In the dungeons of the castle of the evil queen-sorceress bavmorda a prisoner gives birth to a child who according to an ancient prophecy will put an end to the reign of the queen. A midwife saves the child from the wrath of bavmorda but is forced to throw her cradle in a river. Studio: Tcfhe Release Date: 09/05/2006 Starring: Val Kilmer Warwick Davis Run time: 126 minutes Rating: Pg Director: Ron Howard
This epic Lucasfilm fantasy serves up enough magical adventure to satisfy fans of the genre, though it treads familiar territory. With abundant parallels to Star Wars, the story (by George Lucas) follows the exploits of the little farmer Willow (Warwick Davis), an aspiring sorcerer appointed to deliver an infant princess from the evil queen (Jean Marsh) to whom the child is a crucial threat. Val Kilmer plays the warrior who joins Willow's campaign with the evil queen's daughter (Joanne Whalley, who later married Kilmer). Impressive production values, stunning locations (in England, Wales, and New Zealand) and dazzling special effects energize the routine fantasy plot, which alternates between rousing action and cute sentiment while failing to engage the viewer's emotions. A parental warning is appropriate: director Ron Howard has a light touch aimed at younger viewers, but doesn't shy away from grisly swordplay and at least one monster (a wicked two-headed dragon) that could induce nightmares. --Jeff Shannon
Biblically rejuvenating ! An extremely simple story, nearly a skeleton of a story. A girl is born with a sign on her arm. She has been predicted as the one who will destroy the evil queen of the kingdom. Thus the queen decides to put under surveillance all pregnant women and to check all the babies for the sign. She is not as bad as that after all, and less bad than Herod, though we have here a rewriting of Biblical stories in the feminine mood and gender. But the midwife retrieves the baby and entrusts her to the river. Moses is thus revisited, though in the feminine mood and gender already mentioned. But far from being saved by Pharaoh's daughter she is saved by dwarves. And there the story starts: to escape the queen, then to save the baby from the queen, trolls and other monsters added into the story for good measure. The best part is that the queen's daughter is going to betray her mother and after all it is the queen's daughter who will recuperate the baby from her direst danger, more or less. The film is charming because of the dwarves. They definitely give some enticing flesh to that skeleton of a story and they help dangerous situations become nearly harmless, at least agreeably pleasant.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University Paris Dauphine, University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne & University Versailles Saint Quentin en Yvelines
Fantasy - Supreme This movie was well done, a very good and rich fantasy story and something for the whole family. A fairy tale colorful told.
Very pleased! I received my movie in good condition (as well as another movie). I have been pleased with each purchase through Amazon. No problems. Thank you....more info
Willow This is a great movie
Even the kids can watch this movie, without having to listen
to all the vulgar language, or watch any sex scenes.
A good family entertaining movie.
Classic Fantasy Adventure I have never understood people who watch this movie and then compare it to Lord of the Rings or say that the characters resemble this person or that person from some story. Don't they realize that they are archetypes that have existed for centuries? Mythology uses these archetypes and yes Tolkein used them as well. Name a fantasy story that doesn't feature some form of adventurer/rogue? Anyway, moving on to the movie.
I grew up watching this movie and think it's still one of the most enjoyable fantasy flicks ever. Great acting, funny dialogue, brownies, fun action sequences, beautiful scenery, what more do you want?
I recommend it to anyone who enjoys fantasy adventures and doesn't think LOTR is the begin-all/end-all of fantasy!...more info
willow this is great movie ever! this story focus on the baby named willow and 2 men who is protecting the baby. some evil want the baby dead because the baby is a threat to evil woman. evil woman has a daughter who will turn against her and save the baby. ...more info
SATISFIED I am very happy with this purchase! It was a a very fast, smooth transaction. When I recieved my dvd it was in "new" condition as stated in the description. I am very satisfied!...more info
counterfit Movie never played. I put dvd in pc and opened it and found a bunch of files that had no program for. Movie didnt play and picture on DVD looked very suspicious. The wrapper did not have a hologram on it....more info
Family movie I have this movie on vhs from years ago and was thrilled to find it in dvd on Amazon. It is a good family movie and I highly recomend it. Val Kilmer vans will like it as well....more info
good fun This movie is just good fun and contains some of the earliest CGI. I believe it's worth the purchase...more info
Willow I love this movie. It is a great way to send the message that the lease likely, possibly the most weak can have great power if they have a good heart....more info
Willow Willow is a magnificent family movie. The characters are well played out, thoughtful direction, and the special effects not overdone. Ron Howard (Opie) directed this fairy tale. This is the classic tale of good vs. evil. There is the evil queen,Bavmorta; the reluctant heros (Willow and Mad Mortigan); the good magician with fairies and brownies pitted against impossible odds to help fulfill the prophesy to end the evil queens reign. It is a story of how even the smallest can succeed.
