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Willow (Special Edition)
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From legendary filmmakers George Lucas and Ron Howard comes one of the most beloved fantasy tales of all time. This groundbreaking film features stunning special effects, dazzling action and a classic battle between good and evil.
When young Willow Ufgood (Warwick Davis) finds an abandoned baby, he is suddenly thrust unto an adventure filled with magic and danger. According to an ancient prophecy, the sacred child is destined to end the reign of the evil sorceress Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh). Now, the only a single swordsman (Val Kilmer) at his side, Willow must overcome the forces of darkness that threaten to destroy anyone who stands in the Queen's way!
- "Willow: The Making of an Adventure" (original 1988 featurette)
- "From Morf to Morphing: The Dawn of Digital Filmmaking"
- TV spots and trailers
- Photo gallery
- THX Certified
- Commentary by Warwick Davis
- All-New Featurette: "Morf To Morphing"
- "Willow: Making Of An Adventure" Featurette
- Behind-the-Scenes Still Gallery
- Theatrical Teasers & Trailers
- 8 TV Spots and More!
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If you are new to the film a brief overview is as follows: with his land in turmoil, the main character Willow sets out on a quest to return a young child to anyone other than the people of his village. Unbeknownst to him the baby is the key to a prophecy that will bring peace to the land, so the evil queen Bavmorda is hunting her in order to stop the prophecy from coming to fruition. Willow meets several unique characters on his journey and becomes an unlikely hero in many situations. There are strong themes of good vs evil, perseverance, and confidence in one's self making this a wonderful film for young children, though there is violence and minor scares. There is subtle humor throughout the movie that helps keep it from becoming too serious or morbid considering the entire film is based around killing a baby.
The blu ray helps highlight the gorgeous sets and locations of New Zealand, though some of the effects are obviously dated due to the age of the film. The soundtrack is beautiful and the sound quality is quite good too.The extras are worth watching too, with deleted scenes explained by director Ron Howard and the personal footage of Warwick Davis being among the better extras.
Overall, Willow stands the test of time and is a movie to share with kids (if you grew up on it) or perhaps an adult who missed it when it came out. I only wish that this was made into the trilogy that it was intended to be when George Lucas wrote the story originally. If you are interested they did write books that expanded on Willow universe. I haven't read them, but hope they will soon be available on my kindle.
I watched this movie in Germany when it was first released, and loved it. Had it on DVD and loved it, now on blu ray and I love it even more. Very crisp and clear picture. The menu is quick, no frustrating animation that takes forever to do what you want it to do. Play kicked off right away. Even the time menu for skipping chapters is well done and very very visible - brown blocks that look like the top of a flute and a nice thumbnail of the chapter that you're jumping to.
The Extras on the DVD (deleted scenes) is nice - Ron Howard talking about the movie and things they did gives some nice insight. The only downside is the 4:3 format for some of the extras, but the deleted scenes themselves are in the widescreen format and look good, although some of them you can tell they didn't get the audio processing finished. But they give some nice insight to the story since some of them are deleted story arcs and backstory bits that they cut for time. But the sad thing is that there's only a few of them, a total of like 12 and a half minutes total, half of that is Ron Howard talking about things. I had expected a movie like this to have had more deleted scenes, but there's the other extras such as the Making Of (a little under 24 minutes long), a part about the morphing (not quite 17 and a half minutes long), the video journal of Warwick Davis (just under 11 minutes long and has some slick footage from when he was just starting acting in Return of the Jedi as a 13 year old in an Ewok outfit), and the matte paintings.
The story's been reviewed often enough so I'll just suffice it to say that it's still a joy to watch, even all these years later. The action scenes are crisp, and the special effects actually look a little less obvious than they did on the DVD. I remember the brownies and the hydra-like creature looking painfully done on the DVD, and while it's still obvious in some scenes how things were superimposed, it's far less glaring and in some scenes is not even noticeable.
If you were a fan of the movie, and have a Blu-ray player, this is a MUST have for any collection. Worth every penny, very well done.
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