Three Hidden Gems in Jim Henson’s Labyrinth (1986)


Recently, the Prytania Theatre (Louisiana’s oldest operating single-screen movie theater) had several special screenings of Labyrinth as a tribute to the late and great David Bowie. Bowie has had a pretty interesting acting career, starring in films such as The Hunger and Absolute Beginners, but Labyrinth is without a doubt the film he is best known for. His character, Jareth (the Goblin King), has been the source of so many sexual awakenings due to his mysterious aura and dashing appearance (not to mention that giant codpiece), but more importantly, the music that he created for the film is extraordinary. The soundtrack to Labyrinth is definitely my favorite film soundtrack of all-time. Each song has a lot of heart, a lot of fun, and a whole lot of Bowie.

Needless to say, watching this film on the big screen for the very first time was an unforgettable, life-altering experience, and viewing such a familiar film in a different setting caused me to notice a few things I never caught before:

1. The image of Jareth’s face appears in different areas in the labyrinth during several scenes, but it’s very well hidden (for the most part). His face can been seen a few times in the following places: the walls and floor of the labyrinth, the rocks in the tunnel, and the trees in the Bog of Eternal Stench. After doing some quick research, I found out that the hidden faces were put in the film for the DVD release. Whoever decided to place these hidden “Easter eggs” throughout the film is a genius.

2. Within the first few minutes of the film, you get a quick tour of Sarah’s bedroom. There are quite a few items throughout her room that become part of her labyrinth experience (stuffed animals that resemble Sir Dydimus and the Fireys, bookends that resemble Hoggle, etc.), but I never noticed the newspaper clippings of David Bowie attached to her vanity’s mirror. Also, directly on the side of the clippings is a doll that looks very similar to the Goblin King. How did I miss this all these years?

3. There is a fountain in the Goblin City that is basically a circle of  Hoggle-like goblins urinating. When Sarah first encounters Hoggle, he’s peeing in a fountain. I’m not quite sure what this connection means or if it means anything at all. My guess is that it is a sign that her journey is ending. Once Sarah enters the Goblin City, she’s coming close to finishing her quest. The Hoggles in the fountain look similar to her Hoggle-like bookends back in the “real world,” so this could be a sign that change is coming. Or this could simply be a goof. The world may never know.

-Britnee Lombas

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