I bought this for my son when it first hit the big screen, and repurchased it to add to our collection again. It is a must have if you have children, grandchildren, or enjoy good clean entertainment....more info
Willow - Applicable to ages 8 thru 80, this movie is a classic piece of story telling. With its tight script and excellent acting, it would make an excellent addition to any home video collection. Chalk another one up for Ron Howard....more info
A classic fantasy adventure Excellent fantasy story. Very good characters and acting skills. Film location perfect for the story and time frame....more info
A Great Movie This movie has a good story with great actors. It is one of the funniest movies of it's type I have ever seen....more info
Fun Ride, but Not Exceptional I have good memories of Willow. Rather than going a typical fantasy route, with typical creatures, it sports some wholly unique elements that make for a really fun ride. With the exception of the distressing transformation scenes, this is a perfect movie for older children, and is most comparable to The Never-Ending Story.
However, some elements of Willow just haven't aged well. To me, Willow represents a lukewarm middle ground for George Lucas. On the negative side, it's an uneven mixture of movies he had worked on before, combined with a shot-up plot that wanders all over the place, a really horrible romance subplot, and a disjointed script. It's brightened up by some passable-to-stellar acting, great ideas, and interesting characters. The resulting film only manages to limp to the finish line. I feel that this movie points toward Lucas' devolution to a hack vomiting out horrid Star Wars prequels more than anything else.
It's very sad that this movie isn't any better; it has great ideas, many lovable characters, and a very good heart. You can't help rooting for it, riding along with it, and forgiving its slights. It's kind of like a goofy, lovable, dorky friend. Sure, this dorky pal says and does things that make you wince and groan, but he's such a cool person underneath all the awkwardness that you can easily overlook his faux pas and just love him all the same. My family and I laughed at this film, threw out one-liners, and shook our heads at the corny bits, but we also had a great time -- and there's not a kid among us!
The cons are legion. The script is wince-worthy, but passable; the characters seem to wander in mindless circles; the romance is terrible, and the transformation scenes are nauseating and painful to watch. The plot is rather awkward and full of irritating holes, the most bothersome being that Elora Danan is not responsible for the death of Queen Bavmorda as much as she's the catalyst for a deus ex machina. Furthermore, sometimes it's difficult to infer the intended meaning from certain scenes -- for example, when Willow and Meegosh are standing by the road, trying to hand out Elora Danan to an army. The first time I watched this I thought it was Bavmorda's army (when it was actually Eric's), and this is only cleared up after a couple of minutes had passed. It wasn't a natural confusion, if that makes sense -- not an intended confusion. Indeed, sometimes it seemed as though the filmmakers were kind of lazy and just shot everything willy-nilly, praying it would all come out in the end.
This is also not a special edition as much as it is the not-VHS-version. There is commentary by Warwick Davis and sadly... that's pretty much it.
The pros of this movie are myriad. Probably the most outstanding element of this movie is its optimistic outlook and its wonderful characters, as well as its unique take on the fantasy genre. It's not fair to compare this to Tolkien or as a mere Star Wars ripoff; both of these took quite liberally from the fairytale formula. Frankly, that fairytale formula is all that Willow takes from. With the exception of the Nelwyns, I never once thought of Tolkien; with the exception of Bavmorda's face at the end of the movie, I never thought of Star Wars.
I also loved Willow's characters. Bavmorda is a fantastic villain; one-sided, yes, but such a delightfully horrible character that it's a blast to watch her go down. Madmartigan is downright fun -- half Jack Sparrow, half Han Solo. Sorsha manages to come across as more than a politically correct, stereotypical, token female warrior (at least, until the bizarre addition of romance). The Brownies, Franjean and Rool, were a blast. And a big shout-out to Warwick Davis, who played the title role -- a fabulous job for a young actor! I was also completely impressed by Julie Peters, who played Kaiya. She was absolutely believable. It's only a shame she hasn't been able to play in any other leading roles.
Special effects range from pretty terrible (the trolls) to extremely cool (the two-headed dragon) to holy crap, I want to throw up (every single transformation scene). Still, for the most part, they're all right for a late 80s film (and I'm very impartial to stop-motion animation anyway, so I loved watching the dragon and didn't mind that a bit).
This might also sound rather silly, but I absolutely loved the nonsensical fantasy names they used in this movie. Every fantasy buff knows that fantasy names can be a nightmare to hear, read, or remember, mostly because they're full of random vowels and consonants that were all slapped together at random. But in Willow, almost every name is strangely appropriate and memorable. They're often lyrical (Kaiya, Elora Danan, Raziel, Tir Asleen), or the consonants and vowels are put together in just the right combination to create certain feelings (Bavmorda -- all of those hard, angry consonants in close quarters), or sound faintly reminiscent of something else (Madmartigan, Sorsha, Tir Asleen [Tir na Nog]). Whoever named those characters did an admirable job!
Don't go into Willow expecting too much, but don't go into it expecting it to completely suck, either. I own it; I'm glad to own it. I think it's a unique spin on the fairytale formula, and that most people will really enjoy it if they suspend their belief....more info
The most midgets you will ever see in one movie! I recently bought this and watched it. All I can say is "Wow". I remember watching this movie over and over as a child and now I know why. It's a great movie!
