The world of film has changed a lot in the past 30 years or so. In 1988, millions flocked to their local theaters to watch the likes of Tim Burton‘s gothic comedy Beetlejuice, David Zucker‘s hilariously timeless The Naked Gun, or the incomparably moving Rain Man by Barry Levinson. These films and many more make up what could be seen as a great year for cinema, however, one film that went slightly under the radar that year was Ron Howard‘s Willow. Originally touted as being a potentially massive hit for both MGM and Lucasfilm, its box office success was at least credible but certainly underwhelming. Some 34 years later, and despite being in the middle of the Star Wars renaissance, George Lucas couldn’t help but return to the story he once loved creating all that time ago. Deciding to drop the sci-fi and focus on fantasy for a short period, Lucasfilm, now owned by Disney, is returning to the world of the film with a sequel series.
The titular character of Willow will be played once again by the great Warwick Davis. Davis will be joined by another original cast member, namely Joanne Whalley (The Man Who Knew Too Little) as Sorsha. New faces are crucial to any long-awaited sequel, and the casting team behind Willow has done a stellar job. The likes of Ruby Cruz (Castle Rock) as Kit, Erin Kellyman (The Green Knight) as Jade, and Ellie Bamber (Nocturnal Animals) as Dove give the franchise a fresh feel. They are joined on screen by many other great talents including Tony Revolori (The Grand Budapest Hotel) and Amar Chadha-Patel (Aladdin). With a cast this original, and with homage being paid to the film’s roots, one can assume that Willow will be a hit with old and young fans alike. So, with that in mind and with the release date so close now, here is exactly how to watch Disney’s Willow this winter.
When Will Willow Be Released?
Willow will launch on November 30, 2022, just nine days shy of its original counterpart’s December 9 release date back in 1988. Fans will certainly not have to wait long to finally see Warwick Davis (Harry Potter) reprise his role as the titular character.
For many, the trailer is the deciding factor when choosing their next screen experience. Although it still has a relatively small fanbase, Willow will be hoping to capture the imagination of a new generation of fantasy fans and has gone some way to achieving this with the trailer. The trailer gives a sense of both nostalgia and of new adventures, hinting at the potential journey our protagonists may go on. The plot oozes the fantasy genre, with the official Disney synopsis reading:
An epic period fantasy series with a modern sensibility set in an enchanted land of breathtaking beauty, “Willow” features a diverse international cast with Jonathan Kasdan, Ron Howard, Wendy Mericle, Kathleen Kennedy, and Michelle Rejwan serving as executive producers. 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.
Where Is Willow Streaming?
You can probably guess the answer to this one. After Lucasfilm was officially acquired by Disney in 2012 and Disney+ arrived on the scene, the streaming service has been the one-stop destination for all things Lucasfilm. It will come as no surprise to learn that Willow will be released onto Disney+ as one of many great releases the platform has to offer as 2022 comes to a close.
A subscription to Disney+ for any new customers is $7.99 a month or an annual fee of $79.99 can be paid. Certainly a small price to pay for what promises to be well worth the money. Unfortunately, there is no other way to watch Willow, although perhaps sometime down the line a DVD box set may be released.
When Do New Episodes of Willow Come Out?
The first two episodes of Willow will be released together on November 30 but after that, you’ll have to wait patiently each week for new episodes. The series has six episodes planned in its debut season. Here’s when each of them arrives on Disney+:
Episode 1 – November 30, 2022
Episode 2 – November 30, 2022
Episode 3 – December 7, 2022
Episode 4 – December 14, 2022
Episode 5 – December 21, 2022
Episode 6 – December 28, 2022
What to Watch If You’re Excited About Willow
Although certainly not far away now, in this world of constant media, fans can often find themselves seeking their next watch even while waiting for another. With that in mind, here are two suggestions for what may pass the endless time leading up to the launch of Willow.
Willow (1988): The most sensible first suggestion for any potential Willow viewer would be, well, Willow. To get a strong sense of the cinematic world audiences are about to enter, watching the source material is always key to experiencing said world fully. Starring the likes of Val Kilmer (The Doors) and the aforementioned Warwick Davis, Willow tells the original tale of the young farmer who will risk everything to save a special baby from the tyrannical powers that rule his land. A fantasy tale with all the necessary components, Willow hits every note when delivering its brief. There is a reason the film is being revisited in 2022, and that’s because of the timeless appeal of its narrative and themes.
Pinocchio (2022): This suggestion may seem strange, but although released to mixed reception both critically and publicly, Pinocchio offers the same sense of nostalgia and modern adaptation that fans can expect from Willow and, with both being on Disney+, there is more to get out of that subscription fee. The story of Pinocchio is one known by generations old and young, and this adaptation, even if slightly lacking in some areas, certainly delivers on its sense of fantastical wonder, the sort of feeling fans can certainly expect when Willow launches on our screens.