Is Willow TV series safe for kids? Is Willow show ok for children? Read the Willow 2022 Review | Safe for Kids?, an honest parents guide and mom review of the all-new 8-episode Willow television show inspired by the 1988 Lucasfilm Willow movie, starring Warwick Davis. No spoilers! #Willow May contain commissioned links.
Willow 2022 Review | Safe for Kids?
Remember what kid friendly films were “back in our day?” I recently gave the 1988 Willow a re-watch in anticipation of the 34-year Willow 2022 TV series reboot. And looking back fondly on my traumatized childhood movie watching (Jean Marsh will forever haunt my nightmares as Mombi AND Queen Bavmorda forever), it’s amazing how we ever got away with movies like Return to Oz and Willow as PG for kids.
You’ve watched Willow, Your kids have even watched Willow. But does that mean the whole family can watch the new Willow series? With a modern day makeover and the return of Warwick Davis as our beloved sorcerer hero Willow, this 8-episode television show of the same name (why oh WHY couldn’t we call it something else?! SMH), is being released direct to Disney+ streaming, just in time for the holidays and cozy family nights on the couch…
But is Willow continuing to haunt children’s nightmares with dark fantasy themes – or is this 2022 Willow reboot family friendly as previously advertised?
In This Willow TV Series Review | Safe for Kids?, I’m breaking down the visuals, the story, a full TV-14 age rating explanation for violence, adult themes and language, and what kids’ age recommendation is suggested to watch in this new 2022 Willow TV series parents guide to the new Lucasfilm TV show on Disney+. A no-spoiler parent review of Willow, does this 34-year fan serviced series live up to the hype?
Or should this 1988 inspired Willow show have stayed in our traumatic pasts?
Trolls, magic, demonic creatures – oh my! Whether it’s in galaxies far, far away or mystical worlds unknown, Lucasfilm does not disappoint to bring special effects, CGI, and a touch of whimsy to their repertoire. Exploring enchanting lands, beautiful backdrops and nostalgic costuming, Willow 2022 is no different. Thankfully retiring the horrible troll costume for more fantastical CGI creatures and magical feats, Willow still feels like Willow – just visually much improved. Filled with modern day CGI technical advances to bring fantasy to life, the 2022 Willow TV series is just as magical (if not more magical) as the 1988 film, maintaining the original Willow vibe.
Photosensitivity warning. Willow does include high tech CGI animation that includes short sequences of bright flashing lights to simulate magic in some scenes, equivalent to lightning/strobing effects (for instance in episodes 5, 6, and 7). Many scenes and episodes are also in darkness (episodes 4 and 6 especially), which may be difficult to see for the visually impaired.
Based on the 1988 George Lucas fantasy-adventure film and executive produced by Ron Howard, Kathleen Kennedy, Johnathan Kasdan, Wendy Mericle, and Michelle Rejwan, Warwick Davis (“Harry Potter“) reprises his role as Willow Ufgood in this all-new 8-episode series also starring Joanne Whaley (“Scandal“) as Queen Sorsha, Ruby Cruz (“Blue Bloods“) as her daughter Princess Kit, and a new group of heroes including Ellie Bamber (“The Nutcracker and the Four Realms“), Erin Kellyman (“Solo: A Star Wars Story“), Tony Revolori (“Spider-Man: No Way Home“), and Amar Chadha-Patel (“Aladdin“).
Following the bond between an aspiring magician and an infant girl, the defeat of an evil queen, and the banishment of the forces of darkness from the realm, the adventure continues. In yet another perilous quest, a new and unlikely band of characters join together to face their inner demons and to save the world…again. The Lord of the Rings trilogy meets a foul mouthed Princess Bride, this 8-episode Willow television series lengthens out this quest in 45 minute to almost 60 minute spurts with action-packed adventure, fantasy, and even a little bit of humor.
A lot has happened in the entertainment world in 34 years. And for 2022 Willow, I applaud the new series for the addition of international casting, character diversity and inclusion efforts, celebrity cameos, and even some modern day lingo to keep up with the times.
But beyond the small wins, maybe the hero group was too big, the episodes too long, the dialogue too glossed over, or perhaps the loss of my childhood nostalgia, but I didn’t relate and feel for the new characters as I did back in the 1980’s.
