STARRING: David Bowie, Jennifer Connelly, Toby Froud, Shelley Thompson, Christopher Malcolm, Natalie Finland

1986, 101 Minutes, Directed by: Jim Henson

Description: Sarah (a teenage Jennifer Connelly) rehearses the role of a fairy-tale queen, performing for her stuffed animals. She is about to discover that the time has come to leave her childhood behind. In real life she has to baby-sit her brother and contend with parents who don't understand her at all. Her petulance leads her to call the goblins to take the baby away, but when they actually do, she realizes her responsibility to rescue him. Sarah negotiates the Labyrinth to reach the City of the Goblins and the castle of their king. The king is the only other human in the film and is played by a glam-rocking David Bowie, who performs five of his songs. The rest of the cast are puppets, a wonderful array of Jim Henson's imaginative masterpieces.

If we have ever learned anything from Sleepless in Seattle (other than that the odds are bigger that you would die in a terrorist attack than getting married after the age of 35 - which probably isn't true, but feels that way!) is that there is such a thing such as male movies and female movies. Female movies would be something like, let's say Fried Green Tomatoes, while men would probably prefer to go see Crimson Tide. I definitely believe that there is such a thing - although I often get a lot of flak over it.

"If you're into cutesy fantasy characters you might enjoy this film . . ."

Few women of my acquaintance have enjoyed Crimson Tide (or even wanted to see it) while few men I know actually enjoyed Fried Green Tomatoes (their girlfriends usually dragged them to go see it). Men and women sometimes just prefer to see different movies. These two films, of course, aren't the only examples of male and female movies. There are many others.

Another example of female movies is Labyrinth, more fantasy fare from the legendary Jim (Muppets) Henson. This film enjoys a rather substantial cult following on the Internet. There are several Labyrinth websites out there - most of them maintained by members of the fairer sex. My wife also recalls the film with nostalgic fondness - so I suppose that if you're into fantasy and cutesy puppets you might enjoy this film.

Labyrinth involves a little girl who (a lá Alice in Wonderland) gets lost in a magical land and has to rescue a baby who's been kidnapped by the evil King of Elves (played by David Bowie) while she's at it. (He's actually secretly in love with her.) Occasionally everybody breaks into song. Mercifully there aren't enough musical numbers for the movie to exactly qualify as a musical since the songs - poppy stuff - aren't all that memorable or good.

However, I suppose what makes Labyrinth worth seeing (even if you are male) are the well-animated puppets (if Henson isn't good at that, then no-one is). There are also some funny characters thrown in that makes for less serious fare than Henson's previous non-Muppet effort, The Dark Crystal.



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