LabYrinTH: THe UL­Ti­maTe VisUaL His­TOrY

A-maze-ing artistry

SFX - - Reviews -

re­leased 21 Oc­TO­Ber 192 pages | Hard­back

Au­thors Paula M Block, Terry J erd­mann Pub­lisher Ti­tan Books

It may not have set the box of­fice alight back in 1986, but Labyrinth’s un­likely mix of David Bowie, teenage re­bel­lion and pup­pets has made sure it’s fondly re­mem­bered. This stun­ning book is a must for any­one who’s ever loved get­ting lost in Jim Hen­son’s epony­mous maze.

As a his­tory it’s bril­liant, cov­er­ing ev­ery­thing from the movie’s ori­gins – it was artist Brian Froud who sug­gested “goblins” as a sub­ject – to the de­vel­op­ment of the char­ac­ters, and turn­ing an MC Escher paint­ing into a three­d­i­men­sional set. With the ex­cep­tions of Hen­son and Bowie, pretty much all the key play­ers rem­i­nisce, while there’s plenty of won­der­ful trivia – like the fact the baby was sup­posed to be called Fred­die, but it was switched to Toby be­cause young Toby Froud wouldn’t re­spond to any­thing else.

Words aside, this is sim­ply a beau­ti­ful thing to own. It’s a tac­tile ex­pe­ri­ence, packed with won­der­ful archive pic­tures and recre­ations of fun ephemera like sto­ry­boards, an­no­tated scripts and – most in­ter­est­ingly – memos from Hen­son that give a sense of the man and his process. An email just doesn’t have quite the same ro­mance... Richard Ed­wards

Labyrinth baby Toby Froud (son of artist Brian) now has his own pro­duc­tion com­pany – Stripey Pa­jama Pro­duc­tions.

Ludo’s foam face takes shape in the hands of the Crea­ture Shop’s Stu­art Robin­son.

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