This week only, Labyrinth, one of the most beloved classics of the 1980s, returns to movie theaters, thanks to Fathom Events. The film is the brainchild of three magnetic forces of entertainment: produced by George Lucas, directed by Jim Henson, and starring the incomparable David Bowie, Labyrinth appealed to anyone and everyone when it debuted in 1986.
I got to attend one of the screenings yesterday, along with my 14-year-old son. Before the film is shown, there was an introduction by Brian Henson, the son of the director, discussing the revolutionary effects brought forward by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. He then set up The Storyteller, which was Henson’s follow-up project after Labyrinth, and the pilot episode called “The Soldier and Death,” directed by Jim and written by future Oscar-winner Anthony Minghella, was shown full. The 24-minute episode tells the story of a soldier (Jurassic Park’s Bob Peck), his good luck, a magical sack, some card cheating devils, and more. It also stars John Hurt as the titular Storyteller. My son’s response to the episode… “That was weird.” It reminded me of both Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal with a bit of Aesop’s fables thrown in, and of course Henson’s creatures were standouts. The entire series of The Storyteller is available on the STARZ app.
After star Jennifer Connelly gave a short introduction, it was time to relive the wonder world of Jareth the Goblin King and Labyrinth. I remember the movie scaring me as a kid, but it was truly wonderful to watch it again on the big screen. Henson’s creatures are so magical, especially in a world where so much in terms of special effects are done through CGI. Seeing the puppetry and animatronics come to life is special. Of course David Bowie commands the screen in an amazing performance. He also performed five songs for the soundtrack.
For those who have never seen the film, Sarah (Connelly) is tired of her crying baby brother Toby, so she wishes him to be taken by the Goblin King, and then is shocked and terrified when that actually happens. Soon she’s joined by some truly colorful characters, including Hoggle, Ludo, and Sir Didymus, in a quest to make it to Goblin City and rescue Toby before midnight.
This is a great chance for parents, grandparents, and kids of all ages to dive into the magical world created by the legends Henson, Lucas, and Bowie. The creatures are magnificent, the performances (especially Bowie) are off the wall, and it’s truly an original film.
Fathom Events will show Labyrinth in theaters two more days this week, Tuesday May 1st and Wednesday May 2nd, with 2pm and 7pm showings. Check out Fathom Events for theaters near you and for tickets.
There’s also a costume contest fans can enter, see details in the embedded tweet below.
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