Labyrinth – Nostalgia Critic

The Nostalgia Critic looks at one of the strangest movies to come out of the 80s, and that’s saying quite a bit. It’s time to look at Labyrinth.

About Doug Walker

Creator of 5 Second Movies, Nostalgia Critic, Bum Reviews and more.

164 comments

  1. DO PITCH PERFECT PLEASE!

  2. ThatManWithTheHeadband12

    The Top 15 David Bowie dick jokes bit reminded me of the bit in the North review where Alexander checked Wood’s pants and you did rapid fire punchlines with that scene. So if anyone says it feels like a classic NC review, that’s part of why

  3. I haven’t seen Labyrinth yet, but I’ve seen The Nostalgia Chick’s review on it.

    • Strange you didn’t let 80’s Dan be a spokesman for 80’s Movies, but he’d probably use the money to buy crack or to snort said crack.

      Jennifer Connelly doing Shakespeare in the park is a lot like today’s female nerd community who cosplay and LARP, …but mostly in public and with HUMAN company.

      The late David Bowie as The Goblin King looks just as amazing as the late JewWario as said character in Suburban Knights. In speaking of which, JewWario had a bigger set of balls than Bowie. =D

      The song “Magic Dance” is so 80’s, it makes me wish I’ve seen this movie it its entirety.

      As it was explained years ago, the unnecessary song with the crappy bluescreen is a BIG LIPPED ALLIGATOR MOMENT!

      About the vision of Sarah dancing with The Goblin King, …it should be noted that Jennifer Connelly was 15 when this movie was being made. I agree with Tony Stark.

      The scene with the stares was later ripped off in A Nightmare on Elm Street 5. …I don’t know if that’s true or not, but it’s a really imaginative scene.

      Outside of The Muppets, there really should be a revival of movies that use puppets as the majority of the cast while using as little CGI as possible, and it’s movies like this that show why.

    • I had seen it first the time right before The Nostalgia Chick review. I’ve seen it several times since, bet while it does get confusing, even after one joyous viewing I was disappointed with how much I saw thought she got wrong.

      This review was more on point, but there was one still mistake repeated which (in all fairness) even Brian Henson made in recalling the story. Sarah didn’t pick the wrong door (since it didn’t lead to certain death or the castle) she just used the wrong choice of words. A running joke in the movie about being careful what you say and not saying “piece of cake” in particular. It’s a “pride goes before the fall” kind of thing.

      I’m glad this was a little more fair with Jennifer’s acting. It’s true for the first 15 minutes or so she doesn’t so much act as react; whining, pouting, shouting, sulking, and whining some more. However it okay is you see Sarah really as starting out more a caricature of spoiled teenager and seem more fully realized as character as she moved on the journey. After the scene with the worm is where the change appears for me. She starts to listen more, make more silent observation, takes her time to strategize, and shows emotional depth. It’s still an amateur performance throughout, but that doesn’t make it all bad.

      A decent review over all and I realize the movie isn’t perfect and may require multiple viewing to understand some parts, even when imagination and enthusiasm of several creative minds is crystal clear.

      • Also I think the idea with the riddle guys is that one of them only lies WHEN ASKED A QUESTION, though I’ll admit it did confuse me too at first.

        • Watching this review, I realized an almost insultingly simple way she could have found the right path – simply ask each doorkeeper if she was blonde or brunette. The one that always lies would have no choice but to choose the wrong answer.

          My sister recently asked to borrow my copy of Labyrinth to show to her kids. It might have been in lieu of Bowie’s passing. Rest in Peace David Bowie, you magnificent anime-villain bastard.

        • The answer to the riddle is straightforward: The one who says that one of them tells lies and the other tells the truth is the one who tells the truth because if he was lying, those would not be the rules.

      • You really need to read the novelization of the script if you think Sarah is spoiled. She’s actually treated horribly by both her parents. They think she’s too much like her biological mother and treat her as nothing more than a slave. As if they think that they can abuse her mother’s “flighty” nature out of her.

        Of course, in reading it you also realize Sarah’s in the Too Stupid To Live category of heroines. Like Buttercup in The Princess Bride. Had she been smart she would’ve said at the end, “Send my brother home and I’ll stay with you.” Her parents would not even miss her or look for her. Just be mad they no longer have a free babysitter/maid.

        • After having gone back and skimmed through both A.C.M. Smith’s novelization on google book (which has recently been updated with original conceptional art etc.) and the original script by Terry Jones and Laura Phillips on IMSDb http://www.imsdb.com/scripts/Labyrinth.html; I have to wonder if you’ve read the same book.

          Obviously these works are open to interpretation and when there are different version of the same narrative I’m reluctant to call anyone definitive, but regardless of the many changes from script to movie (and there were many) or movie to book: nothing I’ve seen in any of them paints her parents that bad! And it’s not hard to find the evidence (or lack there of) since there role in all three is so small.

