As I was working today my mind wandered over another great movie example of external naysayers and those who achieve despite the discouragement from those around them. Sarah of Jim Henson’s Labyrinth came to mind.
“For my will is as strong as yours, and my kingdom is as great. You have no power over me!” Labyrinth
These following scripts depict four occasions in the movie where I felt Sarah overcame the adversity others placed before her to push forward and solve the labyrinth against all odds. She was lucky to have friends who were supportive and encouraging too. I noticed throughout the movie many of the characters were positive and helpful. Which just goes to show that while there are naysayers in our lives, there are also wonderful friends who push us to be more and do more, every single day.
Sarah and The Goblin King
In this scene the goblins have just stolen baby Toby (who, by the way, is the namesake I chose for the dog my family brought home when I was a teenager) and, while Sarah was very mad at her little brother she was remorseful when he was taken from her and wanted to have him safely home.
- Jareth: Sarah, go back to your room, play with your toys and your costumes. Forget about the baby.
- Sarah: I can’t.
- Jareth: I’ve brought you a gift. It’s a crystal, nothing more, but if you turn it this way and look into it it will show you your dreams. But this is not a gift for an ordinary girl who takes care of a screaming baby. Do you want it? Then forget the baby.
- Sarah: I can’t, it isn’t that I don’t appreciate what you’re trying to do for me but I want my brother back. He must be so scared.
- Jareth: Don’t defy me. You’re no match for me, Sarah.
- Sarah: But I have to have my brother back.
- Jareth: He’s there, in my castle. Do you still want to look for him?
- Sarah: Is that the castle beyond the goblin city?
- Jareth: Turn back, Sarah, turn back before it’s too late.
- Sarah: I can’t. Don’t you understand that I can’t?
- Jareth: What a pity.
- Sarah: It doesn’t look that far.
- Jareth: It’s further than you think. Time is short. You have 13 hours in which to solve the labyrinth before your baby brother becomes one of us, forever. Such a pity.
- Sarah: The labyrinth, doesn’t look that hard. Well, come on feet.
Hoggle and Sarah enter the Labyrinth
Just beyond the entrance to the Labyrinth Sarah and her newly met companion, Hoggle, are challenged with the difficult decision of how to begin. The Labyrinth is daunting and Hoggle was not afraid to express his opinion about the fruitlessness of even trying.
- Hoggle: Cosy, isn’t it? Now, would you go left, or right?
- Sarah: They both look the same.
- Hoggle: Well, you’re not going to get very far.
- Sarah: Which way would you go?
- Hoggle: Me? I wouldn’t go either way.
- Sarah: Well if that’s all the help you’re going to be you can just leave.
- Hoggle: You know you’re problem, you take too many things for granted. Take this labyrinth, even if you get the center, you’ll never get out again.
- Sarah: That’s your opinion.
- Hoggle: Well it’s a lot better than yours.
- Sarah: Thanks for nothing, Hogwart.
- Hoggle: It’s Hoggle, and don’t say I didn’t warn you.
I LOVE how Sarah has the optimism and strength to hold to her belief in herself at this point. She tells Hoggle where to go and has faith in her own opinion that she can do it.
The Worm: Naysayer of Kindness
This little worm is my favorite character. He’s so lively, jolly, and friendly. Of course, he’s not much help for poor Sarah. He’s not really actively discouraging her here but he does give her bad advice out of misplaced concern for her safety. If she’d have gone with her first instinct and ignored his advice she’d have gone straight to the castle.
- Worm: Don’t go that way.
- Sarah: What was that?
- Worm: Don’t go that way, never go that way.
- Sarah: Oh, thanks.
- Worm: Corr, If she’d ha’ kept on going down that way she’d have gone straight to their castle.
The Walls of the Oubliette
The Walls of the oubliette are the BIGGEST reflection of those external naysayers in the whole movie. Every turn Sarah and Hoggle make is into the face of another who tells them they shouldn’t proceed and that they’re is danger and doom ahead.
- Wall 1: Don’t go on!
- Wall 2: Go back while you still can.
- Wall 3: This is not the way.
- Wall 4: Take heed and go no further.
- Wall 5: Beware. Beware.
- Wall 6: Soon it will be too late.
- Hoggle: Ah, don’t pay any attention to them. They’re just false alarms. You get a lot of them in the labyrinth. Especially when you’re on the right track.
- Wall 7: Oh No you’re not!
- Hoggle: Oh, shutup.
- Wall 7: Sorry, just doing my job.
- Hoggle: Well, don’t do it to us.
- Wall 8: Beware for the…
- Hoggle: Just forget it!
- Wall 8: Oh please, I haven’t said it for such a long time.
- Hoggle: Oh alright, but don’t expect a big reaction.
- Wall 8: No, no, no, of course not. For the path you take will lead to certain destruction! Thank you very much.
I LOVE the message that Hoggle gives us here. He’s telling Sarah to ignore the naysayers and he even tells them to “shutup”. This is something we sometimes need to do ourselves, not just to our external naysayers but our personal saboteurs.
Labyrinth is a fantastic story about claiming your personal power and conquering negative opinions. Sarah begins in a world of her own. She’s selfish and self-absorbed. In the quest to save her brother from the clutches of the Goblin King she learns the importance of family and of being there for the ones you love. It’s one of my favorite movies.