Labyrinth is one of my favorite childhood films. You either love it, or you hate it, so I won’t waste time trying to convince you why it’s so awesome. Chances are you’ve already made up your mind, and if you’ve stumbled across this page, then you’re probably as big of a fan as I am. So let’s get down to it– The Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta just launched a special Labyrinth exhibit a few days ago featuring original props and puppets used in the 1986 film. I got the chance to be one of the first to see it, and it blew my mind. I knew there would be all sorts of exciting things on display, but I didn’t expect to feel so immersed in the environment of the film. An unexpected delight it definitely was. Ten things in particular brought the Labyrinth exhibit to life for me:
The entrance to the exhibit is made to look just like entering the labyrinth in the film. False bricks line the corridor walls, but they are more than realistic. The stone appears slick and damp in places, and the resulting atmosphere created by the details is strikingly beautiful.
2. It just goes on and on…
When Sarah first enters the maze, she quickly grows frustrated and disheartened at not being able to find an opening or pathway to move towards the center of the labyrinth. She can go left or right, but either direction just goes on and on and on, and she’s stuck in an endless hallway with no hope in sight. The Labyrinth exhibit recreates this feeling of endlessness through the clever placement of a painting of an endless corridor to the left and the right of the replica brick corridors so that visitors, upon turning in either direction, will experience an illusion of a neverending hallway on both sides.
3. Walk into the Wall to Get Inside
Whether you turn to the left or the right, the labyrinth appears to just go on and on endlessly. And, just like in the film, the solution to finding a way inside lies in going neither left nor right but in walking straight towards the back wall…and then slipping off to another passageway on the right. This brings you inside the main exhibit to see the good stuff.
4. You’re greeted by ‘Ello the Worm who tells you don’t go that way.
Of course, the little worm appears before you to give advice and put you on the proper path to solve the labyrinth. I hear that he also makes quite a nice cuppa tea if you’re so inclined to try.
5. The Labyrinth exhibit brings you face to face with the beloved characters (puppets) that Sarah encounters in the film.
Once inside the main area, the Labyrinth exhibit transforms into a world full of the most loved puppets from the film. The exhibit wouldn’t feel anywhere near as nostalgic if it didn’t include some of these favorites on display.
6. Goblin Silliness
A significant portion of the film focuses on the absurdity and ridiculousness of goblin life. They are truly meant to be incompetent, and that leads to much of the humor and playfulness for which the movie is known.
“It was Jim Henson’s intention to provide action and excitement, but not actual violence, resulting in a true ‘battle of the absurd.'”
In true goblin spirit, we created a little bit of silliness of our own when side by side with these goblin puppets:
7. Costumed Fans
The Labyrinth exhibit also brings you face to face with characters that aren’t even on display. With a film as beloved as Labyrinth, you’re bound to encounter other fans who express their adoration by showing up to the exhibit dressed as a favorite character from the movie. Like this girl who did an incredible cosplay of Jareth, the Goblin King. She even had her own crystal ball!
8. The crystal balls will dazzle you in real life as much as on film.
The original crystal balls used in the film were on display at the exhibit as well. I didn’t expect to be so entranced by them in real life though, considering the awe they inspired in Labyrinth was due largely to the amazing juggling skills of the talented Michael Moschen. So when they started to shimmer as if moving on their own, I was caught completely off guard. But thoroughly impressed. Even when completely stationary, the interior structure of the crystals make the balls appear as if they are constantly in motion, and I could honestly stare at them for hours.
9. Dialogue from the film written on the exhibit walls helps you relive key moments.
10. Reflect on Life’s Lessons
Perhaps the greatest way the Labyrinth exhibit immerses us in the world of the film is through allowing us to reflect on lessons of life. Behind-the-scenes construction notes and commentary from creators of the film that’s present at various stations throughout the exhibit all serve to reveal the true heart of the film and the life lessons it gives us. Those are the parts we carry with us and relive every day of our lives.
“It’s not until you’re an older adult that you understand about the baggage of life.”
-Brian Henson, on The Junk Woman
The Junk Woman taught me about growing up and leaving things behind. Or taking things with you that you don’t want to carry. She taught me that sometimes it hurts to be a grown up, and she holds a special place in my heart.
[jumbotron background=”#8224e3″ color=”#ffffff”]EXPERIENCE THIS ADVENTURE: The Labyrinth exhibit is open until September 3, 2017 at the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta. You can find more details on their website below:
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Center for Puppetry Arts
1404 Spring St. NW
Atlanta, GA 30309