Back in 1984, Jim Henson, the brilliant visionary behind The Muppets, joined forces with the visionary George Lucas and the influential David Bowie for one of the decade’s most ambitious fantasy films of the era, Labyrinth. Henson always referred to himself as an “experimental filmmaker” and there’s no better proof of that than Labyrinth, which is so far removed from the projects that Henson built his legacy on. Labyrinth was received as a box office failure upon its arrival in 1986, but its creativity and ambition created a cult classic years after Henson’s death. Today, it’s one of the most influential fantasy films, showcasing Henson’s creativity and spawning an entire fandom devoted to Henson’s experimental project.
This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of the film’s release, and to celebrate, the folks at Insight Editions are bringing the stunning world of Labyrinth to life with the release of their latest guide, Labyrinth: The Ultimate Visual History. Insight has a long history of providing fans with stunning, state of the art and immensely detailed coffee-table books based on films, but their release of Labyrinth takes their reputation to a whole new level of quality publication.
For Labyrinth fans, or fans of Jim Henson in general, this guide is an absolute must-own. Its endless amounts of detailed information combined with incredible behind-the-scenes photos, concept art and scripts is probably the most-detailed information on the film possibly ever. My favorite thing about the book is that includes attached items and recreated artifacts from the production of the film. Whether it’s personally handwritten letters by Jim with the Henson Associated header on it, or scribbles on a page of the script to story-boards and character designs, this book spreads a whole bunch of incredibly amazing stuff that will make any Henson fan feel like they’ve touched greatness.
The authors, Paula M. Block and Terry J. Erdman, certainly wasted no time bringing as much research as possible. If this book would only survive on the visual spectacle that it promises, it would be a must-own, but packed along with it are pages and pages of detailed information that’s sure to surprise even the most-well seasoned of Labyrinth fans. The behind-the-scenes photos found, as far as I know, many of which have never before been seen, and truly gives fans the deepest look into the film quite possibly yet.
For the millions of fans which Labyrinth has defined their childhood, this book is an absolute must-own. Just as Labyrinth has slowly and surprisingly made its way into the cherished collections of millions across the world, Labyrinth: The Ultimate Visual History will be an addition that will be cherished in your collection for a long time to come.