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DVD Review: Labyrinth: 30th Anniversary Edition

September 27, 2016

By John Corrado

labyrinth-dvdCelebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Jim Henson’s classic 1986 fantasy Labyrinth follows a teen girl (Jennifer Connelly) who is annoyed with having to babysit her little brother, and wishes for him to get taken away.  When her wish is granted by the Goblin King (David Bowie), she gets sucked into a fairy tale world and is given thirteen hours to traverse a labyrinth and rescue her baby brother.

Boasting a fantastic eye for production design, and a host of supporting characters courtesy of Jim Henson’s Creature Shop that range from grotesque to oddly cute, Labyrinth remains an entertaining visual treat.  Thirty years on, the puppetry and special effects are still the main standouts of the film, indicative of Jim Henson’s highly imaginative vision as an artist.

Produced by George Lucas, and bringing to life a screenplay credited to Terry Jones, Labyrinth is also notable for being the final feature directed by Jim Henson before his untimely death in 1990.  The nostalgic appeal of the film is heightened even more now by the presence of the late David Bowie, appearing at his charismatic best in one of his most famous onscreen roles, and providing the songs for the film.  Especially for those who grew up with it, the Labyrinth: 30th Anniversary Edition is a worthwhile release that allows us to revisit this fantasy classic.

The DVD includes commentary by conceptual designer Brian Froud, the hour-long documentary Inside the Labyrinth, as well as a pair of nicely done featurettes that focus on the legacies of Jim Henson and David Bowie.  There’s also a more decked out Blu-ray edition, which I didn’t get for review.

Labyrinth is a Sony Pictures Home Entertainment release.  It’s 101 minutes and rated PG.

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