Willow | Episodes 1 -3 | Disney+ Original Review
It’s been over thirty years since George Lucas released “Willow”, a tale about a young Willow Ufgood, played by Warwick Davis, who finds an abandoned baby girl and learns that she is destined to end the reign of the wicked Queen Bavmorda. To protect the child, Willow must team up with a rogue swordsman and overcome the forces of darkness in the ultimate battle of good versus evil.
If you haven’t seen the original film, or haven’t seen it in a while, the opening episode does a little montage recapping everything that happened, but honestly, it’s probably not a bad idea to rewatch the original film before watching the new series, since it does refer back to the events of the movie on many occasions.
It’s one of the many things about this series that I really enjoyed, it continues to build on the lore that was created in the original film pretty closely. Unlike George Lucas’s other franchises, Star Wars and Indiana Jones, we’ve never returned to the world of “Willow”, but with this series taking place many decades later, it feels a good time to do so.
Over the past few months, we’ve seen a number of fantasy series released, but “Willow” scratches an itch, that I don’t think the others have been able to do, since it is something a family can watch together, kids can enjoy, but just as important, adults will too. “Willow” does play on nostalgia, but it delivers lots of brand-new characters, for a new generation to enjoy. Having a ragtag bunch of characters forced together to go on a quest isn’t anything new, but it’s fun and entertaining. Each of the characters in the group has a specific role,
I’ve been a fan of the original “Willow” film since it first came out and have seen it dozens of times. The first three episodes instantly pulled me in. I binged all three episodes in one sitting as I was really enjoying watching them, and I can’t wait to watch the rest of the series.
“Willow” looks fantastic, the beautiful Welsh countryside is a perfect location to set this wonderful world up. However, there is a major fight scene in the third episode that was a little too dark to see properly on occasion, which is my only gripe about how it looked. The first episode really comes out the gate strong, setting up who the main new characters are, along with reintroducing some of the original characters. There are little nods to the original “Willow” theme throughout the episodes, teasing whenever something is connected to the original film.
There are some standout performances in the series, Erin Kellyman, who has previously appeared in “Rogue One” and “The Falcon And The Winter Soldier” is great, plus I really enjoyed Tony Revolori, who isn’t your typical type of hero; he’s a bit of a coward, but wants to be better. But the stand-out actor for me is Amar Chadha-Patel, who just steals every scene he’s in.
Overall, off these three episodes of “Willow”, this is one of the best shows we’ve seen on Disney+ so far. It’s so refreshing to have a major show to enjoy on the platform for the whole family to enjoy, that isn’t Marvel or Star Wars. It might be a sequel to a 1980s film that nobody asked for, but I’m so glad Lucasfilm decided to jump back into the world of “Willow”. It captures that classic feel of a 1980s adventure but updates it for a modern audience. It’s a charming adventure, with some interesting characters and is certainly not a show to be overlooked. “Willow” is a must-watch on Disney+.
Rating – 4.5 Out Of 5.
The first episode of “Willow” is available on Disney+ on Wednesday, 30th November 2022, and new episodes are being released weekly.