Labyrinth Wasn’t Quite The Story Terry Jones Was Trying To Tell


“Labyrinth,” for those unfamiliar, tells the story of a bratty 16-year-old named Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) who resents having to babysit her baby brother when she would rather be re-enacting scenes from her favorite fantasy stories out in the woods. When she spitefully calls out to imaginary goblins to take her brother away, she accidentally summons the very real Goblin King, who hides her brother in the middle of a vast, magical labyrinth just appeared outside her door. Regretful, Sarah treks into the maze, encountering the many fantastical creatures that live therein. Like in “The Wizard of Oz,” she accumulates a team of charismatic companions: The gnome Hoggle (Brian Henson and Shari Weiser), the snippy human fox Sir Didymus (Dave Goelz), the gentle genoskwa Ludo (Ron Mueck), as well as a Toto of her own. With them, she traverses the labyrinth’s many twists and turns, solves riddles, and endures the advances of David Bowie. 

Those twists and turns were compiled from several of Jones’ drafts, leading to a rickety structure and bits and pieces stuck together with gum and tape. Says Jones: 

“It sort of fell between two stools. It didn’t really end up as the story I wanted to tell, but I don’t know if it was quite the story Jim imagined either. I think I was a bit nervous about how much of what I wrote would end up in the film, but it does mostly resemble my second draft. The hands that help Sarah down the shaft are mine, and the hat that talks back to the old man. The Bog Of Eternal Stench? Yes, that sounds like me!”

So who wrote the rest? Jones doesn’t seem to rightly recall.