Even with hyped CGI, epic battle scenes and crazy detailed creatures, that fantasy-like wonder was lost in a predictable and slow quest storyline, empty humor throw away lines, and more modern day adult themes than needed (can someone explain the music addition? Why?!). Having now previewed 7 of the 8 episodes, I can honestly say that even as a Warwick fan I’m not dying to see the last episode. Truly.
That TV-14 Rating Explained
Is Willow 2022 safe for kids? GASP, a Lucasfilm show that’s not Star Wars? Well that’s a Disney+ streaming series of a different color. It’s no secret that I am highly skeptical of all MPAA ratings (um hello, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker not disclosing any language??). And as we know, not all movie and TV age ratings are the same. As a parent, it’s been rather heartbreaking to witness how ratings have shifted over the years with G-rating now a thing of the past. PG ratings now oscillating between Turning Red intense to Christopher Robin calm, and even PG-13/TV-14 teetering on the edge of R or MA ratings (Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery and Werewolf by Night, I see you!), there’s a wide range between the age of 0-14 years old for parents to consider. Having fully disclosed parent guidelines can help determine if a movie or show is kid friendly – and safe for the whole family to watch together.
Why is Willow 2022 TV series rated TV-14? In this Willow 2022 Review | Safe for Kids?, this 8-episode Willow show is rated TV-14 for “sequences of strong violence, action and some language.” With film and TV ratings also unpredictable these days, having fully disclosed parent guidelines can help determine if a movie or television show like Willow 2022 is kid friendly. Is Willow 2022 too scary for kids? Let’s breakdown that TV-14 age rating in this Willow 2022 parents guide. *Please note that this Willow review and TV-14 age rating breakdown are for episodes 1-7 only. The finale has not been available for preview yet.
Violence/Suspense. As expected, Willow is action-packed with battle scenes, hand-to-hand combat, and violent acts using ancient weapons such as arrows, spears and swords. But with more realistic and demonic looking creatures, CGI enhancements and increased intensity, the Willow 2022 TV series turns up the violence and suspense with more gore, vomit, blood, dark magic and spell usage, torture/pain scream noises, scary horror-like zombies, demons, monsters, scenes in darkness, mild jump scares, kill shots (such as cutting of throats and stabbings), reference to “exorcisms” and “shiv,” and medically scary-looking infections and scars.
Most comparable to The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Willow follows the fantasy/adventure genre violence pretty closely – with lots more demonic/dark magic usage.
Language. The 1988 Willow film had mild language at best with only the use of “h-e-double hockey sticks” once, one jack@ss,” “stupid” once and and multiple sayings of the mild insult “peck.” Modern times unfortunately seem to call for more swear words. Sadly, Willow 2022 series includes multiple bad language references and swear word phrases including “sh!t,” “@ss,” “d@mn,” “d@mmit,” “h-e-double-hockey-sticks,” “crap,” “sucks,” and “jack@ss.”
Milder insults, innuendo words and phrases throughout the episodes are even more numerous in the Willow TV series. Bad language includes “cocky,” “trollops,” “blummins,” “nards,” “groin,” “boobs,” “butt,” “shut up,” “stupid,” “idiots,” “peck,” “nimcompoops,” “jerk,” “pissed,” “miffed,” “hag,” “oh my g-d,” “geez,” and “heck.”
Adult Themes. Just like the original Willow, this fantasy-adventure features adult themes that include death, grief and loss that may be triggering for some. Alcohol consumption is also a prevalent theme throughout the first seven episodes. This includes overconsumption to the point of drunkenness, intake of shots, and reference to being “passed out drunk.”
Sexual innuendo is vastly increased in this Willow 2022 show. Romantic deep kissing between couple while standing and in a lap. Visual and verbal reference to “hickey on the neck.” Verbal references include use of “cocky,” “trollops,” “blummins,” “nards,” “groin,” “boobs,” and “butt,” as stated in the language section above. A couple of shirtless men scenes, inferred showering, dancing, tight fitting clothing. Other verbal innuendo include reference to a “mule’s soft wispy bits,” “being naked,” “casual innuendo,” and “rolling in the hay.”
Lucasfilm introduces the first openly gay LGBQT relationship in a Willow production as well (seems to be trending with Strange World and Lightyear). Besides kissing scenes between same sex couple in multiple episodes, open discussions of the relationship happen throughout the season, and one episode features one gay character pining the other to the ground. This theme may not be considered appropriate for some families and kids. Be prepared for possible questions from children who have not been exposed to same sex relationships, especially between older teens/young adults.
