Directed by Jim Henson
USA & UK / Color / English
Sarah (a teenage Jennifer Connelly) rehearses the role of a fairy-tale queen, performing for her stuffed animals. She is about to discover that the time has come to leave her childhood behind. In real life she has to baby-sit her brother and contend with parents who don’t understand her at all. Her petulance leads her to call the goblins to take the baby away, but when they actually do, she realizes her responsibility to rescue him.
Sarah negotiates the Labyrinth to reach the City of the Goblins and the castle of their King Jareth , played by a glam-rocking David Bowie, who performs five of his songs. The rest of the cast are puppets, a wonderful array of Jim Henson’s imaginative masterpieces. Henson gives credit to children’s author and illustrator Maurice Sendak, and the creatures in the movie will remind Sendak fans of his drawings; the castle of the king is a living M.C. Escher set. The film combines the highest standards of art, costume, and set decoration. Like executive producer George Lucas’s other fantasies, Labyrinth mixes adventure with lessons about growing up.
Rated PG; 101 min.
WFAE sponsored trivia begins at 7pm! A little of the movie trivia seen here, as well as trivia about the 80s and people associated with the films be included in the trivia rounds. Bring your thinking cap to win fun prizes!
The owl in the title sequence is computer generated – the first attempt at a photo-realistic CGI animal character in a feature film.
Monty Python member Terry Jones wrote one early version of the script. Little of his material was retained beyond the point where Sarah eats the poisoned peach. The original script ended with Sarah punching and kicking Jareth, then watching him shrink down until he’s becomes a small and “snivelling” goblin. Also, Toby’s name was Freddie in the early drafts of the story. The baby’s name was changed because the infant Toby Froud would only react to his own name.
The full costume for Hoggle was lost for some time. It turns out that it was lost on an airplane and later bought from the airline by ‘The Unclaimed Baggage Center’, a store in Scottsboro Alabama. It is now on display in their museum.
The sources of the characters can be seen in Sarah’s bedroom at the beginning of the movie. She has a stuffed animal that looks like Sir Didymus on her dresser, a doll that looks like Ludo on the shelves next to her door (along with the book “Where the Wild Things Are” as the camera pans across her desk), a Firey doll on a shelves next to her bed, bookends with with Goblins reminiscent of Hoggle on her dresser, and figurine of Jareth on the right hand side of her desk. After you see the Hoggle bookend, there is a scrapbook shown. It shows newspaper clippings of Sarah’s famous actress mom with another man, David Bowie. In addition, the dress that she wears in the ballroom scene can also been seen adorning the miniature doll in her music box, and a wooden maze game on her dresser next to her books is reminiscent of the hedge section of the Labyrinth. There is also a small painting on her wall that depicts a contraption much like the one operated by the “Cleaners” that Sarah and Hoggle had to escape from. And there is a copy of the famous picture by M.C. Esher which is used in the room where the final confrontation with Jareth occurs.
Sarah’s dog “Merlin” is also used for Sir Didymus’ mount “Ambrosius”. In Geoffrey of Monmouth’s The History of the Kings of Britain, Merlin is called “Merlin Ambrosius”.
The various things that Jareth does with the crystal balls (rolling them around his arms and in his hands and so forth) are not camera tricks or any other kind of special effect. They are actually done by choreographer Michael Moschen, who is an accomplished juggler. Moschen was actually crouched behind Bowie with his arm(s) replacing Bowie’s. Unlike a typical Muppet performance, however, he had no video screen to view his performance. In other words, his manipulations were performed completely blind.
David Bowie did the voice (gurgling) for the baby in the song “Magic Dance”.
Jim Henson is creator of The Muppets and undoubtedly the most beloved puppeteer in history. In 1955 Jim, already a skilled puppeteer, began his studies in Theatre Arts at the University of Maryland. That year marked the appearance of his first television show, Sam and Friends, a five-minute late-night puppet show he produced along with another freshman, Jane Nebel, whom he would marry in 1959. The show featured some early incarnations of his famous Muppet characters, including a lovable frog named Kermit that Jim fashioned from one of his motherâ€™s old coats and two ping-pong balls. In 1958 Sam and Friends earned Jim his first Emmy Award, and he would go on to win an impressive 30 Emmys during his lifetime for his work with the Jim Henson Company.
The Muppets â€” Jim coined the term â€śMuppetâ€ť to describe his unique combination of marionette and foam-rubber hand puppets â€” immediately proved popular, starring in TV commercials and regularly appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show. Then, in 1969, came the immensely successful Sesame Street. It wasnâ€™t until The Muppet Show, which starred Kermit and the egotistical and hilariously outspoken Miss Piggy, was introduced in 1976 that Jim became a favorite of fans of all ages. An estimated 235 million viewers tuned in to The Muppets each week in more than 100 countries.
In 1979, Jim turned to the big screen with a feature film, The Muppet Movie, followed The Great Muppet Caper (1981), in which Jim made his directorial debut, and The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984). In 1989, he decided to entrust The Muppets to The Walt Disney Company. Jim died unexpectedly in 1990, robbing him of the chance to continue his work with Disney, a company he deeply admired.
Transamerica Square is located at 401 N. Tryon Street. The courtyard is in the middle of the structure. Entrances to the courtyard are accessible from Tryon St. (to the right of Rock Bottom), 7th St., Church St., and 8th St. Click here for directions.
Transamerica does provide parking. For complete instructions, click here. Generally, parking is $5 after 5pm. The parking garage can be accessed from 7th St. There are many other surface lots and parking decks within walking distance, as well as some street parking. Make sure to do your research before you leave home so parking isn’t a headache!
* Rock Bottom provides some kind of parking validation for eating at their restaurant (as so many of the restaurants associated with parking decks). Grab dinner before the film, or get some grub to go and get your parking stamped. Make sure to call Rock Bottom to get full parking validation details (ie – it may not be totally free).