Parent reviews for Willow

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Common Sense says

age 9+

Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 10+

Based on 28 reviews

Kids say

age 11+

Based on 11 reviews

age 12+

Quite a scary opening

A bit of a warning - in the opening scene, the evil queen is trying to kill a newborn girl (because of a prophecy), so she throws all pregnant women to the dungeons and checks every newborn girl for a magic mark. Once the girl is born, the midwife saves her and runs away with her tucked in laundry. The queen then kills the mother (given order - "kill her" followed by a scream) and sends the hounds after the midwife. The midwife manages to hide the girl, but then she's mauled by the hounds (which are actually a cross of wild boar and wolf) - you can see them jumping at her, biting her and then, from the distance, eating her body. We had to stop at this point as my 9yo was shaking and crying. That's the first few minutes of the movie - I know it gets much lighter after that, too bad we didn't get there.

This title has:

Too much violence
4 people found this helpful.
age 14+

Confusing and disturbing

Not PG at all, very disturbing. A two headed monster is beheaded on one side and shot with arrows several times. Though there is no blood, I still would not show this to children under thirteen. A man grabs the 'breast' of a man dressed as a woman and asks "want to breed?" in front of his own wife - he does not get permission, and also will not take 'no' for an answer. A woman is mauled by wolves but we don't see that. Very confusing. There are trolls that look gross and die grossly.

This title has:

Too much violence
3 people found this helpful.
age 11+

Violent and scary; one objectionable scene, but overall fun movie for older kids

I had fond memories from my childhood, and they are partly justified as I rewatch this to evaluate for my own children. I'm not fond of the scene where a man gropes the chest of a what he believes to be a woman. The fact that it is not, in fact, a woman doesn't really make the scene any less offensive in my mind, and it definitely tells my tween/teenager that it's funny behavior, not a fan. Not to mention that the husband is groping what he believes to be another woman... overall not a great scene, worth skipping 30 seconds ahead if you've got the remote handy. A naked old woman; nothing revealing, but more than I really wanted to see even still... Kilmer does pin down the female lead at one point, fully on top of her, both fully clothed (about 84 minutes into the film). They are both warriors in this context, so I don't see it as an assault anymore than the other violence which pervades the film. Val Kilmer is entertaining, at the very least... And oh the 80's animation, so wonderful for the kids to see how far we've come! Great messages, loyalty. Scary scenes, baby in danger constantly, some ritualistic occult stuff, seems like a fun time for bored teens.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
2 people found this helpful.
age 9+

Some Dark content

The movie starts out innocently enough with endearing shots of Willow in his shiresque glen, living a simple agrarian life until his children discover an abandoned baby in a reed basket down by the river. The baby, put in the river by a nursemaid, is a fugitive from the evil sorceress queen Bavmorda. The sorceress fears that the child has come to fulfill a prophecy foretelling her demise. The story is dark at times, with several violent and traumatic deaths, such as being eaten by wolf like beasts, or impaled on a sword. The violence is generally bloodless, and not lingered on, but might be too intense for young viewers. There are also several grim occult ritual scenes where the baby’s life is in danger. There are some positive messages about standing up for and believing in oneself, despite poor odds. Madmartigen has some redemptive qualities. Some of the tropes don’t hold up after 30 years, but it’s still a decent popcorn movie.

This title has:

Too much violence
1 person found this helpful.
age 18+

It’s sexist alas

The Princess fell in love with the thief just because he spouted his love to her. Because of that it’s very dated and parents of young girls should watch with caution .

This title has:

Too much sex
1 person found this helpful.
age 10+

Charming! Funny! And Magical!

This movie is so mysterious and magical! Though there is a lot of violence. Parents need to know about the violence in this movie before they show their children. There is a two-headed troll, fencing blood, and a baby in peril! Deaths off and on-screen and not to mention the sex between the queens daughter and another man. Some kids may be too frightened by This movie. Warning you might here ass or jesus or words like that as well.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
1 person found this helpful.
age 12+

Pretty brutal and gross!

