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Released June 27, 1986
Duration 101 minutes
Director Jim Henson
Written by Jim Henson & Dennis Lee (story),
Terry Jones (screenplay),
Elaine May (uncredited)
Music David Bowie (songs), Trevor Jones (score)
Studio Tri-Star Pictures
Rated PG

Theatrical poster; art by Steven Chorney.

Jareth sarah dance
Jim directs labyrinth

Alternative poster.

Labyrinth is a 1986 musical fantasy film directed by Jim Henson and executive produced by George Lucas. Based on conceptual designs by Brian Froud, the film was written by Terry Jones, with many of its characters provided by Jim Henson's Creature Shop. The film stars Jennifer Connelly and David Bowie.

Plot Summary[]

A teenage girl named Sarah, tired of babysitting for her little brother, idly wishes that the goblins would come and take him away--then must make amends when Jareth, the Goblin King, takes her up on the offer. Sarah must find her way to the Castle at the center of the large labyrinth within 13 hours, or she will lose her brother forever. Along the way, she enlists the assistance of Hoggle, a grumpy dwarf; Ludo, a large horned monster with a heart of gold; and Sir Didymus, a knightly dog whose courage far exceeds his capacity to actually do anything useful.

Behind the Scenes[]

Burned by the mixed reception that met The Dark Crystal, Jim Henson set out to make a film that was every bit as technically innovative as his last film, while incorporating the humor and music that audiences loved from Sesame Street and The Muppet Show.

For the humor, Jim enlisted Terry Jones, formerly of Monty Python, to write the script. For music, Jim turned to David Bowie, who wrote all of the songs and also played the lead villain. For production design, Jim once again employed Brian Froud, and Trevor Jones (who had scored Dark Crystal) returned to provide a still fanciful but more lighthearted soundtrack.

To help secure funding for the film, Jim called upon George Lucas to executive produce. Jim and George had a long collaborative history together, as Lucas had worked closely with Jim on the creation of Yoda for the Star Wars movies.

Despite its dynamic creative team, audiences still stayed away. Though not a box-office hit in its initial release, video releases have sold steadily over the years in various VHS and DVD editions. It was while in discussions for a sequel to Labyrinth that the idea for the movie MirrorMask was created.

The Cast[]

Many Muppet veterans worked on some part of this film. Brian Henson provided the voice and performed the remote-control mouth movements for Hoggle. Dave Goelz performed Sir Didymus, and Steve Whitmire performed Didymus' "trusty steed" Ambrosius. Frank Oz performed a wise old man, and Goelz performed a strange creature that came out of the Wiseman's hat. Many other Muppet alumni contributed to the film, including Karen Prell (as the Worm), Kevin Clash (the lead Firey), and Cheryl Henson. (With the exception of Brian and Kevin, none of these performers contributed voices to the film.) Meanwhile, another Muppet veteran, Louise Gold, appeared as a dancer in the ballroom scene, but did not puppeteer on the film.

Many Lucasfilm alumni contributed to the film including Kenny Baker (played R2-D2 in the various Star Wars movies), Warwick Davis (played Wicket the Ewok and others in the various Star Wars movies), and Jack Purvis (played a Jawa, Ugnaught, and Ewok in the various Star Wars movies).

Danny John-Jules, who later played Cat in the cult sci-fi comedy Red Dwarf, provided the voice for two of the Fireys.

Brian Froud's real son, Toby, plays Sarah's baby brother Toby.


  • David Bowie recorded music videos for the songs "Underground" and "As the World Falls Down" from the Labyrinth soundtrack for potential airplay on MTV. These videos can be found through EMI's official YouTube channel, and on the DVD The Best of Bowie.
  • Gates McFadden, who played Dr. Beverly Crusher in Star Trek: The Next Generation, was one of the film's choreographers (credited as Cheryl McFadden).
  • Caroll Spinney has offered his own theory as to what he believed contributed to Labyrinth’s failure in theaters: shortly beforehand, another dark fantasy movie, entitled Legend, starring Tom Cruise and Tim Curry, had been released, and it too was not a box office success. With two fantasy movies, with a one-word title starting with the letter L, audiences were probably getting the two movies mixed up.[1]
  • Some proposed titles for the film include Magic Maze, Sarah's Maze, Trapped in the Mind-Maze, Lost in the Maze, Into the Labyrinth, and Inside Outside.[2]

Hidden faces[]

  • Jareth's face can be seen hidden throughout the film at the following times:


Henson ludo
Henson hoggle
Jim Henson and Labyrinth owl

A range of Labyrinth merchandise has been created in recent years, including T-shirts sold at Hot Topic as well as door knockers based on the talking ones featured in the movie. Additionally, Palisades Toys, which garnered great acclaim for its Muppet action figures, produced a 12" Jareth doll for release in April 2006. More figures were initially promised. However, with Palisades' bankruptcy and acquisition by Limited by CAS Inc., the figure was canceled and removed from most online pre-order lists.

