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  • Writer's pictureJordan Drayer

Review of Willow

I can't believe I never saw Willow until this year! It is a truly unique movie, though it does seem strange that Disney Plus would want to make a mini-series out of it. You can tell there's an interesting fantasy world which barely got its surface scratched in the movie... yet I feel like Disney was saying, "with The Rings of Power (Amazon) and The House of the Dragon (HBO), we need our own fantasy series! What's something we can use? How about this old 1980's kind of obscure movie, Willow?" Disney wasn't even involved with it in the 80's... but I'm not here to talk about the new show. Let's talk about that movie!

Willow is cool for lots of reasons. I'm not up-to-date on what's the right term these days, but I'm going to use little person.

  • So anyway, you have a little person main character, Willow, and a huge cast of them - scoring points for representation in the panoply of movie characters.

  • You see a lot of racial diversity among the nelwyns (hobbit-like people) as well, though less in the daikini (humans).

  • You have two men caring for a baby (Willow and Madmartigan (not sure on the spelling)). That alone is interesting when our society still has trouble letting men be care-takers.

  • You have a female villain and a powerful female rival to her - I love that old lady magic fight near the end!

  • In fact, there's a lot of female power here - the whole point of the movie is trying to save the baby girl Alora so she can just grow up and be the next ordained ruler.

  • There's Sorsha, a badass warrior who turns on her evil mother to follow good.

  • Alora's mother and the midwife who die to protect her are also badasses lol, brave women.

The music by James Horner (z"l) alone makes it an awesome movie, and it's directed by Ron Howard. In my sister's words, he makes us care for characters we've barely met and who don't get much screen time, those being Willow's children and wife. I like that you can see the various species and get hints at their cultures, like the brownies and the nelwyns. This would be worth exploring in the mini-series; I'll have to watch it to see what happens.

Yeah, there's some parts that could've been done better - why does Sorsha fall for Madmartigan so easily (he's the only one under a love potion at the time)? I guess their first few meetings before that time in the snow tent are enough to get her wondering and thinking about him? I like that she really falls for his fighting prowess though in the end, not sweet words and other "normal female things." Also the midwife getting as far as she did when people behind her were on horse and had dogs. Although those dogs throughout the film don't seem to actually be very good at smelling.

But overall you have some good, non-2D characters, except maybe the brownies and the evil queen Bavmorda. Why is she evil? What is her aim? How did she come to power, like through family or conquer? But sometimes you need static characters to show off the dynamic ones. Sorsha, Willow, Madmartigan all have good storylines.

So definitely check out Willow if you can!

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