My gracious, I do love Labyrinth. I just watched the DVD again, and I always forget how engrossing it is. David Bowie turns in a superb performance as the Goblin King, scary and exotic and attractive and magical all at once. The older I get, the more patience I have with Jennifer Connelly’s performance, too. Once I thought she was much too wooden, just something existing for the creatures to dance around, but she seems more subtle to me these days — or maybe I look back on that movement from adolescent to adult with more understanding. There are certainly enough indications of a complex theme on the subject, what with the ballroom scene and Jareth’s final speech to her.
Great music, and the puppetry is incredible, of course, as you’d expect from the Henson workshop. The piece that attracted me the most this time around was the making-of documentary, Inside the Labyrinth. It’s almost an hour of astounding insight into just how all those effects were created. My favorite bits were watching the crystal juggler — who worked blind, not able to see what his hands were doing! — and seeing filming on the Escher-inspired staircase set. Amazing, wonderful stuff, a modern classic, especially the way all of these creative effects were used to serve the story instead of calling attention to themselves.
With all that in mind, I have two questions for my helpful audience: I have the original DVD release, but I know there were at least two others. Did the material on the disc itself change, or were the extras things like sketches and cels that I’m not as much interested in? Also, given how much I loved this, should I hunt down The Dark Crystal?