(Mouse over above image)

directed by Jim Henson
USA 1986

Henson's first non-Muppet feature film, The Dark Crystal, gave us a dark and immersive puppet-only world. Its box-office failure explains the step back from creepiness demonstrated by his next fantasy project, Labyrinth. Labyrinth has several Muppet-like qualities missing from Crystal: visible human performers, for one, plus singing and dancing.

Luckily for the audience, a huge portion of both duties are handled by David Bowie, who is perhaps better-suited than most rock stars to blending in with puppets and goblins. Bowie plays Jarreth, the Goblin King, who kidnaps Toby, the baby brother of petulant teenager Sarah (Jennifer Connelly). Though he does so in an appropriately villainous manner, Jarreth is actually fulfilling Sarah's direct (if heedless) wish to be released from her responsibilities via goblin-related intervention. Immediately repentant, she must retrieve her brother by traveling through a shifting maze, theoretically leading to the Escher-inspired goblin castle at the center (babynappings aside, life must be good under Jarreth's rule; I always thought goblins lived in caves or under bridges).

Excerpt from Jesse Hassenger's review at Filmcritic.com located HERE

Posters

 

Theatrical Release: June 27th, 1986

Reviews        More Reviews        DVD Reviews

Comparison:

Columbia/TriStar (Original) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Columbia/TriStar (Superbit) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Enrique B Chamorro for all the DVD Screen Caps!

1) Columbia/TriStar (Original) - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Columbia/TriStar (Superbit) - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

DVD Box Covers

 

Distribution

Columbia/TriStar

Region 1 - NTSC

Columbia/TriStar
Region 1 - NTSC

Sony

Region FREE - Blu-ray

Runtime 1:40:54 1:40:54 1:41:03.057
Video

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.18 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.64 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1080P / 23.976 fps Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 39,165,642,593 bytes

Feature: 30,846,351,360 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.41 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes

Bitrate:

Columbia/TriStar (Original)

 

Bitrate:

 

Columbia/TriStar (Superbit)

 

Bitrate:

Blu-ray

 

Audio Eng. DD 2.0

Eng. DD 5.1. DTS 5.1

Dolby TrueHD Audio English 1581 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1581 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps)
DUBs: Dolby TrueHD Audio French 1637 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1637 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps)
Dolby TrueHD Audio Portuguese 1679 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1679 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps)
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / Dolby Surround
DTS Express English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles English, Spanish, none English, Spanish, none English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Columbia/TriStar

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• Inside the Labyrinth documentary 56:22 min.
• Talent Files (4 Bio.)
• 3 Trailers (Labyrinth, Dark Crystal, Storyteller)

DVD Release Date: 10/19/99
Plastic Keepcase

Chapters 28

Release Information:
Studio: Columbia/TriStar

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• None per Superbit

 

DVD Release Date: 04/03/03
Plastic Keepcase with slip cover

Chapters 28

Release Information:
Studio:
Sony

 

1080P / 23.976 fps Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 39,165,642,593 bytes

Feature: 30,846,351,360 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.41 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• Commentary with Brian Froud

• The Storytellers picture-in-picture

• Inside the Labyrinth documentary 56:22 min.

• Journey Through the Labyrinth - Kingdom of Characters (27:52 in SD), Quest For Goblin City (30:04 SD)

• Previews

BD-LIVE enabled

Blu-ray Release Date: September 29th, 2009
Standard Blu-ray case

Chapters 16

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Sony Blu-ray - September 09:

NOTE: We don't have the Anniversary DVD edition to compare.

Firstly, I can't explain why the new Sony Blu-ray is cropped on all 4 edges. Aside from that, it's a pretty big jump in image quality from the previous DVDs. Details tightens up but colors seem to the most prominent improvement in the 1080P transfer with oranges becoming red and skin tones looking far improved. The SD-DVD rendering always looked a little yellow and faded. Artifacts still exist and it remains quite dirty and some occasional speckles on the 23-year old film.

The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 at 1581 kbps track is another improvement over the DVDs but is still somewhat lacking in comparison to more modern films. Separations exist but the dynamic range is lesser with the intensity of the audio appearing more passive than might be expected. Bowie sounds far crisper. There are some foreign language DUBs and the available commentary is in 2.0 channel. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

Supplements also go the way of the Blu-ray with them being repeated from the 2007 Anniversary Edition. You get Costume Designer Brian Froud's commentary, the Inside the Labyrinth documentary and the 2 Journey Through the Labyrinth featurettes. The participants are quite passionate about the production and detail seems to go to real extremes. Amusingly they sound quite geeky at times. This disc is also BD-LIVE enabled.

I never considered the film my cup-of-tea but I got a lot more out of it in in Blu-ray than ever before. Fans of the Labyrinth may find this a big enough jump to indulge and a new generation of kids will get to enjoy.

***




 

 

ON THE DVDs: The Superbit version has the superior sound, but is devoid of Extras. I can't tell too much difference in the image quality. The original documentary covers a lot of ground in 1 hour. The Superbit DTS and DD 5.1 offers more room for the soundtrack. If you are a fan, get both editions. Id audio is your thing , get the SB, if you want Extras, get the original.

 


DVD Menus

(Columbia/TriStar (Original) - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Columbia/TriStar (Superbit) - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)
 

 

Blu-ray Extras

 


 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Columbia/TriStar (Original) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Columbia/TriStar (Superbit) - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


 

 


 

1) Columbia/TriStar (Original) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Columbia/TriStar (Superbit) - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Columbia/TriStar (Original) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Columbia/TriStar (Superbit) - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Columbia/TriStar (Original) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Columbia/TriStar (Superbit) - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Columbia/TriStar (Original) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Columbia/TriStar (Superbit) - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Columbia/TriStar (Original) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Columbia/TriStar (Superbit) - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Columbia/TriStar (Original) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Columbia/TriStar (Superbit) - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

 

 

DVD Box Covers

 

Distribution

Columbia/TriStar

Region 1 - NTSC

Columbia/TriStar
Region 1 - NTSC

Sony

Region FREE - Blu-ray


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Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Blu-ray

 


 

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