JIM HENSON’S LABYRINTH: THE ULTIMATE VISUAL HISTORY

PrintE-mail Written by Andrew Pollard

As Jim Henson’s iconic Labyrinth celebrates its 30th anniversary, Titan Books has given fans the simply outstanding Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: The Ultimate Visual History. What we have here is something that is the very definition of definitive, and something that any and all fans of the movie should be making room for on their bookshelves.

To give a full insight into this new release, here we have a book that brings together absolutely everything you could ever want to know about Jim Henson’s utterly fabulous film. The movie itself? Well surely you’re all up to speed on that by now, but, in its most basic terms, Henson’s 1986 film told the story of Jennifer Connolly’s Sarah on a quest through an otherworldly maze as she looks to rescue her infant brother from the hands of David Bowie’s Jareth, the Goblin King. Full of puppets and lavish landscapes, the film brought a charm and uniqueness that has seen it remain a favourite of many to this very day, despite ultimately flopping during its initial cinema release.

With The Ultimate Visual History, Paula M. Block and Terry J. Erdmann have delivered something truly special. Complete with a foreword by Toby Froud (Labyrinth’s kidnapped infant) and an introduction by Brian Henson (son of the legendary Jim, and someone who worked as a puppeteer on the film himself), there’s so much information here to take in that, a little like Sarah in the movie, you’ll initially feel overwhelmed at what lies ahead of you.

Crammed in this mesmerising and beautiful book is just so much detail, with every Labyrinth topic imaginable covered in incomparable depth. And as well as quotes and interviews from all of the film’s key players, from Jim Henson to designer Brian Froud (father of the aforementioned Toby) to David Bowie to Jennifer Connolly, there’s a look back at the film and its concepts from the very foundations and initial ideas and sketches that would go on to ultimately give us the iconic Labyrinth. Then, and arguably the finest element of this flawless release, there are the inserts dotted throughout the book that are copies of Henson’s original notes, production documents, and blueprints and artwork that would eventually come to life on the big screen. The images and illustrations that hold the book together make this release something that is easy to pick up and be inspired by, but there’s also such substance in the text that this is a book that you will never get bored of delving into, with a new nugget of information always waiting around the corner (such as that the likes of Mick Jagger, Prince, Roger Daltrey and Michael Jackson were also considered for the role of Jareth).

Quite simply, this book is a must-have for anybody with even a passing interest in Labyrinth, and it’s a staggering piece of memorabilia that will keep you coming back for more as well as reigniting the love and affection that you have for Jim Henson’s cult classic movie.

JIM HENSON’S LABYRINTH: THE ULTIMATE VISUAL HISTORY / AUTHOR: PAULA M. BLOCK, TERRY J. ERDMANN / PUBLISHER: TITAN BOOKS / RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 10TH

 


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