A Look At The Magic Behind Jim Henson's Labyrinth

Labyrinth puppets
(Image credit: Lucasfilm / The Jim Henson Company)

For many who grew up in the 1980s, Jim Henson's works were an indelible part of childhood. The visionary writer, director and puppeteer created lushly realized worlds populated with fascinating characters that have an awe-striking tangibility as they mix it up with their human co-stars. Henson's preference for pushing the boundaries of practical effects and his extraordinary puppetry skills make features from The Dark Crystal to The Great Muppet Caper and Labyrinth timeless films that are still enchanting kids today. And as an adult, it's a joy to sit back bewildered, wondering how his wondrous worlds were constructed.

Well, we have a little insight on Labyrinth thanks to io9's uncovering of a vintage behind-the-scenes clip that focuses on the mesmerizing juggling skills of Jareth the Goblin King, played memorably by David Bowie. With his sly smile, feathered locks and preference for codpieces and plenty of eye shadow, he became a confusing crush object for countless audience members. But—not to detract from the glory of Bowie—not all of Jareth's intoxicating performance came from the sexy British rocker. In fact, the role of Jareth's crystal ball-juggling right arm was played by master juggler Michael Moschen. See how that worked below:

One of the many things about Henson I have long admired is his willingness to show the secrets of his productions, sharing his ingenuity in a way that inspires. His generosity opens the doors to so many would-be puppeteers, special effects artists and filmmakers, and it's wonderful that the Henson Company is continuing his legacy by offering a wide array of behind-the-scenes videos that are easily accessible on their You Tube page. Say goodbye to productivity today and give in to the urge to geek out.

Kristy Puchko

Staff writer at CinemaBlend.