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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
Being a university history major, trained to examine documents and videos for hidden meanings, and imbued with a skeptical and analytical mind, one might expect that someone like me wouldn't appreciate this kind of film. It's one dimensional, it plays on typical fantasy stereotypes, and it doesn't really have anything that previous fantasy films didn't except for... style.
Yes, I consider this a stylish film. Mostly because even after 'growing up', I can still watch this film and be as wrapped up in the story and characters as I was when I was a little boy. It's formulaic plot and generally one-dimensional characters are a large part of that reason - the film makes no pretensions of being something it isn't. It's honest, a quality lacking in so very many films these days which seem to be produced only to suit the latest fashion.
The characters are all well acted - there's no ham acting to be found here in my opinion. Clearly, the actors had fun with the roles and gave them as much life as they could. Madmartigan is man with a dark past, clearly an anti-hero redeemed by the end of the film. Airk, the 'good' general is everything one expects in a 'knight in shining armor' - chivalrous, dedicated, brave. Bavmorda is the quintessential 'wicked witch', scheming, maniacal, obsessed with power. It is these characters that play so well into the average person's conception of fantasy fare that is precisely what makes the film a success - it entertains us because it knows what we like, and what we expect to see, and then delivers it with action and a bombastic musical score.
Critics panned it for being unoriginal, but being original wasn't the point of this movie. The point was to entertain, to make us thrill to a tale of high adventure of dragons, of far away lands, of swords and sorcery. On this account, no other fantasy film (with the possible exception of Conan the Barbarian) has ever done this so exceedingly well.
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