7.3/10
92,892
243 user 105 critic

Willow (1988)

Trailer
1:22 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Prime Video

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

Director:

Ron Howard

Writers:

George Lucas (story by), Bob Dolman (screenplay by)
Reviews
Popularity
864 ( 434)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 9 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Ladyhawke (1985)
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The thief Gaston escapes dungeon of medieval Aquila thru the latrine. Soldiers are about to kill him when Navarre saves him. Navarre, traveling with his spirited hawk, plans to kill the bishop of Aquila with help from Gaston.

Director: Richard Donner
Stars: Matthew Broderick, Rutger Hauer, Michelle Pfeiffer
Legend (1985)
Adventure | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A young man must stop the Lord of Darkness from both destroying daylight and marrying the woman he loves.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Tom Cruise, Mia Sara, Tim Curry
Cocoon (1985)
Comedy | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

When a group of trespassing seniors swim in a pool containing alien cocoons, they find themselves energized with youthful vigor.

Director: Ron Howard
Stars: Don Ameche, Wilford Brimley, Hume Cronyn
Innerspace (1987)
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A hapless store clerk must foil criminals to save the life of the man who, miniaturized in a secret experiment, was accidentally injected into him.

Director: Joe Dante
Stars: Dennis Quaid, Martin Short, Meg Ryan
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Video game expert Alex Rogan finds himself transported to another planet after conquering The Last Starfighter video game only to find out it was just a test. He was recruited to join the team of best starfighters to defend their world from the attack.

Director: Nick Castle
Stars: Lance Guest, Robert Preston, Kay E. Kuter
Enemy Mine (1985)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

During a long space war, the lives of two wounded enemies become dependent on their ability to forgive and to trust.

Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Stars: Dennis Quaid, Louis Gossett Jr., Brion James
Krull (1983)
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A prince and a fellowship of companions set out to rescue his bride from a fortress of alien invaders who have arrived on their home planet.

Director: Peter Yates
Stars: Ken Marshall, Lysette Anthony, Freddie Jones
Excalibur (1981)
Adventure | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Merlin the magician helps Arthur Pendragon unite the Britons around the Round Table of Camelot, even as dark forces conspire to tear it apart.

Director: John Boorman
Stars: Nigel Terry, Helen Mirren, Nicholas Clay
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A sword-and-sorcery fantasy about a young man's search for revenge. Armed with supernatural powers, the handsome hero and his animal allies wage war against marauding forces.

Director: Don Coscarelli
Stars: Marc Singer, Tanya Roberts, Rip Torn
Flash Gordon (1980)
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A football player and his friends travel to the planet Mongo and find themselves fighting the tyranny of Ming the Merciless to save Earth.

Director: Mike Hodges
Stars: Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Max von Sydow
Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A young boy, Conan, becomes a slave after his parents are killed and tribe destroyed by a savage warlord and sorcerer, Thulsa Doom. When he grows up he becomes a fearless, invincible fighter. Set free, he plots revenge against Thulsa Doom.

Director: John Milius
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Earl Jones, Max von Sydow
WarGames (1983)
Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A young man finds a back door into a military central computer in which reality is confused with game-playing, possibly starting World War III.

Director: John Badham
Stars: Matthew Broderick, Ally Sheedy, John Wood
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Val Kilmer ... Madmartigan
Joanne Whalley ... Sorsha
Warwick Davis ... Willow Ufgood
Jean Marsh ... Queen Bavmorda
Patricia Hayes Patricia Hayes ... Fin Raziel
Billy Barty ... High Aldwin
Pat Roach ... Gen. Kael
Gavan O'Herlihy ... Airk Thaughbaer
David Steinberg ... Meegosh
Phil Fondacaro ... Vohnkar
Tony Cox ... Vohnkar Warrior
Robert Gillibrand Robert Gillibrand ... Vohnkar Warrior
Mark Northover ... Burglekutt
Kevin Pollak ... Rool
Rick Overton ... Franjean
Edit

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

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 May 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Willow See more »

Edit

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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Val Kilmer adlibbed much of his dialogue. See more »

Goofs

Before the journey to return the Daikini baby, Willow is seen with the papoose on his back, then off, then he puts it on again. See more »