Warwick Davis and Val Kilmer do a great job and wow, Sorcia (Joanne Whalley) is smoking hot. There are a ton of great scenes, too many to count. It's a ridiculous but extremely entertaining movie. And it's something you can watch if you have kids
The only time I can recall seeing more midgets is on the TV show "Martin" where the midgets started a fight with Martin Lawrence at the bar. If you haven't seen this movie yet, add it to your shopping cart!...more info
One viewing is not enough Willow is a giddy rampage through a medieval fantasy world. Everyone will laugh and cheer on Willow's kind hearted hero as he helps save a baby from a wicked queen. You'll love it whether you're a teenager, a parent looking to share a film with your kids, or a child. Like The Princess Bride, Willow transcends its genre. The movie is funny and inspirational. The baby is cute, the hero is a parent who learns to believe in himself, and the love story is delicious. You have to buy it because one viewing is not enough....more info
George Bush or George Lucas? Stale acting, witless and plain dialogue, poor execution of the epic fantasy plot-line progression. What a load of junk. You would have thought Bush wrote the script- obviously not much consulting outside opinion. It's a real stupid movie. The only redeeming aspect is that it keeps you hoping it will take a turn for the better. ...more info
The Jungle Book meets Lord of The Rings Like I said, The Jungle Book meets Lord of The Rings...with out the music of course. The story of a human child who must be brought back to human civilization set among a medieval landscape with various creatures such as dwarfs and evil monster warriors. Many similarities to LOTR, such as the dwarfs being afraid of humans and evil warriors. I enjoyed it, but think it's more worth your time to watch The Jungle Book and Lord of The Rings (1-3) back to back. The ending was not worth it though. I mean c'mon, willow is a character you're supposed to root for, but I was left asking myself why? This is the story of an average Joe who sets out on an adventure and ends up not doing anything all too special. The Jungle Book (40th Anniversary Platinum Edition)The Lord of the Rings - The Motion Picture Trilogy (Platinum Series Special Extended Edition)...more info
Willow rocks I have always loved this movie. It's a great sword and sorcery fantasy movie for the whole family....more info
Warwick Davis: Best Actor "Willow", the wonderful fantasy film from 1988, we all know who was in it, Val Kilmer, Jean Marsh, Joanna Whaley but an actor who is a little people and a marvelous actor, was Warwick Davis. His performance deserved an Oscar nomination but he didn't recieve it....Shame, cause it stole the show from everyone else......more info
A Lucas classic!! great on DVD Great Family movie. ground breaking effects"for the time". All round great movie.
+Val Kilmore is great!
+an awsome wagon battle, with Val wearing a dress!
- Not a super epic movie, not like lord of the rings
- Not a whole lot of charitor development.
- If you expected Razel to be a "young" hot woman when she gets transformed back!!
Overall, it is a must watch movie, for anyone who loves a good adventure with a great ending. ...more info
Brilliant!! This is the most wonderful fantasy film ever made, with a gorgeous soundtrack, and brilliant actors. Warwick Davis at his best!!! No doubt it's a five star movie and highly recommended by me:)...more info
WILLOW IS NOT VAL KILMER Willow turned out to be a midget; all the while I thought it was the title for the character performed by Val Kilmer. Of course Val still got top billing, but the real star of the film is Warwick Davis, the under four feet midget. If I'm not mistaken he was only eighteen when he made the film. He, however, played a father of two young children quite convincingly. Kilmer, nevertheless, got a beefy part with lots of actions that need agility and he is superb in it. I don't need to say a lot I need only to sum up that all the actors are very good in their parts, even the two child midget stars are very good and cute with their perfomances. the special effects are simply fantastic and there are lots of them. All in all this is a very good film you don't want to miss no matter what age you are. Thanks to Ron Howard's able dirction. the special features are also interesting especially 'the making of an adventure' segment is very informative....more info
willow This is a great film. Lots of tongue-in-cheek humor. A classic fantasy story. Ranks with The Princess Bride....more info
Nice condension of Evil Overlord list, but largely a nostalgia film. Willow / B00003CXDD
As I write this review, I cannot help but note that Willow currently stands at an impressive four-and-a-half stars, and I fear that this review might not be received well by fans. This review is, however, for people - like me - who missed seeing Willow when it came out and wonders if maybe it's worth buying now.
I like "old" movies, shoot, I just watched The Dark Crystal (25th Anniversary Edition) for the first time and thoroughly enjoyed it. And I am very sympathetic to the argument that older movies should be judged for what they were at the time, and that it is important to remember that the fantasy genre was a bit more sparse in those days. I understand why people might have liked Willow then, and I can understand why the same people would still like Willow now.
Having said all that, I do not think that many people who haven't seen Willow up until now, would like it at this point. This review is for them.
Unlike the sharp, clear-cut direction of Lucas' other early works (most notably, of course, is Star Wars Episode IV - A New Hope (1977 & 2004 Versions, 2-Disc Widescreen Edition)), the script of Willow meanders painfully around, never seeming quite certain which direction to follow. The infant Elora Danan is prophesied to be responsible for the death of Queen Bavmorda, setting in motion Bavmorda's ill-fated attempts to murder the child, but the infant is never "responsible" in any meaningful sense of the word other than as a catalyst for the action. The main characters seem to stumble blindly through the movie, never quite certain what, precisely, to do with the infant, which might make for a believable plot (what does one do with a 'chosen one', anyway?) but does not make for an interesting movie.
The addition of Val Kilmer's character is not a bonus for this movie. Kilmer is one of those rare actors who either does an exemplary job or a truly awful one, but never in between. Madmartigan is, supposedly, a sort of golden-hearted villain, along the lines of Jack Sparrow (Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)), but his character traits lurch randomly from noble to blackguard to lecherous, without any rhyme or reason other than the change of scenery and the needs of the plot at that timeline. Particularly annoying is the ridiculous romance subplot, which I found to be remarkably awful, even by Lucas' current standards.
