Willow (1988)

Willow is an ambitious tale following a young farmer’s perilous journey to become a sorcerer, protect a special baby, and overthrow an evil queen. The 80’s epic struggled to wow audiences in theaters, but has since won over many people’s hearts through the power of home video, nostalgia, and I’ll say it: Magic.

Pros: Warwick Davis brings heart and sincerity to the titular role, making him an easy protagonist to root for. The world building is extensive, intriguing and full of potential. We’ll see how the upcoming Willow TV show handles this vast setting, but regardless, it’s a world I’m eager to return to. Last but not least, the score, composed by the late James Horner, does a terrific job at setting up the wondrous tone in Willow and adds yet another fantastical element to the story.

Cons: Although this is a heartfelt story, the plot and themes in Willow are as predictable and cliche as they come. The unlikely hero has a change of heart, the struggling protagonist develops courage, and good triumphs over evil. There are also several parallels between Willow and Star Wars, which is only magnified by George Lucas’ involvement as a writer/producer. Lastly, the secondary characters are all one note, including the bumbling sidekicks who might serve as comic relief for children, but anyone else might rightfully compare them to nails on a chalkboard.

I give Willow a solid B. The score is magical and the vast world begs to be explored. If you’re a fan of adventure or fantasy, you’ll find plenty of reasons to appreciate Willow. Happy Watching!





  • Score
  • Production Value
  • Tone
  • Characters
  • Originality
  • Plot

Where to Watch

“Courage, Willow!”

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