Toby Froud has worked on plenty of blockbusters films including ParaNorman, King Kong, and Kubo and the Two Strings.
If you grew up around the '80s, you'd most definitely have watched the cult classic movie Labyrinth, where a teenage girl travels into a mysterious world in a bid to rescue her baby brother and ends up falling in love with Jareth, the Goblin King. Of course, we are leaving out a lot of details on here but that's for you to find out. The 1986 movie directed by Jim Henson was not a hit at box-office but 34 years on, has aged like fine wine. If you were to ask every kid from the '80s, you'd probably find a VHS tape of the movie in all of their houses.
That's not what we're here to talk about though. Do you remember Toby? The sweet little adorable boy Sarah trades with the goblins just for a little peace and quiet? The one dressed in striped pajamas and swept away by David Bowie's Jareth. Have you wondered what he turned out to be? Chances are it conveniently slipped your mind, so we're here to tell you what has become of him.
Toby, from the movie, is also named Toby in real-life—Froud in this case. Turns out he's been taken a major influence from the maestro Tim Henson himself and has grown up to become a master puppeteer. That's not all of it, he was even involved in the Netflix series Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, where his work was featured extensively. Another wild detail about real-life Toby is that his father Brian was part of the making of Labyrinth in a conceptual designer capacity, and had worked with Henson previously in the original Dark Crystal movie. Things get very interesting from here on out. Froud's parents met for the first time while working on this 1982 film, which pretty much made his appearance in Labyrinth something of a birthright.
Froud even appeared in a Vice Interview back in 2016 and explained that his father had come up with the concept art for Labyrinth after meeting his mother and after having worked for the Dark Crystal film. He went on to reveal that his dad himself conceptualized the art for baby Toby with Jareth, a few months before he was even conceived. "My father created the baby and the goblins painting, [which] was the first true concept for the film," Froud explains. "He did that six months to a year before I was even conceived. He always felt that he was painting on sort of a cosmic level, because it turned out that it looked like me in the end." Being a toddler he ended up spending a lot of time on set with their parents and when it came to casting Toby Williams, the casting team put two and two together and put him in the role.
Considering all this, it's no wonder Froud ended up becoming an animator and a puppeteer just like his father. Thus far, he has worked on plenty of blockbusters films including ParaNorman, King Kong, and Kubo and the Two Strings. Last year, he collaborated with his parents—dad Brian and mom Wendy Midener (sculptor)—to bring The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, nearly 40 years after the original film which made this very family happen in the first place.