L = Labyrinth (A-Z Challenge)

Today I am cheating a little. Yes, I will talk mainly about Labyrinth, but I would also like to talk about The Dark Crystal. So, it will really be more about Brian Froud, the designer behind both movies. The creature concepts, while not Froud’s alone, were astounding. Together with Jim Henson (who was surely a wizard god of some sort), these two men created things which transcend almost all known references. The world of the Dark Crystal was so complete, its mythology, its visual style, its rules, its cultures, were all fresh and are still unrivaled.

Magical-Creatures-Brian-Froud-magical-creatures

Brian Froud's work.

Brian Froud’s work.

The Labyrinth wasn’t such a complete world, and I think for that it gets less recognition. The goblins, Luto, Hoggle, the guards, the fairies, etc. while all uniquely portrayed and beautifully realized, were not an entire world unto themselves. They were an offshoot of reality, and that was part of the brilliance of it.

Beauty and the walking warthog. Run, Jennifer! He has boils on his lips!

Beauty and the walking warthog. Run, Jennifer! He has boils on his lips!

Jennifer Connelly (on whom I had a crush) hates her colicky little brother, Toby, and wishes the Goblin King would take his crying little ass away. Bless her, she freaks out when goblins come in and make good on the request. Toby is taken by the Goblin King — David Bowie in distressingly, R-rated tight pants. She must then skip around through a maze which is pretty much Wonderland meets Oz. The whole adventure is like the Wizard of Oz. She meets three friends, confronts the evil Goblin King, and (uh, spoiler alert if you have a touch of the Down’s) gets back home with her brother, lessons learned, and wiser for the adventure.

Said pants. Look away!

Said pants. Look away!

Typical story? Who gives a shit? This is all about the journey. The world is gorgeous, the creatures are amazing, and the goblins are astounding. They look different, varied, and wonderful. They also look like fat babies who were left in tanning beds and developed some sort of gene cancer. And that’s on purpose! They were designed that way.

For just 25 cents a day, you can provide medical treatment for these diseased babies.

For just 25 cents a day, you can provide medical treatment for these diseased babies.

These movies shaped my imagination. They were great. If you are a fantasy fan, you owe it to yourself. You should also check out Brian Froud’s other work. His book Faeries is gorgeous and worth every penny. There are more. Check his stuff out here: http://www.worldoffroud.com/.

Labyrinth was a magic journey and used to fight with Wonderland for the third place of magic lands I wanted to visit (Narnia and Oz taking the first places. Xanth took over when I was an adolescent). The Dark Crystal world was amazing, gorgeous, wonderful, but the thought of facing the Skeksis was too much. I would just watch the movie again; it wasn’t a place I wanted to be. But when the new show Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge (which is amazing…I love it almost as much as its sister show Face Off) had a challenge to make Skeksis, I got emotional. Still…

"Come to ooooooour world!" Uh, thanks, but no. Or I'm not leaving the Valley of the Mystics.

“Come to ooooooour world!” Uh, thanks, but no. Or I’m not leaving the Valley of the Mystics.

Alternate letter considerations: Lasix, Lust, Lies.

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~ by Darren Endymion on May 14, 2014.

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