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4.6 out of 5 stars327
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 14 December 2002
I first saw Willow when I was very young, and now, a decade later, it has lost none of its magic for me!
The film tells the story of young Willow Ufgood, the reluctant hero of his Nelwyn village as he is chosen to return a very important Daikini (the Nelwyn word for humans!) baby to her own kind. However, Willow gets a lot more than he bargained for along the way, joining forces with a great (and often silly) swordsman, Madmartigan, two bossy and very short brownies, and the mysterious Fin Raziel, in his quest.
I loved everything about this film ... the music is beautiful, as are the settings (filmed in a variety of locations from Wales to New Zealand), the special effects are good, and the story is the classic and timeless tale of good versus evil, narrating the lives of many memorable characters. The film combines humour, action, fantasy and romance in a very satisfactory and watchable two hours. What more could you ask for?
And a note about the special DVD features as well ... crystal clear sound and vision, added extras such as interviews, trailers (some of which made me laugh) and stills from the making of the film, and a feature on the way the special effects were produced. I enjoyed seeing all of these - this classic is definitely worth the money!
Top marks for a film that I'll always enjoy.
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on 11 August 2013
I've waited a long time for this to come out on blu-ray, and let me say first off that the transfer is absolutely superb. The image quality is crystal clear, and amazingly looks a lot better than a few more recent films I've picked up on bluray (Dredd, anyone?); which is astonishing for a film that's over 25 years old. There were no obvious graining or weird optical effects. The sound quality is good, but feels slightly thin to my mind, however I think this is to do with the original recording.

