now out of print. Three volumes (with a fourth on the way) of an English-language Manga sequel, entitled Return to Labyrinth, have recently been released. The sequel follows the adventures of baby Toby once he turns fifteen, and have received mixed reviews on Amazon. I still think I would like to get hold of them though, more out of curiosity than anything.
Overall, Labyrinth is one of my all-time favourite films, and I recommend it for children, teenagers, and any adult who still likes a bit of fantasy. It's a wonderful film and has everything: great story, beautiful design, interesting characters, humour, songs and a message. There is an excellent informative article about the film on Wikipedia, but I recommend reading it AFTER watching the film, as it does give away some elements of the plot.
I remember watching Labyrinth as a child; it was one of those films that I wanted to watch but watched half behind the sofa as it was quite scary and weird. Yesterday with nothing enticing me on TV I decided to revisit my childhood and brought out my copy of Labyrinth. However, upon watching it this time I settled comfortably on the sofa, not behind it.
Labyrinth follows a teenager named Sarah (Jennifer Connelly), who on a Friday night she is yet again asked to baby sit her baby step brother Toby. She isn't very happy about this and becomes even unhappier when she discovers that someone has given Toby one of her favourite teddy bears. She shouts at Toby, who then starts to cry, this makes Sarah recite some lines from a play she has been rehearsing called 'Labyrinth' asking the goblins to take away the baby.
The crying suddenly stops and Sarah finds that Toby has vanished. The Goblin King (David Bowie) has taken Toby as she wished and has him in his castle, located behind a massive labyrinth. Sarah realises she doesn't want Toby to be taken away and so the Goblin King gives her a challenge: solve the labyrinth and reach the castle in thirteen hours or he'll turn Toby in to a goblin! This wont be easy though as the labyrinth is full of ticks and deceit and is full of characters who might help or hinder her!
There are only really two human characters in the film. Sarah, who at first a selfish teenage but soon realises the error of her ways. As you follow her through the labyrinth you see how kind and friendly she is to everyone she encounters whilst taking everything the labyrinth throws at her in her stride. The Goblin King is an amazing character and not just because of David Bowie. He has an air of mystery and you learn what's behind the lies and deceit he spins in the labyrinth. I almost felt sorry for him! However, it's the puppetry that makes this film special, as you would expect with Jim Henson's team onboard. It's one of those films that you could watch over and over again and see a new puppet hidden in the background but is just as detailed as those used throughout the film.
I was shocked at watching this at how well it's stood the test of time, there were only a few minutes in the film when you could tell it was made in the eighties, thanks to some dodgy visual effects. However, there were other special effects which were completely amazing. The story itself is completely magical and enthralling, with lots of amusing moments. I also can't go through this review without mentioning the music in this film. The songs sung throughout are amazing, with several of them being written and performed by Bowie.
The one small issue I have is that the film does have a U rating which I disagree with as although I love this film I don't really think it's suitable for all. Watching it now I still think it's a bit weird and as a child it did scare me so I wouldn't recommend it for younger viewers.
Personally, I have the collectors edition (have no idea why) and this has lots of really good extras. There's a 'making of' documentary which is an hour long which shows a good insight in to the film and lots of snippets from interviews with Jim Henson and David Bowie. I really love how Bowie admits for the song 'Dance Magic' they couldn't get the baby in the studio to gurgle, so he had to make the noises himself. There's also lots of photo galleries which are really interesting to see how the came about designing some of the creatures in the labyrinth. However, don't watch these extras if you don't like to see how the puppets really work!
This is such an enchanting film and I would recommend it to anyone! It can be bought for around £4.00 from amazon.
Labyrinth is a fantasy film starring rock singer David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly.
Connelly plays Sarah, a rebellious child who has been asked by her parents to babysit her baby brother, Toby, for the night while her parents go out.
However, when she wishes that her brother is taken away, she is horrified to learn that her wish has come true and that the goblin king, Jareth (Bowie), has employed his goblin army to do the deed.
Sarah immediately wants to reverse her wish but Jareth is adament that he is keeping Toby so Sarah sets out to rescue him, which is where the movie truly begins as she encounters all sorts of creatures and has a difficult and frustrating maze to contend with to get to Jareth's castle.
The movie is primarily aimed at children but this is a film that can be enjoyed by all the family and me, as an adult, still enjoy watching it to this day.
