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With terrific memories of taking my very young daughter Jessica to see WILLOW in the theatres back in 1988, I revisited the Ron Howard fantasy adventure last week.

Let's just say it doesn't quite match my memories.

Producer George Lucas (Star Wars) and Director Ron Howard, hot off of "Splash" and "Cocoon" at the time, pair up for a sprawling fantasy adventure with echoes of "Lord of the Rings".

Willow (a surprisingly good Warwick Davis, only 17 when the movie was filmed) is a young dad with two little ones of his own when he discovers a very special baby floating down the river near his home. ("Ten Commandments" anyone?)

When his fellow villagers vote him to escort the baby to the safety of a far away village, Willow is dropped into a long (sometimes very long) trek.

Along the way, he'll meet the dashing and funny swordsman Madmartigan, perfectly played by Val Kilmer in peak form. Kilmer is about the best thing in the film, bringing some much needed humor and momentum to the proceedings.

Darkly looming over their quest is the evil Queen Bavmorda, embodied by Jean Marsh (Upstairs,Downstairs) who is terrified of the prophecy of a newborn baby and orders every baby in the land to be taken and examined for a tell tale birthmark.

There are moments that are awful dark for a family adventure, at least in today's sensibilities. I don't remember it striking me that way in the 80's.

Like any George Lucas story, the dialogue is sometimes painful, some of the "humorous characters are painfully unfunny, embodied this time by two tiny elf creatures played by Kevin Pollak and Rick Overton. They are the Jar Jar Binks of "Willow". Painful.

The special effects that were killer in '88 are just horrible now, inspiring a lot of laughs in the final battle as our heroes battle a two headed dragon thingy that looks like something a couple of ten year olds with play-doe and an i-phone could shoot in a lazy afternoon.

What still holds up?

James Horner's terrific music score, Warwick Davis' charm in the title role that was written for him by Lucas after they met during the filming of "Return of the Jedi", Joanne Whalley's performance as Sorsha, the evil Queen's daughter, a snowy mountaintop battle with Madmartigan/Kilmer in fine form and any scene with Willow and his family.

It's a nostalgic trip back to pre-CGI effects that gets a C+.

But it's hard to forget that goat screaming, "W-w-i-l-l-o-w! You i-i-i-i-d-iot!" That'll stick with you long after the credits...LOL

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