There is no movie I’ve seen more times than the Jim Henson classic Labyrinth
(I’m literally watching it right now
). Although I was petrified seeing it for the first time at age 5 (because at 5 there’s a 100% chance the ugly goblins are real and I thought the Fierys
were going to take my head
) I loved
it. The music, the set design, Sarah’s teenage angst, David Bowie
— all of it. Interesting taste for a 5-year-old but, don’t get me wrong, I was into Barney, too.
The 1986 fantasy follows 15-year-old Sarah (Jennifer Connelly), who, while babysitting her baby brother, mistakenly wishes him away to the Goblin King Jareth (who’s played by none other than Bowie). The only way to get him back is to navigate her way through Jareth’s labyrinth to win back her brother.
Bowie recorded five original songs for the film, my favorite being “Magic Dance
,” a tune sung by Jareth and his goblins in an effort to amuse the crying babe, caroling “what kind of magic spell do you use?” As it happened, “Magic Dance” was the perfect “spell” to calm the wailing babe (always works on me, too). “Underground
,” the opening song in the film, was another favorite. I’d throw it on mix CDs I’d make for my friends in hopes they’d inquire about it, setting up the perfect segue to talk about the film.
If they’ve seen and love it, “Cool! This is gonna be awesome!” If it scares them or they think it’s a dumb, bizarre kid’s movie, I know we’re not going to see eye to eye on a great many things. My three best friends are just as gung-ho about Labyrinth
as I am . . . which explains exactly why we’re best friends. The film is a strong bonding agent!
Best of all, this movie guided me towards one of my favorite bands
in high school, as they named themselves after my favorite character in the Labyrinth.
Ludo = Ludo
Greatest band name ever, right?
So if you’re free tonight, cozy on up with your “babe” and pop in this fantasy flick. If for nothing else, David Bowie’s performance as a Jareth the Goblin King is unparalleled perfection.
What kind of magic spell do YOU use? Why lullabies, of course!
Check out Lullaby Renditions of David Bowie
on vinyl! (Bowie’s original songs from Labyrinth
aren’t on this album, but I’m in the early stages of campaigning for a strictly Labyrinth
lullaby in the future!)
For more Rockabye Baby’s Movie Night picks, see below.