A baby girl is discovered in a river by Ranon and Mims, the children of Willow Ufgood, a dwarf farmer and magician and the baby girl is taken into the care of Willow’s family. But when a terrifying dog-like creature attacks Willow’s village, whilst tracking down the baby. Willow consults the village council and the wizard The High Aldwin.
The High Aldwin gives Willow a task and Willow leaves the village and embarks on the task to give the baby girl to a responsible person. But Willow soon learns the baby is Elora Danan, the baby girl destined to bring about the downfall of the evil sorceress Queen Bavmorda. Joined by his allies: swordsman Madmartigan, sorceress Fin Raziel and the Brownies Franjean and Rool, Willow takes it upon himself to protect Elora from Queen Bavmorda, who intends to kill Elora and prevent Elora from fulfilling her destiny.
Willow is a 1988 British-American high fantasy film directed by Ron Howard, produced and with a story by George Lucas, and starring Warwick Davis, Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Jean Marsh, and Billy Barty. Davis plays the eponymous lead character and hero: a reluctant farmer who plays a critical role in protecting a special baby from a tyrannical queen who vows to destroy her and take over the world in a high fantasy setting.
Lucas conceived the idea for the film in 1972, approaching Howard to direct during the post-production phase of Cocoon in 1985. Bob Dolman was brought in to write the screenplay, coming up with seven drafts before finishing in late 1986. It was then set up at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and principal photography began in April 1987, finishing the following October.
The majority of filming took place at Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire, England, as well as Wales and New Zealand. Industrial Light & Magic created the visual effects sequences, which led to a revolutionary breakthrough with digital morphing technology. The film was released in 1988 to mixed reviews from critics, but was a modest financial success, received two Academy Award nominations, and has developed a cult following amongst fantasy fans.
Directed by: Ron Howard
Starring: Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Warwick Davis, Jean Marsh, Patricia Hayes, Billy Barty, Pat Roach, Gavan O’Herlihy, David Steinberg, Phil Fondacaro
Screenplay by: Bob Dolman
Production Design by: Allan Cameron
Cinematography by: Adrian Biddle
Film Editing by: Daniel P. Hanley, Mike Hill, Richard Hiscott
Costume Design by: Barbara Lane
Art Direction by: Tim Hutchinson, Jim Pohl, Tony Reading, Kim Sinclair, Malcolm Stone
Music by: James Horner
Distributed by: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release Date: May 20, 1988