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Influences[ edit ] Richard Corliss noted that the film appeared to have been influenced by The Wizard of Oz and the works of Maurice Sendak , writing, "Labyrinth lures a modern Dorothy Gale out of the drab Kansas of real life into a land where the wild things are. The film also features an end credit stating, "Jim Henson acknowledges his debt to the works of Maurice Sendak. Now I wanted to do a film with the characters having more personality, and interacting more. Jones himself has said that the finished film differs greatly from his original vision.
I always felt it fell between two stories, Jim wanted it to be one thing and I wanted it to be about something else. Despite his misgivings, Jones re-wrote the script to allow for songs to be performed throughout the film. This draft of the script "went away for about a year", during which time it was re-drafted first by Laura Phillips and subsequently by George Lucas. Sarah does not wish for her brother to be taken away by the goblins, and Jareth snatches him away against her will.
Jareth is overtly villainous in this draft of the script, and during his final confrontation with Sarah he tells her he would "much rather have a Queen" than "a little goblin prince. In the extensive junkyard scene, Jareth operates the Junk Lady as a puppet, whereas in the film she is autonomous.
There is actually a pub or bar in the Labyrinth where the Man with Hat and Hoggle gather, and the river Lethe in Greek myth is mentioned. As well, the ballroom scene features extensive dialogue between Jareth and Sarah, whereas in the film there is none although there is in the novelization by A.
Smith , and the goings-on with the dancers in the ballroom are more overtly sexualized. Helena Bonham Carter auditioned for the role, but it was ultimately decided it would be better to cast an American actress.
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Monthly auditions were held in the U. Of these, Krakowski, Sheedy and Corman were considered to be the top candidates. According to Henson he was originally meant to be another puppet creature in the same vein as his goblin subjects. Sting , Prince , Mick Jagger , and Michael Jackson were considered for the part; however, it was ultimately decided that David Bowie would be the most suitable choice.
The script itself was terribly amusing without being vicious or spiteful or bloody, and it had a lot more heart in it than many other special effects movies. So I was pretty hooked from the beginning.
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Kevin Clash , a crew member on Sesame Street best known for voicing the character Elmo , worked on the film. Newcomers working on the production included puppeteer Anthony Asbury, who had previously worked on the satirical puppet show Spitting Image.
Labyrinth took five months to film, and was a complicated shoot due to the myriad of puppets and animatronic creatures involved. Speaking in the Inside the Labyrinth documentary, Brian Henson explained that Weiser "does all the body movement and her head is inside the head. However, the jaw is not connected to her jaw.
The other four members of the crew are all radio crew, myself included. Basically what it takes is a lot of rehearsing and getting to know each other. They were there, and they were their characters.
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The Shaft of Hands sequence was filmed on a rig that was roughly forty feet high, and required nearly a hundred performers to operate the grey, scaly hands integral to the scene. Connelly was strapped into a harness when shooting the scene, and would spend time between takes suspended midway up the shaft.
The most prominent of these post-production effects was the computer-generated owl that appears at the opening of the film. The sequence was created by animators Larry Yaeger and Bill Kroyer ,   and marked the first use of a realistic CGI animal in a film.
Jim Henson was unhappy with the compositing of the finished scene, although he considered the puppetry featured in it worthy of inclusion. According to Henson, "When we hit the editing, I did the first cut, and then George was heavily involved on bringing it to the final cut.
After that, I took it over again and did the next few months of post-production and audio. I always want to go one way, and George goes another way, but we each took turns trading off, giving and taking. George tends to be very action-oriented and he cuts dialogue quite tight; I tend to cut looser, and go for more lyrical pauses, which can slow the story.
So, I loosen up his tightness, and he tightens my looseness. Bowie recorded five songs for the film: The music video for "Underground" features Bowie as a nightclub singer who stumbles upon the world of the Labyrinth, encountering many of the creatures seen in the film. The clip for "As the World Falls Down" integrates clips from the film, using them alongside black-and-white shots of Bowie performing the song in an elegant room. In , the film was digitally remastered and re-released at The Astor Theatre in Melbourne , Australia.
Sony re-issued the film on video in in the US under the name of its subsidiary company, Columbia-TriStar. Kingdom of Characters" and "Journey Through the Labyrinth: The Blu-ray release featured one new special feature, a picture-in-picture track that lasts the length of the film and features interviews with the crew and several minor cast members including Warwick Davis.
Henson uses the art of puppetry to create visual effects that until very recently were possible to attain only with animation. The result is really quite startling. It removes storyboard creations from the flat celluloid cartoon image and makes them three-dimensional, so that they actually come alive and interact with living people. The technique makes animation seem dull and old-fashioned by comparison. Ebert said that as the film was set in an "arbitrary world" none of the events in it had any consequences, robbing the film of any dramatic tension.
Kathryn Buxton found that it had "excitement and thrills enough for audiences of all ages as well as a fun and sometimes slightly naughty sense of humor". Critic Kirk Honeycutt referred to Connelly as "a bland and minimally talented young actress"  Writing for The Miami News , Jon Marlowe stated, "Connelly is simply the wrong person for the right job.
She has a squeaky voice that begins to grate on you; when she cries, you can see the onions in her eyes. Petersburg Times praised her acting saying, "Connelly makes the entire experience seem real. She acts so naturally around the puppets that you begin to believe in their life-like qualities.
In his largely positive review of the film, Corliss praised him as "charismatic" referring to his character as a " Kabuki sorcerer who offers his ravishing young antagonist the gilded perks of adult servitude".
Petersburg Times found, "Bowie forgoes acting, preferring to prance around his lair while staring solemnly into the camera. Plastic might be a more accurate description. It was the last feature film directed by Henson before his death in A review from in Empire magazine called the film "a fabulous fantasy" and wrote, "David Bowie cuts a spooky enough figure in that fright wig to fit right in with this extraordinary menagerie of Goth Muppets.
And Jennifer Connelly, still in the flush of youth, makes for an appealingly together kind of heroine. Despite its poor performance at the American box office, Labyrinth was a success on home video and later on DVD.
Fantasy author Neil Gaiman and artist Dave McKean were called in to write and direct a film similar in spirit to Labyrinth, and MirrorMask was ultimately released in selected theaters in after premiering at the Sundance Film Festival. The film was novelized by A. A three-issue comic book adaptation,  which was first released in a single volume as Marvel Super Special 40,  was published by Marvel Comics.
Forbes and illustrated by Chris Lie, with cover art by Kouyu Shurei. In an afterword to the second volume, editor Tim Beedle announced that the series, originally planned as a trilogy, was being extended to include a fourth volume.
The fourth and final volume of Return to Labyrinth was released on August 3, Gravity Falls creator Alex Hirsch mentioned doing an episode, based on Labyrinth, but it was scrapped.
Archaia Entertainment, in collaboration with The Jim Henson Company, is developing a prequel comic book about the story of how Jareth became the Goblin King. While it is still in the early stages of development, there are plans for the novel to integrate music into the plot in some way. Prior to his death in early , David Bowie was approached by Archaia Comics in order to seek permission to use his likeness, and ascertain if he wished to have any involvement in the project.
Froud will be producing covers for the series, as well as character designs. Different versions were also released in Japan the following year for the Family Computer console and MSX computer, under the title Labyrinth: