Labyrinth Movie Poster

Trivia for Labyrinth

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  • The upside-down room in the Goblin City is directly inspired by a drawing by M.C. Escher (entitled "Relativity") - which can been seen in Sarah's room at the beginning of the film.
  • In the DVD version, there are hidden faces in seven scenes. In general, they resemble the head that Jareth leans against before giving Hoggle the peach (David Bowie's actual face at that time). The faces can be found: Upper right corner of the [stone] maze, just after the worm shakes its head and says "If she'd have kept on going down that way..." To the right of the screen, after the rung under Hoggle breaks, as he watches it fall. Upper left corner of the hedge maze, as Hoggle is muttering "Get through the labyrinth, get through the labyrinth, one thing's for sure... " Lower right corner of the wall bordering the Bog of Eternal Stench, just after the ledge breaks under Sarah and Hoggle for the first time. During the wide shot of the hedge maze in the middle left on the stony floor just after the hat says, "It's so stimulating being your hat." In the forest as Sir Didymus says "We should reach the castle well before day."
  • During the "Escher room" scene there is a sequence when Jareth's crystal ball seems to bounce up the stairs and into Toby's hand. This was accomplished by having Toby drop the ball down the stairs, and then reversing the shot.
  • Monty Python member Terry Jones wrote the first draft of the script. Jim Henson then let others re-write Jones's draft. At the end of that process, Henson went back to Jones, saying the script had lost its humor, and asked Jones to put the jokes back in. Jones then tried to pull it back to his original version, but had to retain some of the different directions the script had taken by that point. Jones's biggest problem with the final draft was that the center of the labyrinth was shown before Sarah got there.
  • The baby who plays Toby is Toby Froud, son of Brian Froud who was the conceptual designer for both this movie and The Dark Crystal (1982), another Jim Henson production.
  • The split sculpture was an invention of Jim Henson and Debbie the Roboteer for Labyrinth. It looks like a series of rocks until the camera pans to the correct angle, then it resembles Jareth's face. It was developed over several grueling evenings with hot, noisy robots and Plastina Romana at the Robotorium, Inc on Mott Street in NYC during the early 1980s.
  • After solving the problem of the guards who lie or tell the truth, Sarah falls into an oubliette, which Hoggle describes: "It's a place where you put people...to forget about 'em!" Oubliettes were a type of dungeon where the only entry was through an opening high in the ceiling. To leave an oubliette was practically impossible without external assistance. The word "oubliette" comes from the French word "oublier' meaning 'to forget". The basic premise was that an oubliette was a dungeon for prisoners that the captor(s) wished to forget. Prisoners were often left to starve to death in an oubliette.
  • According to the Goblin Companion (a book that gives a description of every goblin in the Labyrinth - written by Brian Froud and Terry Jones) the Junk Lady who carries everything on her back is named Agnas.
  • In one version of the script, the junk lady was actually a puppet being manipulated by Jareth, and the junkyard was actually a town complete with a bar that Hoggle visits before they find Sarah.
  • The various things that Jareth does with the crystal balls (rolling them around his arms and in his hands and so forth) are not camera tricks or any other kind of special effect. They are actually done by choreographer Michael Moschen, who is an accomplished juggler. Moschen was actually crouched behind Bowie with his arm(s) replacing Bowie's. Unlike a typical Muppet performance, however, he had no video screen to view his performance. In other words, his manipulations were performed completely blind.
  • The full costume for Hoggle was lost for some time. It was lost on an airplane, and turned up at 'The Unclaimed Baggage Center', a store in Scottsboro Alabama. It is now on display in their museum.
  • The owl in the title sequence is computer generated - the first attempt at a photo-realistic CGI animal character in a feature film.
  • In the scene where Toby is seated on Jareth's lap, the baby has a fixed and hypnotized look off-camera as Jareth murmurs evilly into his ear. In fact, Toby screamed so much during the many takes of this scene, that something had to be done to keep him quiet. Fortunately, a crew member had a glove-puppet Sooty. For the duration of Jareth's speech, David Bowie had the Sooty puppet on one hand (out of shot) gently wiggling to distract Toby. The child was entranced, hence the hypnotic stare, and the perfect silence.
  • To help the puppeteer inside him to see, there was a miniature video camera in Ludo's right horn that fed to a small television monitor mounted inside the puppet's stomach.
  • Sarah's dog "Merlin" is also used for Sir Didymus' mount "Ambrosius". In Geoffrey of Monmouth's The History of the Kings of Britain, Merlin is called "Merlin Ambrosius".
