movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] Carolyn HAD rated this 2 stars on Netflix and didn’t remember it from being a kid. I *think* I may have seen it, but absolutely NOTHING in it rang a bell, so I COULD be wrong. Parthena said it was one of her fave movies as a kid, so she got to watch it with us.

LIMERICK REVIEW: There once was a fantasy called Willow.
A baby found floating in a river — D’oh!
Keeping it alive was a pain.
To the queen, it was a bane.
A sorceress is quite a formidable foe.

HAIKU REVIEW: Willow’s a midget?!?!?!
The things you forget with age!
Nice to revisit.

PEOPLE: Directed by Ron Howard (the narrator from Arrested Development!), written by George Lucas and Bob Dolman. Val Kilmer certainly makes the ladies happy, but he was still better in Real Genius. Did you know Joanne Whalley (Sorsha) was a groupee in the Pink Floyd movie? Her career is still going, but I don’t think she’s done anything as well-known as Willow since then. Nor has she ever looked as good, judging by her IMDB pictures. Maybe that’s why Val Kilmer divorced her? (OHHH, I totally went there.)

The baby (Ruth/Kate Greenfield) was actually the best baby actor I’ve ever seen–which really just means they spent many hours photographing it until it did the right things. And they were never in a movie again… And little people. Tons of little people, and some of the standard familiar faces. This is the most little people in any movie since The Wizard Of Oz, and they had to advertise nationally to get that many. (Some trivia: At a party, I once saw a little person smoking pot, asked around, and she was friends of some friends and had been an Ewok in Star Wars episode 6: Return Of The Jedi. So I’ve seen an Ewok smoke pot! Who else can brag about this?)

QUIRKS: Most of your standard fantasy movie tropes apply here. Formulaic to a tee; yet exceeding expectations and out-doing many of the similar movies that came out in the early 80s. More of these quirks are discussed in the “SIMILAR MOVIES” section below, where I compare it to Lord Of The Rings.

There are two Wilhelm Screams in this movie.

And some mis-treatment of babies.. always a plus. lol

And some comic relief from the 2 “very tiny” people, the Smurf-sized “brownies”. They really reminded me of the worms from Worms 3-D (the X-box version, not the PS2 version).

VISUALS: The fantasy world here is much richer than most 1980s fantasy movies. Closer to the caliber of the Lord Of The Rings movies in terms of having a rich world filled with many different kinds of creatures. Special effects have come a long way since then, but they still did a good job.

MORALS: Even reluctant tiny people can be heroes. But we all knew this when we read Lord Of The Rings

BAD STUFF: The only thing bad about it is that it was kind of “generic” in the sense of following many established tropes for Fantasy movies. But this movie didn’t win out (versus the others) in uniqueness of ideas, it won out by executing these ideas in a better way. It doesn’t get boring like Legend. Solutions to problems are, as usual, “conveniently convenient”, but not as badly as in other movies.

CONCLUSION: I think by re-watching it I bumped it up from 3 stars to 4 stars on Netflix, and up to 7/10 on IMDB. After seeing so many sub-par fantasy movies like Legend and Krull … It’s nice to see one that is better than a “generic pass”.

RECOMMENDATION: Fantasy lovers and 80s movie lovers should definitely watch (or re-watch) this.

SIMILAR MOVIES: Lord Of The Rings!!! I was cracking jokes the whole time about how ever character was almost directly analogous to a character in Lord Of The Rings. The Nelwyns are the hobbits. Willow is Frodo. The baby is the ring. Bad people in horses come after them like the Nazgul. A “fellowship” is formed. Cherlindrea is “Galadriel” and gives “Frodo” (Willow) a magic wand instead of a strand of her hair, and then gets really creepy just like Galadriel talking about how horrible she could be if she had the ring. The Brownies are the “elves”, only 2 inches tall but still able to take you via bow & arrow in the middle of the forest. The “orcs” are simply a human army. Val Kilmer/Madmartigan is Aragorn. Bavmorda may as well be Sauron (and didn’t land another movie role for 12 years, until she was “The Queens” in Monarch). Nockmaar may as well have been Mordor; Tir Asleen may as well have been Minas Tirith. And there’s even a dragon, like in The Hobbit.

It is also of course somewhat similar to a lot of the 80s fantasy movies that came out, like Krull, Legend, The NeverEnding Story, or Labyrinth. And has parallels to Star Wars as well.

MOVIE QUOTE: 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.

COINCIDENCES: Supergirl, Willow. 2 1980’s movies in a row with love potions.

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: Christie and Chris H/Lisa loved it. Ian & Tatiana really liked it. Christian H & Jordan & Benj liked it. Chris Z didn’t like it. Becky hated it.

Mood: full
Music: Kreator – Awakening Of The Gods