          If any thing Sarah comes off as even more bratty (at first) in the original script. She mocks her stepmother mid-conversation if she were still play acting, whose greater concern for Toby (called Freddie in the script) is partially because he might have a cold.

          The book is closer to the conversations of the film, yet in the internal monologues, Sarah express annoyance at her parent for being passive-aggress. She even think they’re less emotionally combative than her biological mother was.

          It says she though they were “…so long suffering and mild with her…” Than goes on to say: “Her mother never wore that look of pained tolerance. She was a women who could shout and laugh and hug and slap you all within a minute or two. When she and Sarah had a quarrel, it was an explosion. Five minutes later, it was forgotten” P. 16-17. Certainly doesn’t sound like someone whose being enslaved or abused.

  4. The player won’t work embedded, you have to click the Vessel logo itself to do anything…

  5. RIP David Bowie 🙁

  6. When I see him I think of, “here, grab my ball,” from Suburban Commando.

  7. I haven’t seen this film since I was a kid, I’d forgotten just how great it is. I’m definitely going to have to give it a re-watch sometime soon, even if it’ll make me a little sad now that Bowie’s gone. Tra la la!

  8. Does anyone else notice a pattern where the NC reviews a movie just a while after Screen Junkies does their Honest Trailers on it?

  9. MidnightScreeningsman2014

    Pretty good episode and a pretty great tribute to a classic rocker. Rock on baby. I’ve also seen this but really yeah that blue screen scene with those puppets was pointless and could’ve been cut out entirely and was freaky to me and is still freaky*burr*

    • I think the blue screen effect was meant to suggest they had her surrounded and she can couldn’t find a way around them until she figured on removing their heads, but yeah the end result didn’t look to good.

      Plot wise the scene only serves to send her off course, give Hoggle another chance to save her, and give her a reason to kiss him, with the unfourseen consequence that follows. All of which could have happened some other way.

      Thematically however, it doesn’t play into the reoccurring motif of power play between the decade adult male and the semi-innocent young girl, though in a rougher fashion. Think of them as fuzzy satyrs. It was better explained in the original script and book adaptation that were supposed to send her in circle in attempt to make her wild and hedonistic like they are. She repeatedly asked them is they’re taking her to the CASTLE and at one point one of them says “I thought you meant WRESTLE” before tackling her, leading to the flight we see in the film.

      • Snorgatch Pandalume

        That would have made the scene fit better into the narrative of the film instead of seeming irrelevant, but even so, it does have a place. The Fierys are basically like teenaged slackers. They just want to goof around and have a good time, and they try to tempt Sara to abandon her quest and join them. By rejecting them, she shows she has a sense of responsibility.

        • I’d say that’s pretty much right…and I see that I wrote doesn’t above when I meant to say it DOES serve a purpose. I also meant to say DECADENT not DECADE and upon reexamining the script I mentioned above, the word replacing CASTLE was HASSLE.

          Of course there not just slackers. They’re also aggressive in pushing her into there play. That’s why I use the satyr comparison. They can’t take no for an answer. So there’s not just responsibility, but self-preservation too. In the original script Ludo was the one came along and tossed them away, but I prefer that she manages to outmaneuver them herself in the film even if she did need help from Huggle.

  10. Thank you for not completely skewering this movie. It is by far one of my favorites from my childhood. The soundtrack was also one of the first CDs I ever owned.

    I’ve even shown this movie to my kids and they loved it.

    Sure, it’s not perfect, and I know David Bowie has done so much more; his legacy is larger than this movie will ever be. But he will always be the Goblin King to me.

    But yeah, I will add that I was 7 when I saw it the first time, and the Fireys freaked me out. I was a squeamish kid, and when one pulled its own eyes out to roll like dice, I had to cover my eyes! ’80s movies were definitely not watered down!

  11. I thought you wouldn’t review anything the Nostalgia Chick debuted. She should have been in here to call you out. You already did it with “Hocus Pocus”. But seriously though, this was a fun review. It’s great that you honored a dead person. Please stop with the prequel and/or Ewok jokes.

    • Snorgatch Pandalume

      No, he will never stop bashing Jar Jar. That well can never be gone to enough times, even though all the entitled whiny little SW fanboys now have Force Awakens to assuage their enormous hurt over the prequels.

      BTW, I love the Fierys and their song. It’s my favorite part of the movie. So FU Doug.

  12. Great review.

  13. I think for your next review, to honor the other deep-voiced British guy who died recently, you should do “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves”.

  14. omg my mom loves this movie to death. than again she loves bowie so.

  15. Never heard of this movie before. But the script writer really must have 2 bottles of Absinthe consumed while writing it.

  16. I knew the penis jokes wouldn’t go “untouched”.

  17. “My husband’s dead, my son is sick, everything is trying to kill me and my family is drowing-! Ahhhhh!”

