My Throwback Thursdays have a theme, old cheesy 80’s sci fi/fantasy movies. Movies my kids had never heard of and movies I adored as a child. Thankfully most of these movies are appropriate (the 80’s were pretty iffy sometimes though!) so every week I will sit down with my boys and watch an oldie but goodie and see what they think of the movies I watched when I was their age!

This week’s Throwback Thursday movie is: WILLOW!


Willow was a great fan favorite of the late 80’s and it surprised me when my boys and I watched it together last week. I’d actually forgotten a few key things like it was a Ron Howard film, it was written by George Lucas, Warwick Davis also acted in Star Wars, and Val Kilmer married Joanne Whalley. There are loads of other minutia trivia about the movie, but I’ll save those for later.

So, what in the world is WILLOW about? Well, to make a long blurb short, it’s about a would be sorcerer with no self esteem and his quest to protect the savior (?) of his world from an evil queen. I know that sounds like fairly generic fantasy slog, but it’s how the movie goes about it that brings out the charm and fun.

Oh, and charming it was and still is.

As soon as the movie started my boys were hooked. I was also hooked, I hadn’t seen it in decades, and I’d honestly forgotten the smaller details and was able to watch it was an open mind not too predisposed to what I remembered from childhood. I’m glad I did, because let’s be honest, the special effects were atrocious. Cringe-worthy atrocious.

Funny thing is, neither of my boys even noticed how bad they were, they were that enamored WITH THE STORY. Not just the considerably silly and fun action, but they were invested in saving Elora Danan and seeing Willow Ufgood become the sorcerer he was meant to be. They were thrilled that Madmartigan and Sorsha didn’t end up as evil losers. The Brownies with the weird french accents had them howling with laughter.

And don’t get me started about the scenes with Madmartigan dressed in drag. I choked on my popcorn (I’d honestly forgotten about that part) and both boys were on the floor literally rolling and shrieking.

When it was over and the boys were able to breathe again, I asked them what they thought:

Me: Did you like it?

Older son: That was waaay funnier than The Never Ending Story was. I liked it better I think.

Me: Why?

Older son: There was more funny action. And more sword fighting. And magic.

Younger son: The guy with the long hair dressed like a girl! That was funny.

Me: Madmartigan?

Younger son: Yeah, that’s what I said. The guy with the long hair.

Me: …

Older son: My favorite part was when they rode a sled down a snow mountain. I want to try that.


As for myself, I actually really did enjoy rewatching WILLOW. It actually stood up to the test of time far better than I expected (actually better than The Neverending Story did) and as long as I don’t look too closely at the special effects (or character depth) then this movie is still a gem among jewels of the 80’s fantasy/sci fi movies. I really recommend sitting down for a family night and watching it with your kids (or by yourself, ‘cause that’s fine too!).


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