Movie Review: Labyrinth (VHS/DVD)
Originally released in 1986, Labyrinth is a fantasy film starring David Bowie as Jareth the Goblin King and Jennifer Connelly as a teenager named Sarah. The film plot starts when Sarah wishes her baby brother Toby away to the magical land of the Goblin King. When the Goblin King appears he tells Sarah that if she wants Toby back, she must solve his labyrinth and make it to his castle in thirteen hours. If she fails, Toby will become a goblin and remain with the Goblin King forever.
Labyrinth goes beyond an ordinary kid fantasy film by including things that appeal to adults and kids. One incredible feature in the movie is the music, the most notable of which was contributed and performed by the musician David Bowie. The songs seem to be a fusion of David’s style and the movie’s lightheartedness. A catchy song in the film that is also humorous is “Dance Magic Dance”. Adding drama to the film are the songs “As the World Falls Down” and “Within You.”
Another notable thing about the film was the use of Jim Henson’s signature puppets. These puppets have heart poured into them because most of them are inspired by creatures from classic fantasy works. For instance, there is a small blue caterpillar that is reminiscent of the caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland. One of the most striking creatures is Ludo, who bears a striking resemblance to the horned creature Carol from the novel Where the Wild Things Are.
A last commendable thing about this film are the main characters Sarah and Jareth. Watching Sarah progress from being a selfish girl to a more mature and compassionate young woman is heartwarming. As for Jareth, he is a fantasy version of Wuthering Heights’ Heathcliff. While kidnapping Toby makes him villainous, his musical declarations of love and angst make him a compelling character.
All and all, this was a very good film. I recommend it for any David Bowie or fantasy fiction fan, no matter the age group.
Here is the scene for the song Dance, Magic Dance