Awesome 80s Bedrooms: Labyrinth Edition


By Shawn Robare

So I recently had the chance to catch Jim Henson’s Labyrinth on the big screen and I made sure to use that opportunity to get a really good look at all the cool stuff in Sarah’s bedroom.  I’ve know for awhile that there are a lot of neat items hidden in the room, specifically there are versions of most of the main characters she meets while trapped in the labyrinth laying about her room in one form or another, but I was surprised at how many of them there are.  So for this new Awesome Bedrooms piece I wanted to focus not just on some of the cool real world toys, but these character specific pieces as well…

Labyrinth

I want to preface this by admitting that I know I’m gonna miss some stuff as there seems to be a lot of interesting things in Sarah’s room that I just couldn’t get a good enough look at (specifically some board games and books on her shelves), so if anyone has spotted anything else, please let me know in the comments.  Alright, let’s dive into the bedroom…

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1). Slashing Machine Record (reference to the Cleaners)

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2). Songbird Mini-Market Sweet Shop play set

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3). Ludo plush doll

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4). Montgomery Moose plush doll from the Get Along Gang

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5). M.C. Escher Relativity print (reference to the inside of Jareth’s castle)

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6). Porcelain Hand Sculpture (reference to the Helping Hands)

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7). Evita Poster

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8). King Kong Manhattan Bank toy

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So, I never noticed the Slashing Machine album on Sarah’s shelf (my friend Kevin pointed it out after we saw the flick in the theater.)  Though it’s not a real band (sadly!), I think the album cover is supposed to be in the vein of some of the early Journey or Boston album covers and it’s a reference to the scene with the Cleaners that chase Sarah and Hoggle through one of the labyrinth’s tunnels.  In the above screen capture you also get to see references to Ludo, the layout of the Goblin King’s castle (via the M.C. Escher print), and what I assume is a reference to the Helping Hands (considering the amount of items that reference stuff in the film, I have to assume that hand sculpture was intended.)  I also wanted to point to the Evita poster since Sarah is a theater buff (as her real mother is a theater actress as seen in clippings around her room.)

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9). Where the Wild Things Are book

10). Sir Didymus plush doll

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11). Labyrinth marble game (reference is hopefully pretty obvious ;) )

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In the end credits of the film Henson tips his hat to the works of Maurice Sendak and how much they inspired him, so it’s cool to see a copy of Where the Wild Things Are on Sarah’s desk (and there’s a much more specifically influential book seen later.)  WtWTA certainly points to the idea of a human child transported into a fantasy world, which is the main conceit of Labyrinth.  Speaking of books and fantasy inspiration featuring characters transported to another world…

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12). Classic fairy tale/fantasy story books

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13). Hoggle statue/bookend

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A way more influential Sendak book can be seen on Sarah’s desk than WtWTA which is Outside Over There, which tells the story of a girl who has to rescue her baby sister from Goblins.  This is placed next to other classic works which also feature characters who transverse into the realm of fantasy such as Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass and L. Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz books.  There is also some of the Grim’s & H.C. Andersen’s fairy tales there as well as a copy of Disney’s version of Snow White (which the amnesia peach is most likely a reference.)

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14). Jareth the Goblin King statue

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15). Firey plush doll

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16). CATS poster (more broadway ephemera)

17). Music box (reference to the amnesia ball sequence)

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18). Dungeons and Dragons Expert Level box set

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I was so happy to scope that D&D box on Sarah’s shelf during the sequence where the hoarding goblins were trying to trap her in a variation of her room after she ate from the poisoned peach.  For one it’s neat to spot some role paying stuff in a bedroom finally, and two it’s really cool to see it in a girl’s room.  Maybe when Toby gets a little older Sarah will introduce him to the world of RPGs…

The last thing I wanted to point out was that there are a lot of hidden images of David Bowie’s profile throughout the movie.  Finding these is a game in and of itself, but I’ll point to the most obvious one that is a series of rocks in a portion of the labyrinth that when viewed from the right angle form everyone’s favorite androgynous glam star…

David Bowie Rock

Speaking of Bowie, one of his unintentional contributions to the film is his, um, wealth of crotch real estate (yeah, that’s subtle enough right?)  Let me just say that seeing this on the big screen for the first time, well, Bowie’s well-endowed stature is very, very hard to avoid.  Do not make direct eye contact, it just angers his crotch…

Other Awesome 80s Bedrooms I’ve covered…

Sara’s Room from Adventures in Babysitting

Eugene’s Room from The Monster Squad

Mikey’s room from the Goonies

David’s room from Flight of the Navigator

Robbie’s room from Poltergeist

Ben’s room from The Explorers

Pee Wee’s room from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure

Elliott’s room from E.T. Part 1 Elliott’s room Part 2

Fred Savage’s room from The Princess Bride

Josh’s room from Big

  • http://www.nerdoutwithme.com/ Nerd Out With Me

    I never made any of the connections to the things in her room. Amazing. I love stuff like that. The amazing attention to detail is inspiring. I’m also very jealous you got to experience it on the big screen.

