Wednesday, November 22, 2017

A Movie I'm Thankful For: LABYRINTH

by Robyn Buckley
I can’t remember a time when Labyrinth wasn’t a part of my life.

I saw Labyrinth for the first time when I was very young, as my parents were never restrictive with movies and I often watched films that one would usually see once older. It is a movie that I love every aspect of – the music, the puppetry, the characters, and the story. Labyrinth is a movie that I put on when I want to feel joy, as I know that once the first scene starts, I will be in a better mood.

I grew up on a quiet street in a tiny rural town. Most of my childhood was spent exploring the acres of woods behind my house and using my imagination to pretend that it was a magical faraway land. This yearning for more meant that I grew up relating strongly to Sarah (Jennifer Connelly), the young heroine of Labyrinth. She wants adventure, as well as to avoid letting go of the trappings of childhood – something I think everyone feels at one point in life. As a character, Sarah is brave, smart, and willing to make friends with anyone. She is ready to put her life on the line to do what she knows is right – even if that means having to save her annoying brother (another thing that I can relate to). Sarah is a character that I hope more young people look up to over the years. I've already introduced the movie to my five-year-old niece, and she is a fan!
Jareth, the Goblin King, played by David Bowie, is perfect casting. Bowie plays him as threatening, yet intriguing. He’s terrifying in his power, but also seems like he would be a lot of fun to party with. A big part of Jareth’s appeal is due to the music sprinkled throughout the film. Bowie sings many songs in Labyrinth, and every single one is a treat. I'm partial to "Magic Dance" ("You remind me of the babe." "What babe?" Don't worry, I'll stop.), but "Underground," "As the World Falls Down," and "Within You" are also fantastic songs. They’re slightly creepy, but the songs pull the listener in – much as Jareth does to Sarah in the movie. Bowie is perfectly cast in Labyrinth. I don’t know if anyone else could play the character as well as him.
A huge part of Labyrinth is, well, the labyrinth and the characters that live there. Apart from Jareth, everything that calls it home is brought to life via puppetry. I am freaked out by puppets - except for those created by the Jim Henson Company. The Muppets, Fraggle Rock, Sesame Street, The Dark Crystal, and Labyrinth have a special place in my heart. Those used in Labyrinth are the ones that I hold most dear out of all of them. They are slightly off-putting in either looks or demeanor, but characters like Hoggle, Ludo, and Sir Didymus are also lovable and show that what’s on the outside doesn’t matter. The labyrinth itself is a character on its own – everything in it seems to be alive, whether it be doors that can talk or “helping hands” that aren’t really helpful. The Jim Henson Company creates an entirely new world where anything and everything can be alive.

Labyrinth is a movie that I have enjoyed for as far back as I can remember and a film that I plan to continue to watch as I get older. It’s a movie that, over the years, I have shared with a number of friends, as well as younger kids in my family. I know Labyrinth is not everyone's cup of tea, but if only one person falls in love with it the way that I have, than it is worth it.

“Everything that you wanted I have done. You asked that the child be taken. I took him. You cowered before me; I was frightening. I have reordered time. I have turned the world upside down, and I have done it all for you! I am exhausted from living up to your expectations. Isn't that generous?”


  1. Labyrinth is one of those rare movie that i consider near perfect. the songs are good, the story is fun, the sidekicks are cute, the ugly monsters are cute and there's a bog of eternal stench

  2. I love labryrinth. I was convinced David Bowie was the boogeyman as a child. My brother and I used to date each other to watch this in the basement with the lights off. The scene where the goblins are hiding in her room after they take her brother always terrified me.