ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Film Review: Labyrinth

Updated on January 12, 2016
Film Frenzy profile image

Written by: Jason Wheeler, Film Frenzy Senior Writer & Editor.

Background

In 1986, Jim Henson released Labyrinth, based upon conceptual designs by Brian Froud and ideas discussed following a screening of The Dark Crystal. Starring David Bowie, Jennifer Connelly, Christopher Malcolm and Shelley Thompson with Brian Henson, Ron Mueck, David Shaughnessy, Percy Edwards, Timothy Bateson, David Healy, and Denise Bryer providing voices, the film grossed $11.6 million at the box office. Though the film was not nominated for any awards, it has become a cult classic enough for the Jim Henson Company and Sony Pictures to look into making a sequel, which was never made. However, there was an adventure game based on the film released by LucasArts.

Synopsis

Sarah is an unhappy teenager due to her father’s remarriage and half-brother Toby, causing her to hide from life by dressing up and acting out fantasy tales in the park. However, one night, she wishes that the Goblin King would come take Toby away. He does and gives her a chance to rescue him by taking her to his realm and putting her through the Labyrinth to the citadel.

Review

An incredibly creative and fun fantasy film, Labyrinth is quite a good film, especially in what it’s trying to tell its audience. Sarah looks to be on the older side of the teenage years, but acts like a child, especially how she acts out fantasy to escape her life. But throughout her time in the Labyrinth she comes to realize that she needs to grow up and act her age. Take the time she ends up in a garbage dump outside the Goblin City. While this certainly is another obstacle for her to face on her way to save Toby, at first she’s show to be content to sit and be idle with her dolls and toys, but her realization that the reproduction is a little too perfect helps her to remember that she has a duty to get back to. This scene is a good demonstration of the point the film is trying to make in that people have to grow up and leave their toys and dolls in order to focus on responsibilities. But the film still says that growing up doesn’t mean that one has to reject everything that was loved as a child, with Sarah admitting that she still needs her friends by her side. Instead, it ends with the message that those things can be loved as an adult, but in different ways.

Yet, there’s evidence that everything happened in Sarah’s head and she’s coming to the aforementioned realization on her own through acting out this particular fancy. Notice that she deals with the revelation that her brother has been kidnapped by goblins who are indeed real, that the Goblin King has taken him and that she sees the labyrinth as a chore she has to take care of. Either her reaction is this way because she’s just that into fantasy or maybe she’s imagining all of this and is thinking of how she’d react to all of it. After all, the film’s plot was a play in her room.

But even so, Bowie did a fantastic job as the Goblin King and the character itself is very well done and looks as if he’s essentially the rock star version of Satan. What’s interesting is that everything he does, from stealing Toby because Sarah was careless about announcing wishes to giving Sarah less time upon her declaration that the labyrinth isn’t all that hard, is done simply because he finds it amusing. Further, whenever someone claims that he’s acting unfairly, he responds by telling them that he’s being completely fair. However, he does seem to be quite nice to Toby and enjoys playing with him. Plus, when Toby starts crying, he starts singing to make him stop.

The effects are done very well too, as is to be expected from the Jim Henson Company. One really great effect is the Helping Hands. It’s really interesting to see a bunch of hands coming out of the wall form a face in order to speak to Sarah and then to see all of them act in conjunction with each other. There’s also some good puppetry present from all of the goblins. However, there are a couple instances where the effects look outright terrible, like the Fireys, which seem to be a really badly done blue screen effect. It’s kind of noticeable when almost every other effect looks really good.

5 stars for Labyrinth

the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent WNI's positions, strategies or opinion

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Mark Sammut profile image

      Mark Sammut 

      2 years ago from Malta

      Gorgeous film. Bowie will be missed. (not to mention Jim Henson)

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)