George Lucas is synonymous with Star Wars, and with that fame, unfortunately, the revered director’s body of work before and after the popular space opera gets lost. Lucas has had a hand some of the most memorable films in the last 40 years, one of them being the fantasy epic Willow, which is now available on Blu-ray to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the film.
Before The Lord of the Rings, there was the story of Willow, a cult classic starring Warwick Davis in which he plays a farmer and aspiring sorcerer who ends up on an adventure to protect a special baby from a tyrannical queen. Lucas conceived the story while working on Return of the Jedi, and elected Ron Howard to direct the film. Willow is far from Lord of the Rings, but it has a nostalgic factor that will forever keep in fantasy enthusiasts hearts.
There is no better way to revisit the fantasy epic than the Blu-ray. The transfer is flawless, creating a pristine, clear picture that illuminates the Welsh and New Zealand landscapes. The impeccable video quality is free of any spots or grainy images. The film is gorgeous, and the color and detail are quite the sight for a CGI-induced generation. The same praise goes to the sound, which is no surprise to a Blu-ray involving Lucasfilm (which works with THX). The audio (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) is just as engaging as the visuals with crisp, clear sounds of nature and a great score by James Horner.
Special Features include:
- Deleted Scenes with Ron Howard Commentary
- Making of an Adventure with Ron Howard introduction
- Morf to Morphing with Dennis Muren Introduction and Closing
- Willow: An Unlikely Hero – Personal Video Diary of Warwick Davis
- Matte Paintings Gallery
Most of the features were available in the special edition DVD release in 2001, but the Blu-ray does have more to offer. Ron Howard introduces each featurette and provides a little more insight to each deleted scene. Davis’ VHS video diary is also a nice addition to the Blu-ray that goes behind the scenes and behind the camera. It’s fascinating to see how everyone interacted on set and how they dealt with the difficult production process.
The extra features clearly show Willow was a labor of love for Lucas and Howard, and it is one that we all can appreciate. For fans of the genre, Willow is one of the best Blu-rays available with perfect sound, a clear, crisp video and plenty of heart to take us back to our childhood.