A four-part manga comic sequel to Labyrinth called Return to Labyrinth was published by TOKYOPOP between 2006 and 2010. The series was written by Jake T. Forbes, and featured cover art by Kouyu Shurei and interior art by Chris Lie.



Jareth ― David Bowie
Sarah ― Jennifer Connelly
Toby ― Toby Froud
Stepmother ― Shelley Thompson
Father ― Christopher Malcolm
Fairy ― Natalie Finland

Ballroom Dancers:

Elfrida Ashworth, Margaret Foyer, Elizabeth A. Gilbert, Louise Gold, Moira Grant, San Lee, Janis Mackintosh, Penny Marsden, Kim Mendez, Wendy Millward, Leonie Pallette, Caroline Pope, Sharon White, John Aron, Terry Dane, Derek Hartley, Douglas Howes, Christopher Preston, Peter Salmon, Peter Sim, Graeme Sneddon, Graham Tudon-Phillips, David Turner, Barrie J. Wilkinson

Juggler Michael Moschen is credited with performing Jareth's "crystal-ball manipulation"


Hoggle ― Shari Weiser, Brian Henson (voice: Brian Henson)
Ludo ― Ron Mueck, Rob Mills (voice: Ron Mueck)
Didymus ― Dave Goelz, David Barclay (voice: David Shaughnessy)
The Worm ― Karen Prell (voice: Timothy Bateson)
The Wiseman ― Frank Oz (voice: Michael Hordern)
The Hat ― Dave Golez (voice: David Shaughnessy)
The Junk Lady ― Karen Prell (voice: Denise Bryer)
The Four Guards ― Steve Whitmire, Kevin Clash, Anthony Asbury, Dave Goelz (voices: Anthony Jackson, Douglas Blackwell, David Shaughnessy, Timothy Bateson)
Right Door Knocker ― Anthony Asbury (voice: David Healy)
Left Door Knocker ― Dave Goelz (voice: Robert Beatty)
Firey 1 ― Kevin Clash with David Barclay, Toby Philpott (voice: Kevin Clash)
Firey 2 ― Karen Prell with Ron Mueck, Ian Thom (voice: Charles Augins)
Firey 3 ― Dave Goelz with Rob Mills, Sherry Amott (voice: Danny John-Jules)
Firey 4 ― Steve Whitmire with Cheryl Henson, Kevin Bradshaw (voice: Danny John-Jules)
Firey 5 ― Anthony Asbury with Alistair Fullarton, Rollin Krewson (voice: Richard Bodkin)
Ambrosius ― Steve Whitmire, Kevin Clash (voice: Percy Edwards)


Puppeteers ― Donald Austen, Michael Bayliss, Fiona Beynor Brown, Simon Buckley, David Bulbeck, Martin Bridle, Sue Dacre, Geoff Felix, Trevor Freeborn, Christine Glanville, David Greenaway, Brian James, Jan King, Ronnie Le Drew, Terry Lee, Christopher Leith, Kathryn Mullen, Angie Passmore, Michael Petersen, Nigel Plaskitt, Judy Preece, Gillie Robic, Michael Quinn, David Rudman, David Showler, Robin Stevens, Ian Tregonning, Mary Turner, Robert Tygner, Mak Wilson, Francis Wright
Voices ― Michael Attwell, Sean Barrett, John Bluthel, Timothy Bateson, Anthony Jackson, Ron Mueck, Brian Henson, David Shaughnessy, Douglas Blackwell, Peter Marinker, Kerry Shale
Goblin Corps ― Marc Antona, Kenny Baker, Danny Blackner, Peter Burroughs, Toby Clark, Tessa Crockett, Warwick Davis, Malcolm Dixon, Anthony Georghiou, Paul Grant, John Key, Andrew Herd, Richard Jones, Jack Purvis, Mark Lisle, Peter Mandell, Linda Spriggs, Katie Purvis, Nicholas Read, Albert Wilkinson, Penny Stead, Kadrosiha Ona Carole, Michael Henbury Ballan

See also[]


External Links[]