The two biggest fantasy shows this year… weren’t the fantasy stuff I grew up in. dragon house there was plenty of blood and dragons, but it was largely a show about the political intrigues of a large incest family and Lord of the Rings it seemed like every moment of it was focused on being a great show at a slow pace that Tolkien would love but which I found too slow. But when I watch a fantasy show, I want a big adventure. I want to feel the excitement I got when I watched it for the first time. dragon slayer or Ladyhawke or Labyrinth. Or original Willow.
And the new show set after more than 20 years Willow Is this adventure a crazy good time that requires zero knowledge of the world it brings to life – just being willing to enjoy something serious, kind and fun.
That’s the word I kept coming back to after watching the first seven episodes. this show fun. It takes time to create its characters, but it brings them close enough to the tropes of an adventure story that you feel like you already know them. So there’s the princess who wants to escape her adventure and fate, the brave soldier caught between love and duty, and the witty bastard with a heart of gold. And then there’s Willow, played by Warwick Davis. He’s an older, wiser man who’s haunted by bad choices and needs to make it right. It also remains the film’s disturbing concern.
We’ve been dealing with a lot of big-gen sequels over the past few years. Star wars, Star wars, Jurassic Park, Doctor Whoand even Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness the joy of bringing back older actors to reprise roles alongside a younger generation. It’s a big game of nostalgia and it usually only works on the surface. as much as i love picture, I know this show especially appeals to me – a person who grew up with next generation and I will forgive many faults to see my old favourites.
Willow meaningfully doing the same thing, but in this case it works. Willow’s place in his life did not disappoint me, as I did when I met the reclusive Luke Skywalker. The great triumphant ending of the movie Willow this sequel doesn’t lose anything just because it has made our returning heroes a little miserable in the intervening years. Willow and Sorsha (played by Joanne Whalley), Madmartigan (Val Kilmer) and Elora (little baby) are at odds after they disappear to save the world. Now he lives quietly and far away, running the empire that his evil mother and Elora left behind, and of course they don’t get along! She is the warlord daughter of a murderous mage and she is a kind mage/farmer.
While the new show is all about Willow (and to a much lesser extent Sorsha), it’s the journeys of a number of protagonists for its young cast while taking into account all those dark years off-screen. After Sorsha and Madmartigan’s beautiful son, Airk, is kidnapped by some magnificently designed monsters, his twin sister princess Kit (Ruby Cruz) sets off with her mysterious fiancee, Graydon (Tony Revolori); his best friend and crush, Jade (Erin Kellyman); warrior and thief Boorman (Amar Chadha-Patel); and Dove (Ellie Bamber), the castle’s muffin baker, to find Willow and Airk and save the world from Airk’s kidnapper.
Each of the characters I just mentioned is a delight. Each one grows and changes over the course of the show, and sometimes they do this more than once in one episode. The plot is not based on great mysteries or secrets – most of them are covered in the first few chapters. In its place, Willow It enjoys being an adventure story, albeit very funny. This lineup shines and the jokes fly surprisingly fast, but never at the expense of a dramatic moment. The action is good too (though I still think the best fight scenes on TV this year are on Netflix. Warrior Nun).
And the special effects strike the perfect balance between the stop-motion and practical mix that made ’80s fantasy movies fun, and the more widely used CGI today. There are giant puppets, people wrapped in magnificent prosthetics, and flamboyant magician fights. However, the creatures originally seen in the movie are not being updated. Monster dogs are still clearly just dogs covered in fake fur, and trolls are just guys in suits and make-up. The result is something fascinating rather than silly.
Because I’ll admit, while I don’t think you need any awareness—or even fondness for it—of the original movie, the show spends plenty of time pushing the nostalgia button while you purposefully stare at the audience. As someone who first saw the movie when she was five and always loved it, nostalgia worked. I had a big smile on my face the first time I saw one of those silly dogs, or Willow, a character in the original movie Billy Barty put him to the magic test.
Your mileage may vary. If you think the original movie is too dumb, you may not like this series. But if you’re craving a fantasy series that takes you on a thrilling adventure filled with lots of jokes, action and (strange!) romance, then Willow is for you. When people ask me what my favorite high fantasy show of the year is, it’s not going to be a dragon or a ring-making guy. Will be Willow.
first part Willow It premieres on Disney Plus on November 30. Episodes will be published weekly from now on.