Not all movies from my childhood have stood the test of time. The Dark Crystal for example turned out to be quite terrible when I watched it again as an adult. The Hobbit and Return of the Jedi I love just as much today as I did two decades ago. But then there’s movies that I loved as a child for childish reasons, and then loved as an adult for different reasons. Off the top of my head I can think of three movies that do this – Jurassic Park, Terminator 2, and Labyrinth.
Labyrinth is an alice-in-wonderland-type story about an imaginative teenage girl who wishes the Goblin King would take her baby brother away, regrets it when it happens, and then sets on a quest through the labyrinth to the Goblin King’s castle to get her brother back.
The messages in this film really resonate with the tension of that difficult time in life between playful childhood and responsible adulthood. The parralels between the trials of the Labyrinth and the trials of real life make for good lessons that are entertaining and easily remembered. My personal favourite is the False Alarms.
Of course I didn’t understand or care about any of that as a kid, all I cared about was the insane creativity of the whole thing, the realism of the creatures, the catchy tunes, and of course Jennifer Connelly (I was old enough to appreciate that).
There are a couple of psychological scenes that would scare the crap out of some kids. The transition from the everyday world to the labyrinth feels discombobulated.
The Fire Gang sequence is pretty random. They come out of nowhere and all the sudden it’s a musical number. On the other hand, one of them sounds like Elmo, and it’s fun to hear Elmo threaten to rip someone’s head off.
The dynamics between Sarah and Jared are creepy at times. Didymus annoys me.
The Bog of Eternal Stench. Just imagine how often that’ll come up in conversations with your kids after watching this movie together!
If you watch the DVD or Blu-Ray then there’s a big treat in the special features as well. Seeing all the concept art and puppetry and talented people that went into this movie is a fun viewing experience all it’s own.
Oh yeah, and David Bowie’s in it. …As quite possibly the most eccentric-looking goblin I’ve ever seen.
is it just me? or could no other human being ever claim to be the goblin king and get away with it?
(at least not without making themself short and green)