In Jim Henson’s Labyrinth, we meet Sarah, (Jennifer Connelly) a young teen who would like nothing more than to live in a fairy tale, believing that her father and stepmother make her do awful things like babysit and interrupt her playtime. (They are in fact very reasonable in their requests.) When Sarah makes a foolish wish to have her baby stepbrother taken by the goblins, the Goblin King Jareth (David Bowie) steps in to deliver. Sarah regrets her choice and has to run the treacherous Labyrinth to rescue the baby and learn to grow up.
In this very 80’s movie, we meet a young lady who doesn’t want to grow up. Ok, fine, everybody feels like that sometimes, but Sarah takes this desire to it’s logical conclusion, refusing all responsibility, almost trading an innocent baby for her selfish wishes. It’s true that she does understand the enormity of her mistake, but that doesn’t stop her from almost giving into the Goblin King’s temptation, as he all but promises to make her the princess she’s always wanted to be.The Labyrinth and Jareth represent Sarah’s childish desires to escape from the adult world of pain and responsibility. In refusing Jareth, Sarah accepts her new responsibilities as a young adult, while treasuring the memories of her childhood.
This movie does have it’s disturbing points, including mild peril, scary creatures and the threat of kidnap itself. Mild language and potty humor are also present (the potty humor is a major deviation from Jim Henson’s model), some may also take exception to Jareth’s tights which he wears throughout the film, as they are errr… form fitting. But it’s no worse than going to a classical ballet really.
In all Labyrinth is a very interesting fantasy movie. As a lover of fantasy, I can relate to Sarah’s desire to live in the land that she loves to read about and escape to a place where “nothing ever hurts again”, but that’s never a good idea. Sarah learns this lesson well and demonstrates it, presenting a not by any means perfect, but effective coming of age story. Recommended for teens 12 and up.
I'm T.K. Wilson, Read my blog for great information and stories about dolls, toy restoration, Christian Fantasy and so much more! Blog updates Fridays.