I’m a fan of the original movie “Willow”, though I am aware of many of its flaws and short-comings. But at it’s heart, it was always just a good time, a high fantasy adventure that had a great balance of character, action and humor.
I always caution people who want to watch it now, as adults, with the amount of fantasy film and tv we have available to us…looking back, I always think of it as the movie we got because Lord of the Rings was not an option yet. It plays with the tropes of the smallest person making the biggest difference. When I was a kid, a kid who had only seen the cartoon version of The Hobbit and Disney’s take on Sword in the Stone, Willow was amazing.
What I’m saying is I know the original movie is not high art or one of the best. It’s just a damn good time.
But I’m two episodes in to the new Disney Plus series and…it feels like someone fed the original movie and all other fantasy movies into an AI Script Generator, mixed in some algorithms with “what appeals to kids these days” and we got…this.
Again, it’s only two episodes and most of the time it takes awhile for a series to grow and I’m hoping it will. But those first two were…not great. Warwick Davis is great. But I’m not happy with the way they took the story. Sorsha has somehow turned into the Most Boring Person ever after being a bad-ass in the original movie and I can’t decide if this is something that are going to reveal more about later or just lazy writing to create a rift between her and Willow. And everyone else, as another friend pointed out, feels like they were kidnapped from a CW film set.
Even the soundtrack…wtf, the closing credits are always over some odd alternative music track that does not fit with the fantasy world. It reminds me of the “We need to be COOL!” Star Trek rock theme that was created for … Enterprise, I think it was? It just felt like…well, it felt like when teen me thought I was cool blasting the rocking tracks … off the Beatles white album. Yeah, about as hardcore as that.
Anyway, there isn’t much else in our tv show queue right now so we will probably power through and see if the series has any surprises. But right now, I’m not optimistic. There is nothing new happening in it, and after going from ‘Andor’ to this…yeah, oof is really all I can say.
I will say, every time a bit of the James Horner soundtrack sneaks into the music, I get a swell in my chest of emotion…so let’s just sit back and listen to that amazing bit of music before we go: