[[quoteright:303:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/willowmovie.JPG]]
A movie from 1988 produced by Creator/GeorgeLucas and directed by Creator/RonHoward. The story is about a young farmer named Willow Ufgood (Creator/WarwickDavis), one of a hobbit-like people called Nelwyns, who is drawn away from his sheltered home to save Elora Danan, a baby girl with a destiny, from the evil Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh) who would see her destroyed.

Willow is aided by the disillusioned swordsman Madmartigan (Creator/ValKilmer), who has turned to a life of roguery, sorceress Fin Raziel (Patricia Hayes), who has been turned into a possum by Bavmorda, as well as two diminutive brownies Franjean and Rool. They are initially thwarted, but later joined, by the queen's daughter Sorsha (Joanne Whalley). As their journey continues, they face troubles and hardships beyond what any of them had imagined. Through it all, they find love, friendship, and wisdom. In the end we learn that the people we would never suspect are sometimes the bravest of all.

Notable for many reasons, including the use of dwarf actors as major characters, as well as one of the breakout films for Val Kilmer (who played the JerkWithAHeartOfGold Madmartigan). Despite performing poorly at the box office it quickly became quite a cult film, if the books were any indication. The current reception is that it is a fun, enjoyable story with some great casting and was very well made for its time and still holds up well today.

This film has had three game adaptations: one in 1988 by Mindscape for the Amiga, Atari ST and DOS; two in 1989 by {{Capcom}} for the Arcade and NES. The Arcade one is a side-scrolling action game, while the NES game is more of an Action RPG.

There is also a trilogy of sequel novels by GeorgeLucas and Creator/ChrisClaremont. They do provide a great deal of additional CharacterDevelopment, as well as WorldBuilding that the movie lacked.

Not to be confused with the CuteWitch from ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' or the daughter of Creator/WillSmith.
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!!This film provides examples of:
* ZeroPercentApprovalRating: Bavmorda treats her underlings like shit, chastising them at every failure and never commending them when they actually succeed in following her orders.
* ActionGirl: Sorsha.
* AdaptationExpansion: The NES game adds quite a bit to the story, as well as giving the title character a much greater focus since he's the only playable one.
* AerithAndBob: Madmartigan and Willow.
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys: Sorsha's opinion of Madmartigan begins to change only after she sees how BadAss a MasterSwordsman he is.
* AllThereInTheManual: The novelisation added extensive back stories for half the cast, including Vonkar, and explains Sorsha's [[spoiler:sudden HeelFaceTurn]].
* AllSwordsAreTheSame: Inverted when Madmartigan tries to use Airk's sword [[spoiler: to avenge his friend's death]] against Kael. Airk's sword is kind of armored gauntlet with a long swordblade coming out of it called a pata, and initially Kael kicks Madmartigan's ass while trying to rely solely on it, up to and including breaking the sword's blade in half. Once Madmartigan started DualWielding the weapon with a regular sword though, he really started to kick some ass.
* AllTrollsAreDifferent: trolls are hairy, unintelligent ape-things approximately Willow's own size.
* AnimateInanimateObject: In the last battle a stray bolt of magic turns an urn on legs into a moving creature that Willow briefly fights.
* ArrogantKungFuGuy: Madmartigan. "I'm the greatest swordsman who ever lived!" He may well be, too.
* {{Badass}}: Madmartigan. Among his deeds we have him [[spoiler: single-handedly hold off General Kael's entire army, killing a two-headed dragon by himself, and eventually killing fellow badass Kael in single combat]].
* BalefulPolymorph: Finn Raziel has fallen victim to this. She changes shape several times over the course of the film.
** This is pulled on the good guys' ''entire army'' near the climax.
* BerserkButton: Played for laughs when Llug discovers Madmartigan's true gender.
--> '''Llug''': Not a woman!
--> '''Madmartigan''': Gentlemen, meet Llug.
** Llug then spends the entire barfight continuing his rant. Hilarious.
* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor: [[spoiler:When Airk leaves Madmartigan behind, presumably to die in his cage, after Madmartigan offers to help him with his war against Bavmorda, probably figuring the wily swordsman would just run off on his own again as he is implied to have done before, Madmartian angrily yells "I'll be around long after you're dead!" During the climax, Madmartigan can only watch in horror as Airk dies fighting General Kael - leading him on a brief but violent RoaringRampageOfRevenge.]]