  • David Bowie did the voice (gurgling) for the baby in the song "Magic Dance".
  • The sources of the characters can be seen in Sarah's bedroom at the beginning of the movie. She has a stuffed animal that looks like Sir Didymus on her dresser, a doll that looks like Ludo on the shelves next to her door (along with the book "Where the Wild Things Are" as the camera pans across her desk), a Firey doll on a shelves next to her bed, bookends with Goblins reminiscent of Hoggle on her dresser, and a figurine of Jareth on the right hand side of her desk. After you see the Hoggle bookend, there is a scrapbook shown. It shows newspaper clippings of Sarah's famous actress mom with another man, David Bowie. In addition, the dress that she wears in the ballroom scene can also been seen adorning the miniature doll in her music box, and a wooden maze game on her dresser next to her books is reminiscent of the hedge section of the Labyrinth. There is also a small painting on her wall that depicts a contraption much like the one operated by the "Cleaners" that Sarah and Hoggle had to escape from. And there is a copy of the famous picture by M.C. Esher which is used in the room where the final confrontation with Jareth occurs.
  • Just after the Junk Lady places "dear old Flopsy" behind Sarah she slips a book titled 'The Wizard Of Oz' behind Flopsy.
  • Two official music videos by David Bowie promoting this title and directed by Steve Barron were released. "As the World Falls Down" features scenes from the film itself, not just the ballroom scene, and includes specially filmed scenes of Hoggle together with Bowie. "Underground", which can be heard as the final credits roll, features many of the films characters again in specially filmed scenes with Bowie.
  • Final feature film directed by Jim Henson.
  • The "Dance Magic" scene consisted of over 48 puppets, 52 puppeteers, and 8 people in goblin costumes (as revealed by Brian Henson in the "Inside the Labyrinth" special).
  • When he learned that the Ludo rig weighed over 100 pounds, Jim Henson told the Creature Shop to start all over again and make it lighter. It was brought down to just over 75 pounds, still too heavy for one person to operate all the time. Puppeteers Ron Mueck and Rob Mills split the performance.
  • Hoggle consisted of Shari Weiser inside the suit, and 4 puppeteers led by Brian Henson controlling 18 motors inside the face rig. Manipulating a mechanical mitt on his right hand, Henson controlled Hoggle's jaw movements and provided the voice. Another puppeteer provided further lip movements with another mitt. The third puppeteer used a fingertip joystick lever to control Hoggle's eyes and eyelids. The fourth used a similar mechanism to animate the eyebrows and a foot pedal to control the skin around Hoggle's eyes. The puppeteers had to rehearse together for weeks to anticipate each other's movements.
  • Over a hundred pairs of latex hands were made for the "Helping Hands" scene.
  • Helena Bonham Carter, Jane Krakowski, Yasmine Bleeth, Sarah Jessica Parker, Mary Stuart Masterson, Laura Dern, Maddie Corman, Kerri Green, Lili Taylor, Laura San Giacomo, Ally Sheedy, Mia Sara, and Marisa Tomei all auditioned for the role of Sarah Williams. Krakowski, Sheedy, and Corman were all highly considered for the role, alongside Jennifer Connelly, who eventually won the role.
  • There are pictures of David Bowie on Sarah's mirror along side of a model figure of King Jareth on the vanity in Sarah's room.
  • An ongoing joke is Hoggle's name being mispronounced. In an early instance, "Sarah" calls him 'Hogwart'. 'Hogwart' originally comes from the famous British humor book, 'The Compleet Molesworth', by Geoffrey Willans and Ronals Searle.
  • Sarah makes the mistake by picking the direction of going "right." When she first enters the labyrinth she turns right. Then the worm tells her to go "right" when she passes through the wall. She later goes through the "right" door with the Blue Shield Goblins and falls down through shaft of "helping" hands. "Right" again when she chooses the door with the knocker with ring in mouth (door with forest of the Firese.)
  • Michael Jackson, Prince, and Mick Jagger were considered to play Jareth. Jim Henson preferred Sting, until his kids convinced him that David Bowie (who had reached his peak of mainstream popularity with the "Let's Dance" album) would be best suited to it. Bowie wanted to make a children's movie, liked the concept, and found the script funnier and more amusing than many other contemporary special effects movies.