    Oh… and if you’re interested…

    The David Bowie Codpiece Appreciation Society
    Join group

    • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

      LOL, is there an offshoot of that society called the David Bowie Codpiece Apprehension Society? Cause it makes me nervous ;)

      Yeah, that’s one of the things I love so much about Henson and all his movies/shows, there is just soooo much rich detail hidden in everything. He and his team were such loving craftsmen (and women) that set the bar really high…

  • Youseph Tanha

    I love this series of posts. I know it’s a lot of work, but thank you. They are so much fun to read!

    • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

      Glad you enjoy them Youseph! And I hear ya, I can’t imagine how much time you put into all your Transformers comics reviews (which are just as appreciated.)

  • http://www.shezcrafti.com/ ShezCrafti

    This is my favorite awesome 80′s bedroom of them all! I used to pause the DVD on these parts just to try to see all her stuff; you found a bunch of stuff I’ve never noticed before. Jealous you got to see it on the big screen!

    • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

      Whoa, I’m surprised I caught stuff you didn’t! Just out of curiosity, which stuff?

  • http://www.poprewind.com/ Pop Rewind

    Seeing Labyrinth in theatres gives you all the internet points today! I had that Montgomery Moose Get Along Gang plush and fondly remember tying and untying his shoes. What I don’t remember: anything at all about the Get Along Gang. Pretty sure I had some wall hangings in my room too, before I had memories, and this makes me want to dig up some old photo albums next time I’m at my parents. So… there’s a nice non-Labyrinth-related comment for you! (–Linz)

    • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

      Awesome Linz! I wish my parents had taken some photos of my childhood rooms, I just have a couple of blurry ones I took around high school. As far as The Get Along Gang, yeah that’s one of those kiddie shows from the 80s that I had fond memories of mainly due to the theme song, but after picking up the DVDs it’s still pretty fun. It’s a little saccharine, but it has more action and adventure than I gave it credit. Would love to see those room pics if you dig them out!

  • TheNavigator

    I love this movie I know its slightly more a cult movie for girls as I know a lot of girls my age who love it too. But im a massive Jim Henson fan and this along with Dark Crystal are 2 of the most underrated movies of the 80s!

    • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

      Yeah, I think Labyrinth does get kinda pushed under the rug a bit because it’s a pseudo-musical and stuff, but there are so many amazing things in it. So many things that I think people forget about like it has some groundbreaking CGI in the credits, the fact that Terry Jones of Monty Python wrote the script, and there are some amazing designs by Brian Froud that the Henson shop was able to bring to life. I also think most folks forget that this was also a Lucasfilm project as well.

  • https://www.facebook.com/JennaBMcKee Jenna “Squeaky” McKee

    The King Kong Bank was made by Leadworks and is from the 1970s not the 80s.

    • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

      Cool, thanks for the additional info on the bank Jenna (though FYI, I never claimed the bank was from the 80s, just the bedroom ;) )

  • tigertail777

    In the photo that shows the toy/statue Jareth on her dresser those
    little baubles and beads hanging on the side of the mirror look
    similar to the plastic bracelet (costume jewelry) Sarah gives Hoggle. Also in that same still I think there is a lot going on with those photos; theatrical plays Sarah was involved with before, and there is one that looks like she and a man are together very much in the same vein as how her Jareth look together in the ballroom sequence. I find this very interesting because all the times I watched this I assumed Sarah was an amateur actress and this was her first play she was trying to memorize, but according to all the stuff lying around her room she is actually more of a seasoned pro. I did notice a lot of the tie ins with the stuffed animals previously, but never spotted that reference to the cleaners, the shops, or the hand. Well done. :)

    • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

      I think all of that play stuff around her room is actually playbills and clippings that her mom was in. The book goes into more detail about her real mom being an actress (which is why she wants to be one herself.) Good eye on the jewelry!

  • Paxton Holley

    Yeah, I noticed a lot of the mirror imagery of the stuff in her bedroom showing up in Labyrinth land. It gave the movie a sort of dreamy, “did she imagine the whole thing” feel. I’ve always wondered if the movie was supposed to be one giant daydream or hallucination that she concocted from those things around her bedroom. Sort of harkens to the ending of the 1939 Wizard of Oz movie (the book doesn’t end that way).

    I love this movie. This article makes me want to watch it again. Good work Shawn.

    • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

      Thanks Pax! Have you seen Mirrormask? It’s sort of the spirtual sequel to Labyrinth that follows the 39 Oz movie even more closely…

      • Paxton Holley

        I have NOT seen Mirrormask but it has been recommended to me. Neil Gaiman, right? I’ll have to seek it out, right after I watch that Emilio Estevez Nightmares thing.

        • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

          It’s a little weird (directed by Dave Mckean) but it’s fun and trippy…

        • http://www.shezcrafti.com/ ShezCrafti

          It’s even better with drugs.

          • Paxton Holley

            Isn’t almost anything? Even doing drugs is better with drugs.

          • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

            Seconded

          • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

            After watching Wolf of Wall Street I’m pretty sure I want to do a line of coke before I do everything now. I did three lines before I wrote this comment and it made me feel twice as smart…