* BigDamnHeroes: When Rool & Fanjean [[spoiler: return with Airk and his army to even the odds]].
* BigDamnKiss: Madmartigan and Sorsha share ''two'' positively epic ones: The first in Sorsha's tent as it collapses around them with Madmartigan being the instigator. Later at Tir Asleen Sorsha returns the favor after Madmartigan [[BadAss single-handedly slays the giant two-headed dragon]].
* BillingDisplacement: Warwick Davis gets third billing, despite playing the main character.
* BodyHorror: We are treated to simply delightful shots of the army's hands morphing into pig hooves.
* BondVillainStupidity: Justified. Elora is just a baby, and is born in captivity. They don't just kill her because she'll be reborn elsewhere. Instead, Bavmorda plans to use the Ritual of Obliteration to [[DeaderThanDead banish her soul from the world permanently]].
* BornAgainImmortality: Elora has this power.
* CharacterTitle
* ChekhovsGun: Subverted in the magic acorns; although Willow ''tries'' to use them in several situations, and they work, he is unlucky and misses against everything but the BigBad, who is powerful enough to shake off the effect.
* ChekhovsSkill: The pig trick. Willow actually screws it up when he tries to perform it for his fellow Nelwyn at a festival, but later succeeds [[spoiler:when it's a matter of life and death]].
** To be fair, he actually succeeds in the pig trick - it's the pig itself that gives the trick away.
* TheChosenOne: Elora Danan is prophesied to bring about Bavmorda's end. [[spoiler:However, see the Prophecy Twist entry below.]]
* ContemptibleCover: The DVD release doesn't use the well-made movie poster for its artwork, but rather a rushed clip job featuring Willow doing an extremely cheesy "Ta-da!" flourish.
* DarthVaderClone: General Kael. Don't think you can miss the Death's Head mask.
* DefrostingIceQueen: [[spoiler:Sorsha]].
* {{Determinator}}: Willow of all people. He continues to push on throughout the entire film despite insurmountable odds placed in his way. This is never better illustrated during the battle at the castle, where he defends Elora from three trolls, a dragon, two soldiers, and only loses her when KAEL rides in on his horse. And not only did Willow SURVIVE his fight with Kael, he's dragging his wounded body after Kael, weapon in hand, ready to try and get Elora back. DAMN.
** Fin Raziel. During the film, she harps on about how young and beautiful she is, and when she discovers she's an old woman, she has the briefest of HeroicBSOD, but then shakes it off and shows a look of determination on her face that leaves no doubt that she also embodies the trope.
** Madmartigan becomes one as the film progresses.
* DisguisedInDrag: Madmartigan, in a hasty attempt to avoid the wrath of his paramour's husband. The trope is furthered by the husband's sudden lust for Madmartigan.
--> '''Llug''': Wanna BREED?\\
'''Madmartigan''': Tempting, but... ''no''.
* DissonantLaughter: When [[spoiler:Finn Raziel gets the better of Bavmorda during their fight at the end]], she gives a laugh that's downright ''creepy'', suggesting that, even if she was a good person, maybe her motives here weren't so noble.
** Even without the novel's added backstory of the bad blood between them ([[spoiler:Bavmorda seduced Raziel's lover, among other things]]), what is explained in the movie is enough to give her a pass. Sometimes you can do things for noble reasons and still enjoy the vengeance it brings in the process.
* DistractedByTheSexy: Madmartigan. In his defense he was under the effects of a powerful love spell. And [[spoiler: Sorsha]] was looking very hot at the time...
** Later the roles are reversed when [[spoiler:Sorsha]] is very much taken by Madmartigan's battle prowess.
** The husband of one of Madmartigan's paramours who becomes smitten by him in drags, until he found out otherwise...
* TheDragon: General Kael.
* DroppedABridgeOnHim: [[spoiler:Sorsha and Madmartigan]] in the sequel novels.
