Labyrinth (1986)

Film and Plot Synopsis

In Labyrinth, when Sarah babysits her little brother Toby, she becomes frustrated from his consistent crying. She wishes the goblins to take her brother away. Jareth, the Goblin King, steals Toby, and takes him far away to his castle in the middle of a labyrinth. He give Sarah 13 hours to rescue her brother, or the child is his forever.

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‘Labyrinth’ Movie Summary

The summary below contains spoilers.
Labyrinth (1986)Labyrinth begins in a park with an owl watching a young girl named Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) from a branch. As she struggles to remember the lines of her play, the clock chimes seven. It’s then that she realizes she’s late to babysit her baby brother, Toby (Toby Froud). She runs home in the rain to find her evil stepmother (Shelley Thompson) standing at the foot of the staircase—waiting to scold her. Sarah pouts as she storms upstairs.

To make things worse, Sarah’s favorite teddy bear, Lancelot, seems to be missing. She immediately sets out on a quest to find it, but her journey ends in the next room where she finds the defenseless bear on the floor of Toby’s evil lair.

Toby’s willful thievery angers Sarah greatly, and our princess wishes the goblins would take her baby brother far away. In the blink of an eye, Toby vanishes, and the owl from the park flies into the room. It transforms into a very sexy goblin king named Jareth (David Bowie). Jareth tells Sarah she can only have her brother back if she can solve his Labyrinth within 13 hours. He then flashes one of his glass balls at the girl which transports the two far, far away.

The Journey Begins

At the Labyrinth’s entrance, Sarah befriends Hoggle (Brian Henson). While he’s a Debbie Downer sort dwarf who refuses to help her, he still has an odd fondness for the girl. Sarah initially sets out on her journey alone, and like Alice in Wonderland, she stumbles her way through the maddening world. Eventually, when she ends up trapped in an oubliette, Jareth, for some reason, decides to throw her a lifeline. He sends Hoggle to free her who then returns her to the beginning of the maze.

Sarah charms Hoggle into helping her even though he could get in a lot of trouble with the Goblin King. Eventually, the two come across a distressed beast named Ludo (Ron Mueck) who’s fallen into a goblin trap. His roars frighten Hoggle who runs away like a coward. However, Sarah manages to stand firm, and rescue him. Now, Ludo decides to help her reach the Goblin City, but they soon find themselves separated too. Alone, Sarah comes across the Fire Gang, who harass and accost her with every step.

When Hoggle comes to her aid again, Jareth becomes cross with the dwarf. He warns Hoggle that if she ever kisses him, he will turn him into a prince—the Prince of the Land of Stench. Unfortunately for Hoggle, Sarah kisses him for rescuing her. Jareth magically sends the two to the Bog of Eternal Stench’s banks, but they don’t fall in. Eventually, Ludo arrives, and the three flee the smell as quickly as they can.

Before they can escape though, the brave knight, Sir Didymus (David Shaughnessy), a Muppet fox that rides a dog like a stallion, stops them from crossing the only bridge leading out. Sarah charms him too, and he not only lets them pass, but joins their troupe.

Just Like Snow White

Complaining of hunger, Hoggle offers Sarah the poisoned peach Jareth ordered him to give her. Just like Snow White, she naively takes a bite, and falls into a LSD stupor where she floats away to a dreamy ballroom. Here, Jareth tries to seduce the sedated girl, but a clock chimes in the background which rouses Sarah from her trance.

Off on her journey again, Sarah rejoins Ludo and Sir Didymus where they eventually find the Goblin City. However, they can’t make it past the giant guard at the gate. For a third time, Hoggle swoops in to save the day, and Sarah forgives him for the peach betrayal.

Inside the city, the goblin army attacks the group, but the inept militia is easily defeated. When they reach Jareth’s M.C. Escher inspired throne room, Sarah demands to face him alone. While she can see Toby on subsequent stairs, she has no way to reach him, and she becomes frustrated.

As Jareth tries to convince Sarah to abandon her quest, she begins reciting the dreary monologue from the beginning of the movie. Finally, she remembers the last line; “You have no power over me.” With those amazing words, she defeats the mighty Goblin King as she and her baby brother safely return home.

Once she’s back in her bedroom, she can see her new friends in the mirror. With a wink and a smile, Sarah summons everyone into her room for one last party. As the camera, pans away from her window, we see Jareth in his owl form, looking on, then flying off towards his next prey.

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Tri-Star Pictures released Labyrinth on June 27, 1986. Jim Henson directed the film starring David Bowie, Jennifer Connelly, and Toby Froud.

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