Friday Night Movie: Labyrinth
--Snow, Glass, Apples--
at This Miss Loves to Read
How about another cross-over? Our long-lost Friday Night Movie feature can certainly find some common ground with the "Friday is for Fairy Tales" meme.
Labyrinth was definitely inspired by fairy tales and other classics of children's literature. It's very postmodern, yes, but its strong morality play elements (borrowed from that oh-so-medieval of dramatic forms) save it in the end. I hope you can join me for this viewing.
(Remember that live-blog style comments count as extra entries in my "100+ Followers, 10+ Friends" Giveaway!)
0:31 "A Jim Henson Film" And just like that, we know this is going to be good.
1:16 It's never too early to gush about an unmistakably 80s soundtrack! (Now it feels as if I've come home . . .)
1:39 You might know Frank Oz as the puppeteer behind Yoda, but did you know he also created Miss Piggy? *chortle/snort*
2:46 You know, I was just thinking that that was the fakest digital owl ever . . . but I like this little jump. =)
3:05 Yeah, she's "just" a girl playing dress-up. I'd say she has princess potential, though.
3:19 Foreshadowing! Foreshadowing! (Just stating the obvious . . .)
3:48 I don't believe it! It's seven o'clock! I sympathise. Time does that to me, too.
3:53 Not that she had on a very convincing costume to begin with, but I love the way the unexpected flash of her blue jeans under the gown brings us back to 1987.
4:40 Oh, it's not fair! I hate it when teenagers who live in big houses in nice towns complain about anything not being fair.
5:31 Wait a minute. She's a stepmother? That's important--because this is a fairy story.
6:01 I love poking through other people's personal libraries . . .
6:39 Man, she's got a lot of stuff. And it all screams, "I'm really, truly a fairy tale princess."
7:14 The young girl was practically a slave! Hmmmmm. Escapism isn't supposed to be make people this blind.
7:32 LOL!!! Do we ever stop to think that someone might be listening to those fantasies we so carelessly weave?
8:37 This is amazing. All these puppets are so perfectly there with each other. They're not puppets, anymore; they're characters. And they make this scene real.
8:44 When I was around her age, the words I refused to say were those which would supposedly conjure up "Bloody Mary" in one's bathroom mirror. They probably wouldn't have done anything, but I learned my lesson from this movie. We just don't take those kinds of risks.
9:45 Wow. Those goblins work fast!
0:17 All the other lights in the house are still on . . .
1:13 I love the way the goblins in the house are startling and unsettling . . . but not scary the way similar intruders in Horror films usually are.
1:37 An entrance worthy of one of his concerts!
2:30 And this is how we know that the Goblin King is also an archetypal Morality Play Devil. (Quick review of criteria: a) the character has to be fun; b) the character has to be a villain who doesn't hide the fact at all; c) the audience has to love him, even knowing what he is.)
2:48 I want my brother back! Finally spoken as a true fairytale princess. These girls always stick up for their brothers.
2:52 AH-HAH!!! He's game enough to let us know he is the Devil! (Criterion B!)
4:38 Our first lesson: Fairyland isn't always ethereal and pretty.
5:15 Shows what you know, don't it? LOL! Apparently, real fairies are only fit for gassing.
5:23 Now I'm kicking myself. After growing up with Frances Hodgson Burnett's Little Princess, how could I have forgotten until now that Sarah means "princess"???
7:18 LOL again! She just called him "Hogwart"!
8:18 Is it a sign of character or cockiness that she picked the scarier path?
9:49 And it's a worm that wouldn't be out of place on Sesame Street! =P
9:58 Or out of place in a friendly English village. How hospitable for it to invite giants into its tiny home!
0:21 I've told you about my time travel dreams in which I run through walls, right? (Well, I have now.) And I think I know where my subconscious picked that idea up . . .
0:54 If she had kept on going down that way, she'd have gone straight to that castle! And now he reminds me why worms get stepped on in our world. =/
1:35 Anyone reminded of Maleficent's castle in Disney's Sleeping Beauty?
2:17 Of course, the Goblin King is so much cooler than Maleficent.
2:49 Dance Magic! I can't tell you how much respect Rock God Bowie for singing, dancing and jumping with muppets.
3:30 It would be highly unfair . . . if she hadn't already been told not to take anything for granted.
4:11 What a well-behaved baby!
5:39 What a horrible place this is! It's not fair! I'll bet your stepmother's rules are looking pretty good right now, aye, sweetheart?
5:56 My first thought: Tweedledum and Tweedledee!
6:38 My bet is on the blue one always telling the truth. Yours?
