26 Magical Facts You Probably Never Knew About "Labyrinth"

The truth behind The Bowie Bulge at last.

1. Jareth’s considerable bulge was an intentional choice made by conceptual designer Brian Froud.

2. The armor on Jareth’s leather jacket is a nod to 15th century knights.

3. The short staff with the crystal on the end that Jareth carries is called a “swagger stick,” and the crystal was designed to resemble a microphone.

4. The character Hoggle was voiced by Brian Henson, Jim Henson’s son.

5. The puppet Hoggle had 18 motors in its face and was operated by four people. The actress inside the puppet did all of Hoggle’s body movements, but none of the facial movements.

6. Hoggle was lost in transit and is now on display at the Unclaimed Baggage Center in Alabama.

7. The baby noises in the song “Magic Dance” are actually David Bowie. He didn’t feel the recordings of the real baby sounded good enough.

8. All of the amazing crystal juggling Jareth the Goblin King does is trained professional Michael Moschen crouching behind David Bowie, working totally blind.

9. Jim Henson said that Moschen’s work was “as close to real magic as anything that I really know.”

10. David Bowie studied to be a mime after he realized he was “a mime trapped in a man’s body” at age 17.

11. Terry Jones, of Monty Python, wrote the original script for Labyrinth.

12. Frank Oz, who voices Miss Piggy, was the puppeteer for The Wiseman but didn’t provide the character’s voice.

The Jim Henson Company

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13. Jareth’s face is hidden in seven scenes in the movie, watching Sarah as she tries to solve the labyrinth.

14. Baby Toby was played by a baby actually named Toby. He’s the son of the movie’s conceptual designer (i.e. the man responsible for Jareth’s bulge).

15. Toby Froud is now a puppet maker.

The Jim Henson Company

 

16. Labyrinth was considered a financial flop, grossing only $12.7 million domestically.

17. Hyperrealist sculptor Ron Mueck is the voice of Ludo.

18. Ludo met Princess Diana and Prince Charles at the Labyrinth Royal Premiere in 1986.

19. Gates McFadden, the actress who played Dr. Beverly Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation, choreographed Labyrinth.

20. Jennifer Connelly said she was “awful at ballroom dancing” and took lessons just for the iconic ballroom dance scene.

The Jim Henson Company

21. The “helping hands” scene is real puppeteers wearing latex gloves and doing choreographed hand movements.

22. The props crew made over a hundred pairs of gloves and worked day and night to finish in time.

23. David Bowie used that scene as inspiration when he wrote the movie’s song “Underground.”

The Jim Henson Company

24. In an earlier version of the script, Sarah sings a lullaby to Toby. Jennifer Connelly said she thought it got cut partly because of her singing voice.

25. The Bog of Eternal Stench didn’t really smell, but a lot of the lovely noises it makes were actually happening during filming.

26. Labyrinth was the last feature film Jim Henson directed before his death.

The Jim Henson Company

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