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Willow (1988)

PG  |   |  Action, Adventure, Drama  |  20 May 1988 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 77,442 users  
Reviews: 225 user | 73 critic

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 overview, first billed only:
Patricia Hayes ...
Pat Roach ...
David Steinberg ...
Vohnkar Warrior
Robert Gillibrand ...
Vohnkar Warrior
Mark Northover ...


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 (241) »


Forget all you know, or think you know. See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

20 May 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Willow - Na Terra da Magia  »

Box Office


$35,000,000 (estimated)


$57,269,863 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to the press kits and subsequent novels, the two-headed dragon was named "Eborsisk", a reference to the movie critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert. The word does not occur in the film but made it into some reviews. See more »


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 »


Sorsha: You're no woman!
The Wench: Now, honey, take it easy.
Llug: Not a woman?
Madmartigan: Gentleman.
Llug: Not a woman?
Madmartigan: Meet Llug.
See more »


Referenced in Cinemassacre's Monster Madness: Leprechaun (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

Wow. The most fun I've had with a movie, probably ever ...
25 October 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I attended a screen writing class once, and the teacher said that the worst movie ever made was "Willow" ... he also defended "White Chicks" (in the same class) as being some sort of underrated theatrical gem.

What an idiot. Obviously, this man has no soul.

Anyway, it must have been this sort of "I'm too good for that" attitude that killed "Willow" in the theaters. I remember seeing previews for it when I was a kid, and there was nothing more in the world that I had wanted to watch. I was raised on "The Neverending Story," "Legend," "Krull," "The Beastmaster," and "The Dark Crystal." So, sure, I loved fantasy. It was my favorite genre. And even though many will say that "Lord of the Rings" is better, I have to disagree. "The Lord of the Rings" is a good melding of drama, real-life struggle and fantasy, but's it not fun to watch. "Willow," on the other hand, is a blast to watch.

The music from Horner's great ... I can still whistle the adventure theme song, and often do sometimes. Val Kilmer as Madmartigan was a great rogue hero, who had plenty of great lines, laughs. Sorcia was by Joanne Whalley, was hot as hell ... a fiery redhead who just refused to be ordered or commanded. General Kael (who was supposedly based on one of Lucas' critics) is awesome. His look spawned an entire decade of me thinking that people with skull masks were horribly cool. The woman who played Fin Razel (sp?) was great. The Brownies were hysterical. And last but not least, give it up for Billy Barty and Warwick Davis, little people with big roles. I think little people probably thank Mr. Lucas and Ron Howard for making them stars for once, for giving them a showcase piece. Davis really had no better role in his life than this one. And he shined in it.

Well, if that particular teacher is reading this by any chance, I hope you go back and re-watch this as a kid. For me, and obviously many others on this website, the movie was more than a fun, little escape ... it was almost a genre-leading film. If there's one thing that pre-prequel George Lucas was good at, it was at giving the audience a good time ... Indiana Jones, Willow, Star Wars ... the best adventure/fantasy films ever to come out. Each of them with charming heroes, obvious bad guys, magic, swords, and humor.

"Pirates of the Carribbean" resurrected this sort of cinema, I think, and the American public responded to it with verve. I still remember hard-nosed critic Lisa Schwarzbaum giving "Pirates" a D rating in Entertainment Weekly. I bet she about choked on her own vomit when she saw how much fun everyone had with the film.

And "Willow" is the same thing. It's pure magic. Pure escape. Especially good for children, but good for the adults, too. If you can't have fun with this one, than you better go get your laughs from movies like "White Chicks" ... just don't be surprised when the kids come out making jokes about d*cks and p*ssies afterward.

111 of 131 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Disney bought Lucasfilm! Will we finally get Willow 2? mack27
Star Wars similarities gohansolo1980
Better than I remembered. michaelward15
Why all the hate for this movie? GollumsLunch
Disappointment and growu ang-son
Explain how this is not a ripoff of Lord of the Rings. SaffronCityInn
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