Willow Ufgood finds a baby that turns out to be the princess that will save their world by destroying an evil sorceress but help from Madmartigan might not be much help at all.
Film making 3/5
Recommendation 4/5 Stars
Willow is a new Blu-ray release of the 1988 film that starred Val Kilmer and Warwick Davis as Madmartigan and Willow Ufgood. Willow’s children find a baby who turns out to be the prophesied baby princess who will destroy the evil sorceress Queen Bavmorda.
Willow first takes the baby home where his wife coddles the more normal sized baby in their Nelwyn home; Nelwyns are a dwarf like race while the larger more human like race is called Daikini. The village of Nelwyns are attacked by a hound sent out to find the baby by Queen Bavmorda so the village decides to get rid of the baby by giving it to the nearest human they can find.
Willow volunteers for the job because he cares for the baby while others are more interested in just saving their village by getting the baby out of it. The group takes the baby to a cross roads several days journey but are nearly discovered by searching parties sent out to find the baby.
The group splits with most going back to the village while Willow and his best friend stay to find someone to give the baby to only to find Madmartigan in a crows cage for theft. Willow releases Madmartigan and together they set off to fulfill the destiny of the baby who will bring about the destruction of Queen Bavmorda.
The tale may seem a bit familiar with elements of The Hobbit, Star Wars and other fantasy and science fiction but it does have a few things going for it with the advent of digital cinematography and special effects combining. George Lucas did an excellent job with the film and a so-so one with the story for a decent enough film overall that still has a following and even a chance at a sequel after all these years.
Willow is a fun romp of an adventure movie even with the somewhat corny scenes that are obvious throwbacks to other films and the somewhat lacking use of green screen and other older special effects. The movie did use some new technology and the start of computer animation is evident by the use of it a few times even if it does not look as good as it does in more recent films.
The Blu-ray release looks very good and even with or despite George Lucas supervising the transfer it still came out excellent and without any apparent problems. Just putting his name to a title transfer to Blu-ray does not really impress me at all but this one came out very well and you have no issues at all with the clear video and excellent color.
Audio is also well done and without issues from the DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio Surround track that makes great use of surround sound. The surround field is well used for almost every scene with nice fill in and background sounds from the rears while the voice is clear in the center and action moves nicely from speaker to speaker when appropriate.
Bonus features include a great mix of new and old with about an hour making of features that show from director Ron Howard to the actors about the film and special effects used. The bonus content may be a bit short but it does have enough very interesting content to make it well worth watching and without any time wasting stuff added just to make it longer.
While the bonus features could have been longer with more on the technical aspects at least they did not add filler that is not interesting so there is enough worthwhile content. Willow is an interesting movie that fits into that period where CGI and computers broke into special effects but old school techniques were still used because it worked well.
George Lucas with Ron Howard as director did an excellent job and even if the box office sales did not show how good this film was it has since grown a decent following. Willow is well worth a rental and even a collection addition to keep a good balance and to show off the beginning of the new technologies used in special effects.