YMMV / Willow

This film provides examples of:

  • Awesome Music: Courtesy of James Horner.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: One that didn't make it to the final cut. At one point, Willow has to cross a river. A strange hairless boy asks him what he's doing, and warns Willow that the water is cursed, just before jumping in himself. Later, as Willow rows across, the boy resurfaces, but this time his teeth are long and sharp, like a carnivorous fish. He resurfaces again a moment later, and now has a fin on his back. Finally he resurfaces as a monstrous fish and attacks Willow's boat, capsizing it and pursuing Willow through the water. Willow manages to escape by throwing one of his magic acorns at it and turning it to stone (which explains why he was given three acorns, yet only seen using two). The scene was not cut for time, or because it had nothing whatsoever to do with the plot. It was cut because they could never get the fish monster to look right. As it turns out, it lifted easily out of the story because it comes out of nowhere, is never explained, and is never mentioned again.
  • Complete Monster: The evil queen Bavmorda rules over Nockmaar Castle and wants to conquer Andowyne. However there is a prophecy which states that a baby that will soon be born who will eventually destroy her. Bavmorda responds to this by imprisoning all the pregnant women in her kingdom to find this child. When one of the mothers gives birth to the chosen child, the mother implores the midwife who delivers the child to save her baby. After finding out that the child was rescued by the midwife Bavmorda orders the mother to be killed and sends her Death Dogs to chase after the midwife. While being chased by the Death Dogs, the midwife puts the baby in a makeshift raft and sends her down a river right before the dogs rip her apart. Willow finds the baby and vows to protect her from Bavmorda. Meanwhile Bavmorda sends her top general and her daughter Sorsha to find the child. Willow goes to the sorceress Fin Raziel for help, only to find that Bavmorda has transformed her into a possum. Willow goes to the castle of Tir Asleen to look for help against Bavmorda, but discovers Bavmorda has turned all the inhabitants of the castle to stone. Sorsha eventually falls in love with Willow's ally Madmartigan and turns against her mother. When Willow and his allies confront Bavmorda at her castle, she uses her magic to transform them into pigs. Bavmorda plans on using a ritual to send the baby's soul into oblivion so that she cannot be reincarnated. When Willow, Sorsha and a restored Fin Raziel confront Bavmorda, Bavmorda attempts to kill her own daughter. While one might make the case that Bavmorda was acting out of self-preservation, she was already an evil tyrant, and destroying the baby’s soul was overkill.
  • Cult Classic: The film didn't do that well at the box office and among critics, but it has developed a cult following amongst fantasy fans.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: The sequel novels, depending on your mileage, of course.
    • Or you can pick and choose among the novels too. The first is Darker and Edgier but still has the same general feel of adventure and tension as the movie. The following ones follow an Elora Dannon who at one point melodramatically recites a story that's basically Braveheart with dragons.
    • The whole trilogy is basically a deconstruction of The Chosen One and fantasy tropes in general; like the movie, several characters are ludicrously powerful with backstories about how super special they are to the setting but they're all really just support for a relatively weak sorcerer.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Ron Howard would eventually direct a Star Wars film, the Han Solo anthology film due in 2018.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • The opening on the movie, in which Elora Danan's mother hands the child to the midwife before Bavmorda orders the former executed. Later, the midwife is attacked by ferocious death dogs and forced to place Elora on a makeshift raft.
    • Then of course there's the fight with the dragon.
    • There's a positively scarifying scene where Bavmorda transforms Airk, Madmartigan, Sorsha, and their allies into pigs. All, that is, except Willow, who protects himself from the curse using a "shelter chant" Raziel taught him.
    • Fridge Horror: As stated above, Bavmorda imprisons all of the pregnant women in the kingdom so that she can make sure she has The Chosen One in her grasp. Being the Evil Queen that she is, it's not too far fetched to assume that Bavmorda had the other mothers and babies simply killed once she verified that they were not part of the prophecy.
  • No Problem with Licensed Games:
    • The NES game, although laden with Guide Dang It!, is often regarded as a forgotten classic. Plotwise and structure-wise, it has relatively little to do with the movie, though; it's been suspected for a long time that it began life as something else and picked up the Willow themeing once Capcom secured the license.
    • The arcade game is also very well-made, has very nice graphics for its time, lets you play as Willow and Madmartigan, and unlike the NES game, faithfully recreates some key scenes from the movie.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
    • Phil Fondacaro as Vohnkar.
    • Tony Cox of Bad Santa as another warrior.
    • Willow is none other than the evil Leprechaun who tried to kill Jennifer Aniston before she was on Friends, and Professor Flitwick/Griphook in the Harry Potter films.
    • Madmartigan is none other than Jim Morrison, Doc Holiday, Moses and Batman all rolled into one.