Tonight is the last of three nights for a theatrical re-released of Labyrinth from Fathom Events. The movie, recently restored in 4K and looking better than it ever has, according to director Jim Henson's son Brian, was relesed 35 years ago, and stars Jennifer Connelly (Hulk) and music icon David Bowie. The film was not a box office success at the time of its release, but has gone on to be a massive cult success in the years since, and was a staple of just about every '80s kid's VHS collection in the years immediately after it came out.
The September reissue is part of a month-long celebration of the life and legacy of Jim Henson, who co-created The Muppets with his longtime collaborator and wife Jane. Henson passed away in 1990, but every September, the Jim Henson Company (where his son, Brian, is the chairman of the board and his daughter, Lisa, is the CEO) and the Jim Henson Foundation (run by his daughter, Cheryl) gear events toward remembering Jim.
"Labyrinth was a very significant film in my life," Cheryl Henson told ComicBook during a recent interview. "It will always be a significant film in my life. Dark Crystal was really important to me, and so was Labyrinth. Because I was relatively young when both of those were happening, they're part of the foundation of how I think about my father's work, and the work that I got to participate in while he was alive."
It wasn't just relevant to the Hensons and the audience, though; Brian Henson recalls the extreme lengths to which his father would go to surprise the audience, and the ways that doing so would inherently advance the art of puppetry along the way.
"Everything that my dad made, there was always a laundry list of things that have never been done before," Brian Henson told us. "If you look at The Muppet Movie, Kermit has to play a banjo in a swamp, that's really a swamp -- which meant my dad going into a tank down below. They wanted Kermit to ride a bicycle -- just quickly, for a moment. Every project that my dad did, had something that had never been done before. Obviously, Dark Crystal had a whole slew of stuff. It had a whole different look and feel, and it was the first thing he had done with such sophisticated animatronics. With Labyrinth, there was certainly a list of have 'never been tried, don't even know how to do it' things in there. One of them was definitely Hoggle. The idea of a person wearing a fully mechanical head that can be worked remotely and performed by remote, that had never been done at anything like that level."
The 35th Anniversary screenings of Jim Henson's Labyrinth will be preceded by a brief featurette entitled "The Henson Legacy" - Jennifer Connelly and the Henson family talk about the art of puppetry and the magic of Jim Henson, along with a visit to the "Center for Puppetry Arts" featuring The Jim Henson Collection and over 100 puppets from Labyrinth.
There's still time to get your tickets at this link. The screenings take place at 7 p.m. ET local time at dozens of theaters around the country.