Quotes

Cherlindrea: Elora Danan must survive. She must fulfill her destiny and bring about the downfall of Queen Bavmorda. Her powers are growing like an evil plague. Unless she is stopped, Bavmorda will control the lives of your village, your children, everyone. All creatures of good heart need your help, Willow. The choice is yours.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Although he played the title role, Warwick Davis took just third billing. Val Kilmer and Joanne Whalley took first and second billing respectively. See more »

Alternate Versions

A deleted scene took place after Willow met Fin Raziel (as the muskrat) on the island. They left back on the boat, where a massive storm took place courtesy of Bavmorda's magic. Eventully, Willow is pulled under water and attacked by a fish/shark creature. A piece of the scene is shown in the "Making of Willow" documentary available on the DVD. Willow's hair is also noticibly wet when back on land. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Samurai X: Trust and Betrayal (1999) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A New Generation of Kids Will Love This Film
26 October 2006 | by aimless-46See all my reviews

To sum things up, this was really a George Lucus film-with the then relatively inexperienced Ron Howard hired to direct-under the watchful eye of Lucus. Lucus wrote the screenplay, raiding his bookshelf for Tolkein (especially "The Hobbit") and Lewis ("Narnia"). Then he simply transferred the hero/heroine romance from his "Star Wars" screenplay. Not necessarily a bad thing, it was a simple way for him to build a feature length screenplay targeting younger viewers but sophisticated enough to entertain the entire family. "Willow" has some scary stuff but should not be a problem for the average grade school viewer. My rating is based on comparisons to other films with a similar target audience.

I must confess up-front to a positive bias. My favorite part of "Star Wars" is the caustic romance between Han Solo and Princess Leia; and in "Willow" Lucus has refined his technique and actually improved something that was already close to perfection. Sorsha (Joanne Whalley) and Madmartigan (Val Kilmer) substitute nicely for Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford, with the added dimension of having them begin the story on opposite sides. The romantic elements are efficiently and subtly inserted into the film. Even though these characters are part of the main storyline, the romance is separate enough to serve as the film's main parallel story. The only downside is that this side story soon becomes more interesting than the main one, so much so that its climatic kiss (occurring about 20 minutes before the ending) unintentionally turns into the film's climax (at least energy wise). The actual resolution of the main story then plays out rather anti-climatically.

"Willow" is a delivery quest story, much like "The Hobbit" where a reluctant Nelwyn (small person) is required to set out on a perilous journey to return a lost baby (even smaller) to a Daikini (tall person). Along the way he is assisted by a couple of Brownies (yet smaller guys who speak with outrageous French accents). The size differentials are the main theme of the film and are especially intriguing to young viewers who easily identify with having to deal with people who tower above them. Howard encourages this identification process by shooting most of the action at child level. If you watch the film with young children you will be amazed at its ability to draw them into the story, this happens because the camera angles intentionally match a child's point-of-view of the world. The viewing child's surrogate is the title character (Warwick Davis-who does a commentary on the DVD), a unlikely hero who inspires audience sympathy as he bravely faces the dangers of his journey while gamely putting up with an ever-changing group of irritating companions. There are frequent cutaways to Elora Danan (the baby), mostly for reaction shots. As in "Raising Arizona", the producers took enough stock clips to match her expressions to almost any situation. Willow learns early on from Cherlindrea (a dazzling fairy) that Elora Danan is a princess who (it has been foretold) will one day vanquish the evil Queen Baymorda (a fun role for Jean Marsh). Things get a bit Biblical/Narnia here as the Queen is seeking to eliminate the Princess before she becomes a threat.

The DVD features: "Willow:The Making of an Adventure" (made during production in 1988) and "Willow: Morf to Morphing" (made in 2001 for the DVD release), really put the film in historical context relative to its place in the evolution of special effects. It was really the transitional point where photochemical (film) effects were subordinated to digital effects. This gave "Willow" a significant place in film history and these two featurettes taken together nicely illustrate the continuing challenge to those involved with special effects; any new development is soon overused and no longer an audience draw. Meaning that effects people have to stay on the cutting edge to simply justify their existence.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.


6 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 243 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed