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Willow Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 8+

Magic-filled fantasy adventure with a few battle scenes.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Willow is a wonderful fantasy adventure with lots of intense scenes of battle and conflict, which are often lightened with humor. Expect an evil queen who yells and threatens to kill a baby, plus some scary wildebeasts and soldiers who storm a village of innocents -- including kids -- but leave before anyone is seriously hurt. Some battles result in apparent deaths with a little blood, but nothing is lingered on or explicit. A couple monsters are pretty creepy and put beloved characters in peril. There is also some romantic kissing and a hint of infidelity.

  • Families can talk about the characters' choices. Why did the queen want to kill the baby princess? Why was Willow reluctant to take the baby into his home? Why did Madmartigan help Willow and the baby? What do these choices say about the movie's messages?
  • Talk about the humor in this movie. How do jokes and silly pratfalls lessen the intensity of violence or peril?
  • What parts of the movie are created by actors, and what parts are created by computer effects? How can you tell?

The good stuff
  • educationalvalue true0

    Educational value: The movie intends to entertain, not educate, but kids will see old-fashioned village life plus a population of little people that may lead to interesting questions and conversations.

  • message true1

    Messages: The movie is filled with positive messages about love, family, the power of good over evil, sacrifice for the greater good, and the dangers of judging a book by its cover. Willow's journey also underscores the value of perseverance, the struggle for good, and doing the right thing in the face of great odds.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence and scariness: Sword fighting, hand-to-hand combat, punching, magical battles. One scene shows innocent villagers -- including children -- running in fear from soldiers. A wildebeest attacks the midwife who saved the princess baby, and it's assumed she dies, but nothing is shown. In the final battle a troll turns into a bloody, grotesque, two-headed monster. Even in intense moments, there is some humor that lightens the drama.

  • sex false0

    Sexy stuff: Some romantic kissing. One scene hints that Madmartigan was involved with another man's wife. A love potion makes Madmartigan spout wildly romantic phrases at a beautiful woman.

  • language false2

    Language: Some insults, especially "peck," which refers to Willow's species of little people. Once: "jackass."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: A pub scene shows folks drinking.

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