The SFX are pretty good but it mostly consists of puppetry and people in suits. I would take that over a CGI goblin any day and the makeup design of the various creatures is excellent and believable!
The pace of the film is excellent and I would find it hard to believe anyone could get bored watching this.
If Sarah doesn't meet creatures, she would often have traps to deal with and other kinds of challenges to face.
There is an obvious underlying love thing going on between Jareth and Sarah, which, to me, is slightly disturbing given the difference between Bowie and Sarah's age but it's never pushed and I believe that this was all in Sarah's mind.
After all, it is often believed that women think about their Prince Charming when they are young and I think this is what the film was pointing out.
Acting is generally good but Bowie is not exactly the best actor I have seen and he does play the role with his tongue in his cheek a lot of the time.
Connelly is great and she really puts her all in her performance, even in a children's fantasy movie, which was the sign of things to come, given her excellent performances in later movies such as Requiem for a Dream.
This movie is also a little bit of a musical, too, as David gets to sing a few songs here to keep things light-hearted just when the audience may be thinking the film is getting a little too serious.
Overall, the movie is excellent and it's one that everybody should have in their collection.
Whatever age you maybe, you are certain to get a lot of enjoyment out of it.
Released back in 1986, 'Labyrinth' is a unique fantasy film featuring David Bowie and an extended puppet cast created by the legendary Jim Henson. The plot concerns an unhappy teenager called Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) who grows fed up with her baby brother Toby and recites the line from a book she is reading, 'Labyrinth', asking for Goblins to come and take her crying baby brother away, only for them to do just that. Sarah then has thirteen hours to enter into the maze-like goblin world and rescue her brother before he becomes the propery of the Goblin King (Bowie) forever.
On her quest to rescue Toby Sarah makes a number of wierd and wonderful allies, including Hoggle, and ugly and bad-tempered but kind-hearted troll; Ludo, a big, hairy ape-like creature with big tusk-like bottom teeth and the ability to summon forth rolling boulders by emitting a low, keening howl, and Sir Didymus; a fox with the persona of a knight who rides an old english sheepdog by the name of Ambrosius.
The film mixes fantastical sets, animatronics, myriad fairy-tale elements and the zany and unique puppets of Jim Henson to weave a wonderful fantasy tale, interspersed with numerous well-executed musical numbers sang by Bowie with backing by the bizarre puppet creatures that act as his minions throughout the film.
The special effects are excellent throughout, whilst the puppets add much cartoonish charm, and there are lots of inventive and exciting set-pieces on offer, such as a scene in which Sarah is pursued down a tunnel by a giant mechanical drilling machine and a scene in which she finds herself in a narrow vertical pit populated by strange creatures made out of hands moulded into animated expressionist-wearing faces. The M.C. Escher-influenced, multi-dimensional, architecturally-nonsensical ending is particularly impressive as well.
Bowie puts in a typically otherworldy performances and offers up some memorable and enjoyable songs, and the film as a whole is a classic 80s fantasy film rivalled only by the likes of Return to Oz and The Neverending Story.
note: also appears in part on Flixster and The Student Room
Labyrinth is an impressive vehicle that combines the talents of two men - Jim Henson's superb puppet creations, and David Bowie's seemingly endless charisma and charm - into one neat package that's very fun and charming, and a classic of the 80s.
The film revolves around a young girl named Sarah Williams (Jennifer Connelly), who loves fairy tales and is simultaneously pestered by her younger brother, who frequently gets her into trouble and is her foil. She reads from a story and declares that she wishes her brother would disappears, and with that, he does. She then gets a visit from King of the Goblins, Jareth (Bowie), who tells her where her brother has gone - to his magical Goblin Kingdom. She of course asks for him to be returned to her, for her parents will obviously get very upset otherwise, but Jareth refuses, unless she can complete his labyrinth within 13 hours. If she cannot, then he will turn her baby brother into a Goblin forever, and he will be lost.
Labyrinth is perhaps the very definition of a cult film - it is artistically realised, and whilst it never has gained immensely popularity, it is widely acclaimed by those that have seen it, and notably by critics. It has a bunch of famous songs that Bowie wrote himself, perhaps most famously the trippy "Magic Dance". The film is not only an enchanting fairy tale by its own merits, but allows Bowie to be his usual charismatic, crowd-pleasing self, and most importantly brings the gorgeous Jennifer Connelly to prominence. This is fun, zany filmmaking with a lot of charm and some superb puppetry and lavish set design.
