The first two episodes of Willow were both a surprise and exactly what I wanted. I had given the movie a rewatch in preparation for the premiere of the show and it wasn’t necessarily needed since there was plenty done to connect the series to the movie. Really my only problem with the series is that I don’t know how many years its supposed to have been between the two. I know that there’s no way that its supposed to the same as what was between the movie and series.
The story so far feels much more like every other fantasy media. That isn’t a bad thing since it still has its own feel since it kept a good majority of the setting from the original movie. The changes in the world are explained in these first two episodes and those changes make sense. They even make the world have its own spin on fantasy tropes.
The new characters are interesting. The royal twins, Kit and Airk, are an interesting mix of their parents with the prince’s name being taken from their father’s friend. Kit’s love interest of Jade is a perfect foil to her. Their relationship seems to be central to the plot with how Kit is betrothed to Prince Graydon and how those three characters interact with each other on the quest. A personal favorite character of mine is Boorman, who seems to have a lot in common with Madmartigan character wise. The last new character on the quest is Dove who is in love with Airk and snuck away and ended up joining the group. The way that Willow interacts with all of the new characters gives the series some interesting conflicts so far.
The new antagonists, The Gales, are interesting. So far, they’re almost like the henchmen for the primary antagonist of The Crone. Each of The Gales have a distinct look and powers that haven’t been explored yet. Each of their looks are distinct and their names hint at what their powers are. One is called The Lich and it has great magical power, much like a Lich would have. Not much else is hinted at but there is one that can change animals, or possibly just birds.
Willow episodes one and two drew me in and made me want to continue the journey that was started in these two episodes. The reuse and reprises of James Horner’s main theme from the movie. The new music from James Newton Howard and Xander Rodzinski has a similar feel to the new style of fantasy music, but the reprises of Horner’s theme fits right in like it belongs. The practical and visual effects look amazing. New episode of Willow will be on Disney + on Wednesdays going forward for the next four weeks. I give the first two episodes of Willow 8.5 magic wands out of 10.