To wit, the evil Queen Bavmorda has a daughter who is the highly capable, well trained, and fiercely loyal commander of the queen's forces. She loves her mother completely and has few qualms about preemptively killing an infant in order to protect her mother. Really, you could not imagine a woman more in control of her faculties than this admirable, if evil, princess. She is immune to the charms of men, which is highly understandable since she has surely been inundated with "love struck" suitors all her life - being that she is beautiful, rich, competent, and heir to the throne. However, her personality changes in a instant - literally - when a magicked, love-struck Kilmer clambers into her bed chamber, mumbling nonsensical words of love. Within a mere matter of hours, the princess has transformed into a love-struck maiden, desperate for Kilmer's affections, and completely ready to betray her mother. That's either Very Bad Writing or Madmartigan is wearing Very Good Cologne, but I personally tend towards the bad writing side of the fence. It may seem like a small point, but the princess' betrayal is a large portion of the story and the entire catalyst to allow the ending to occur and the fact that it is done so poorly really detracts from the storyline in a serious way.
There are good elements to this movie. Willow and his wife, children, and villagers are all superbly acted and wonderful characters. In fact, the point at which the movie can reasonably be said to have turned for the worse is when Elora and Willow leave the village - everything up to that point is extremely enjoyable.
I do hope this review isn't too offensive to long-time fans of Willow who treasure the movie for nostalgia's sake. Nostalgia movies are wonderful and healthy things and I don't mean to criticize that in any way. I just want to caution newcomers that, for your money, there are other fantasy movies out there with more consistency of plot and character development than I, personally, felt was contained in Willow. Your mileage may vary, however....more info
Willow I love the movie Willow. I have watched it approximately 30 times and it never gets old.
Classic story of good over evil....more info
Comes up short by Dane Youssef
This one wasn't much when it first came out. The budget was extravagant and the box-office returns just barely covered the big fat price tag. And as measly as a movie as this was for it's day on it's own merits, it's dwarfed even further by the immortal "Lord Of The Rings" saga.
"Willow" is the film the impish Warwick Davis is renown for his participation in the never-ending Horror-movie stories, the "Leprechaun" movies.
This was his first lead role and he brings a likeable and earnest charisma to the role instead of just trying to be little and cute like so many child performers and other midget actors. Thankfully, he proves himself as to be more than just a cheap gimmick like so many other "bit-players." He allows himself to really give a true performance and the film itself doesn't go for the cheapest of shots with any of the height of it's little people.
As a filmmaker, George Lucas is and has always been a homage-payer. He's one of those filmmakers who always tries to re-make those old films he loved during his own adolescence. With space operas: "Star Wars," With Matinee Adventure flicks: "Indiana Jones," With futuristic sci-fi adventures, "THX 1138."
And now with "Willow," he attempts to do the same for the sword-and-sorcery genre.
Notice I use the word "attempts."
The whole universe is derived from the whole medieval sword-and-sorcery genre. And it's a full bar and buffet smorgasbord here: We've got "Lord Of The Rings," "The Story of Moses," "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves," "Sleeping Beauty" and "Gulliver's Travels" just to name a few.
Val Kilmer is pound-for-pound one of the great heavyweight champion actors from here to Timbaktu. Perhaps even Pluto. But he even he and the rest of this considerable cast can't make it's movie as special and magical as it's title character is supposed to be.
The 20th century and the 21st saw few better thespians. He truly delivered an Oscar for his re-birth as Jim Morrison in Oliver Stone's "The Doors."
Here, anyone could have done the same job he does. It's his most unremarkable performance to date. They didn't need the great Kilmer for this one.
Any stock actor with a Screen Actors Guild card or with one year of high school drama class experience could have done as good a job.
Jean Marsh does a good job as Queen Bavmorda, but just about any random British actress on the planet could have done the same and gotten the same results.
Sadly, this one just stands toe-to-toe with the He-Man "Master Of The Universe" movie from 1987.
Even though Ron Howard Opie Cunningham was at the helm for this one, just about any hack with access to a tripod (that tilts low) could have done the same and gotten the same results.
The real problem with "Willow" is that it's totally unremarkable. It's about a likeable little guy with a big heart for his family. He has a magical gift and uses it to make a name for himself. He meets a great warrior with a shady record who may find love along the way.
They do battle with a wicked queen who happens to be a powerful witch with a great army, a two-headed dragon, a menacing lieutenant General who wears a mask scarier than his own face, yada yada yada yada. Do you even care?
There are two little like the 3-inch tall people in "Gulliver's Travels" called Brownies named Rool and Franjean with helium voices and ethnic caricatured French accents that would have been considered embarrassing in the '30's. They irritate and confuse, but never amuse. Unlike R2D2 and C3PO or Marcus Brody, they never provoke as much as a smile.
Lucas planned for this to be something of a series saga of films. But since this one barely made any return whatsoever, Lucas wound up scrapping the film "trilogy" and continuing the story in books. Hey, anyone out there ever actually so much as read a copy of the continuing "Willow" story?
