bellatrys has written up an analysis of Labyrinth on her LJ: “I ask for so little–”.
It is a rather long piece that weaves in many different elements — everything from an examination of the tropes and themes of the movie to tying the lack of success of the manga-esque spin-off with the lack of success in Jodi Picoult’s run on Wonder Woman — but it is very much worth a read. Labyrinth has been a major influence in my writing since I was a little girl. bellatrys’ piece has definitely given me a lot to think about — not only about the movie but about my own writing as well.
Here’s an excerpt:
Labyrinth, thus, was for me a dim memory of a frustrating disappointment, more frustrating still because of the greater potential I saw in it (being a fan of Henson’s Storyteller series as well as The Dark Crystal as well as owner of a great many quality illustrated fairy and folk tales, with ambitions of someday being the next Kinuko Craft or Trina Schart Hyman (alas) in those days) that was not met by the reality of the film. –Though not, to be sure, as great a disappointment as the grotesque animated version of MacDonald’s The Princess and the Goblin of a few years back. (DON’T Netflix it, there is not enough Bleeprin in the world.) –Also, an occasional random snatch of “You Remind Me Of The Babe” interjecting itself into my mental tape track shuffle.)
And thus it remained until a couple of years and jobs ago, when it suddenly was revealed to me that despite the widespread media impression of it as a basically unknown and unloved film, one that had been disappointing for the studio as well, after the unexpected critical praise and cult status of Dark Crystal, it had a strong and dedicated and above all, young cult following – and they were all twenty-something girls, who had become rabid David Bowie fans, who could (and did) quote lines from the film and “do the voices” too, when appropriate, the way that most of my fellow Gen-Xers and the Gen-Yers of my acquaintance would break into either Star Wars, Holy Grail, or (belatedly) Princess Bride repertoire at the drop of a hat (or an unladen swallow.)
This piqued my curiosity – clearly there was something there, after all – but not enough for me to go buy a copy of Labyrinth or to try to figure it out. Of the three younger women in the office who were all votaries, one was a Sandman-collecting fellow geek whose SO was also hardcore fannish geek, one was a sort of demi-geek, a little bit into skiffy but mostly into horror, and the third was not fen at all that I ever discovered. They were just all old enough to have not only seen it but to have imprinted on it when it was released on video, and to have worn out their video tapes of it – that seemed to me to be the common factor.