A few of them were foreign movies, and the rest were childhood favorites I simply had to re-watch when I was an adult. One of these all time special movies is Labyrinth, Jim Henson’s 1986 fantasy film about a magical maze with fantastical creatures and an evil Goblin King in the gorgeous form of David Bowie. An escapist at heart, that movie offered me a door into a dream-like adventure, and I was transferred into this world of odd-looking colorful squeaky dancing creatures that fascinated and terrified me at the same time. Several years ago, while randomly browsing books in a bookstore, my eyes fell on the cover of one that immediately reminded me of Labyrinth. The book was called Good Fairies, Bad Fairies and it was by an English artist called Brian Froud. My mind had made that connection with Labyrinth because Brian Froud was actually the artist responsible for creating the magical world of the Labyrinth.

His wife Wendy is an inspirational fantasy artist too and just by following their art, I’ve been introduced to a long list of breath-taking things: fairy poetry, art, folk music and even fairy festivals! I’ve unfortunately never been able to tame my restlessness, sit still and sail through an entire movie without fidgeting and finding excuses to get up and do something else.
It’s kind of like rereading an old book and seeing, if several years later, the same content moves, fascinates and disturbs you as much as it did the first time around, more an act of curiosity than anything. That ballroom dance scene with Bowie and the beautiful Sarah Connelly still takes my breath away, and the images of those impish Goblins stayed with me for a long time. After flipping through a few pages of evil creatures with mischievous grins and good, ethereal and sparkly ones, I was immediately hooked. Froud’s fairy designs were also the inspiration for the creatures in the 1982 dark fantasy puppetry movie, The Dark Crystal.

In fact, if I was asked to count the movies I’ve actually sat through so far in life and watched to their entirety, I am certain I can count them on one hand and three fingers. The illustrations were absolutely stunning, so stunning that a couple of days later I ended up returning to the same store and buying two more books by Froud. The movie Power of the Dark Crystal will be released in 2011 and the designs are also Froud’s.

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