With "Star Wars," "THX 1138" and "American Graffiti," Lucas swung for the fence like a dominant male gorilla. He pulled out all stops and then some. This one is on-par with your average episode of a Saturday Morning TV series, even for the day.
With Lucas' legendary "Indiana Jones" saga, we all remember one key gruesome scene in each movie---like the "false grail" scene in "Last Crusade" or the "Ripped Heart" in "The Temple Of Doom." In "Willow," there's a similar sequence inspired by the "Bay Of Pigs" from the Greek tales of "The Iliad and The Odyssey."
Lucas story pretty much recycles the whole outline plot of the "Star Wars" saga (episodes IV, V, and VI). Unfortunately, Lucas and Howard don't really feel like they're trying
to have the last word of the genre as they did in many of their earlier efforts.
You can see anything just as good and inspired/thrilling/etc. every Saturday morning on just about any network.
Unlike "Star Wars," "Indiana Jones" or "Cocoon," this is not a product of theirs that defines the genre it's from.
And what is it with the baby Elora Danan? She's so much of the damn plot and yet, all she does really is smile and cry on cue. There are babies in diaper commercials who have characters with more depth.
I like the two-headed dragon. It doesn't look like the traditional fire-breathing dragon. It hardly even looks like a serpent. This one is kind of inspired. As a change of pace, it has more of an ugly look to it with long and furry serpent necks, almost like an ostrich. It's really weird.
Although, it's one of the few inspired touches in this routine medieval epic.
It's a Lucasfilm Ltd. production, so the special effects are (as it goes without saying) in the Oscar nomination territory. Enthralling for the day, some even by today's standards still shine. Lucas has made a bigger name for himself as a innovator of special effects than as a filmmaker.
While it was a defining role for actor Warwick Davis and it employs more midgets and dwarves than any other production (and respectively), for anyone else, "Willow" is never anything special, nor does it attempt to be.
Even for it's day "Willow" was unremarkable. Seriously, how many tales of swords, sorcery, kings, queens, dwarves, dragons and trolls had we seen in movies, TV shows, books, fairy tales and what-have-you before this came along? Yet another case of, "Too little, too late."
Nearly 20 years later, that old axiom proves even more true.
Great Family Movie! This is a wonderful movie to watch with the whole family. The story line and action can keep even the man of the house interested, but it is not too confusing or frightening for the little ones. We enjoyed it so much we all watched it three times the first week we had it. ...more info
A Timeless Classic! If you grew up in the 80s and didn't see this movie, then where the heck were you?? This is a must see movie and falls into the category of a timeless, well loved classic that never expires. We never tire from watching "Willow". Infact, we named one of our daughters "Alora" after Ellora Dannon. "Willow" is a true family film, filled with adventure, action, humor, romance and magic! It's got everything in it and will bring out the child in everyone. And if you're an 80s Junkie like me (or not), it will probably already be in your DVD library (or pretty soon may well be) that you can pull out again and again to enjoy. You won't regret investing in this wonderful spell of entertainment....more info
Great Movie! We really like this movie. It has a lot of action, but I feel that it still is good for children. My kids liked it when they were young and my husband and I still like it. It's very good....more info
FUN FANTASY ADVENTURE Willow is one of my favorite movies. Willow loves his family, friends and community. He tries hard to please all of them! Val Kilmer did a great job in this movie. His character is a rough, tough guy who tries to hide his good heart. There's lots to like in this movie---comedy, adventure, battles, fantasy, even monsters! It's the kind of movie my husband and I love to watch --more than once. ...more info
Colorful, whimsical adventure It doesn't get any better than this. The imagery in this film is so wonderful that it runs through your mind for hours after watching it. The colors are so bold, the scenes are beautiful, and if you ask me, the story is very enjoyable. Plus, if there are fairies, it always gets five stars. ...more info
flawed movie that could have been great. Willow (the movie) could have been a great fantasy film - the effects and characters are there BUT it is ruined by the "Object of contention" in the plot. If this had been about an amulet or other desireable object it would be great - instead it is about a baby. Exactly what children do NOT want, probably something they wish would be gotten-rid-of.
(I understand the director was in a child-custody battle at the time and was obsessed - thus the fatal flaw in this movie).
5-star effects, 1-star because of the flaw, average out to 3-stars....more info
willow review i bought the movie as a gift for my papa. he could never find the movie anywhere else and i found it as easy as 123. that is one of his favorite movies and he loves it. thanks for making it so easy to find and buy the movie. i will continue to shop at amazon.com to get things i can not always find....more info
A classic fantasy film This is a terrific film when I was younger and it still is. When I don't have anything planned Saturday mornings; I watch this most of those times. Highly recommended!!!...more info
A Wonderful Family Fantasy I remember when "Willow" first came out on the big screen. I remember how cool it was to watch the skull-helmeted General Kael ride onto the screen. I loved the swordplay of Madmartigan. The trolls were the creepiest things I've ever seen. Flash forward twenty-eight years, and "Willow" has lost some of its luster. It doesn't appeal to me as much as it did when I was a youngster. However, it is still a great film to watch with your family.