* DualWielding: Madmartigan at several points in the film, most notably during his UnstoppableRage.
* DVDCommentary: Warwick Davis provides one of the best commentaries ever heard. Everything you want to know about Willow is right here. He tells stories, talks about taking care a baby, points out scenes that were deleted, gives behind the scenes info, talks about working with Ron Howard and George Lucas and explains the joys of working with Val Kilmer.
* EldritchAbomination: The two-headed dragon. Maybe also at the end the ''four-legged metal barbecue thing'' that Willow pushes out of the tower.
* EvilIsHammy: Bavmorda, so very much.
* EvilMatriarch / EvilOverlord: Bavmorda.
* EvilSorcerer: Bavmorda has a few in her service, helping her with evil rituals and the like
* EvilWearsBlack: Bavmorda and her minions wear black. Also, evil armies ''only'' use black horses, whereas the good guys have a mix of brown and white ones.
* ExpandedUniverse: Three novels by Lucas and Chris Claremont.
* TheFairFolk: Cherlindrea and her fairies
* {{Fanfare}}
* FantasticSlurs:
-->'''Willow:''' Don't call me a peck!
-->'''Mad Martigan''': Oh, I'm ''sorry!'' ''Peck.'' Peck. Peck, Peck, Peck, Peck, Peck!
** "HELP!! THERE'S A PECK HERE WITH AN ACORN POINTED AT ME!!"
** [[HypocrisyNod "These Pecks make terrible nursemaids."]]
* {{Flynning}}: Notably averted in Madmatigan's first fight scene.
* FieryRedhead: Sorsha
** The novelization notes that this trait was inherited from Sorsha's father, the rightful king of Tir Asleen, and, in her mother's eyes, a constant reminder of the man she used to gain power and then abandoned (Bavmorda's claim to royalty was only via marriage). Bavmorda was said to have constantly tried to change Sorsha's hair via magic to any color other than red, only for Sorsha's natural color to grow back in; it took Sorsha standing up to her mother for the first (and, prior to the films, possibly the ''only'') time and refusing a change to get Bavmorda to stop.
* GodSaveUsFromTheQueen: Queen Bavmorda.
* HeelFaceTurn: [[spoiler: Sorsha]].
** [[spoiler:One of the queen's druids [[CassandraTruth predicted that her daughter would betray her]], but she wouldn't believe it]].
** Interestingly, both the novelization and Marvel Comics adaptation include a scene where Sorsha comes across her long lost father, who had been cursed by Bavmorda years ago. [[spoiler:This causes enchanted blocks Bavmorda had placed on her daughter's memories to melt away, justifying her defection further beyond her experiences with Madmartigan.]]
* HeroicSacrifice: Ethna, the midwife who saved Elora from certain execution after she was born and who eventually lost her life protecting the child. All this despite owing neither her mother nor the child any loyalty at all.
* HeroesWantRedheads: [[spoiler:Madmartigan to Sorsha]].
* {{Hobbits}}: The Nelwyn are basically halflings with the serial numbers filed off, being a collection of homebodies who live in burrows and tend to be shorter than humans. [[TropesAreNotBad Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, mind you.]]
** The novels, perhaps actually inspired by the look of the actors, actually describes them with traits more often used in association with fantasy dwarves than hobbits/halflings: stocky, broad, and with impressive upper-body strength.
* [[HoistByHisOwnPetard Hoist By Her Own Petard]]: [[spoiler:Bavmorda. When Willow successfully tricks her, she's so alarmed and distraught that she accidentally walks into the middle of her own ritual, which promptly banishes her body and soul into the same nether-realm she was plotting to send Elora into.]].
* HomeSweetHome: [[spoiler:Willow gains a hero's welcome when he returns to his village and runs straight into his loving family's arms]].
* HumansByAnyOtherName: Daikini, which may or may not be a racial slur.
* HumanSnowball: A rare live-action example.
* HypocriticalHumor: Lug is jealous when it comes to his wife, but has no problem with adultery, as Madmartigan finds.
** Also Burglekutt, when Vonkar volunteers to go on the quest with Willow.
--> '''Burglekutt:''' Not Vonkar! He's the best warrior in our village! We need him here. Vonkar, step back!