7:33 So did she guess that the blue one always lies? If so, then what he told her about one of them always telling the truth and the other always lying would have been . . . a lie. =P
7:44 And now begins what has always been my favourite effect in the whole movie. So simple and yet so unsettling!
8:44 "Oubliette": a perfectly chilling medieval French word which fits perfectly into a Fantasy world oddly full of anglophones.
9:00 That's the trouble with minions. They never know when they should laugh!
0:30 If you help me solve the labyrinth, I'll give you this! Very Rumplestiltskin. This girl does know her fairy tales!
1:02 Well, it's plastic's turn to be magical, I guess.
2:10 Don't pay any attention to them! They're just false alarms! Oh, the allegorical potential in a pun!
4:06 That's not fair! . . . You say that so often! I wonder what your basis for comparison is. Oh, exactly! This is a supreme modern morality play.
7:12 And Sarah finally accepts that life isn't fair. =) Okay, she may be the heroine now.
7:33 Hoggle looks as if he's never been able to call someone a friend in his whole life! Awwwww!
7:59 The way forward is the way back! . . . Will you listen to this crap! Just when I was thinking that every would-be guru in the world should have a bird hat like that to undermine him before potential devotees . . .
8:46 . . . we see that the hat is in on the scam. =( I'm so disillusioned.
9:20 Does this maze remind you of the great houses of France . . .
9:30 . . . or of the Japanese game show Takeshi's Castle? =P
0:06 Things aren't always what they seem in this place. If the first lesson is that life isn't fair, then the second lesson is that we shouldn't take anything for granted. Give the girl a diploma already!
0:22 Where did Jim Henson get his ideas??? Really.
1:41 As I tell all my ESL students, English is so useful that it will serve you well even in fantasy worlds populated by non-human species.
1:53 Well, I certainly hope you are what you seem to be! Why does she stop there? Why doesn't she hope he's really a hot prince under an enchantment?
5:44 Now we get to ponder whether the baby would actually be better off with Jareth than with his own family. Adoption ethics are insulting like that.
6:28 Has anyone else been thinking that "Ludo" could come from the Latin ludeo--"I play"?
6:35 Very, very nice! It screams "Big Brother is watching you!" one moment and "You're just paranoid" the next.
6:48 And then you find out that you're not paranoid! Bwahahahahahaha!
8:57 This is my least favourite part of the movie. Judge me as you will, but I don't think there's any excuse for this (fake looking) musical interlude.
0:19 Even Sarah is just standing there stunned, because this extended sequence doesn't do anything for the movie at all. Seriously.
0:35 It's also the only song from the soundtrack I can't even pretend to sing.
1:36 Decapitate them ALL, Sarah!
1:43 You missed one! . . . But never mind. Yeah, just get away as fast as you can.
2:05 Aaaaaaauuuuggghhh! JUST GET AWAY!!!
2:10 Can you imagine being trapped with those creatures forever?
2:40 Don't kiss me! Don't kiss me! Bwahahahahahahaha!
2:57 Oh, my God! And her face says the rest of it! LOL!!!
3:03 It's as if the earth itself is farting . . . over and over again.
4:15 And the gang's all here! =D
4:53 At this point, I should really be saying something about the meaningfulness of this setting . . . but all I can think of are fart jokes.
6:07 Just when I thought the Fire Gang would win the Most Annoying Muppets award . . .
8:01 Now that I'm over the smell, I'd like to point out the moral in the non-violent way they ultimately solved this conflict.
8:04 You've probably heard the advice about wearing clean underwear in case you're ever in an accident, but nobody ever says that you should wear adventure-ready shoes in case you're ever sucked into a fantasy world. Why do you suppose that is?
9:14 Rocks [are] friends! I never noticed before this that friendship is a major theme of this movie. =)
9:18 All right, we know that one stray step into the swamp will make one stink forever . . . so I would have been more hesitant about stepping onto those still-slimy rocks. (Is this a plothole? Or one of those "deliberate errors by filmmakers"?)
9:29 A woman once observed that males find fart jokes hilarious, no matter what their age. Henson was obviously no exception.
9:46 It's a real dog! LOL! Very refreshing at this point of the film! =)
0:07 This reminds me of the Top 5 List about "traveling fellowships" that I've been letting percolate in my mind for the past few months. Do you suppose this merry band will make the final cut?
0:14 Oh, man! Jareth is freaking scary!
1:23 Have I mentioned how wonderfully expressive Hoggle's face is?
2:03 It's less Snow White and the apple and more Persephone and the pomegranate, you know.
3:34 What I like about this is that it's "80s Princess" (my personal favourite look) meets "Renaissance Couturier."
