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Willow (1988)

A reluctant dwarf must play a critical role in protecting a special baby from an evil queen.

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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Robert Gillibrand ...
Vohnkar Warrior
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Storyline

A baby girl is discovered in a river by Ranon and Mims, the children of Willow Ufgood, a dwarf farmer and magician and the baby girl is taken into the care of Willow's family. But when a terrifying dog-like creature attacks Willow's village, whilst tracking down the baby. Willow consults the village council and the wizard The High Aldwin. The High Aldwin gives Willow a task and Willow leaves the village and embarks on the task to give the baby girl to a responsible person. But Willow soon learns the baby is Elora Danan, the baby girl destined to bring about the downfall of the evil sorceress Queen Bavmorda. Joined by his allies: swordsman Madmartigan, sorceress Fin Raziel and the Brownies Franjean and Rool, Willow takes it upon himself to protect Elora from Queen Bavmorda, who intends to kill Elora and prevent Elora from fulfilling her destiny. And Willow and his allies are pursued by Queen Bavmorda's daughter Sorsha and the evil commander of Queen Bavmorda's army General Kael, whom ... Written by Dan Williams

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

baby | queen | village | river | baby girl | See All (238) »

Taglines:

Adventure doesn't come any bigger than this. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

20 May 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Willow - Na Terra da Magia  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,300,169, 20 May 1988, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$57,269,863
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film shares an alarming number of plot and character similarities with another George Lucas film: Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977). Willow Ufgood has several traits in common with Luke Skywalker, being a simple farm boy pressed into adventure by forces beyond his control. The High Aldwin is not unlike Yoda, guiding Willow's path with a fair amount of rustic comedy, and even the Aldwin's speech about magic sounds strikingly similar to descriptions of the Force. Madmartigan obviously mirrors Han Solo as a roguish, wisecracking mercenary with a heart of gold. His stormy romance with Sorsha, who features Princess Leia's royal lineage, sarcastic wit, and rebellious streak, treads familiar territory and even bears a similar leitmotif. Sorsha's mother, Queen Bavmorda, represents Emperor Palpatine, though he was not in Episode 4, using her supernatural powers to strengthen her grip on the world, including her faithful servant General Kael, whose skull mask, dark clothing, and cape resembles Darth Vader's villainous visage. Fin Raziel, forced into hiding by the forces of darkness and representing Willow's largest evolution into the world of magic, occupies Obi-Wan Kenobi's position in the story, or perhaps Yoda, more so. Funny as it may seem, Elora Danan shares commonalities with the stolen Death Star plans; she is protected by the heroes as their last hope, feared by the villains as their one weakness. To a lesser extent, Airk Thaughbaer's rocky friendship with Madmartigan mirrors Han Solo's difficulties with Lando Calrissian, who was also not in Episode 4. Their home kingdom of Galladorn suffers a similar fate to Alderaan, destroyed by Bavmorda's indestructible army. Rool and Franjean share traits with R2-D2 and C-3PO thanks to their comedic dynamic and occasional assistance to the main characters in times of need. At one point, the principal characters even wind up in a tavern not unlike Mos Eisley, filled with unrest and ultimately invaded by Bavmorda's army leading to a dramatic escape. See more »

Goofs

Madmartigan has his legs hanging out of the cage. In the scene directly following it, he has his legs in the cage and crossed. See more »

Quotes

Madmartigan: Let me out of here, Airk. Give me a sword, I'll win this war for you.
Airk: I still serve Galadorn, remember? You serve no one. Just sit in your coffin and rot.
[Rides off]
Madmartigan: I'll be around long after you're dead! When I get out of here, I'm gonna cut your head off and stick it on a pig pole!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Hercules (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Well worth a watch if you want some pure, and somewhat silly, entertainment.
24 December 2002 | by See all my reviews

For its day, Willow was one of the better fantasy movies. The effects look a little dated now (especially the two-headed beastie) but it has enough humour and action to keep most satisfied. It's no LOTR, but then it was made 14 years ago.

Warwick Davis plays Willow, a Nelwynn, a race of hobbit-sized folk who don't have anything to do with "The Big People" as they call humans. Basically, it's the Shire transplanted into this movie, but without the budget. Billy Barty is the village's wizard and basically plays the character Gweldor again (from Masters of the Universe) but without the silly make-up and stupid musical key.

Val Kilmer is Madmartigan, a human warrior who befriends Willow and helps him on his journey with varying degrees of ulterior motive.

The acting is all reasonably good. Warwick Davis was only 18 when this film was released so his performance is very good considering his age and lack of experience (prior to this he'd played a goblin in Labyrinth and an ewok in Return of the Jedi). It's also interesting to see Pat Roach here. Pat was a former wrestler and has carved out a little niche for himself playing villains and tough guys. Here he plays General Kael, the right-hand henchman of Queen Bavmorda, played with gusto by Jean Marsh. That woman is truly frightening.

It's all good fun and the two funniest characters in the movie are Franjean and Rool, two Brownies, who "help" Willow regardless of the latters wishes. They have the funniest double act and reminded me more than a little of Merry and Pippin in LOTR.

All in all well worth a watch if you want some pure, and somewhat silly, entertainment.


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