--> '''Alwyn:''' All the quest needs is a leader. And the bones show it should be...you, Burglekutt!
--> '''Burglekutt:''' (looking terrified) Vonkar!
* IWorkAlone / LonersAreFreaks / Callback: Madmartigan states "I serve no one". Later, that morphs into "I serve the Nelwyn". (Nelwyn is homophonically very close to "no one".)
* IneptMage: In a fashion, the High Aldwin. He admits to Willow that the bones he uses for prediction purposes are really useless, and he purely interprets them according to his own judgment. However, he ''does'' supply Willow with genuine magical artifacts.
* IndyPloy: Right at the climax, Bavmorda has Willow and Elora cornered. The only thing Willow can think of is to try and protect Elora [[spoiler:using the same sleight-of-hand trick that he failed at in the beginning of the film]]. ''And it works.''
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Madmartigan.
* TheLancer: Madmartigan could be seen as this.
* {{Lilliputians}}: Brownies
* LovableRogue: Madmartigan
* LovePotion: Well, dust, actually; and the love itself is ''unrequited''.
* MacGuffin: Elora Danan. [[spoiler: Definitely qualifies due to the ProphecyTwist.]]
* MacGuffinEscortMission: Willow spends a lot time taking the baby places. First he takes Elora Danan to the [[AtTheCrossroads Crossroads]] then to the [[NotSoAbandonedBuilding Tir Asleen]]. With a few side trips to re-rescue her.
* MadScientistsBeautifulDaughter: Sorsha.
* MagicalIncantation: Most magic which doesn't make use of some kind of object is of this type, and Willow is usually channeling it through Chelindria's [[MagicWand wand]]. Strangely, it includes various ritual chants in its own language as well as English.
* MagiciansAreWizards: Invoking this trope is Willow's main goal throughout the movie, struggling to transition from performing stage magic to ''real'' magic. [[spoiler:Then he subverts it by using his stage magic to trick real magician Bavmorda. This allows him to then play it completely straight as he becomes a true sorcerer in the ending.]]
* MasterSwordsman: Madmartigan
* MeaningfulEcho: A clever one. Madmartigan claims he serves "no one". Later, he says he serves "the Nelwyn", which is very similar to "no one".
* MistakenAge: We are told that [[spoiler: Fin Raziel is a young beautiful woman after Madmartigan asks her what she actually looks like. However it seems exile in her animal form has made her grasp of the years gone by tragically wrong]].
-->'''Fin Raziel:''' ''(shocked at her own age)'' Has it been ''so long''?
** Either that or, because she was in an animal form, she may have aged like an animal.
*** They should have picked up on it instantly - Bavmorda and [[spoiler:Fin Raziel]] were contemporaries.
* MosesInTheBullrushes: Elora Danan very literal-- she is sent down the river in a basket and found in the rushes.
* MrFanservice: Madmartigan. He runs around with his shirt open.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: when Willow tries to fight off a troll using the magic wand, he accidently turns it into a gigantic, two headed dragon.
** Maybe he only turned it into a small [[Franchise/{{Alien}} alien-like]] [[EldritchAbomination two-headed dragon]]. But then [[SuperpowerRussianRoulette he kicked it into water and water made it huge]]. [[IdiotBall Nice Job Breaking It Twice, Willow]].
* NoOntologicalInertia: The spell on [[spoiler:Tir Asleen]] is broken by Bavmorda's death.
* NoSell:
-->'''Bavmorda:''' Is ''that'' the extent of your powers, ''[[FantasticRacism little one]]''?
* NoodleIncident: We never know why Madmartigan is in a crow-cage at the beginning, nor why [[VitriolicBestBuds Airk thinks he's a thief]]. The novelization doesn't go into great detail, but notes that after Madmartigan's initial fall from grace, Airk gave his friend a second chance in the Galadoorn army, only for Madmartigan to desert his post when he was needed.
* NotUsingTheZedWord: In an interesting twist, this is used on the [[HumansByAnyOtherName humans]], who are called Daikini.
* OhCrap: Willow kills a couple of soliders to protect Elora Danan despite his small stature. And then he looks up to see Kael ride in, and gets this look on his face.