  • One of the choreographers for the film is Cheryl McFadden. She also appears, uncredited, as one of the masked dancers in the ballroom scene. A year after this film, she starred on "Star Trek: The Next Generation", credited as Gates McFadden, playing Dr. Beverly Crusher, a role she played in six of the seven seasons of the series and four feature films.
  • When Sarah, Hoggle, Sir Dydimus, and Ludo enter the goblin city, several roaming animals can be seen. One of which is a crawly. A furry shellfish eaten by Skeksis during the feast in Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal.
  • The movie is loosely based on Outside Over There, a children's picture book written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak in 1981 (Sendak's famous book Where The Wild Things Are is seen at the start of the film in the bedroom - these two books, and In The Night Kitchen, comprise a loose trilogy of dreamlike books by Sendak). The story follows young Ida who must enter the fantastical world described as "outside over there" to find her baby sister, who's been spirited away by some goblins.
  • In 1986, two video games based on the movie were released, one in Japan and one in the US and other markets. Labyrinth: The Computer Game for Apple II and Commodore 64 was released in the west. It was the first graphic adventure game developed by Lucasfilm Games, a company that became LucasArts in the 1990. In the game, the player has 13 real-time in-game hours to solve the dangerous labyrinth and thwart Jareth's plan. In Japan, Nintendo and Henson Associates, Inc. released a different game simply called Labyrinth for the Famicom system. The game was almost entirely in Japanese, since it was made exclusively for the Japanese market and it never got an official western release, although popular English unofficial fan translations do exist. The game is an action adventure role playing game, not unlike Zelda, and it also has a real-time in-game ticking clock like its western counterpart.
  • The talking hat had a much larger role. There was an excised scene in a bar where the hat babbled incessantly to the patrons. In the film the hat appears briefly .
  • The original script had Sarah accidentally entering the Goblin dimension by grabbing Jareth's mantle as he flees. After she enters the Labyrinth she tracks down Jareth who eventually offers her a deal. In the final script the 13-hour deal comes right after Jareth invades Sarah's home. Earlier drafts also depicted Jareth explicitly as an ideal man that Sarah subconsciously conjures from some pictures of a charming man in the newspaper. This would lead more fluently to the blur ball room scene where the Goblin King tempts Sarah with everything she always wanted. The original meeting in the house was also more elaborate with Jareth giving a creepy performance with an ugly doll which ultimately turned into a goblin. This was simplified for the film with Jareth coming after the unwitting wish.
  • A sequence that didn't make it to the film had Sarah discovering paintings which depicted other sites of the Labyrinth. The paintings were lifelike and as Jareth and Toby moved through the maze , their images would relocate accordingly.
  • Producer George Lucas chose not to do any interviews during the release of this film as to "Not steal Jim Henson's thunder", who was at the time one of his best friends until his death.
  • This was the first time Jim Henson had worked with a baby in one of his works.
  • According to the novelization Hoggle is a gnome. The junk lady however is revealed to be a female goblin.
  • The 13 hour margin has a symbolic meaning and was not an arbitrary number chosen randomly. Sarah made her wish around midnight. This is the most powerful time when demons, goblins and other malevolent creatures can cross their dimension and enter the earthly realm. Moreover, according to folklore there is a time rift between midnight and one o' clock a.m. which is the nominal 13th hour. In order for this time circumvention to be activated, something jarring and horrible must happen just like Sarah's wish. In the film this element is altered with the 13th hour lasting for 13 hours and not just 60 minutes. This is why the magical clock has 13 numbers on it. Although it is never spelled out directly in the film, the individuals who enter the earthly dimension from the outer planes (or vice versa) manage to enter the time fissure. Although time flies in the 13th hour it does not advance in the human world. The novelization confirms that when Sarah's parents return home, little time has gone by in the house as it is past midnight. Although Sarah spends hours in the Goblin dimension, it is inferred that less than an hour has elapsed in the human world.
  • David Bowie has the same hair cut that Limahl the performer of Never-ending story song. Another fantasy film with puppets and that told a story of lost of innocence.
  • The music box was a gift to Sarah by her mother on her recent birthday. Although this detail is never mentioned in the film, the junk lady taps on the emotional attachment of Sarah to the box when she says that this item cannot possibly be junk.
  • Throughout the movie there is a black crow. When Sarah crosses the bog, it's perched watching her. It's also in the junkyard. Again when her group of friends and her enter the Goblin city.
  • Hoggle is voiced by Brian Henson, Jim Henson's son.
