Jan 27, 2015

Book of the Moment - Jim Henson's Labyrinth

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I was beyond thrilled when I finally got hold of this book for Christmas. Outside of the Star Wars films, Labyrinth is probably the movie I've revisited the most times. I didn't see it in the theater so my decades long love affair with it must be due to home video in the late 80s.

Follow Dex's board Labyrinth on Pinterest.

The movie novelization has been out of print for a long time with copies fetching prices close to $100 on the secondary market. And while it's wonderful to have access to this book, the real reason fans will want it is the final 70 or so pages featuring Brian Froud's concept art and reproductions of pages from Henson's notebook.

For obsessed movie fans like me, there isn't much different in the novelization than what made it to screen. If the different scenes in the book were cut scenes on a DVD, they would probably total less than 15 minutes. The one problem/challenge I had while reading was trying to keep the music out of my head. I tried my best to read it that way to experience it in a new context: a pure fantasy story and not a musical.

At the start of the movie, I've always been very sympathetic towards Sarah, seemingly under the heel of her step-mom. In the book, she comes off as more of a spoiled brat even though the scenes play out almost identically.

There area few fleeting moments that get into Jareth's head where you see his thoughts and motivations. It's not anything earth shattering but it does give you a little something extra to keep in the back of your mind the next time you watch the film. 

Froud's artwork is fantastical and funny, as usual. I've owned the original Goblins of Labyrinth book for many, many years and know it pretty well. I was happy to see a lot of the art included here is not reprints from there.

Henson's notebook pages will take some work to read through, his handwriting is not the best. But it's well worth it to see some of the story ideas, concepts, and themes that gave birth to a movie a lot people hold dear.

If you're one of those people, you probably have the book already because no review would sway you from buying it. For what its worth, I definitely recommend it.

5 out of 5 Crystal Spheres

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