Labyrinth (1986): A Jim Henson Masterpiece!

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“You remind me of the babe! What babe? Babe with the power!” sings David Bowie as The Goblin King Jareth in the 1986 Jim Henson movie – Labyrinth.

Labyrinth (1986) Original

This movie has a lot of interesting facts:

  • Labyrinth, who has developed a cult following over the years, was directed by the late Jim Henson (creator of the Muppets), with executive producer George Lucas (Star Wars) with conceptual designs by Brian Froud (well-known fantasy illustrator). The baby that plays Toby in the movie, is also the son of Brian Froud!
  • To make the film even more appealing, David Bowie stars as Jareth (King of the Goblins) with now well-known actress Jennifer Connelly as Sarah.
  • A further interesting fact is that Labyrinth started as a collaboration between Jim Henson and Brian Froud, with ideas for the film first being discussed between them following a screening of their previous collaboration, The Dark Crystal
  • David Bowie made the baby noises for Baby Toby himself.
  • The goblin king’s impressive juggling tricks weren’t done by David Bowie himself, but by Michael Moschen, a well-known American juggler.
  • There is an amazing Easter Egg in Labyrinth. Jareth’s face is hidden in the background seven times throughout the movie.

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Synopsis:

The plot revolves around 15 year old Sarah’s quest to reach the center of the Labyrinth maze to rescue her infant brother Toby, who has been kidnapped by Jareth, the Goblin King. With the exception of Bowie and Connelly, most of the significant characters in the film are played by puppets produced by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. There are also some great musical numbers in the movie.

Fantastic merchandise that any Labyrinth fan should have

BOOKS / COMICS / MANGAS / GRAPHIC NOVELS

~ The Goblins of Labyrinth is a book containing Brian Froud’s concept art for the film with descriptions by Terry Jones. It was published in 1986 and reissued in a deluxe expanded 20th anniversary edition in 2006.

~ A novelization of the film was written by A. C. H. Smith which, along with Smith’s novelization of The Dark Crystal, was reprinted with illustrations and Jim Henson’s notes by Archaia Publishing in 2014.

~ Marvel Comics published a three-issue comic book adaptation which was first released in a single volume as Marvel Super Special #40 in 1986.

~ The film was adapted into picture book form as Labyrinth: The Storybook, written by Louise Gikow with illustrations by Bruce McNally.

~ Labyrinth: The Photo Album, written by Rebecca Grand with photographs taken by John Brown from the film set. Other tie-in adaptations included a read-along storybook produced by Buena Vista Records, which came with either a 7″ 33⅓ RPM record or cassette tape.

~ A four-volume manga sequel to the film, Return to Labyrinth, was published by Tokyopop between 2006 and 2010.

~ Archaia Entertainment announced that it was developing a prequel graphic novel about the story of how Jareth became the Goblin King in 2011 and in collaboration with The Jim Henson Company. Project editor Stephen Christy described the graphic novel as a “very tragic story” featuring a teenaged Jareth and said that it does not feature Sarah or Toby. Sadly it is still unpublished as 2022.

~ Archaia’s reissued the Labyrinth novelization.

~ Archaia released a Labyrinth short story titled Hoggle and the Worm for Free Comic Book Day on 5 May 2012 and another titled Sir Didymus’ Grand Day on 4 May 2013. Archaia published Labyrinth: 30th Anniversary Special, a collection of seven short stories, in 2016 to mark the film’s 30th anniversary. 

~ Cory Godbey’s stories from this collection were also released in picture book form as Labyrinth Tales.

~ Another six-story collection was released the following year, titled Labyrinth: 2017 Special.

~ In 2018, the two were compiled as Labyrinth: Shortcuts, which also included two new stories, and another three-story collection was released as Labyrinth: Under the Spell.

~ Between 2018 and 2019, Archaia published Labyrinth: Coronation, a 12-issue comic series written by Simon Spurrier and illustrated by Daniel Bayliss. The series is a prequel about how Jareth became the Goblin King.

~ In June 2021, Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: Under the Spell, a new collection of stories expanding the world of Jim Henson’s beloved fantasy classic Labyrinth, including the secret history of Sir Didymus and an all-new story that reveals the history one of Jareth’s Masquerade guests who embarks on a journey of self discovery after Sarah shatters the mirror during the Masquerade Ball, was released.

There are also numerous other books available:

FIGURINES / FUNKOS / PLUSHIES / PINS / ART

There are also many Labyrinth inspired figurines – Jareth, Hoggle, Ludo, Fireys and the tiny worm.

GAMES

LABYRINTH MEMES

Last but not least, there are so many Labyrinth memes available. We are sharing our top 10!

Once a Labyrinth Fan – always a Labyrinth fan! “Dance! Magic Dance!”

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