When you ask many of our peers what their favourite childhood film is, you would expect to hear films like; James and the Giant Peach, The Page Master, The Lion King and so on. However, my clear favourite was the film Labyrinth.
For anyone that has seen the 1986 David Bowie classic, you might see how this is something of an odd choice for a three year old. Yet, I was the toddler that demanded the VHS be rewound the moment the credits started rolling.
To say that I found the whole world of the Labyrinth captivating would have been putting it lightly. I was completely mesmerised, and it is a fascination I still have to this day.
“you almost feel like you’re going on the journey with her”
The concept of the film is that Jennifer Connelly’s character becomes bored of her baby brother, and instead of simply having a little whine to her friends she decides to ask the Goblin King (whom she believes to be fictional) to take her brother away. The Goblin King (played by the entrancing Bowie) obliges her request and should she want her brother back then she is informed that she has just thirteen hours to find him. The film fully submerges you into the world of the Labyrinth and you almost feel like you’re going on the journey with her; at least it did when I was a kid. Growing up all of my imagined games included themes of ‘Labyrinth’ and I would force my friends to play them with me; I went on the adventure right alongside Sarah (Connelly’s character) and together we explored ‘The Bog of Eternal Stench’ on our way to the castle and I made all the friends that Sarah had. I even named the majority of my stuffed toys after the characters of the Labyrinth (I still have Hoggle to this day).
“you cannot help but fall in love with bowie”
This year marks thirty years since the iconic release of Labyrinth and, even though I wasn’t born for the release, it still gave me a wave of nostalgia as a film that means so much to me is reaching such a huge milestone. When I think back to my childhood I have come to realise that this film shaped not only my imagination at the time but it also led to the interests I have today. I believe that anyone who has seen this film will agree that you cannot help but fall in love with Bowie; I can remember the moment that I was told that David Bowie was not only my favourite character in my favourite film but he was also a legendary pop icon (thanks Mam). I think I was so pleased because I then had more than ‘Magic Dance’ to sing along to; but from that moment on it led to a (barely controllable) obsession. For me, Labyrinth is where the magic of Bowie really shines through and despite the bitter-sweet feelings when re-watching Labyrinth this year, the genius of Bowie lives on.
For those who haven’t seen the film/those who want a huge nostalgia trip I would definitely recommend Labyrinth. Enjoy all the characters, marvel at the costumes/crazy sets, and – perhaps most importantly — fall in love with the Goblin King.