Based on a story by George Lucas, this fairy-tale-style adventure was a bit of a flop when it was released in 1988, partly because everyone was expecting something on the scale of Lucas’s Star Wars. While the film is set in a lush, mythical and almost medieval land, some of the story elements are similar – young farmer Willow Ufgood (Warwick Davis, who played Ewok Wicket in Return of the Jedi) has to protect a special baby from evil Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh). There’s a cocky reluctant Han Solo-style hero to help him, too, Madmartigan (Kilmer), as well as a damsel in distress (Whalley).
It’s certainly not the epic Lucas probably wanted (it’s actually a bit boring and predictable in places) but there are some good effects (one monster and a couple of the grisly swordfights aren’t perhaps suitable for younger eyes, though) and enjoyable performances from Davis and Marsh. Kilmer, however, looks pretty uncomfortable, and after sitting through two hours of this so-so film, you probably will be too.
Is Willow suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
There are a few violent battle scenes and more than one character is attacked or eaten, but most older children (10 and over) won’t find anything frightening.