Four Things You Maybe Didn’t Know About Willow

In the 80s, a lot of people rode Val Kilmer

This movie holds up like a steel-boned corset.

1) Warwick Davis was 18 when Willow came out, which means he was likely 17 when it was shooting. It was his first starring role — his biggest film role previous was Wicket the Ewok. Watching Willow, I was impressed with the producers’ indifference, in the pre-digital era, to the effects required to pull this movie off. Wargs? Trolls? Brownies? Pig transformations? A two-headed monster? Outdoor scenes with TWO CHILD ACTORS AND AN INFANT?

And that on top of this the whole movie hinges on finding a charismatic lead who can really freakin’ act and do a bunch of crazy physical stuff and a sweet-ass English accent would be nice and oh I don’t know if I mentioned but we’ll also need him to be under four feet tall. And Warwick Davis rolls up and is all like, “Hey, heard you needed me, hope it’s OK that I’m only seventeen,” and the producers are all like “YES, I BELIEVE THAT WILL BE OKAY.”


*Mops brow.*

But there is more awesome to be had.

2) Jean Marsh, who played the evil Queen Bavmorda, also played Mombi in Return to Oz. TYPECAST. Also, she has been working forever and is very cool-looking. Here are some in-the-day pictures of Jean Marsh.

Classically-trained face

And here she is today:

Still classically-trained face

Which goes to show if you treat your face nice it will serve you well your whole life.

Patricia Hayes, who played sorceress Fin Raziel, also played one of the gnomish couple in The Neverending Story — you know, the people Falcor brings Atreyu to for reviving.

Like Ben Gibbard, I can't wait to go gray

I’m gonna suggest her role in Willow is slightly juicier. WILL-OWWWW! WILL-OWWWWW!

3) Ron Howard directed it. Bob Dolman wrote it. Dolman also wrote Far and Away, which if I remember correctly was about Tom Cruise being Irish and sprinting a lot. If I were in a movie with that much sprinting it would be three hours long and rated R for graphic sweating. Also it would be awful because I cannot act.

But I digress.

4) There’s a lot to like about Willow: the writing; the acting (“Never ever feed a baby blackroot!”); the practical effects (dogs-in-costume Wargs); the score; the Val Kilmer fan service. Let’s be real — it’s a pretty freakin’ good movie.

But I super too-so appreciate the women in it — Willow’s wife Kaia (cuts off her braid!); princess Sorsha (kills helpless women! But gets turned good by Val Kilmer fan service!); Fin Raziel (madd old, haughty and brawling!); Queen Bavmorda (not as old, but just as haughty and brawling!). You cannot beat this with a stick. You. Cannot.

Rent immeds pls kthx. Or I can lend it to you.


Draws. Sweats. Eats too much sugar-free candy.

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