Usually puppets and fantasy aren’t my thing, but I have to make an exception for the beautifully crafted film, Labyrinth. This film literally shaped my childhood. Well, David Bowie’s crotch had a lot to do with it, but still. I cannot say enough good things about this movie.
The story begins with Sarah (Jennifer Connelly lol), a girl with a tough life. She’s like 16 and has an infant baby brother that she gets stuck babysitting for. As an aspiring actress, she practices the lines of her play, especially the line that she can’t keep straight: “You have no power over me.”
A storm rolls in and Toby, her baby brother (gross name, I know), starts crying and she can’t get him to stop. In her play there is a goblin king, so she decides to call out for him to take this baby away from her. Magic happens, bing bang boom, David Bowie aka Jareth the Goblin King shows up in her house and takes her brother away, assuming that’s what she wanted. She begs him to return Toby to her, but the damage has already been done. Toby is locked in Jareth’s castle and the only way to get him back is to make a deal with the king himself. If Sarah could find her way to the castle through the immense labyrinth that guards it in thirteen hours, Toby would be hers. If not, she would have to be his Goblin Queen and live out the rest of her days with him.
It’s not even funny how fast I would agree to be David Bowie’s Goblin Queen. Forget the kid.
At the Labyrinth gates Sarah meets Hoggle, a grumpy dwarf who shoots down faeries with pesticide and pees into fountains. He’s gross, but very annoying and unhelpful at the beginning of the movie. Sarah decides that she doesn’t need his help anyway and leaves him behind.
Meanwhile, Jareth is having a ball with Tobs.
Sarah finds herself struggling and making awful choices when it comes to choosing directions (up or down, in or out, left or right) and she ends up in an oubilette which is nerd speak for dark hole. Jareth sends Hoggle to help Sarah out of the oubilette, but also to lead her back to the beginning. Hoggle decides to help Sarah because he genuinely likes her and goes against Jareth’s instructions. OH HELL NAW.
Eventually Sarah meets a big gentle giant dog type thing with horns named Ludo. She rescues him from danger and they become friends. The group gets lost and finds their way into the Bog of Eternal Stench, where if you touch any part of the bog, you’ll stink forever. Horrifying.
Sarah meets another helpful hand named Sir Didymus, a small fox who guards a bridge. He joins their crew and lends a hand when he can. During the film things start to get trippy when Hoggle gives Sarah a peach to eat that sends her into a dream like trance. In her dream she dances with Jareth, feels like she’s in her old room again, and gets totally messed up.
The gang eventually find their way to the center of the Labyrinth (Goblin City) and they attack the townspeople. They win the battle, and Sarah goes to search for Toby in Jareth’s castle. She sees them in a staircase maze a la M. C. Escher style. Once she reaches Jareth, he asks for her to stay and instead of saying “Yes definitely.” She recites her monologue and says “You have no power over me.”
Victorious, Sarah and Toby are transported back to their home unscathed.
Side Note: This movie was directed by Jim Henson and produced by George Lucas on a budge of $25 mil. It only grossed $12 mil in theaters. Yikes.