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Parents Guide

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Sex & Nudity

  • David Bowie's costumes all include tights over a very prominent codpiece, making the contours of his genitalia rather prominent as well in numerous scenes throughout the movie.
  • Hoggle, when first introduced, is shown urinating into a pool while viewed from his backside.
  • Being indicated to be modeled after one of Sarah's biological mother's old flames (for whom she ultimately abandoned Sarah and her father), Jareth the Goblin King is stated to be in love with the underage pubescent Sarah, and his romantic desire for her is heavily implied not to be entirely unrequited. In one dream sequence, she and he have a slow dance with each other at a rather decadent masquerade ball; and near the end, as he's making one final appeal to her, some of the things he says are highly reminiscent of sexual domination and submission fantasies.

Violence & Gore

  • A character is seen trying to exterminate little winged-humanoid-style fairies with some kind of pesticide spray, though none of them are shown to die from it.
  • A number of goblins with toothy creatures on sticks are seen tormenting the character Ludo with them, though none of their bites draw any blood.
  • Despite a few ominous mentions of certain paths through the labyrinth bringing "certain death" no one actually gets killed on screen.
  • The "Fireys" who turn up in one scene are creatures who playfully take off their heads and limbs and toss them around and reassemble them in odd configurations with each other (and talk of doing the same to the heroine as she's fleeing).
  • At the entrance to the goblins' city, a huge metallic guardian attacks Sarah and her party with an axe, though they manage to dodge all of its strokes. It ultimately spins out of control and falls apart among explosions and clouds of smoke.
  • In the city, the goblins attack and besiege Sarah's party with blunt and bladed weapons, a couple of cannons, and even some kind of machine-gunner, but despite the property damage, mayhem, and general pandemonium that ensues from their attack and the counterattack from Sarah's friends, no one draws any actual blood. The (hollow and metallic) machine-gunner ultimately gets crushed under a rock.


  • David Bowie's song "Underground" in the opening credits says that truth "hurts like hell" in a line repeated in its reprise for the closing credits.
  • A character asks Sarah whether she's really going to "listen to that crap" when she's seeking advice from a guru.
  • Sarah says "Damn!" a few times when she's frustrated, and Hoggle curses Jareth and himself in the same manner in one scene. Five uses of damn

Alcohol, Drugs & Smoking

  • During the "Magic Dance" number, goblins are seen drinking some unknown beverage drawn into their steins from a keg while they party, with one goblin lying like a drunkard with his mouth open under the tap trying to catch any excess drops.
  • A peach Jareth has Hoggle give Sarah induces a surreal dream sequence very much like a drug trip which is followed by amnesia, heavily implying that it's been spiked with something hallucinogenic.

Frightening & Intense Scenes

  • The general fairy-tale themes of child abandonment, endangerment, and kidnapping may be too disturbing for younger children and anyone with abandonment and separation anxiety issues, particularly in a few scenes showing Toby frightened and crying while surrounded by his goblin kidnappers.
  • A paranoia-inducing early scene in Toby's darkened bedroom with goblins popping out from various places, laughing at Sarah behind her back, and then disappearing before she can turn around to see them may be too traumatic for any children young and imaginative enough to be scared of there being monsters under their beds.
  • Jareth's sudden arrival through the open bedroom window, accompanied by thunder and lightning, may be too frightening for younger children, as may a scene in which he produces a snake out of a crystal ball and throws it at Sarah.
  • Sarah's sudden drop into a pit and surreal encounter with the "helping hands" on its walls may be too intense for some younger children.
  • Ludo's tormenters with their toothy stick monsters may be too disturbing and frightening for younger children.
  • Sarah and Hoggle's encounter with the "cleaner" machine, a metallic tunnel-filling device that threatens them with numerous whirling blades and spikes that look capable of shredding flesh and bone, may be too intense for younger children.
  • The concept of the "Bog of Eternal Stench" (which will make anyone who falls into it stink forever) can be too disturbing for younger children, and a couple of sequences in which characters are in serious danger of falling into it likewise too frightening.
  • The "Fireys" with their casual dribbling, juggling, and swapping of their body parts among themselves (and desire to do the same with Sarah's head) may be too disturbing for younger children sensitive about their body integrity.
  • The surreal masquerade ball with its participants' strange behavior and Sarah's obvious confusion over Jareth's romantic overtures to her can be overly confusing and therefore frightening to younger children as well.

See also

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