A fun film with good performances and an interesting subtext. Great puppet and costume design.
I somehow missed ever seeing Labyrinth all the way through as a child, so watched it recently to see what I had been missing out on - according to all my friends.
It tells the story of a stroppy teenage girl Sarah who wishes her annoying baby stepbrother Toby away to live with the goblins in order that he stop disturbing her life with endless babysitting duties. When he is actually taken by the goblin king (Bowie), she is given limited time to negotiate the labyrinth and rescue him. Realising her duty, Sarah embarks on a fantasy adventure meeting all manner of creatures in order to outwit the goblin king and rescue her brother.
The story and look of the film is enchanting and the puppets are excellent. It has the definite feel of an 80s family film but as an adult I enjoyed it all the same. It was a little creepy in places but that it entirely the result of Bowie's mystical and elusive character. The songs dotted through the film are the only real cringe-worthy aspect, and have poor lyrics and less than catchy tunes. David Bowie, while good as the goblin king, was let down by his singing and dancing performances which didnt seem to fit (Don't get me wrong, I do like David Bowie as a performer but not here).
Overall, the film was fun and engaging, with lovable characters, a moral outcome and a great look.
I used to watch this film over and over again when I was younger. It was one of my favourite films - but also one of those that scared me a little!
I'm going to go in-depth into the plot line of this film, as I feel others have done plenty of that themselves, and if you HAVEN'T seen it, then I won't want to spoil it for you! Besides, you can look up the plot anywhere!
The overall feeling of the film has been created wonderfully, providing sets and characters that are magical and loveable, and a few minutes later making you feel just a little uncomfortable. Don't get me wrong, this is definitely a children's film, but children do love being scared! Faces made out of creepy grey hands, or a spiralling cutting machine hurtling down a corridor towards our heroes definitely gets the adrenaline going!
The performances throughout by the only two real human actors (David Bowie & Jennifer Connelly) are great, but they are completely overshadowed by the amazing character creations made by the Henson Creature Workshop. This is what Jim Henson has always done best, and these characters are not only inventive, but also record breaking. Labyrinth contained the biggest 'puppet' in a feature film at the time!
The songs throughout are wonderful - atmospheric, and where the Firey's are concerned, very funny. David Bowie's influence to these songs are evident, but fortunately his style fits in with the dream-like feeling of the film.
A brilliant, fun film, for adults and children. Watch out for a few scenes that are a little scary for really young children, and just plain weird for older ones - there are some very dream like...or almost 'trippy' sequences.
Oh, and keep an eye out for the Worm...one of the funniest and cutest Henson creations to date!
Labyrinth was first released in 1986. It is a fantasy film directed by Jim Henson (creator of The Muppets) and produced by George Lucas (creator of Star Wars). The lead characters in this film are played by David Bowie, a well known singer, and Jennifer Connelly who was not well known for her acting. This film turned Jennifer into a star. Most of the other characters are puppets of magical creatures.
Sarah Williams (Jennifer Connelly) is a 15 year old girl who hates her stepmother. She is fed up of being left baby-sitting for her half-brother, Toby, who is still a baby. Sarah loves acting out fairy-tales and in this film she is rehearsing from one of her books called Labyrinth. When she is left to baby-sit for Toby yet again he starts crying and she can't get him to stop. She recites lines from Labyrinth to tease the child. The story she tells him is of a poor 15 year old girl who is fed up of looking after her baby brother. Fortunately, the Goblin King has fallen in love with the girl and given her special powers. The girl just has to say the right words and the Goblin King will come and take away the baby. After this story Toby carries on crying and Sarah leaves him but suddenly everything goes quiet. The Goblin King has turned up and taken the baby to his kingdom and Sarah must get through the Labyrinth to his castle before midnight or Toby will be turned into a goblin.
Sarah is put in the Labyrinth where she meets lots of magical creatures including Hoggle the dwarf, Sir Didymus the fox type knight and his dog Ambrosia, and Ludo who is a giant furry beast. The Labyrinth is no simple maze, it is full of magic and is ever-changing. Will Sarah get to the end on time?
The film is full of music, performed by David Bowie. My favourite songs are Underground, Magic Dance, As The World Falls Down and Within You.