For those uneducated, "Willow" is the tale of one Willow Ufgood, a little man who stumbles upon the child of a "giant" person. This particular child bears a mark which proclaims her to be the person who will eventually overthrow the evil and powerful Queen Bavmorda. Bavmorda has sent out her warriors to murder every baby in the kingdom until she finds the one with the mark. When dog-like beasts attack Willow's Nelwyn village, he is instructed to take the child and give her to the first Daikini he finds. This is where Madmartigan enters the scenery. He mildly agrees to help Willow on his quest, but things eventually turn into one great escape after another. A climactic battle between good and evil is inevitable.
Willow is played by Warwick Davis. Fans of horror will know him as the leprechaun in the "Leprechaun" films. Fans of sci-fi will know him for playing Wicket, the Ewok friend of Princess Leia in "Return of the Jedi." He also provided the body for Marvin in "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." The rest of the cast is built up of huge future stars, little legends, and established character actors. Billy Barty has a bit role as the Nelwyn village wizard. Val Kilmer portrays Madmartigan, the slightly oafish, very deadly swordsman who aids Willow on his quest. Everyone should know Kilmer. He's been in tons of films from "Real Genius" to "The Island of Dr. Moreau" to his legendary turn as Doc Holliday in "Tombstone." Jean Marsh portrays Bavmorda, and, much like another reviewer stated, she seems to be channeling the evil queens of the older Disney flicks. Joanne Whalley (Sorsha) and Pat Roach (Kael) round out a very reliable cast.
The special effects look very dated compared to today's films. However, it should be stated that this film was an early pioneer in modern special effects. There's even a documentary on the DVD explaining the beginnings of "morphing."
Overall, this film has aged relatively well as far as being a family film. It's rather violent at moments, but it is an overall safe film to watch with your kids as long as they can handle violence on the level of films such as another 80's fantasy fest, "Krull." I don't recall much bad language at all, but be warned that there are quite a few deaths in this film, from impaling on swords to being eaten by a very "Rancor" monster-like two-headed dragon. You'll also notice a number of references to the Bible, and to the "Lord of the Rings" books.
If you grew up with this film as I did, you'll probably enjoy the memories of the film. However, it can be rather boring at times for adults. I'd still add it to my collection if I were you, if for no other reason but to enjoy it with your own children and see the amazement in their eyes that once sparkled in yours. ...more info
Willow & Kaia Old time classic made availalble for my children to enjoy. I bought this for my 3 yr olds birthday. He loves it! ...more info
Willow Very enjoyable movie. Something wholesome, but adventurous that I can watch with my kids....more info
Great Story!!! This is an enchanting story, lots of action and exciting for the whole
Very early Kilmer Willow (Special Edition) bought for Christmas. One of the better movies for it's time. Still enjoyable today. ...more info
One of my faves This movie just doesn't get old. I can watch it anytime and still feel wowed by it. I am not particularly fond of 80's films, but this one is not cheesy or poorly acted. It is actually very sweet with a pretty cool plot and awesome characters. I recommend it to anyone that is looking for a fun adventurous family movie to watch....more info
Nothing NOT to love about this movie! One of my all time favorite movies. Each time I introduce it to someone new, they always run out and buy it...enough said, except for this..you will not regret buying this movie!!...more info
Star Wars of the Rings There wasn't a truly successful sword and sorcery film until Peter Jackson got into the act, and despite a liberal helping of trolls, brownies, dragons (bearing a bit of an unfortunate resemblance to a two-headed version of the Penosaurus from Flesh Gordon) and fairies, Willow certainly didn't break the run. Rather than going the Conan route, producer George Lucas adheres to the Star Wars formula in the form of Pat Roach's Darth Vader clone, the skull-masked General Kael, Val Kilmer's Han Solo-esque hero, Joanne Whalley's headstrong princess and Patricia Hayes' Obi-Wan Kenobi figure, among numerous other visual and narrative touches, with magic standing in for the Force as the power that holds the universe together and helps our diminutive hero triumph.
Even if Willow isn't as much fun as you would like it to be, it holds up surprisingly well with age. Kilmer's no Harrison Ford (and his ex-missus is never at her best when acting with an American accent for that matter) and this is no Star Wars, but if you don't expect too much it's a nice enough fantasy adventure with some magical effects (although, coming from a lowpoint in ILM's output, there are a few too many matte lines in places) and a few (intentionally) funny moments en route to a terrific last half-hour.
The major liability is director Ron Howard, who makes 500 extras look like five at one point and could handle the action better, although he certainly fares better than Peter Yates and Krull, which really pushed an audience's best wishes to the limit. Although Howard doesn't do much with the Scope frame, it's certainly a better film in widescreen than panned-and-scanned on TV, and it boasts one of James Horner's very best scores (albeit one that seems heavily influenced by Bruce Smeaton's score for Iceman). There's also a decent extras package as well.
Shades of King Herod, Moses, and Snow White A wicked queen wants to destroy an infant girl who may one day rival her for the throne. This makes one recall King Herod's attempt to destroy the Baby Jesus. And, as was the case with the baby Moses, the midwife prevents the baby from being killed, and instead places it in a basket to be floated on the water to be found by some willing caretaker. The wicked queen is determined to find and destroy the child, much as another wicked queen, obsessively jealous of Snow White's beauty, sought repeatedly to have her found and killed.
