Sure the special effects are a bit dated but this movie still holds up for an entertaining fantasy. Val Kilmer is a big part of this movies success. He played his part fantastically.
3 of 9 member(s) found this review helpful.
Julie D. (ecomama) Reviewed on 7/11/2008...
This movie is in my "All Time Favs" Top 10
I remember going to the movies with my mother and aunt (I was a teen). The place was packed, but I hadn't even heard of it...a matinee. By the end of the movie, the whole place was chanting "Willow!" Not just the kids; it was my only experience like that. Hard to imagine it ever called a disappointment!
There is so MUCH humor in this...and good messages! Plus my favorite line from any movie is in Willow "And it went away?!" And the action! My favorite part is the wild ride down the ice mountain. Ron captured the baby's expressions beautifully, too. It was the first movie that I actually like Val Kilmer...
3 of 5 member(s) found this review helpful.
Pure, nonsensical satisfaction!
D. Litton | Wilmington, NC | 10/11/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Willow" is a mixed bag of different movie venues and audience reactions, ranging from originality to predictability, from exciting to downright weird. It lacks the ingenuity and spirit of such child-oriented movies as "The Neverending Story" and "The Goonies," but for the most part, it pays off, and you may be surprised to find yourself enjoying different sections of the film. The beginning is wonderful, a highly suspenseful opening in which an evil queen brings all pregnant mothers in her kingdom before her in hopes of locating and destroying the one chosen to bring her reign of terror to an end. A midwife smuggles the child out of the castle, and before she is set upon by wildebeests, she sends the child floating down the river, where it comes to the attention of the Nelywn community. In the world of "Willow," there are two sets of people: the Nelwyns, a community of short, midget people, and the Daikinis, regular-sized humans. The baby is a Daikini, and so Willow Ufgood (Warwick Davis) is called upon to return the baby to its original habitat. Setting out on the dangerous journey, he soon meets adventurous Madmartigan (Val Kilmer), and the two pair up to take the baby to its destination, which changes almost every minute as they encounter such beings as a forest fairy, and a sorceress who comes in the form of a rat, a bird, a goat, etc. The movie isn't really interested in setting a straight course for itself. The constant changing of setting, pace, and destination are all a reminder that a movie such as this is more of a device for action and humor rather than logical plot. Because this movie is aimed at children, and has a childlike quality of its own, it gets away with such a tactic. Having said that, the film is exceptionally entertaining. It's full of humor and yes, even a little bit of suspense, likeable characters, who are sometimes so goofy and cumbersome that you'll laugh until you cry, and a story that is the stuff dreams are made of. Kilmer's character is a throwback of sorts to the swashbuckling heroes of yesteryear, while Davis is a hero as well, and the one we all come out rooting for. The action sequences are mindless good fun, ranging from a high-speed horse chase to some showdowns at various castles throughout the land. These scenes all give Lucas and director Ron Howard a chance to showcase some of the finer set pieces in a children's movie, from knights in armor and beautiful yet foreboding vistas, to dark, gothic castles and otherworldly creatures conjured out of magical powers. Watching the movie as an adult proves to be far different than from seeing it in my childhood. As a child, I remembered the excitement of such scenes, and looking back on them, I find that it is unfair to dismiss the movie on its logic. I do find that some scenes are somewhat disturbing for younger children, at whom the movie is aimed, such as the sequence in which a two-headed dragon rises out of a river; they seem a bit too daring for a children's movie. The fantasy land created in "Willow" lives up to the expectations of the genre, and even goes a bit further. The story is a bit befuddled, but paying attention to its flaws takes away from the fun and excitement it has in spinning its tale. The special effects are dazzling without being jaw-dropping, and the action is intense without being gratuitous. As a children's movie, "Willow" is pure, nonsensical satisfaction."
W. T. Johnston Jr. | U.S.A | 01/02/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A great story about a Nelwyn named Willow (Warwick Davis) who finds a baby in the river. It turns out that this baby, named Elora Dannan, is part of a profecy that was said to destroy the evil Queen Bavmorda when the child grew older. Willow sets out on an adventure with a warrior named Madmartigan (Val Kilmer) to save the baby from being killed by the queen. Fairies, trolls, dragons and sorcerers magic bring this story to life by the talents of Industrial Light and Magic. My favorite scene is when all these fairies are flying around in the woods and the head fairy Shalindria gives Willow her wand and tells him to protect the baby and how important his quest is to the whole kingdom. The brownies are very funny too. One of them is played by Kevin Pollack. I highly recommend this movie for people that really like fantasy and adventure."
