This was the second outings for Henson’s full length,
non-Muppet features. How did it fare?

Cast, Crew, and Other Info

Jennifer Connelly as Sarah

David Bowie as the Goblin King

Others created by Jim Henson’s creature shop.

Written by Dennis Lee, Jim Henson, and Terry
Jones

Directed by Jim Henson

Complete information is available from the
IMDB
.

Buy from: Amazon.com
or Amazon.ca

Past movie reviews can be found here.

Premise

A young girl must navigate the labyrinth to rescue
her brother.

High Point

Sir Didymus in battle.

Low Point

Inappropriate characters are present in the final
celebration.

The Scores

Like The Dark Crystal, the
originality is slightly
limited by telling a known story. (In this case,
it’s a new version
of The Wizard of Oz.) Still, they
incorporate a lot more
into this one. They don’t just build a new world,
but they provide a
new motivation, and introduce a series of subtle
moral lessons that
the target audience can really gain from. I give it
5 out of 6.

The effects were good when they didn’t
involve dancing
puppets that can take themselves apart. (That one
scene looks
terrible. The next time Lucasfilm is looking for an
old work to
revisit and clean up, that scene should be it,
provided they still use
puppets instead of CGI.) I give it 4 out of 6.

The story is well written. There are some
nice logic
puzzles, and encounters that are well designed to
deliver certain
lessons to the target audience. Most of those
encounters even serve a
clearly defined larger purpose while they go about
it. Most
importantly, the story is engaging and entertaining.
I give it 5 out
of 6.

The acting and puppeteering is serviceable,
but not
spectacular. The puppeteering was much better than
The Dark
Crystal
, but the acting was stodgy. True,
Connelly was only 15
when they were filming this, so she didn’t have a lot
of acting
instruction behind her yet, but that doesn’t mean her
work here should
be rated as if it were good. (Now, her work in A
Beautiful
Mind
or the fantastic Requiem for a
Dream
are
different stories. Unlike many child actors, she chose
to develop her
craft.) David Bowie is David Bowie. I give it 4 out
of 6.

The emotional response is much better than
its predecessor.
It’s a fun and engaging story that gets a nostalgia
boost it doesn’t
really need. I give it 6 out of 6.

The production is very well done. Take a
good look at the
credits; they include one Cheryl McFadden, better
known to most Bureau
42 readers under a different
name
. The
final sequence is extremely well done, and a nice
introduction to
Escher. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, this is a fun movie, that doesn’t
feel as
educational as it actually is. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Labyrinth receives 34 out of 42.