We love fantasy movies but this one was pointless with brutal battle scenes and an extremely gross transformation of a troll into huge lump of raw meat that grows two heads becomes a fire breathing dragon that eats people, gets stabbed thru the head and then explodes...stupid movie not sure how it got such high ratings

This title has:

Too much violence
1 person found this helpful.
age 18+

Boring +uncalled for sexy stuff+weirdo occult ritual stuff=just watch Lord of the Rings or some Studio Ghibli again

I saw this in the theaters when it came out; that's been a few years so I'd mostly forgotten what it was about. After we saw Warwick Davis in Prince Caspian, this movie came to mind, so we checked the reviews here and rented it. Strike one: banal dialogue and awkward pacing. Strike two: when Val Kilmer is in drag trying to hide from a cuckolded husband, the husband squeezes his "breast" and asks if he "wants to breed." Strike three: the long, long slog through the "ritual" the evil queen performs to neutralize the baby's power, or kill the baby, or make Orcs--I don't know because we finally abandoned ship after the "good guys" stormed the castle. It is somehow both disturbing (in that it looks like a Satanic ritual) and mind-numbingly dull. We all, including our child, are fans of many slow-paced films (Studio Ghibli, though Howl's Moving Castle was slow for them, and pointless to boot), but this bored us all. My only regret is watching as far as we did. My advice is to pass and watch "My Neighbor Totoro" for the younger kids or the Lord of the Rings trilogy for older kids who can handle the scary Orc stuff.

This title has:

Too much sex
Too much swearing
1 person found this helpful.
age 8+

Not for sensitive viewers

I have fond memories of this movie from my youth and thought it would be a great choice for my son's birthday party. His younger sister was watching with us, and I forgot that the opening scene explains that the witch is trying to kill the baby girls to escape the prophecy of the one who will become queen. So a mother delivers a newborn and promptly asks the midwife to sneak the baby out to safety. It is implied that the mother is then killed as guards enter the room and the midwife is chased through the forest by big snarling wolves. My daughter was freaked out! (Didn't help that I was pregnant at the time, either.) I also recall the end of the movie when the baby is laying on a altar crying (and it is raining) and the witch is trying to cast a spell or something. Ultimately the baby is saved but there are some frightening moments there and some spells and sorcery throughout. What I loved about the movie was the comedy and the fun chase scenes. And the element of romance between the 2 enemies. If you have kids who like adventures and take the perilous stuff in stride I think it is a great movie. If you have kids who "feel" the danger then I would avoid it until they are older.
1 person found this helpful.
age 10+

A Classic for families!

Wonderful movie! I watched it with my family growing up and it's always been a favorite. It's about a kind dwarf named Willow (Warwick Davis) who is a natural sorcerer. His two adorable children find a beautiful baby in a nest that had stopped at their river side. But they realize the baby is not a dwarf, she is a Daikini (regular person) who is actually a princess that was secretly rescued by a woman after hearing the poor thing would be sacrificed by an evil queen. The community will not allow her to stay because they are afraid. Willow is demanded to take her back where "big people" live. Along the way he meets a rough hooligan named Madmartigan (Val Kilmer) who is caged but makes a deal with Willow that if he helps him escape, he will help Willow bring the baby to safety. After Willow finally trusts Madmartigan, they begin their journey and run into all kinds of interesting characters. Along the way, they are chased by the evil queens daughter Sorsha and her army to steal the baby back, but she meets Madmartigan and you can tell she's instantly attracted. Soon after, her true personality comes forward and she eventually turns good. When a scary ritual takes place towards the end & Willow saves the day, Madmartigan and Sorsha take off together with baby Elora. Language is mild but has "hell" a couple of times and "[email protected]". Violence is average (frightening for young ones) and contains a group of wolf-like beasts who viciously attack a woman that saved the baby - the camera moves away during it. More beasts terrorize a village. Lots of sword fights and battles, punching and lots of arguing. Many creatures throughout including a two-headed dragon that eats a horseman. The evil queen turns people into pigs and you see the graphic transformation - scary for some people! A ritual begins to take place with baby Elora on a table before Willow rescues her. A horse-buggy chase scene. Many frightening and action-packed sequences. Sexual content will fly over kids heads and is mild, including Madmartigan dressing up as a woman and a man grabs his boob and says "wanna breed?", Madmartigan is under a love spell at one point and tells Sorsha how much he loves her - later when the potion wears off, he sneaks into her tent to steal the baby and Sorsha takes her knife and says "take one more step and you will be a woman", some kissing. There is mild drinking at pubs, one character falls into a bucket of alcohol and yells "beer" and dives back in. All-in-all; great, funny & heartfelt movie for families ages 10 and up.

This title has:

Great role models
Too much violence
1 person found this helpful.