Early in Jim Henson’s LABYRINTH (1986)—before Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) witnesses her baby brother kidnapped by goblins—and well before she matches wits with David Bowie’s Goblin King to win him back—we follow a tracking shot through her bedroom, as it takes stock of books and belongings. It’s a veritable “Who’s Who” of the fantasy form: Hardback copies of Grimm’s fairy tales, the saga of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, Where the Wild Things Are … there’s even a print of Escher’s Relativity hanging on the wall. Henson is paying tribute to his forefathers. And in this, the last film he ever directed personally, he translates the language of those influences into his own Muppet tongue.
Tag: Jennifer Connelly
Labyrinth – 1986 – dir. Jim Henson
“Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered, I have fought my way to the castle beyond the Goblin City to take back the child that you have stolen. For my will is as strong as yours and my kingdom is as great. You have no power over me.”
The speech is intriguing mostly because of the foreshadowing it does; much like “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” did for Dorothy in the film version of The Wizard of Oz, an inspiration for Labyrinth. Sarah (Jennifer Connelly), a teenager who is trapped within a self-created fantasy world, accidentally wishes her younger brother away to the Goblin King Jareth (David Bowie). When the clock strikes thirteen, the baby will become a goblin—unless Sarah can solve the labyrinth, fight her way to the castle through the Goblin City and save him.