Quality Children's Entertainment Family Movie Reviews

‘Labyrinth’: Not Your Usual Puppets

Labyrinth_small.jpgLike The Dark Crystal, which we reviewed in last week’s newsletter, Labyrinth was a creative experiment for Jim Hensen, trying to go beyond the more typical puppet milieu of his popular Muppets. HDNet Movies kidScene brings this 1986 classic to your home Aug. 24 and 25.

As our KIDS FIRST! youth film critics’ views demonstrate, response varied. While 14-year-old Victoria Burns sees the film appealing to much younger audiences (ages 3-6) on the basis of the puppetry alone, 11-year-old Hunter Willow Jones recommends it for ages 8 and up because the characters and situations might be scary for the very young. Hunter makes note of another special element of this movie: “The best part of the movie is the music by David Bowie. It is cool to use a famous rock star and rock music to create a different mood in the film,” and lauds the film’s creativity.

The film did pick up some award nominations in a variety of categories: Saturn Award for Best Costumes from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, a BAFTA Award for Best Special Visual Effects, and a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation.

Reviewed by Hunter Willow Jones
(See her full review on video.)

I love how creative this movie is!

It is the story of Sara (Jennifer Connelly), who is sick of having to watch her infant half-brother, Toby. She wishes that the goblin king would come and take him away and, unbelievably, her wish comes true. The Goblin King, Jareth (David Bowie) arrives at her house and tells her she has thirteen hours to get Toby back, but she has to go through a massive labyrinth. If she fails to do so, Jareth will keep Toby forever and turn him into a goblin. Sara regrets her wish, so she decides she must go through the labyrinth. Throughout her journey she meets many friends and has many near-death experiences. She also learns not to take things for granted.

I really like how the movie is creative. I think having puppets as main characters is really cool. Jim Henson, the creator of Kermit the Frog, wrote, directed and did the puppetry. I also like the setting a lot. It goes with the storyline and makes the movie feel mystical. The set has so many cool ideas. When Sara first comes into the labyrinth, a worm tells her to go through the wall and take a chance. It looks like there is no way to get through, but when she decides to go through she finds that there are more ways for her to go. The best part of the movie is the music by David Bowie. It is cool to use a famous rock star and rock music to create a different mood in the film.HunterWillow.jpg

The storyline could be more creative because the concept is too close to Alice in Wonderland.

Jennifer Connelly’s acting is a little weak. She only uses one facial expression the whole time. She doesn’t show much range to her emotion.

I give Labyrinth 4 out of 5 stars and feel that it is better for kids who are 8 and over because the puppets can be a little scary for little kids.

Labyrinth was originally released in 1986 and it will be playing all month on HDNet Movies kidScene!

Reviewed by Victoria Burns

I just watched Labyrinth and, from a teen perspective, I would recommend this movie for ages 3-6. I found myself becoming bored and trying to find the point of the storyline. I was looking for more backstory on the main character. There was lots of puppetry that I liked and think would capture the attention of younger audiences.

In this movie, Sarah (portrayed by Jennifer Connelly) asks the Goblin King (portrayed by David Bowie) to take away her little brother Toby (portrayed by Toby Froud). Sarah didn’t actually believe that the goblin king would take away her brother. But he does, and she does everything she can to get him back in a deadline of 13 hours while making friends along the way.Victoria_CU.jpg

I give this movie 3 out of 5 stars because the story didn’t draw me in. This is a great movie to watch with small children.

Photos: Labyrinth poster (top), Hunter Willow Jones (middle), Victoria Burns (bottom)

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