* OneWingedAngel: The Eborsisk used to be a troll until [[NiceJobBreakingItHero Willow used magic on him]], [[OhCrap and then...]]
* OurDragonsAreDifferent
* OurFairiesAreDifferent
* OurMonstersAreDifferent
* OurMonstersAreWeird
* PapaWolf: Willow is very protective of his children, including Elora Danan.
* ProphecyTwist: Elora Danan is prophesied to bring about Bavmorda's end. However [[spoiler:her defeat comes by the hands of those protecting the infant princess; Elora Danan is the catalyst who brings about Bavmorda's end, not herself the agent of it]].
* TheQuest
* RageHelm: General Kael's skull-faced helmet.
* RasputinianDeath: [[spoiler: General Kael. Madmartigan smashes his skull-mask, and Kael chases Madmartigan up a flight of stairs. Madmartigan stabs him in the chest; Kael responds by [[TakingYouWithMe punching Madmartigan in the face and trying to strangle him]]. Madmartigan slashes Kael's belly, then twists the blade still in his chest. Kael does not appear to notice. Madmartigan impales him on his own sword. Kael is still on his feet when Madmartigan finally shoves him off the walkway. Even then he's still moving so Madmartigan throws a dagger into him just for good measure.]]
* [[AttackAttackRetreatRetreat Retreat! Retreat... Attack! Attack!]]: Madmartigan and Bavmorda's army run away from the two-headed dragon. Then Madmartigan realize he's with the the army. Then he runs back inside the castle where the dragon is, with the army chasing after him.
* RealMenWearPink: the first time we actually see Madmartigan in action, he is driving a carriage at high speed and fights off the soldiers that follow them, while still wearing the pink dress from his PaperThinDisguise.
* RoadApples: A variation - Madmartigan ends up stepping in troll dung.
* ScaredOfWhatsBehindYou: In Tir Asleen, Madmartigan prepares to make a LastStand against the EvilArmy, only for them to suddenly run away. Madmartigan gets a goofy, happy smile on his face... until he notices [[EnemyRisingBehind the giant, two headed dragon that had risen up out of the moat]].
* SelfFulfillingProphecy
* SexualKarma: Madmartigan {{Paper Thin Disguise}}s himself as a woman to dodge an angry husband, only to catch the hulking oaf's eye (which is pretty darn chauvinist of him, considering he barged into the room in a jealous rage). HilarityEnsues.
-->'''Lug''': Wanna breed?
-->'''Madmartigan''': Tempting, but... [[NoJustNoReaction no]].
** It ''does'' [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqh3tMZhOXQ work out for him]] when [[MadScientistsBeautifulDaughter Sorsha]] shows up and [[WeNeedADistraction He Needs A Distraction.]]
--->'''Sorsha''': You're no woman! (tears off Madmartigan's [[strike:PaperThinDisguise]] wig)
--->'''Lug''': '''''Not a woman?'''''
--->'''Madmartigan''': Gentlemen... (smirks)
--->'''Lug''': '''''NOT A WOMAN?!'''''
--->'''Madmartigan''': Meet Lug! (ducks)
--->'''Lug''': '''''[[MegatonPunch RRRAAARGH!]]'''''
* ShovelStrike
* SkeletonsInTheCoatCloset: General Kaelís helmet.
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: One could be forgiven if, when you were young, you thought his name was Martigan and everyone was just really conscientious of using his nickname.
** Airk's name is basically pronounced as "Eric", or close enough to mistake for it.
* SpikesOfVillainy: General Kael sometimes has a few on his helmet to show how evil he is (as if the skeleton mask was not enough). Some random mooks have spiked/horned helmets too. Bavmorda has a few twisted spikes on her crowns. Also, much of the bad guys weaponry (from Sorsha's sword to ''crossbows'') has plenty of unnecessary barbs and spikes. Even Bavmorda's fortress has some kind of small pyramidal spikes everywhere on it.
* SupportingLeader: Madmartigan.
* TakeThatCritics: GeorgeLucas named General Kael after Pauline Kael, the ''New Yorker'' film critic who famously gave ''StarWars'' a bad review.