Episode 8 Finale Update | Ok, I’ll hand it to the writers on this 50 minute finale. They did at least wrap everything up in this final episode, increasing the intensity level and excitement. The quest and story end on an expected period note, but did leave things open for a potential second season (please, no). Violence/fighting scenes on par with the other 7 episodes. Increased suspense, gore, and horror-like monsters for this final episode – potential new Bavmorda nightmare territory for a new generation of Willow fans. Adult themes include sexy costuming, references to “making out,” “kissing,” and one disturbing kiss scene. Intensity also increased for bad language, including phrases with “b!tch,” “sh!t,” “d@mn,” “@ss.” 2 g-d references, “shut up,” “stupid,” and “dummy” insults round out the language for this finale. Overall, a better finale than I originally expected – but still a predictable ending to a mediocre niche series of a mediocre niche movie.
Willow 2022 Age Rating for Kids?
With episode runtime ranging anywhere between 44 and 58 minutes long, the length of the new Willow show is on the long side for a kid friendly television series. But with direct to streaming capability thanks to Disney+, the ability to pause and enjoy from the comfort of home is appealing for kids.
However, keep in mind that while this 8-episode Willow series is filled with action and adventure, this series also has quite a bit of heavy adult dialogue and an overall fantasy quest tone that may be boring for little ones. Your child’s sensitivity to violence, dark fantasy themes, scary creatures, and nightmares will play a huge role in determining if Willow is ok for kids to watch.
If I had to compare, I would say Willow has the language and adult themes of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law with the violence/suspense level of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Willow is not quite Loki calm when it comes to the TV-14 rating.
This 8-episode Willow television show based on the 1988 film of the same name is rated TV-14 for “sequences of strong violence, action and some language.“
Based on my Willow parents guide and mom review above, the heavy adult dialogue, dark magic, scary creatures and a slower pacing, this 8-episode show is more of a 1988 fan service series for adults than an introduction to a new generation of kid friendly Willow lovers.
Considering the full TV-14 rating breakdown above, this parent movie reviewer would not recommend Lucasfilm’s Willow TV series to kids younger than the age of 11-12 years old.
Considering the full TV-14 rating breakdown above, this parent movie reviewer would not recommend Lucasfilm’s Willow TV series to kids younger than the age of 11-12 years old. This Willow 2022 TV-14 rating is pretty spot on when compared to the 1988 Willow PG movie rating.
With increased and more intense violence, darker magic, scarier monsters/creatures and more swear words, this more teen friendly rating is well earned, teetering close to the R rating. I still recommend parents to prescreen season 1 of Willow 2022 for strong violence, dark fantasy themes and foul language throughout each episode.
No need to wait for the very end of the credits for this new Disney+ series. There are no end credit or mid credit scenes.
Sadly, I think my childhood Willow nostalgia wore off a few episodes ago. Die hard fans will probably enjoy it. But trying to modernize Willow without a clear picture of who the target audience is outside of the fandom – the Willow series ends up being a confused cousin of the movie. While I enjoyed seeing Warwick Davis back in his Willow role, I think his whole mythical world kind of crashed around me as the episodes kept dragging on…and on…and on. With only one episode left for me to preview, I can’t say that I’m sitting on the edge of my seat to see how this 2022 Willow ends.
The only question I have left is – are we wrapping it up or are we leaving it open for a season 2? Honestly, it could go either way, which may or may not be a scarier thought than my Queen Bavmorda nightmares.
Follow Willow on social media:
- Website: https://disneyplusoriginals.disney.com/show/willow
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WillowOfficial/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/WillowOfficial
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/WillowOfficial/
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Lucasfilm’s Willow, the all-new 8-episode season 1 TV show with a 2 episode television series premiere is streaming exclusively on Disney+ starting Wednesday, November 30, 2022, with new episodes every Wednesday through January 11, 2023. Will your family be watching?
I was invited to screen the episodes 1-7 of the new 2022 Willow television series in exchange for this Willow 2022 Review | Safe for Kids? Parents Guide. All photos courtesy of Disney/Lucasfilm. Be sure to follow Raising Whasians for more movie updates, celebrity interviews, entertainment and behind-the-scenes info!