Every now and then I have a nostalgia explosion, wether it be watching beetlejuice for the millionth time, buying special edition barbie dolls or collecting Ghost Busters merchandise, above those things my mind always trails back to one thing. Jim Henson. He is a genius and in my opinion an advocator of practical special effects ( which i feel strongly about). He did wonders for my imagination and made me truly believe in the personalities of inanimate objects. I love everything that he has done, starting with sesame street then evolving into the muppets (who are a particular obsession of mine) and then this crazy shit happened.
Honestly though I loved every second of it. As soon as the darker world of Jim Henson was opened to me I was never truly the same and I dont think any of us were. Ask anyone who was born in the mid to late 80s, if they were freaked out by The Dark Crystal and they will say that it still freaks them out. Back in the day when kids films could be about the genocide of a peaceful race, kidnapping babies and adult men wearing tights falling in love with teenage girls, we were able to watch some pretty messed up stuff without any guilt or consequence because they were meant for us. Lets take a moment to look at the best of these darker Henson productions.
And the end song by David Bowie broke my heart.
" You've run so long.You've run so far.
Your eyes can be so cruel,
Just as I can be so cruel,
Oh I do believe in you.
Yes I do.
Live without your sunlight.
Love without your heartbeat.
(Falsetto) I... I...
Can't.. live.. within.. you..."
Oh man, you realize right at that moment that he is a man who is hardly capable of love, but he loves her with everything he has to give, The only way that he knew how to get someone to care about him was through fear so he tried to control her, but she is stubborn and strong and loved her brother far more than she was facinated by him and he was deeply hurt by her rejection. This was my introduction to the complexity of love and it always makes me sad.
Far more than a silly movie with puppets. The Labyrinth is a well concieved fantasy adventure, created by very talented people and loved by adults and children everywhere. It taught us about family, love, loyalty, friendship, how you can be special even though you're a weird girl who talks to herself and it taught you the usefulness of determination. The Labyrinth is about growing up but never forgetting the things that were magical when you were a child and not being ashamed that you need them still. I grew up watching this film and I will grow old watching this film as well because I am a child full of imagination at heart. All thanks to Jim Henson. So should you need a bit of a jolt back into childhood wonder, give him a call.
Stay tuned for part 2
Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark Crystal.