Many movies come and go without creating any significant impact on the audiences, but there are movies that become timeless cult classics. One such movie is Labyrinth. The movie was released in 1986 and directed by Jim Henson, who is known for his iconic characters, The Muppets. But Labyrinth was a unique experiment for Henson, and it became an instant cult classic after its release. Let’s dive deeper into how Labyrinth became a cult classic and what made it so unique.
The Story of Labyrinth
Labyrinth tells the story of Sarah, a teenage girl played by Jennifer Connelly, who resents her baby brother Toby and wishes for him to be taken away by goblins. When the Goblin King Jareth, played by the legendary David Bowie, takes Toby away, Sarah has to enter the labyrinth to save him. The labyrinth is full of strange creatures and beings, and Sarah has to solve several puzzles to get to Toby. The movie was a daring experiment of combining live-action with puppetry, and it was a visual spectacle that enticed audiences.
The Making of Labyrinth
The movie’s production was just as interesting as its story. Jim Henson had worked with George Lucas on the movie, The Dark Crystal, in 1982. The experience of making The Dark Crystal inspired Henson to take up Labyrinth as his next project. He brought in some of the best puppeteers and set designers from around the world to create the Labyrinth’s various characters, creatures, and set pieces. These designers included Brian Froud, who designed the iconic creatures and landscapes of the movie. Henson also brought in Terry Jones, a member of the Monty Python comedy troupe, to write the script.
The Impact of Labyrinth
At the time of its release, Labyrinth was not considered a commercial success. It only grossed $12.7 million in the US and was considered an underperformer at the box office. However, the movie found a cult following when released on VHS and DVD. The fans of Labyrinth found the movie’s strangeness and charm appealing. The movie was appreciated for its creativity, music, and hilarious dialogue. The enduring popularity of Labyrinth has been reflected in its continuous re-releases in different formats like Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD, and cinemas.
What Makes Labyrinth a Cult Classic?
Labyrinth’s unique story, characters, and visuals were the primary factors that helped establish it as a cult classic. The movie’s unique mix of live-action with puppetry was unlike anything that audiences had seen before. The movie’s strange and charming characters like Hoggle, Ludo, and Sir Didymus, made a significant impact on the audiences, making them stand out for their portrayal and design.
The movie also included some excellent music, which was composed by David Bowie and Trevor Jones. Bowie’s portrayal of Jareth, the Goblin King, was one of the movie’s highlights. Bowie’s otherworldly charisma and talent helped him craft one of the iconic fantasy characters of all time.
Finally, Jim Henson’s vision and his team’s excellent craftsmanship were the reasons why Labyrinth became a cult favorite. Henson was known for his passion for puppeteering, and he brought his vision to life in Labyrinth. The movie has inspired generations of puppeteers and filmmakers, who credit the movie for sparking their imaginations and creativity.
Labyrinth is a cult classic that has stood the test of time. The movie’s fans adore its creativity, music, and characters, and it continues to inspire a sense of wonder and magic. The movie’s impact can be seen in the popularity of fantasy movies that followed, like The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and The Chronicles of Narnia.
Labyrinth’s legacy as a cult classic will continue for generations to come, and it will forever hold a special place in the hearts of fantasy movie fans.
So, if you haven’t seen Labyrinth yet, it’s high time that you get your hands on it and watch this fantastic cult classic. Trust me. It’s worth it.