There are 3 deleted scenes that I've never seen before as well (which were quite rightly left out), but were interesting all the same.
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on 16 January 2004
"Willow" has been an easy target for the critics. Perhaps it's true that George Lucas wished he had written Lord of the Rings, or at least had secured the movie rights to it, but that doesn't take anything away from the magical adventure that is Willow.
There are some films which are timeless. You see them as a child and enjoy them equally as an adult. The adventure never pales, the wonder never ceases, and despite their clear existence in a world very different to your own, you care deeply about the characters and what becomes of them. No matter how many times you watch it. Willow is one such film.
Looking for something for the kids? Willow is perfect, and they'll wonder at your good taste. Want something to curl up to on the sofa with your other half? Willow's guaranteed to make 'em smile, laugh, and (when they think you're not looking) mist up a bit.
Warwick Davis is excellent in the title role, and his performance is even more remarkable given that he was only 17 when it was made. But Val Kilmer steals the show as the swordsman who finally finds something to believe in, wisecracking his way through various feats of heroism. The actor improvised much of his dialogue, which really makes it crackle. And watch out for the smoldering scenes with Joanne Whalley, parelleling their burgeoning off-screen romance during the filming, which ended in their marriage.
If you have never seen it, buy it now. If you have already experienced its magic, you already know you're going to!
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on 1 June 2003
I first saw this movie about 12 years ago and have loved it ever since. I'm really pleased it's been released onto DVD. The extra bonus footage is fantastic. Ron Howard excells in this true classic film.
It's a story about a young magician called Willow (Warwick Davis) who lives in a village inhabited by little people. one day he finds a baby in the stream. The baby then turns out to be a Dikini (human). Willow is then summand by the village council to take the baby and give it to the first human he finds. Unfortunatly the first human he finds is Mad Mardigan (Val Kilmer) the greatest swordsman who ever lived. He then sets out on an unexpected adventure when he realises the true importance of the small child.
The child is special and the evil Queen Bavmorder (Jean Marsh) is out to kill her. With the help of Willow, Mad Mardigan, A couple of brownies, the princess (Joanne Whalley) and the great Fin Raziel how can she loose against the evil queen.
This film is superb and has an all star cast and crew and amazing special effects especially concidering the time this movie was made.
If your looking for an action-packed, magical romanic comedy. Willow is most certainly the perfect film to watch. It's best to buy the DVD just for the extra sound quality and extra DVD features.
Once you see this film you'll want to watch it again and again, and why not...IT'S A CLASSIC.
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on 29 October 2003
I first watched this film when i was 8, and still it's the greatest magical film i have ever seen.
When i had this film on VHS originally i cherished it, i kept it in my room alongside the turtles and He-Man etc so it must have been pretty good.
The following month when i returned to my room, it had GONE! my mother had lent it to a friend, and that was the last i had seen of Willow, until this YEAR!
Willow returned to my screen on the hugely anticipated DVD release, and by god is it as goood as it it was when i first watched it. With the ever so talented Warwick Davis and Val Kilmer and that fine looking princess, the film is pure genius.
The them tune rings in my head as i write this, remembering the classic scenes from when they were turned into pigs, to Willow fighting those lizard type things, to the final encounter between val and that guy with the skull on his face!
The effects are truly breathtaking with those pixies and the little borrowers. Writing this has made me slap the dvd in to watch again!
The extras are good aswell taking you behind the scenes to tell of how it was made so give em a go.
Overall go and buy this now!
FILM 10/10
Extras 8/10
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on 4 April 2013
It is fortuitous that, at the time "Willow" was shot, digital film
technology was taking its first bold steps.
Morphing computer special effects were first used in "Willow".
However, at that point in time, they could not digitally recreate an
entire Hobbit-like tribe.
I suppose this is the reason they hired 225 persons of very small stature-
most of them non-actors, and some of them established professionals
like Tony Cox, Billy Barty, and Warwick Davis, who gave us an unforgettable
interpretation of Willow Ufgood.
The use of real people, in a setting made to their proportions
(Willow plows his farm with the help of a sow!),
give the film an unparalleled sense of authenticity,
and amplify the moral of the story:
"Small" people are destined for great deeds.
Compared to the DVD edition of the film:
Willow [DVD] [1988]
the Blu-ray is well worth the upgrade, because image clarity and depth,
and color saturation are significantly better.
In the Blu-ray edition, the Feature Commentary by Warwick Davis,
and a Photo Gallery of 45 Production Stills have been replaced
by a very informative Deleted Scenes and/or Plot Threads Featurette
with director Ron Howard's commentary,
excerpts from the Personal Video Diary of Warwick Davis,
and a Matte Painting to Finished Shot comparison.
All extras are subtitled in English SDH, which is very considerate
of Lucasfilm.
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on 13 April 2005
Willow Ufgood (Played by Warwick Davis) is a nelwyn (little people) farmer who aspires to being a good farmer, a good father, and (if possible) the village sorcerer's next apprentice. However when he finds a daikini (tall people/us) baby, his whole world is turned upside-down. This baby is Elora Danan, a child of prophecy, destined to be the end of the evil witch-queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh), and Bavmorda's army is looking for her. There's a destiny at work here, and Willow must see it through. But along the way he will find help in unexpected places, most unexpectedly in the form of Madmartigan (Val Kilmer), a rogue of rogues and self-proclaimed "greatest swordsman that ever lived."
This is a great story of swords and sorcery, good and evil. I thought that the battle scenes were very good, as was the magic. Heck, I even thought that the special effects were good. It's not The Lord of the Rings, but nothing else is. This is an excellent fantasy movie, one that you can sit down and watch with your whole family. It's got something for everyone - action, adventure, magic, romance and comedy. My children (a 13-year-old and a 10-year-old, who are both fans of The Lord of the Rings) both loved this movie, especially the brownies, who have to be seen to be believed. My family and I all highly recommend this movie to you.
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The film follows a well trodden and familiar theme.
The wicked Queen learns of a child to be born that will lead to
her downfall.
'Queen Baymorda' orders the killing of all new-born's in her Kingdom.
the mother parts with her child fearing for it's life and hoping for
a safe place to be found.
wild creatures close in on the guardian and child, the child is placed
in a basket to float down river in the hope of being found
the basket is found by dwarf 'Willow Upgood's' children, at first 'Willow'
doesn't want anything to do with the find, however 'Willow's' wife warms
to the child,he to finds himself doing so as well.
they realize that keeping the saught after child 'Elenor' would put both
them and fellow villager's in danger.
A fairy queen appears to 'Willow' giving him a task to find safety for the child,he is also given
a wand and is instructed to find sorceress 'Fin Raziel' to give the wand to.
he sets out with a couple of volunteers from his village, along the way they are joined
by a couple of 'brownies' who are truly ''little'' people,they also come across thief
and accomplished swordsman 'Madmatigan' caged up on the side of the road who if
but reluctantly will join the quest, 'willow's' fellow villagers return home leaving
'Willow' and his new found companions to continue the journey.
great danger lies ahead as the queens daughter and henchmen continue the search for
with magic and mythical beasts this is a good family friendly romp for all to enjoy.
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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 - audio commentary by Warwick Davis; featurettes Willow - Making of an Adventure and Morf to Morphing - The Dawn of Digital Filmmaking; stills gallery; 8 TV spots; 2 teaser trailers and full theatrical trailer.
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on 7 October 2014
Willow [Blu-ray].
Picture quality of blu-ray edition is not significantly improved over the Special Edition DVD to warrant repurchase.
However, this edition does come with three new special Features over SE DVD:

Deleted scenes with Ron Howard
Willow: an unlikely hero - personal video diary of Warwick Davis
matte paintings (very short comparison of several scenes)

Missing from this edition:
Audio Commentary by Warwick Davis
Theatrical Trailers/Teaser Trailers
TV spots
Photo Gallery
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