Willow: Read Reviews for the Sequel Series

Magic is the bloodstream of the universe, and it appears that magic is within the bloodstream of Willow. The new series is a direct sequel to the 1988 film of the same name, a collaboration between director Ron Howard and visionary Star Wars creator George Lucas. More than 30 years after Willow introduced audiences to a world of fantastical characters — the Nelwyn sorcerer-to-be Willow Ufgood (Warwick Davis), dashing swordsman Madmartigan (Val Kilmer), rebellious princess Sorsha (Joanne Whalley), and the dark-hearted Demon Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh) — the magic returns in the eight-part series streaming now on Disney+.

The Lucasfilm series is being heralded as a nostalgic successor to the original Willow, with plenty of new magic of its own. After the first two episodes (titled "The Gales" and "The High Aldwin") premiered Wednesday on Disney+, reviews hit Rotten Tomatoes, where Willow has scored an 88% "fresh" approval from critics. You can read ComicBook's spoiler-free review in full and see excerpts from across the web below.

Willow Reviews 

ComicBook: "Much like the original film, Willow has its failings, and as more and more streamers are carving out spaces in the fantasy genre, such as House of the Dragon or The Rings of Power, it's safe to say that Willow does not really exist on that same level. This doesn't mean that the series is bad, especially if you're a fan of the original film. Like that quirky quest to protect Elora Danon, this new adventure includes many of the same charms and maintains the heart that made so many of us fans all those years ago. It's worth joining Willow on another journey to save the world, even if you may not love every decision made along the way."

CNN: "Beyond modern-sounding dialogue and situations, the story does exhibit plenty of playful irreverence and humor mixed in among the action sequences and elaborate fantasy production design. The latter in particular suggest that this revival was no small undertaking, and to its credit, it looks like that money ended up on the screen. While that combination doesn't add up into making Willow significantly worthier of the 'beloved' label than its late-'80s predecessor, consumed on its own unpretentious terms, it's easy enough to like."

RogerEbert.com: "The discarded failures of yesteryear are unmined caverns of franchise potential for the bean counters at Disney, so here we are with an eight-episode legacy-quel to the film. And, surprise, surprise, it isn't half bad for what it is ... In the end, I'm not sure if there's an audience hungry for a nostalgic follow-up to Willow. But if there is, this is probably the way to do it: Give Warwick Davis the showcase the veteran actor deserves and inject it with a modern sensibility that works more than it doesn't. It may not be the most necessary sequel, but it's certainly fun. And really, isn't that what matters in the end? "

Salon: "In the same way that the film dropped into a decade in which cinematic sword and sorcery tales were primarily defined by the likes of Conan the Barbarian and John Boorman's Excalibur, the TV series comes to us in a time when fantasy is shaped by Game of Thrones ... it takes a couple of episodes to acclimate to what the show is aiming to do. Like every other piece of TV fiction stretching its narrative hands back in time to connect to an established story, the opening pair of episodes are laden with clunky exposition reestablishing the legend of Elora Danan, striving mightily to remind us of why we once cared and should care now."

IndieWire: "There's goofy, self-aware, MCU-ready undercut comedy for the crowd who thinks that the genre is too self-serious. There's mystical, world-ending sorcery stakes for the crowd who thinks that anything with a solid genre streak should only be for grown ups. In the season's first half, neither approach quite works and certainly not in close proximity to each other ... Should Willow continue past the prophecy-centered arc that it's set out for itself, there's the potential for a show that feels like a true campaign centered on experiences rather than explanations. In the meantime, the strength of Willow is when it rolls its own dice instead of following a script set out by its predecessors."

Willow Episodes Schedule

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  • Episode 1 and Episode 2: November 30th
  • Episode 3: December 7th
  • Episode 4: December 14th
  • Episode 5: December 21st
  • Episode 6: December 28th
  • Episode 7: January 4th
  • Episode 8 (Finale): January 11th

What Is the Willow Series About?

Per the official synopsis: "The story began with an aspiring magician from a Nelwyn village and an infant girl destined to unite the realms, who together helped destroy an evil queen and banish the forces of darkness. Now, in a magical world where brownies, sorcerers, trolls, and other mystical creatures flourish, the adventure continues, as an unlikely group of heroes set off on a dangerous quest to places far beyond their home, where they must face their inner demons and come together to save their world."

New episodes of Willow are streaming Wednesdays on Disney+.