  • In the beginning of the iconic "Magic Dance" scene, Toby is seen crying while surrounded by numerous goblins. In reality, the baby actor Toby Froud wasn't the least bit scared by any of the puppets and animatronics used. They had to wait until he was tired and wanted to nap after filming the musical number.
  • Novelisation by A. C. H. Smith.
  • Toby's name was Freddie in the early drafts of the story. The baby's name was changed because the infant Toby Froud would only react to his own name.
  • The original script ended with Sarah punching and kicking Jareth, then watching him shrink down until he's becomes a small and "snivelling" goblin.
  • This film shot next door to Legend (1985), which meant the cast and crew of both films often intermingled. Brian Henson happened to meet and develop a crush on Mia Sara. Years later the two met again and married.
  • Labyrinth has a Robin Hood connection. Sarah has a scrapbook and on an opened page shows the fox Robin Hood from Disney's 1973 Robin Hood. The actor Brian Bedford who provided the voice of Robin Hood passed away January 10 2016. Alan Rickman who played in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) passed away January 14 2016. David Bowie passed away January 10 2016.

Spoilers

  • Every time anybody says its a piece of cake in this movie something bad happens shortly after.
  • Although the junk lady is another creature of the Labyrinth hired by the Goblin King to distract Sarah from her mission, it was originally intended to be a mechanical puppet operated by Jareth.
  • The name of the giant robot that guards the gates of Goblin City is Humongous.
  • The climactic siege where the army of guards tries to invade the goblin house inside which the leads have taken refuge was extended. The goblins would repeatedly deride Hoggle for his betrayal and he would retort that he has found friends, a concept that was inconceivable for the creatures of the Labyrinth.
  • The novelization clarifies that every individual inside the Labyrinth is an island. Jareth has prohibited every emotional relationship among them and therefore every creature must survive on its own. For every transaction there must always be a price. This is why every passage has a test or a riddle. It also explains why there is an exchange for every bit of information that Hoggle or the Wise Man offer.
  • The last scene was altered during production. Sarah's communication with Ludo, Hoggle and Sir Didymus would take place via her bedroom window and not her vanity mirror. After sharing their goodbyes with Sarah, her friends would simply fade away. In the film this scene is modified to a more upbeat resolution.
  • In the novelization the scene with the talking door knocks was extended. Sarah would try both doors and not just knock on the mumbling head. She would tentatively open the door with the deaf head and it would lead to an extremely sunny and cheerful forest. Despite the warnings by a wary Ludo she would enter the enchanted forest. Then she would find out that every living creature inside it would laugh incessantly including the flowers. Essentially this was just another trap by Jareth. It was only by much coercion by Ludo (who stayed wisely by the door) that Sarah managed to escape from the eternally happy forest and her entranced state. After she comes back she eventually knocks on the second door. For pacing reasons the scene in the film was cut short and Sarah enters the gloomy forest right away. However this is proven to be the right choice since it ultimately leads to the castle. This is consistent with the recurring theme of the Labyrinth that many things are not what they seem.
  • It appears that the worm has double crossed Sarah since it sends her on the wrong track. However this may not necessarily be the case. By going through the entire Labyrinth, Sarah met her friends. It was only with much assistance from Ludo, Hoggle and Sir Didymus (the latter actually had a more active role in the novelization by fending off many goblins) that Sarah managed to survive the robot guard and the massive attack in Goblin City. If she went straight into the castle she would be most likely injured and chased away by the goblin army. So the wrong choice may ultimately be the right one (which is a common underlying theme in the Labyrinth).
  • While the novelization describes Hoggle as a Gnome, Jareth describes Hoggle as a Dwarf just after Sarah falls into the Oubliette. Jareth states, "The Dwarf will lead her back to the beginning. She'll give up once she realizes she has to start all over". It can be assumed, as Hoggle is the only one in the Oubliette with Sarah, and he specifically states to Jareth shortly thereafter, "I was taking her back to the beginning", that Jareth was referring to Hoggle as the Dwarf. It is also possible, given the age of the movie, Jareth was simply referring to Hoggle's height versus his race. Hoggle does not have the traditional features of a fantasy Dwarf. He does however have commonly accepted features of Gnomes, such being even smaller in stature to the commonly accepted Dwarf height and a round nose.
  • Before his passing, Labrynth actor, David Bowie owned the cinema distribution rights to the left shoulder of the Hulk (Marvel) Jennifer Connelly starred in 'Hulk' with Eric Bana. Another coincidence, the same poodle was used in that version of Hulk and to bolster David Bowie's codpiece in Labrynth.
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