(A Note from Derek: Hi, everybody. Sorry for the late post. It has been a bleh week, motivation-wise, and I just got behind. Also, we have been working with Larry's schedule, as he's been getting a lot of overtime, which means he ends up working on days we usually record. Hopefully, both of these issues will be under control soon. Anyway, enjoy this new commentary episode!)
The 1980s were a good time to be a muppet.
In 1979, Jim Henson released The Muppet Movie into the wild, where it garnered heavy accolades and opened up all kinds of doors for him. One of those doors led to his now famous Creature Shop. Another led to him being able to expand his horizons and make movies that were his dream projects. One was The Dark Crystal--in fact, that was his dream project. After that, went on to do this episode's movie, the second in our quartet of Fantasy-type films, 1986's Labyrinth, starring Jennifer Connelly, David Bowie, and a ton of the regular Henson muppeteers.
|With special guest, David Bowie's horrible, terrible pants.|
Naturally, this teenager immediately gets tired of having to be in the same house as this crying poop machine, and she does what any other teenager would; she recites a spell that excites a bunch of tiny goblins and opens a doorway from their world to hers, allowing their king, Jareth (Bowie), to come and take Toby away to his castle. Happens all the time.
|Holy shit, you guys! She said it! let's go!|
She starts on her way and, trying to be smart about it, marks each turn she makes. Unfortunately, everything in the labyrinth is stupid and evil, so that fails almost immediately. Fortunately, in her wandering around blindly, she runs across Hoggle (Shari Weiser/voiced by Brian Henson), a dwarf that is kind of a dickweed, but wants to have friends.
|Bernie Sanders in a rare cameo!|
Not long after, Sarah meets Ludo (Rob Mills/voiced by Ron Mueck), a gigantic hairball with ram horns and an underbite that makes him look like he is terribly sorry for whatever it is he did. But he's big and friendly, so Sarah brings him along to help her reach things on high shelves and dust hard-to-reach things. Hoggle, already the shortest of their group, feels threatened by this giant teddy bear and runs off.
Sarah and Ludo make their way to a pair of doors with talking doorknobs that require her to answer a riddle. She solves it and is allowed past and into a forest, where she misplaces Ludo.
|Meanwhile, Jareth learns that babies are, in fact, rather moist most of the time|
and wonders what's taking Sarah so long.
In the forest, Sarah meets the Fireys. They try to pull her head off, only to be stopped by Hoggle, who has made his way back to her. Sarah is so pleased with Hoggle that she kisses him, and Jareth sends them both to the Bog of Eternal Stench, probably because even a Fantasy movie needs fart jokes.
While jumping on farting flat stones, they meet back up with Ludo, and then are introduced to Sir Didymus (Dave Goelz and David Barclay/voiced by David Shaughnessy), a fox that rides around on a sheepdog.
|Hoggle! Can't you stop touching yourself even for a minute?|
As they are leaving the junkyard, Sarah finds Hoggle again, and although he tried to poison her, she forgives him, and he rejoins the group and they head toward the castle to confront Jareth and save Toby.
But will she save her stepbrother? Will Didymus ever come to the horrible realization that his riding a sheepdog is a metaphor for the slave trade? Will Ludo finally get tired of Hoggle and just eat him? You'll have to tune in to find out!
Derek picked this one because it's a cult classic and that sort of thing is right in his wheelhouse. Also, the music is pretty catchy, as it is in any Jim Henson film. Really, the only bad thing he has to say is about Jareth's pants. Why, oh why, did nobody consider giving him a codpiece?
Larry is willing to give Jareth's batch a mulligan and just enjoy the heck out of this movie. He loves the puppets, the music, Jennifer Connelly, and everything else about this movie. And, really, who can blame him? It really is great.
So put on your upsettingly form-fitting pants, poof up your hair, and listen to this week's commentary!