This film is one of my favourites. It is hilarious and is as much for adults as it is for children. Bowie looks amazing in it, with his gorgeous outfits, make-up and hair. Any Bowie fans will not be disappointed and neither will any Henson fans.
This is definitely a film from my childhood and I still love it! Usually on around Christmas times it brings back lots of fond memeories. It is a fatasy film about a young girl who wants to get rid of her younger half brother and asks the goblins to take him away. When her wish comes true, she goes in an adverture through the Labyrinth to try and rescue him. The film was made in 1986 and was directed by Jim Henson. David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly play the main characters in the film and a lot of the other characters in the book are puppets. Its is a great film that used to scare me as a child. Although, it will probably fail to scare children of today as kids are far more used to realistic violence and fantasy. It is a real family film and definitly one to watch!
Labyrinth was released in 1986 (the year i was born :D) and is a fantasy film. It was directed by Jim Henson and produced by George Lucas, two big names so you know it's going to be good. Labyrinth was the last film made by Henson before he died in 1990. The film is rated U and only has some mild fantasy violence and is 101 minutes long.
Although Labyrinth had a $25 million budget, it only made nearly $13 million at the box office. It is now a major cult classic and did a lot better with DVD and VHS sales. Even though it didn't do too well, merchandise such as video games and figures have been made as tie ins to the film.
Cast/ Characters and Plot
Sarah - Jennifer Connelly
Sarah is a very imaginative teen who loves all things fantasy. Right at the beginning of the film we see her practising lines from the book, Labyrinth in the park before realising she is going to be late getting home to baby sit. Labyrinth is a tale of a girl who hates her life and wants her crying brother to be taken away by the Goblin King. When she does get home, soaking wet, she gets into an argument with her step mother about baby sitting all the time. As the night goes on, Toby, her brother is restless and wont stop crying. Sarah seeks inspiration from her book, trying to help Toby sleep but instead she says the words the real Goblins so desperately want to hear. All the lights go out and when she goes back into the bedroom, Toby is gone.
Jareth the Goblin King - David Bowie
As a barn flutters into the room, it transforms into Jareth, the Goblin King. He is quite cruel to Sarah, although he tells her he's only giving her what she wished for. He wont give Toby back unless she completes his Labyrinth in time, otherwise he will be gone forever. He puts Sarah at the beginning of the Labyrinth and tells her time is ticking. He tries to throw her off course every time she's doing well, producing small orbs that are used for magic. Later in the film, he asks Sarah to stay in the Labyrinth as his bride, which she refuses to do.
Hoggle - Shari Weiser and Brian Henson (voice)
Hoggle works for Jareth and although he seems to be Sarah's friend for a while, he's also being told to throw her off track and make things difficult. We meet Hoggle very early on in the film and he makes reappearances thoughout at several intervals. Sarah calls him a coward after not sticking up for himself and doing things he didn't really want to do. Hoggle loves all things plastic and shiny, and Sarah uses this fact to bribe him into helping her. At the end of the film, he risks his life for Sarah, proving he really is her friend.
Ludo - Ron Mueck (voice)
Sarah rescues Ludo after he is being tormented by some Goblins and he joins her on his quest to save Toby. Although Ludo is quite huge and beefy, he's also a scardy cat and doesnt seem to like anything confrontational. He comes across as very simple and can't form sentences. By howling, Ludo can also summon boulders whenever he likes.
Sir Didymus and Ambrosius - David Shaughnessy and Percy Edwards (Voices)
Sir Didymus and his pet dog Ambrosius guard the Bog of Eternal Stench and must protect a bridge there! Sir Didymus is a fox-terrier and Ambrosius is a sheepdog that's identical to Sarah's own pet. Amrosius is a big wimp and runs away from any kind of trouble whereas Sir Didymus is fearless and ready to take on anything that comes his way.
Even though Sarah has made all of these friends along her journey, they dont seem able to help her too much until near the end of the film. The Labyrinth is full of twists and turns, to stop everyone getting to the castle. The logic of solving the puzzle confuses Sarah and with time running out, she wonders if she will ever be able to do it. Jareth watches Sarah the whole time, knowing how well she is doing and throws a lot of obsticals in her way.