    And my mom didn’t want to give our friend’s daughter this movie for her birthday whyyyyyyyyy-?

    Oh wait…..BUT STILL!

  18. very nice tribute.
    Been hoping to see your take on this movie after the chick did it.
    I still keep pushing for an Indian in the Cupboard review.
    You’ve also made many references to An American Tail, but haven’t reviewed it. Dont let the only Jewish-ish review you did be 8 Crazy Nights, give us something better lol.

  19. You know something interesting? Labyrinth is the classical tale of the Heroine’s Journey (note I said Heroine and not Hero (The Hero’s journey is pretty much male).

    A book by Valerie Estelle Frankel, From Girl to Goddess, tells that Heroine’s journey is, though similar to Campbell’s Hero’s Journey, the Heroine’s journey faces different trials and doesn’t always rely on swords or any phallic weapon. She’s on a journey for identity and security, and to rescue her loved one (in Labyrinth’s case, Sarah goes out to rescue her baby brother Toby). She uses her wits and ingenuity, and instead of weapons, she usually uses tools or talismans of information and perception. One of her trials is facing the Dark Lover (which Jareth/Goblin King fits in), he is both her shadow and her dark lover figure, her Beast/Bluebeard. Jareth represents all the desires Sarah wants in adulthood but paints them in a negative light in favor of perpetual childhood (perhaps its how she perceives adulthood).

    I could go on but it would take ages.

    • I’ve heard seen many literary parallels mention in Labyrinth essays before from the Greek Myth to Victorian literature, but never this Valerie Frankel. I better check it out!

    • Interesting idea.

      One major difference is that in the hero’s journey, the threat is external…a threat to his land and tribe. The Heroine’s Journey seems more internal, but no less important when there is for example, the fate of a child at stake. Also, the wise mentor doesn’t die at the end of act 1.

  20. I saw this a couple of years ago. Didn’t like it, mainly due to Jennifer Connelly’s bad performance. I hope, if one thing good comes out of Bowie’s passing, it’s that it gives more exposure to another movie he’s featuring in, “Absolute Beginners,” also from 1986.

  21. 12:00 – those raised hands give me PTSD flashbacks to the scene where she falls into that pit.

    Someone should get that Kermit a cup of tea so he can comment on other people’s business.

  22. I can’t see the video for some reason.

  23. Yeah, the movie may not be all that great, but go see it anyway. Do it for David Bowie!

    • It is a kids’ movie, really.

      I don’t think everything needs to be grounded and explained. Sometimes it’s good for young minds to see something for the art and spectacle and sense of adventure. Yes, there are kids movies with better stories, but many of them have predictable plots and recycled character types.

      As a kid watching this, I liked that you never really knew if it was reality or a intricate fantasy Sarah had constructed for herself, and we were able to handle that because it was such a fun journey.

  24. “The Last Unicorn” has on-screen death, nudity, and swearing…and, you guessed it, rated G. Thanks 80s!

  25. It would be great if he reviewed the movie where Harry Potter defended the world from the attack of an evil creature with only the help of a witch.

    You know, Troll.

  26. Every time I see the scene with the Firies, I think of my ex’s first cousin, Kevin Clash (aka Elmo, Master Splinter, Baby Sinclaire) who was the Muppeteer for Firery #1. That scene was freaky and funny to me. Second to Neverending Story, this was one of my favorite movies when I was a child. I wanted a Sir Didymus doll so badly! He’s so cute!

  27. If you read the book you’ll find her parents are actually horrible to her. She’s like Meg Griffith from Family Guy. She could be raped and murdered in front of her parents and they wouldn’t care except they lost their slave.

    • As I said in respond to your previous post on the Renegade Cut video, I don’t know if A.C.H. Smith’s novelization can be considered canon since he didn’t cowrite it with any of the screenwriters; unlike his similar adaptation of The Dark Crystal with David Odell. Labyrinth was worked over and rewriten by far more author in development than Crystal. Smith did use the original script as a source, but I’ve seen the script and while the basic story is the same there are quite a lot that’s different from the finished film. Also some of the family background parts of the book are no where in the script (based I can remember anyway) and seem to be Smith originals.

      • You get the sense of it in the movie though. Remember, her mother was an actress and both the father and step-mother look down on her for that, and in turn look down on Sarah who also wants to be an actress. Their main goal in life is to destroy her creativity and imagination and make her “normal.”

        • I’ve seen the three times know and nothing in the few senses her father and step-father are in remotely suggest what you describe to me. At best just seemed confused about what to do with her and worse they seemed out of touch, but nothing indicated outright abuse!

  28. great job with the 80’s bashing. kids today are weak-minded

  29. Did you run out of charities to give a shout out to?

  30. Staple of my childhood, and the thing that made me fall in love with music.

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