- I am sure I saw this as a kid, but didn't remember it at all. It's a fun watch with some great creatures created by Jim Henson. A must for kids and I think most adults would like it as well.
It's a film more interested in incidents than plot (girl wishes brother would leave, goblins steal brother, sister has to get brother back). In that sense, and many others, it harkens Alice in Wonderland (my favorite Disney Animated film). It's an intensely imaginative movie that follows a bored young girl (played by Connelly with the charisma of a mannequin) as she encounters an adventure full of odd characters, winding streets, and inexplicable magic. The characters within the maze are fun and distinct, and Bowie matches the dark mystery of the story while keeping a childish wonder right below the surface.
The difference between this and other kids-fantasy-adventures I REALLY love is hard to pinpoint. The design is outstanding, the humor is affable, the characters are surprising, and the scenes pop with surprise. Again, I can only assume my distance from this film during my early age keeps me at a slight distance. Nonetheless, this is an enjoyable piece of 80s pop-culture that I'm shocked Tim Burton and Johnny Depp haven't ruined with a CG-covered remake. Give it time.
Sarah is a 16 year old teenager that is tasked by his father and stepmother to babysit her baby brother, but Sarah being more interested in her fantasy books, she considers the task as a burden so she decides to offer her young sibling to the Goblin King. Much to her surprise, her wish is granted, thus she meets Jareth the Goblin King who refuses to return the baby at first but won over by Sarah´s pleading, he decides to give Sarah a chance: She has 13 hours to retrieve the baby from his castle, which is located at the end of a magical labyrinth.
Revisiting a childhood favorite is a little scary as it is highly probable that said film isn't as good as you remember (a good example for me is "Monsters Inc.") so I was terrify by the idea of my adult self not standing this film, but fortunately that idea was wrong. "Labyrinth" has many pros and some cons. Regarding the cons, the film overstays its welcome as by the time the last act begins it film has run out of ideas, the story is extremely simplistic (to the point of being a more kidify version of "Wizard of Oz") and overall meaningless, most of the musical numbers are forgettable, the humor is at times extremely juvenile, Connelly´s acting is groan inducing at times (granted, she interacts convincingly with the puppets but still her delivery is painful at time) and a bizarre sexual subtext, which is not subtle at all, that's questionable for a kids film (not talking about the theme of maturation). But now let's address the pros of Henson´s last directorial job. The puppet work is not only masterful but mesmerizing as throughout the first two acts it continues to bring new ideas that are interesting to witness, the visual style is a weird mixture of the already mentioned "Wizard of Oz" with little touches of the Surreal movement; David Bowie´s acting steals the film as it is as charismatic as you would expect from a Chameleon entertainer as he was, the Monty Python feel is present (even if Terry Jones´ script wasn't used, you can still see his fingerprints), the characters may be archetypes but they are memorable (mostly due to their look), the soundtrack is really peculiar (some songs work, others come and go), the theme is more than obvious but still is a good lesson to teach children and it is executed solidly, most of the special effects (with obvious exceptions) still look convincing, and overall it is extremely entertaining for children and adults.
"Labyrinth" is a film that's filled with charm and imagination. While it may be seen as childish and dated, it still is a gorgeous looking film with some dark subtext for a film aimed at kids. A flawed but charming film that I dare say is a must see for kids.