Some trivia about the film
- Some of the puzzles and riddles in the Labyrinth are inspired by Raymond Smullyan
- The filmmakers acknowledged inspoiration from different films and writers like Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
- Some of the characters, including Jareth where somewhat influenced by David Bowie's nightmares as a child
- Many of the characters in the Labyrinth are also seen as figurines or toys in Sarah's bedroom back in the real world
- Toby is played by the son of the man who did the character designs
- The shaft of helping hands was made up of 350 hands, 150 real and 200 rubber
- In Sarah's room, there is a picture of her biological mother and new husband, also David Bowie as the alter ego to Jareth
- Jareth's face can be seen in many scenes as he is watching over Sarah and her progress.
Mistakes in the film
- The wires Sarah is suspended from are visable in many scenes
- A boom mic is visable when they almost fall into the bog of eternal stench
- When Hoggle pees in the pond, the water immediately settles
- Toby is replaced by a doll during the Magic Dance scene and is clearly visable
- A sundial that reads 10 in one scene, reads 8 a couple of seconds later
There are quite a few more mistakes but i'm not going to list them all.
Most of the songs are written and performed by David Bowie apart from 1 and they are all very catchy. I find the Magic Dance song stuck in my head for days after watching this film. Bowie performed each song amazingly and with a lot of life and passion behind the words. He made each song fun and extremely memorable.
All of the cast were good in this film, especially Jennifer Connelly. For a young actress she did an amazing job and i'm glad to see her making it big and back on our screens now. David Bowie was a little flat at times, but not much. Throughout the film he comes across as quite sleazy and mysterious but thats what Jareth is all about. He certainly is interesting to watch and I think the film wouldn't be nearly as good without him. The thing that gets me now everytime I watch this is I can't help looking at the bulge. Not that I didnt notice before, but one of my friends was talking about it not too long ago and now it's all I can pay attention to. As a Goblin King, you would expect a short, ugly thing, but Jareth couldn't get much further from that. Bowie is hot in this film (he was 26 at the time) and the costumes and make up for his character were great.
My favourite scene is the one with the Fireys. I don't know what it is I love about them but they make me giggle all the time. One of my friends can't watch this part though, she says it creeps her out everytime so she skips the scene.
Labyrinth is very amusing and entertaining and well worth a watch. It was made in 1986 so you cant expect the visuals to be anything like today's standards but as it is a film by the legend Jim Hensen, it certainly isn't dissapointing at all. A lot of time and effort was put into the characters and their visuals and it really paid off. I've had this DVD for years now and would be distraught if anything happened to it because I tend to watch it at least once a month. I actually think this would make my top 5 after writing this review about it. The DVD has some fantastic extras, which is really nice to see as some films dont have any.
Labyrinth is a film from my childhood, I loved it then and I still love it now, so when it came out on DVD I had to buy it. Last night I decided to sit down, make myself comfortable and watch it again, I've lost count on how many times I have seen it already.
Labyrinth was released in 1986 and was directed by Jim Henson the creator of the Muppets and Fraggle Rock. It has the imagination of Jim Henson, the wizardry of George Lucas and the excitement of David Bowie. It takes you to a world of fantasy and adventure.
Sarah Williams loves to read fairytales and act them out. She spends her time in the park acting out parts from her book called 'Labyrinth'. Whilst she is in the park she realises that she is late and has to run home where she is scolded by her step mother for being late to baby sit her little brother, Toby. She is furious with having to baby sit and when she realises her teddy bear Lancelot is missing she goes storming into Toby's room to find Lancelot lying on the floor. Toby starts crying and Sarah still angry starts telling him a story about the King of Goblins who has special powers and can take him away. Whilst she is telling the story, a group of goblins are sat waiting for her to say the right words so they can take Toby away. As Sarah leaves the room she says "I wish the goblins would come and take you away...right now". Sarah then realizes that Toby has stopped crying and when she returns to his room he is no longer there.
The windows fly open and standing there is Jareth the Goblin King who tells Sarah he has taken her brother to the goblin castle by her wish. Appalled at what she has done she begs the Goblin King to return her little brother. Jareth gives her 13 hours in which to solve the labyrinth and get to the castle, if she fails her brother will be turned into a goblin and will remain in the labyrinth forever.
At the beginning of the maze she bumps into a goblin called Hoggle who for want of a better word is extremely grumpy and does not want to help Sarah. As Sarah makes her way through the maze Hoggle changes his mind and decides to help Sarah. Along the way she also meets Ludo, a big hairy red monster with huge fangs who is ever so soft and goes on the journey with Sarah. Throughout the maze she comes up against pathways and openings in the walls of the maze that change at intervals and are riddled with logic puzzles and tests. Meanwhile Jareth the Goblin King is doing ever thing in his power to stop Sarah reaching the castle by the 13th hour.
