'80s Flashback: Labyrinth Is Dark Fantasy for Kids

Take a trip back to 1986 and bust out your Bowie bling – it’s time to revisit Labyrinth, a slightly scary, super trippy adventure your kids will adore.

Let’s face it – dark fantasy and horror fans of a certain generation are usually torn between their kids and their movies. The youngsters can’t watch Friday the 13th, and the adults are not exactly chilled by Goosebumps reruns. In Labyrinth, we can have the best of both worlds. It’s a scary movie with dark shadows, child-snatching goblins, sneaky trolls, lumbering monsters, and perilous swamps, yet it’s safe for anyone from 4 to 94 to enjoy.


1986, PG

A sweet-16 Jennifer Connelly plays Sarah, a selfish young lady who is about to discover that creatures of the night and spooky, dark underground lairs really do exist. Saddled with babysitting her constantly-crying baby brother late one night, a flustered and immature Sarah makes a terrible mistake when she wishes that baby Toby (Toby Froud) would just go away.

Granting her wish, Jareth the Goblin King (perfectly played by a glammy, hammy David Bowie) comes and spirits the baby away, warning Sarah that if she dares to try and rescue the tot, she will have only 13 hours to negotiate the labyrinth that leads to the City of the Goblins. Once she arrives, she will have to fight for Toby or he will be transformed into a goblin himself, never to return home. Sarah goes into the labyrinth where, as the original tagline for the theatrical release of the movie read, “nothing is what is seems, and everything is possible.”

The king is the only other developed human character in the film; the rest of the cast are puppets, a wonderfully eerie array of Jim Henson’s imaginative masterpieces. The many beastly monsters like Ludo, Hoggle, and Sir Didymous are fully realized, engrossing characters – so much so, that many hardcore fans of the film cite them as favorites above Connelly and Bowie. The look and feel of the film is a cross between Alice and Wonderland and the Harry Potter movies, but director Henson and executive producer George Lucas give credit to children’s author / illustrator Maurice Sendak for the atmospheric sets and decoration. What’s more, Labyrinth is a full-on musical and that the songs are very 80’s techno. The musical pieces are woven into the film at points where they fit and don’t spoil the flow of the narrative.

If you’re looking for a good movie with genuine spookiness as well as a genuine story, then find your way to a Labyrinth VOD soon.

What are some of your favorite 80’s flicks to watch with the kids? Share with us!

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Visit Common Sense Media for more info on this movie’s appropriateness for your child.


Tags : films   movies   '80s   fright flicks   

Stacie Engels
Bowie </3
Sonia Gushman
I've always loved this movie!!