If you have ever watched the original 1988 movie in the past, I’m sure you got a flood of nostalgia. I remember snippets of the dark fantasy film like it was yesterday, and can’t wait to watch Disney+’s upcoming Willow series. But what happens when those who watched it are now parents and want to share the story with their children? Will Willow be suitable for children? Will the upcoming Disney+ Willow series have an age rating? Everyone wants to know.
The original Willow was an uplifting film with a ton of dark and normal fantasy elements that made it a great movie for younger audiences. Some of the darker themes, however, were a little too dark and mature for kids, and the movie received a PG rating. The original film was deemed appropriate for kids as long as they were supervised by their parents.
The premise of the film was that the evil sorceress Queen Bavmorda of Nockmaar was scared that a prophecy would be fulfilled where a child with a special rune birthmark would bring about her downfall so imprisoned all pregnant women in her domain. When the child is inevitably born, she is smuggled out of the castle, but at the cost of both her mother’s and her midwife’s life. The Queen sends her daughter, Sorsha, and an army to hunt down the baby. By some strange twist of fate, Willow becomes her protector and ends up saving the day in the end.
Back in 1989, Capcom made a The Legend of Zelda style Willow game for the Nintendo Entertainment System. The game was a 2D action role-playing game that was loosely based on the movie of the same title that came out the year before.
In the game, players took on the role of Willow Ufgood, who wages a battle against evil, wielding a sword, shield, magic spells, and items to defeat them. Unlike in the movie, this time Willow travels alone, briefly meeting NPCs along the way, gaining experience and levelling up from defeating enemies in real-time combat, like most RPG elements.
The game has no money system, all items are found/foraged in the game, with the exception that Willow can enter homes and converse with their inhabitants to receive advice or items such as magic and weapons.
The upcoming Disney+ Willow series is a direct continuation of the 1988 original film, made to be an adventure fantasy series based on the movie. While there are a lot of different elements that contribute to the entire fantasy adventure genre, with some medieval sword-fighting, magic, mythical creatures and a certain level of violence in the series, there are no explicit horror elements in the series, and it, as well as the move, were never intended to be outright scary. Some scenes may walk the line between dark and light, and be scary to very young audience members but it’s unlikely that there will be a ton of these as the Willow series is still a Disney+ show, but that’s why we think that the show will receive a TV-PG rating.
Many parents who enjoyed the original themselves in the 80s and early 90s are wondering if they will be able to show the Disney+ Willow series to their kids. The short answer is yes. There are no real horror elements that are set to be included in the story, but parental guidance will probably be recommended because of the darker elements such as violence and medieval battles. With the nostalgia train getting longer and longer for the 80s and 90s kids, it’s doubtful they are going to want to miss sharing this series with families.
As mentioned above, this is still a Disney+ show, and from the trailer seems to have a younger, teen/young adult cast to be relatable to younger fans. This series will most likely be catered towards younger viewers, but not to the point where it is children-friendly, and kids younger than 13 should still have their parents present when watching Willow.
For fans, it would really be disappointing if Disney+’s Willow series had an age rating.