To defeat the Goblin King she has to reach the castle by the 13th hour and recite a phrase from the book. "Through dangers untold, and hardships unnumbered, I have fought my way here to the castle beyond the Goblin City, to take back the child that you have stolen. For my will is as strong as yours and my kingdom as great..." including the final line that Sarah had been having difficulty remembering. Will she reach the Goblin Castle in time and if so, will she remember the final line?
Sarah Williams is played by a 14 year old Jennifer Connelly; Sarah is an imaginative adolescent who has a passion of fantasy and fairy tales. She wishes for her brother Toby to be taken away but repents almost immediately and asks for his return. She is dedicated to her quest for the return of her brother and she has a strong attachment to her friends. She resists the Goblin King's affections in order to fulfill her quest. Jennifer Connelly was perfect for the part and acts out her role extremely well.
Jareth the Goblin King is played by rock legend David Bowie who performs five of the original songs. Jareth is the cruel, yet handsome master of a wide kingdom of goblin he is cunning, manipulating and is feared amongst the goblins. The Casting of David Bowie was excellent for this film, everything about him fitted the film perfectly, the look, the hair, the songs.
And now we come to the Special Features on the DVD. I watched these as I was interested on how the film had been put together as it had been done really well. There is 56 minutes showing 'inside the Labyrinth'. Theatrical Trailer. Talent profiles for Jim Henson, George Lucas, David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly.
The character Hoggle is a small and feisty ancient looking dwarf. To get the right effect for this character they decided that someone should be inside the dwarf. To my surprise the person that they used was female actress Shari Weiser and the voice of Hoggle is Brian Henson. It took five people to operate Hoggle as there was a lot of different eye movements, facial expressions, mouth movements and the difficulty was making sure that everyone was in sync.
The Character Ludo also had someone inside operating him, this fell to Ron Mueck and Rob Mills who had to keep interchanging as the fittings were too heavy to work with for a long period of time. His character is also able to summon the rocks and this goes along way in helping get through the Labyrinth.
The best part for me was the part in the Goblin Castle where Jareth (Bowie) sang Dance Magic. There were over twenty goblins in the room dancing around and singing and you couldn't tell who was being operated by whom or who had a person inside the goblin costume. The special features showed that they had used a lot of little people (their words not mine) and the smaller goblins were being operated by hands through walls or up through the floor. It made the whole thing flawless in my opinion and even though the film is over 20 years old it still doesn't seem dated at all.
This DVD features a highly-informative documentary on the making of the film, with interviews from all the main characters and behind the scenes access. It shows how they did the "Helping Hands" scene and how the MS Escher staircase illusion was created.
This is a film where everything seems possible and nothing is quite as it seems. I don't think there is any part of the film that I didn't like. All the characters were great especially the goblins, the character Hoggle, looks surprisingly real so they captured him perfectly and they gave each character its on unique and well suited personality.
The film is a certificate U
Run time 98 minutes
The anniversary DVD can be bought on Play.com for £3.99 or on Amazon for £3.98
This is a film that never gets old, I loved it when I was a kid and kids today will love it too. It is a timeless film that everybody should own.
Sarah (a teenage Jennifer Connelly) rehearses the role of a fairy-tale queen, performing for her stuffed animals. She is about to discover that the time has come to leave her childhood behind. In real life she has to baby-sit her brother and contend with parents who don't understand her at all. Her petulance leads her to call the goblins to take the baby away, but when they actually do, she realises her responsibility to rescue him. Sarah negotiates the Labyrinth to reach the City of the Goblins and the castle of their king. The king is the only other human in the film and is played by a glam-rocking David Bowie, who performs five of his songs. The rest of the cast are puppets, a wonderful array of Jim Henson's imaginative masterpieces. Henson gives credit to children's author and illustrator Maurice Sendak, and the creatures in the movie will remind Sendak fans of his drawings. The castle of the king is a living MC Escher set that adults will enjoy. The film combines the highest standards of art, costume, and set decoration. Like executive producer George Lucas's other fantasies, Labyrinth mixes adventure with lessons about growing up. --Lloyd Chesley