Willow has a crooked magic wand which he uses as a sorcerer. At first, he is only able to do relatively "minor" things such as change his location relative to a tree, and then to change humans successively into various animals. In the end, despite the best efforts to protect the infant girl, the wicked queen manages to get hold of her. The queen prepares to send the infant girl into Oblivion. Willow and his magic wand manage to storm into the queen's chamber just as the infant girl is to be destroyed. Will Willow's magical spell be capable of overcoming the wicked queen's considerable powers, and to do so in the nick of time? I will not spoil the ending by revealing it. ...more info
GREAT MOVIE SEEN THIS MOVIE YEARS AGO GREAT MOVIE FOR KIDS AS WELL AS ADULTS
YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED ...more info
Great YThis is a wounderful movie i enjoy this movie alot. if you love to watch mgaic movie this is the one. i first seen this movie when i was six years old now snice am 17 and old enoght to buy it .it brought back good times...more info
A New Generation of Kids Will Love This Film To sum things up, this was really a George Lucus film-with the then relatively inexperienced Ron Howard hired to direct-under the watchful eye of Lucus. Lucus wrote the screenplay, raiding his bookshelf for Tolkein (especially "The Hobbit") and Lewis ("Narnia"). Then he simply transferred the hero/heroine romance from his "Star Wars" screenplay. Not necessarily a bad thing, it was a simple way for him to build a feature length screenplay targeting younger viewers but sophisticated enough to entertain the entire family. "Willow" has some scary stuff but should not be a problem for the average grade school viewer. My rating is based on comparisons to other films with a similar target audience.
I must confess up-front to a positive bias. My favorite part of "Star Wars" is the caustic romance between Han Solo and Princess Leia; and in "Willow" Lucus has refined his technique and actually improved something that was already close to perfection. Sorsha (Joanne Whalley) and Madmartigan (Val Kilmer) substitute nicely for Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford, with the added dimension of having them begin the story on opposite sides. The romantic elements are efficiently and subtly inserted into the film. Even though these characters are part of the main storyline, the romance is separate enough to serve as the film's main parallel story. The only downside is that this side story soon becomes more interesting than the main one, so much so that its climatic kiss (occurring about 20 minutes before the ending) unintentionally turns into the film's climax (at least energy wise). The actual resolution of the main story then plays out rather anti-climatically.
"Willow" is a delivery quest story, much like "The Hobbit" where a reluctant Nelwyn (small person) is required to set out on a perilous journey to return a lost baby (even smaller) to a Daikini (tall person). Along the way he is assisted by a couple of Brownies (yet smaller guys who speak with outrageous French accents). The size differentials are the main theme of the film and are especially intriguing to young viewers who easily identify with having to deal with people who tower above them. Howard encourages this identification process by shooting most of the action at child level. If you watch the film with young children you will be amazed at its ability to draw them into the story, this happens because the camera angles intentionally match a child's point-of-view of the world. The viewing child's surrogate is the title character (Warwick Davis-who does a commentary on the DVD), a unlikely hero who inspires audience sympathy as he bravely faces the dangers of his journey while gamely putting up with an ever-changing group of irritating companions. There are frequent cutaways to Elora Danan (the baby), mostly for reaction shots. As in "Raising Arizona", the producers took enough stock clips to match her expressions to almost any situation. Willow learns early on from Cherlindrea (a dazzling fairy) that Elora Danan is a princess who (it has been foretold) will one day vanquish the evil Queen Baymorda (a fun role for Jean Marsh). Things get a bit Biblical/Narnia here as the Queen is seeking to eliminate the Princess before she becomes a threat.
The DVD features: "Willow:The Making of an Adventure" (made during production in 1988) and "Willow: Morf to Morphing" (made in 2001 for the DVD release), really put the film in historical context relative to its place in the evolution of special effects. It was really the transitional point where photochemical (film) effects were subordinated to digital effects. This gave "Willow" a significant place in film history and these two featurettes taken together nicely illustrate the continuing challenge to those involved with special effects; any new development is soon overused and no longer an audience draw. Meaning that effects people have to stay on the cutting edge to simply justify their existence.
Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child....more info
Great story, great effects, little too violent for some younger Some scary scenes that startled our foreign exchange student who is 18. This is a family favorite and we often quote it aroung the dinner table with a few other movies and shows that we love. Great lessons, almost as many good lessons as Lord of the Rings but not near as violent as Lord of the Rings. Even the married kids want to borrow this often. The extra's were great and this is the first movie I watched with the director and even Willow's commentary with the movie....more info
Lost Classic When I was about five years old, this was my absolutely favorite movie. You know how a kid can watch the same thing a hundred times in a row and never get the least bit tired of it? That was me with this movie. Between the midgets, magic, and monsters, it left nothing to be desired for a young child. Now that I am in my early 20's, I can't say I could watch the movie a hundred times in a row and not get tired of it, but it is still very entertaining. In some ways more so, because I don't have to cover my eyes when the troll gets turned into a dragon or during the scenes where people kiss! It's got the same feel as other George Lucas classics such as Star Wars and it also represents one of, if not the first films directed by Ron Howard. If you like movies like Star Wars or Lord of the Rings, there is no reason you should not be a big fan of this movie. It's got a great story, great characters, and great acting. The film is really nothing short of inspiring....more info
Great! Willow is one of those movies that I remember I LOVED when I was a kid, but did not know if I would feel the same way about as an adult. It took a chance and bought willow on Amazon for really cheap. It holds up to my memories as being a great and exciting movie.