Do you think you'll like "Willow"? I'm sure you will!
Priscilla Stafford | Yokohama, Japan | 12/29/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What do you get when you have George Lucas AND Ron Howard, both famous for their work in the movie-making industry, producing and directing this movie? You've got it, a fantastic, rollicking fantasy-adventure!The evil Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh) has for years been searching for the baby who, according to an ancient prophecy, will end her reign of terror. Taking all the pregnant women, she searches each and every baby when one day, the sacred girl is born. But before Bavmorda could kill her, a faithful midwife takes the child away from the castle. When she realizes she is being pursued, she lets the baby drift away on a river. The abandoned girl is found by a Nelwyn named Willow Ufgood (Warwick Davis). But Willow quickly finds out that the baby is being tracked down Bavmorda's armies, including her daughter Sorsha (Joanne Whalley) and General Kael (Pat Roach). Willow sets out to the crossroads to give the baby back to the Daikini, or the big humans. He finds out though through the magical Cherlindrea (Maria Holvoe) about the baby, Elora Danan (played by both Ruth and Kate Greenfield) and the prophecy about her. Willow, with the companionship of swordsman and warrior Madmartigan (Val Kilmer) and Brownies Rool and Franjean (Kevin Pollak & Rick Overton), they go to seek help from sorceress Fin Raziel (Patricia Hayes). A totally charming movie, "Willow" will be one of my favorite movies to watch for a long time. Though people must be warned that though it is rated PG, it's more like PG-13 in some areas and I strongly suggest that adults watch before their children do. Everything is wonderful about the movie, from the directing, the acting by the whole cast, an enchanting plot, pretty good special effects, and plenty of humor and action. There's humor that is witty, sarcastic, and laugh-out-loud funny. Val Kilmer as Madmartigan and the two Brownies gets plenty of great lines. Yet at the same time the movie is pretty serious with all of the battles against good and evil, and Val Kilmer is a great swash-buckling swordfighter and handles the sword pretty well.And this DVD isn't called "Special Edition" for no reason. Though it may not have as many special features as many recent movie special editions, "Willow" will satisfy you. 1) Commentary by Warwick Davis, 2) Willow: Making of an Adventure Featurette, 3) Featurette: Morf to Morphing, 4) Behind-the-Scenes Still Gallery, 5) Theatrical Teasers and Trailers, 6) 8 TV Spots, and a few more. One thing you must watch is the 'Making of an Adventure Featurette'. Looking at an older Ron Howard with his mustache certainly was a little shock to me after seeing him play Opie on the "Andy Griffith Show" and acting in "Happy Days". One part that was fun about it is when they were talking about the love scenes in the movie. Val Kilmer admits that whenever he had to kiss Joanne Whalley, afterwards he always forgot his lines and no matter how many times they had to do it, he never got it right. They were married after making the movie but unfortunately, they were divorced later on.So if you are thinking about getting "Willow", I strongly recommend that you watch it! Enjoyable for the whole family, if your children are old enough to handle some parts of the film. And if you have a chance to check out the quotes and trivia page on Amazon, I suggest you do because you can find out all sorts of things."
Stop torturing us Lucas! We want our DVDs.
Lisa Krause | Huntington, MA United States | 09/12/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"WILLOW is a terrific movie, one of my favorites of all time. Val Kilmer, who can often seem a little too "weird" or simply annoyed to be there in some of his other roles, is the perfect reluctant hero. Joanne Whaley (Kilmer) is the best female fantasy character ever filmed. She's neither too vulnerable nor too testosteroned. The only other "princess" that can even hold a candle to her is Buttercup from THE PRINCESS BRIDE, but as much as I love TPB, I feel that Sorsha is a cooler heroine. Warwick Davis puts in an excellent central performance and is the heart of the film. The special effects were terrific, the story is simple yet rich, so that the film stands up to repeated viewings. Simply put, this was the last great fantasy film, and certainly one of the best of all time.Now if only they would release it on DVD. My VHS copy long ago went the way of the socks in the dryer (i.e. lost between moves). I know Lucas invested $$ in Laserdisc, but it's time for him to give it up and release STAR WARS, RAIDERS, and WILLOW on DVD. Pretty please George?"