3:48 She is the only one here without a mask. Poor, vulnerable dear.
4:02 One of my friends has always found the Goblin King really, really sexy. I thought I'd see it this time . . . but I still don't.
4:45 But in all fairness, that's a great vampiric grin! =D
5:35 It just hit me. This song is their love theme. And it's not a romantic standard because they're the only couple who could ever pull it off. (Until I get married, that is . . . Bwahahahahaha!)
6:12 Now it's like Cinderella! Jareth really is giving her all the fairy tales that have seeded her dreams, isn't he? If you like that sort of twisted thing, it's seriously sweet.
6:45 No safety net. Just a junkyard of broken dreams. But don't be sad: it's not reality.
8:01 Wow. This storytelling is very, very good.
9:56 I mean, you know what the old woman is doing, right? She's trying to turn Sarah into her: someone so distracted by stuff that she sees the whole world as a scrap yard to be scavenged. For that's what happens when possessions become more important to you than other people.
0:33 Hooray for books! Three cheers for literature!
0:50 I'm really starting to love Sarah's learning curve.
2:03 It must be said, before we go any further, that Sir Didymus is such a Reepicheep.
2:54 Does the electronica music, coming in at just this point, remind anyone else of The Terminator?
3:21 Well, that is a fake dog . . . but the real dog comes back in about two seconds, so it doesn't really matter.
4:00 Oh, these goblins and their technology!
6:23 The girl who ate the peach and forgot everything! She's escaped the matrix!!! Bwahahahahaha!
7:36 Ambrosius might be a coward by Sir Didymus' standards, but he must have saved his master's foolhardy life a million times over by now.
7:44 Ambrosius, can we please talk about this?!?! ROFLMAO!!!
4:47 Sit! Still ROFLMAO! The comedic timing is perfect!
8:05 I love the fact that Ludo is five times bigger than any of the goblins and can still sneak through a throng of them.
8:20 You have to admire Sir Didymus' optimism. And well, in a sense, being completely surrounded by the enemy really does mean that they won't be getting away!
8:30 Does goblin technology require that someone be inside every last thing?
9:08 ROFL!!! Whoever is handling this puppet is an unheralded genius.
0:17 So? Had enough, have you? In case you haven't noticed, Sir Didymus is utterly incapable of sarcasm. He is made of top-grade sincerity.
1:08 I want to take this moment to reflect that this 1983 movie, with its "crude" special effects has aged better than last year's set of slickly produced Family Movies. And I want to predict that twenty-seven years from now, someone else will notice how well Labyrinth stands up to time.
1:27 Get out of my house! These rocks are okay! =D
2:32 Now I'm curious. Is Ludo friends with only roundish rocks, or is it just that the boxier ones can't go to him?
2:49 Does anyone else think the Lone Ranger reference is out of place? =S Now I know why J.R.R. Tolkien hated that Father Christmas makes an appearance in C.S. Lewis' Narnia.
3:48 This isn't a Horror movie, but Sarah makes a wonderful Final Girl.
3:54 Did you notice that poster in her bedroom earlier? Even if you didn't, Jareth certainly did!
4:47 Who needs Emo Rock, when you can have this?
6:10 He's probably thinking, "Oh, no! It's my angry older sister! Where's that nice man Jareth?"
6:49 How very Alice's Adventures in Wonderland . . .
7:44 I'm exhausted from living up to your expectations. He might be the Goblin King, but even he is just like every other man when it comes to What Women Want.
8:38 Just fear me, love me, do as I say . . . In case you weren't getting the Morality Play Devil signals again, consider this an alert. Don't let that hairstyle distract you more than necessary!
9:00 I want a clock like that, please.
9:56 Awwwwwwwwww! (She did it!)
0:30 She has become something better than a beautiful princess. Now she is a good big sister.
0:57 Is that figure supposed to be Jareth?
1:21 And now it's Through the Looking Glass. She is the new Alice!
1:55 Now THAT is a happy ending! =D
2:18 But I'm left wondering whether this will ultimately end the way Puff the Magic Dragon does. =S (I now officially hate that song.)
2:27 Jareth, you stalker! Are you watching from the outside because this is this your last (and best) gift to Sarah--or because she has finally taken all your power from you?
And in case you like watching the credits . . .
2:51 Toby was played by only one baby, also named Toby. I guess the actor's name came first and the character's name came later.
2:59 These are fun credits to read. Look at how many people it takes to create a single character!
3:09 And notice how many collaborations there are as the puppeteers and voice actors spread their strengths around!
4:00 Let's all just enjoy the music now, okay? . . . =)
Thanks for joining me for another Friday Night Movie!