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15-year-old Sarah Williams (Connelly), who prefers spending her free time enacting scenes from her favorite book, Labyrinth, is asked to baby-sit her infant step-brother for an evening. The baby is fractious and Sarah resentful and frustrated. When the baby, Toby, refuses to stop crying, she turns to her favorite book and tells Toby the story of a girl whom the Goblin King loved. This girl had wished her baby brother away to the goblins. As Sarah concludes the story, she repeats the wish as her own, and goblins indeed take Toby away.
The Goblin King (David Bowie) appears and Sarah demands the return of her brother, beginning her quest through the titular Labyrinth that becomes the focus of the movie.
Labyrinth in other media
The continued popularity of the film on video and DVD came to the notice of the distribution company, and Neil Gaiman was asked to create a new movie that could appeal to the same audience. The eventual product of that suggestion is MirrorMask.
In 2006, U.S. manga publisher Tokyopop began releasing a new series Return to Labyrinth, which has the imprimatur of the Jim Henson Company and is thus positioned as the canonical sequel to the movie. Two volumes have been released, with another two planned.
In the 1990s, the internet fandom began to grow, though perception was that the film was still a relatively unknown cult classic. By the 2000s, the film's popularity became widespread, and many fansites, fan communities, and fanfiction archives continue to be active. Other activities include the annual "Labyrinth of Jareth" masquerade, which is held for fans to dress up and attend, celebrating the film.
Fanfiction communities flourish on LiveJournal and FanFiction.net; the favored pairing is Jareth/Sarah, although a small rise in those writing Jareth/Toby has developed in the wake of the manga. A popular trope is futurefic in which Sarah returns to the Labyrinth as an adult. A good example is A Forfeit of Dreams by K.L. Morgan, one of the best-known writers in the fandom. Espresso Addict calls it the best take on the 'adult Sarah returns to the Labyrinth' genre I've read. Kathryn Andersen writes: This really got the spirit of the movie, beautiful, bright and dark, imaginative. Other widely recommended Labyrinth writers include Danse Macabre and Scattered Logic. Crossovers with Harry Potter and other fandoms involving magic are moderately common; an example is Of Dreamers and Journeys by Mystical_Magician, in which Sarah becomes the Hogwarts librarian. Harry Potter crossovers often show Jareth as the power behind Gringrotts, the Goblin bank, as in My Kingdom Is As Great, a series by TardisIsTheOnlyWayToTravel (Now deleted, link via webarchive.org)
- The Labyrinth Fandom: A History (Part One, 1983–1993)
- The Labyrinth Fandom: A History (Part Two, 1993–1998)
- The Labyrinth Fandom: A History (Part Three, 1999–2005)
- The Labyrinth Fandom: A History (Part Four, 2005–2008)
- The Labyrinth Fandom: A History (Part Five, 2008–2014)
Resources & Communities
- Labyrinth of Jareth Masquerade - "Official" website
- Guild of the Golden Owl
- Magic Dance! (rattlebeak.com) - fansite
- Labyrinth Nook, a Tumblr blog
- Labyrinth Wiki
- Labyrinth on Fanfiction.net (Over 4,700 stories)
- Cormak's Jareth & Sarah Page
- Labyrinth on AO3
- Digital Quill
- Amethyst's Labyrinth
- Jareth's Realm
- The Goblin Grimoire