Netflix have released the new Dark Crystal series and the hype for it is everywhere! With a high end cast and nostalgic appeal, it’s no wonder the series has had such a passionate reception from many. I’ve yet to watch both the original or the new Dark Crystal series, but now that I have a bit of spare time it is 100% my next to watch and I am so excited for it! What I have seen however, is Labyrinth.
Labyrinth is easily my favourite film of all time, whenever I’m feeling down Its my go to, it cheers me up every time. Today Labyrinth has a huge cult following, but it might surprise you to know that the film was a box office flop that caused a difficult time period in Jim Henson’s career. The film only managed to pull in just over half of its production costs and became the last feature film Jim Henson ever directed. The (maybe) good news, however is that in 2016 it was announced that a spin off in the same fictional universe was under development… Until we know more about this however, I wait with baited breath.
I rate Labyrinth so highly for a number of reasons. Firstly, Jim Henson’s Creature Shop’s ability to pruduce puppets that are so life like and immersive is stunning. It’s easy to suspend your disbelief when you’re watching the amazingly crafted works of art on screen. From the crazy tiny brightly coloured little ello worm all the way up to the lovable huggable Ludo, these creations are astonishing. I can’t imagine how much work must have gone into each puppet to create unique and lifelike movements, not only in the body but in the face as well.
Secondly, David Bowie without any doubt in my mind makes the perfect Jareth. His excentricity and charm really bring the character to life. I think he really compliments the innocence brought by Jennifer Colloney’s Sarah, a role that nearly went to Helena Bonhem Carter. The role of Jareth was always going to go to a rock star, with Sting, Mick Jagger, Prince and Micheal Jackson all being considered… However I just couldn’t imagine any of these being as perfect as Bowie for the role, with his smile and his wicked eyes, he really embodies the character. He also provides what I believe to be the true star of Labyrinth… That buldge… Dont tell me you haven’t looked you liar!
The storyline is reasonably familiar, a coming of age film where a bratty teenager realises that actually… Your actions do have consequences, and all that glitters is not gold. Sarah is tested by Jareth’s offers of riches, power and a luxurious life, but she manages to see through the facade and realise that family is what’s really worth something in this world. She also learns that living your whole life in a fantasy is dangerous… And you need to ground yourself at some point.
That, and Jareth is a huge liar of course. On the surface this film has all the great key markers of a fairytale story; the face-value light hearted playfulness and the ultimately dark undertones and threat of what would be if the wrong choices forget. Lest you Jareth romanticizers out there forget he is a man of an undetermined age trying to lure away a 15 year old girl! Furthermore he displays clearly abusive behaviours as seen in my favourite quote of all time “Just fear me, love me, do as I say, and I will be your slave”… Yep I’ve dated you Jareth; I know your game.
Lastly, the music. I love the music in Labyrinth and I usually dislike musicals – I think that it really adds to the experience of surrealism and compliments the film… And again… DAVID BOWIE. I mean c’mon, how can you not like the music?
If you’re enjoying the Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance and haven’t seen Labyrinth, you need to. It’s slightly lighter hearted, but still has the dark undertones needed to make it interesting. I think it still holds its own really well.Become a Patron!