Great for kids and adults alike. I highly recommend!!...more info
Val Kilmer's performance is Incredible! This movie has been a favorite of mine since college! It almost has a cult following, ranking right up there with The Princess Bride and Dirty Dancing. I have always been a Kilmer fan, but really enjoy the versatility of his acting in this film. The fantasy and humor is a perfect combination. I would recommend anyone who loves The Lord of the Rings or The Princess Bride watch this!...more info
best movie ever! this movie is fantastic! Val Kilmer, little people, magic, what more could you want? Oh yeah, Joanne Whalley, so hot!...more info
One of the Few Great Fantasy Films I consider this movie one of the few great fantasy films, though I must point out that the total number of fantasy films that are even good is relatively limited because of the historic difficulty of making fantasy films. Even with digital effects, fantasy movies are notoriously hard to produce. Yet, director Ron Howard and executive producer George Lucas, along with producer Nigel Wooll ("White Squall" and "G.I. Jane") and associate producer Joe Johnston (who directed "October Sky" and "Hidalgo"), managed to do a very wonderful job of bringing "Willow" to life.
Willow Ufgood (Warwick Davis, "Return of the Jedi" and the Harry Potter movies) is a Nelwyn living a hard but happy life with a wife and two children, when a Daikini baby arrives on the bank of a river adjacent to Willow's farm. As all good Nelwyn know, Daikini's can bring no good and this Daikini baby brings even more, she brings with her the possible wrath of evil Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh). The leaders of the local Nelwyn village decide that Willow must take the Daikini baby to the nearest Daikini and leave her.
Things seem to be going somewhat well until the Nelwyn encounter a man in a cage going by the rather inauspicious name of Madmartigan (Val Kilmer). Madmartigan swears that he will take care of baby Elora Danan if the Nelwyn will only free him from the cage. After some misgivings, the Nelwyn free Madmartigan and the Nelwyn head back to their village while Madmartigan heads a different direction. Let the adventure begin.
The Nelwyn soon see an eagle flying by carrying Elora. Willow gives chase, only to end up captured by Brownies. However, Elora likes Willow and beautiful sorceress Cherlindrea tells the Brownies to free Willow because he is Elora's protector for the trip to Tir Asleen. Cherlindrea also provides Willow with a wand, which will come in handy later.
The Nelwyn come to a tavern (in a scene that is remarkably reminiscent of the bar scene in "Star Wars"), where they encounter Madmartigan again. After an exciting chase, Madmartigan joins the Nelwyn to find Fin Raziel's (Patricia Hayes, "A Fish Called Wanda," and "Goodbye Mr. Chips") island. Unfortunately, Fin Raziel has been turned into an opossum, and Willow will have to turn her back into a human. Turning Fin Raziel into a human involved a series of morphing shots that set a new standard for morphing, using computers to perform digital morphing for the first time.
Though the movie has a lot of action and adventure to this point, there is so much more to go, including a battle with a two headed creature named Eborsisk after Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel, trolls, Queen Bavmorda's army, twice, and a battle with Queen Bavmorda herself. Will Willow save Elora Danan? Will Sorsha (Joanne Whalley), daughter of Queen Bavmorda, grow to love Madmartigan as much as Madmartigan loves her? Will Willow ever become a great sorcerer and be able to return to his village? So much to learn for the intrepid movie watcher!
I consider "Willow" to be one of the few good high fantasy films available. Others include the recent Lord of the Rings trilogy, "Ladyhawke" and "Conan the Barbarian." Considering the limited number of movies in this genre, it would be easy to consider "Willow" a great high fantasy film, but the recent Lord of the Rings trilogy has reset the standard for high fantasy, and many aspects of "Willow" now seem dated in comparison. Regardless, "Willow" set a standard for its time for plot, acting and special effects. The movie generally took itself seriously (except for the Brownies) and the story is a lot of fun. I am able to watch this movie over and over without ever tiring of the story.
This movie contains a cast of hundreds, including the largest gathering of little people in many years. In one of the extras, Warwick Davis states that this movie had the most little people of any movie up to that time. I am unable to confirm his statement. Among the little people are the late great Billy Barty, with more than 150 film and television appearances, and Kenny Baker, who most fans associate with R2-D2, though his acting career is much more extensive than just that role.
This DVD also contains a number of extras, including a fascinating commentary by Warwick Davis. I also enjoyed the feature on morphing, which improved the previous standard set by Godley and Creme in the video for their song "Cry," though the morphing effect used in that video was fully analog.
I do not consider "Willow" to be a family film. The amount of violence and some of the adult situations should probably limit this movie to children no younger than about 11 or 12 years old. However, I must admit that I would have loved this movie as a child of 8 or 9 years old.
"Willow" works. Sure, there are some problems in the movie, but when you create an entire world almost from scratch, you can develop issues. I have seen some other reviewers claim that "Willow" is derivative of Lord of the Rings. Tolkien said that he derived his Lord of the Rings books from an array of mythologies. On the other hand, there is a lot of art and creativity in the film. If you are looking for a fantasy film that was created seriously and well, there are very few that are better done than "Willow."