Director: Jim Henson
Writer: Jim Henson/Terry Jones/Dennis Lee
Producer: George Lucas/Eric Rattray/David Lazer
Starring: David Bowie/Jennifer Connelly/Toby Fraud
BBFC Certification: U
Duration: 101 minutes
Whenever I think of what fantasy movies should have, I always think that they should feature stories beyond our wildest dreams and imagination, lovely and colourful locations and that touch of magic that can really bring the story and characters to life with the feeling that anything is possible. With Labyrinth, it makes you feel like you’re watching somebody else’s crazy dream instead of another world. Sarah wishes that The Goblin King would take her baby half-brother, Toby, away forever and immediately regrets making that wish after she finds out The Goblin King has really taken him. The only way to get Toby back is to beat an enormous maze full of riddles and puzzles and get to The Goblin King’s castle before the thirteenth hour. Labyrinth is no doubt very imaginative and has a good story that reminds you a lot of old fairytales and also provides some good moments from it’s naturally charming characters. It also holds a very strong and positive message about what’s important in life. The performances in Labyrinth are quite average going on to good. Jennifer Connelly plays as our heroine Sarah, whose character isn’t really likeable at all if truth be told. Her character is quite nasty at the start of the movie and you can’t help but think of her as mean and, even though through the movie she starts to have a heart, she’s still not really that likeable. It’s not very good that you can’t like the main character so much and it spoils the movie a little, however Jennifer Connelly plays her part well but it could have been a little better. David Bowie played his part well as The Goblin King, Jareth. The part suited him and he added a more mysterious and mystical personality to his character as well as a weirdness that worked. There aren’t any groundbreaking performances but they were good for this movie.
People may find some faults with Labyrinth however the one thing everybody must agree on is the puppetry and how great it is and they must also agree on the great imagination used in the movie. Although the story could sometimes be a little bit confusing, the songs are even more so as the lyrics are absolutely nonsensical and they’re not exactly related to the movie either, which adds more confusion. Jim Henson directs and writes Labyrinth and he does a great job in doing so as it surely won’t bore you, however this isn’t the best movie he has done but it’s still quite good. It’s a lot of fun and it takes somebody with quite a bit of imagination to come up with the characters and the maze and such. Overall, Labyrinth is a great little fantasy movie for those who love the genre and those who are fans of Jim Henson.
Children may love this for the puppetry and the story but I fear that they may not appreciate it as much because they are used to the standards of movies we see today. While it does look cheap and dated compared to the movies of today, Labyrinth does have that nice feel of imagination, magic and charm to it and I do think it has stood the test of time rather well and will remain to be a classic. I would recommend people who like fantasy movies, Jim Henson movies and David Bowie to watch this.