With his red and white striped onesie, Toby Froud was perhaps the most famous baby of the 1980s.
Remember him? He was of course ‘the babe with the power’ from Jim Henson, George Lucas and David Bowie’s mega 1986 cult film The Labyrinth.
For those who have yet to see this dark fantasy classic, baby Toby is abducted by Jareth the Goblin King – played by David Bowie – when the boy’s half sister Sarah wishes he had never been born.
The sister, played by a young Jennifer Connelly, then has to travel through a maze of weird and wonderful creatures trying to get Toby back before he turns into a goblin.
Meanwhile, Bowie, who wears possibly the best eighties mullet EVER (quite a title) complete with tights and spectacular eye makeup, throws the baby all over the place singing ‘you remind me of a babe’ while dancing the Magic Dance.
And one more time…
Well, Toby is now all grown up and has become a Goblin King himself – he’s a puppeteer.
Now 30 and living in Portland, USA, he recently directed a goblinesque short film called Lessons Learned in conjunction with Jim Henson’s daughter Heather:
Unsurprisingly given his brush with puppets as an infant, Toby is not unfamiliar with magical beings.
He is the son of Brian Froud, whose book The Land of Froud inspired Jim Henson to bring to life the dark fairies, talking dogs and other beings in the Labyrinth and 1982 classic The Dark Crystal.
‘I have vivid memories of goblins’ faces and strange creatures and chaos around me that could just be from growing up in the house I lived in, or from seeing the film as many times as I have, or it could be remembering the puppets that were in front of me. I’m not sure,’ he told Portland Monthly magazine.
Hmmm so Toby was raised by goblins or at least goblin creators after all (sorry Sarah).
And what does he have to say about working with the brilliant David Bowie? Well, the first time he met Bowie he urinated on him. Nice.
‘I grew up a huge fan of his music—and knowing I sat in his lap! I believe the first time I met him, I peed on him, but I haven’t met him since,’ he said.
And his favourite song from the labyrinth?
‘My favorite song: many might think it’s “Dance Magic,” but actually my favorite song is “As the World Falls Down” from the ballroom scene—a very dream like song as part of growing up, I feel,’ he said.