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Labyrinth (1986)

  Directed by: Jim Henson
Written by: Jim Henson, Terry Jones, Dennis Lee, Elaine May
Starring: David Bowie, Jennifer Connelly
Music by: David Bowie
Links: Labyrinth on the IMDb, Buy on Video, Buy on DVD, Buy the Soundtrack
Genre: Children's

This movie gets: 9.00 (1 rating)
nofreelist.com Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"I say, what a smashing movie, milady" - a review by pearly

Awesome! Yep, it's a movie from the 1980s which actually stands the test of time and is still watchable, and, indeed, enjoyable, almost twenty years later, and by a more grown-up version of the me that watched it the first few times. This is such a rare treat. Many movies from this era have not managed to make it through without looking considerably more beat up than they should be, and it's always so disappointing.

But, I guess, the thing is, how can you go wrong with Jim Henson writing and directing his muppet-like characters, and Terry Jones lending his hand for writing duties to boot. Chuck in David Bowie as the head villain and in charge of toons, and finally, use up-and-coming young actress Jennifer Connelly as the star, and voila! Top movie.

Connelly is Sarah, a teenager living with her father, stepmother, and brother (step-brother?) Toby. She often has to babysit Toby, and on one such night, in a foul mood, she accidentally utters the words that call the goblins to her house to take Toby away to the castle beyond the goblin city, where he will be kept and turned into a goblin by the goblin king (Bowie) if she does not rescue him within 13 hours.

And so, Sarah begins her journey through the labyrinth to reach the goblin city in the centre. Along the way, she comes across many characters who help or hinder her, but she's never quite sure which. She makes friends with a little chap named Hoggle early in the piece, and later on rescues Ludo, a giant monster whose bark is bigger than his bite. Finally, she befriends Sir Didymus, the courageous guy with the awesome orange moustache who rides a cowardly dog. Together this unlikely bunch make their way through the labyrinth to try and save Toby from being turned into a goblin.

Labyrinth is full of great visuals and funny lines. It's a great flick for the kiddies, but one that holds its appeal for older folk as well. Bowie and Connelly are wonderful, but it is really the puppet characters that make Labyrinth so great. They make you remember that there were some pretty cool things going on in the 1980s, some film-making techniques that have since gone mostly by the wayside. Nowadays, we just get animations and movies like Freaky Friday (2003) for kid's entertainment. And sure, they can be great too, but the awesome amount of work that must have been required to put Labyrinth together, and the combined creative vision behind it really is inspiring (not that animations don't take lots of work, but there's a wonderful tactile quality about the puppets that can't be replicated with animation - unless perhaps it's claymation, but now I'm just going on about it too much).

Plus, I'm going to see David Dance Magic Dance Bowie in concert tonight, so I'm all hyped and feeling groovy about seeing the goblin king himself. Hooray for Labyrinth!

pearly gives this movie 9 out of 10.
Review created on Thu 26 Feb 2004

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Reader comments

  1. Bar far the best movie ever

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from Lindsey on Fri 10 Jun 2005 11:27 #

  2. I love this movie ok I was born in the 90's it just goes to show any generation can love this movie

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from kat on Mon 31 Oct 2005 07:38 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 10.00 (2 ratings)

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