** The two-headed dragon goes unnamed in the film, but is referred to as the "Eborsisk," after film critics Gene Siskel and [[RogerEbert Roger Ebert]].
* TakenForGranite: Willow's magic acorns can turn whoever touches them to stone. Also, [[spoiler:Willow and Madmartigan are instructed by Fin Raziel to take Elora Danan to Tir Asleen to be cared for. Unfortunately, Bavmorda got there first, and [[AndIMustScream encased all the residents in translucent crystal long ago.]]]]
* ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill: Not content with [[spoiler: simply killing baby Elora to ensure she cannot bring about her end, Bavmorda intends to banish her very soul into oblivion in the process. Apparently ''just in case'' her soul is reborn in a new body]].
** Actually, according to the novelization, [[spoiler: that's ''exactly what would happen'', and is why Bavmorda has to go to such lengths to prevent the prophecy from coming to pass--or so she thinks]] (see ProphecyTwist above).
** [[spoiler:After Madmartigan runs Kael through with Airk's pata, he props up Kael's own sword by his foot on the hilt, and skewers him ''again'' with it!]]
*** [[spoiler: Although, considering how tough Kael is, this may not be overkill.]]
* ThisCannotBe: [[spoiler:After Willow [[GuileHero pulls off his sleight-of-hand with Elora]], Bavmorda gasps in astonishment, yells out "[[LargeHam Immmm...POSS-I-BULLLLLLL!!!!]]", trips over her ritual paraphernalia and ends up [[HoistByHisOwnPetard triggering her own banishment spell on herself]].]]
* ThoseTwoGuys: Rool and Franjean, played by comedians Kevin Pollack and Rick Overton.
* UltimateEvil: Bavmorda seems to follow orders from an unknown entity.
** Bavmorda and Raziel were both servants of the spirits, Bavmorda just let her power go to her head.
* TheUnfettered: Villainous General Kael is utterly unfazed in the face of not only facing an arriving enemy army but a monstrous two headed dragon. They are simply obstacles to destroy.
--> '''General Kael''': Destroy the beast! Find the baby!
* UnholyNuke: Bavmorda wants to use a ritual whose end is to ''wipe the victim away from existence''.
* UnstoppableRage: Madmartigan after [[spoiler: Airk is killed by Kael]]. He casually kills several men with barely a glance and without hardly breaking his stride on the way to his target.
* [[WellDoneSonGuy "Well Done, My Daughter" Girl]]: Sorsha often seems desperate to impress her mother, who constantly insults and berates her.
* WhatTheHellHero: Madmartigan calls this on Airk after the latter greets him eagerly when they find him in a tough situation, after Airk rather smirkingly left Madmartigan to die horribly in a cage.
** It's implied that Airk knew or at least figured Madmartigan would most likely just run off on his own first chance he got, as it's implied that Madmartigan has a history of being an unreliable troublemaker.
*** Also as Airk points out later on, his decision to leave Madmartigan behind probably saved the wily swordsman's life.
* WheresTheFunInThat
-->'''Rool:''' We'll never catch up with those horses!
-->'''Franjean:''' Then we will have to track them.
-->'''Rool:''' That would take forever. Besides, even if we find them, they'd only capture us, stick us in cages, torture us and finally devour us!
-->'''Franjean:''' Are you suggesting we go home?
-->'''Rool:''' Nah, this is more fun.
* [[WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes Why Did It Have to Be Trolls]]: Before his adventure begins Willow expresses a deep fear of [[TemptingFate trolls]]. Lo and behold he ends up in a fortress crawling with them.
* WizardDuel: Between Fin Raziel and Bavmorda. Willow ''very'' briefly tries, but Bavmorda obviously is too powerful to combat. [[spoiler:So he thinks outside the box and hides Elora under the guise of a magic teleportation spell.]]
* XMeetsY: ''[[Literature/TheLordOfTheRings The Fellowship of the Ring]]'' meets ''[[Literature/ChroniclesOfPrydain The Book of Three]]''.
* YourHeadASplode: Try putting a sword through one head of a [[EldritchAbomination two-headed dragon]].

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