Willow

Pros: Very sweet, sweeping, and battle-ready when it needs to be.
Cons: Has the potential to lose a bit of its luster after you've seen the movie millions of times

The Bottom Line: James Horner the composer! You make us proud!

James Horner, ever since I first heard Braveheart I fell in love with the man. So sad I haven’t heard more of his music, and I really wish he would work on some bigger items than he has of late. And if he does, I would hope he avoids using the same elements like he did with Troy (where you can hear bits of Willow, clear as day).

Basically, this is the entire movie in CD format. Every sliver of music in that movie is on this CD, at least from what I can tell. Everything from the start to the end, and I know that if I hadn’t seen Willow so many times already I’d be much more excited about finally having this soundtrack on my hands. Still, it’s pretty fun to have in my collection and is really entertaining to listen to when you’re just goofing around on your computer for whatever reason and feel like going on a little journey with Willow or Madmartigan.

Small number of tracks; long times, so I’ll only gloss over highlights because, as I said, this is the movie on CD.

1.) Elora Danon – 9:47 From Elora’s birth to her discovery by Willow’s children. Of course we have the first taste of the soft and magical Willow chorus that will pop up here and there throughout. Opening credit music, here we go!

2.) Escape from the Tavern – 5:07 Who doesn’t remember Madmartigan’s theme? Crazy swordfighter. This track is a lot of fun because it’s full orchestra with lots of speed and action. Whee!

3.) Willow’s Journey Begins – 5:28 I don’t know why this track isn’t before #2 because it definitely belongs there as this is Willow’s start on his journey to return Elora to the people she rightfully belongs with, from crossing the log to the potential capture by soldiers.

4.) Canyon of Mazes – 7:53 Bavmorda’s forces are coming! We don’t get to the canyon until Madmartigan takes Sorsha hostage and they ride out of the snow-covered mountains.

5.) Tir Asleen – 10:49 If you remember at all the huge battle inside a cursed castle, complete with a few trolls, lots of bad guards, and a giant two-headed monster, then you should be quite familiar with this track.

6.) Willow’s Theme – 3:57 Full on Willow theme (though I tend to think of it partially as Madmartigan’s theme as well, and actually the softer part I attribute to Willow, but who cares?). However you think of it, this is the whole kit n’kaboodle.

7.) Bavmorda’s Spell is Cast – 18:11 Start with a whole army of pigs, get them back to normal, trick the bad guys into letting you into the castle, start a fight--

8.) Willow the Sorcerer – 11:57 --continue the fight, kill the queen, save the baby, and have a happy ending with that great music from the Nelwin (or is it Elwin? I’ve never been quite sure) village earlier on. Makes for fun credit music and I love every bit of it.

Enjoyable is exactly what this soundtrack is. James Horner did a great job with it and I absolutely love the main themes and the village music with those instruments. I don’t see how you could see the movie and dislike the music. The two just go hand in hand so well that listening to the movie invokes images of Madmartigan flipping a sword and then falling in the snow like an idiot, or drunken Brownies, or Willow doing his best to make it in such a crazy world outside his own. The music is full of feeling and goes exactly where it needs to for each character and situation. Horner knows how to use the orchestra to its full potential and does just that for this soundtrack. And I really do love his occasional use of very soft chorus.

Even though none of these tracks inspire me the way I usually prefer a soundtrack to be able to do, I love the movie so much I just listen to the music for the sheer delight of it. It just makes you happy. It also makes me want to go on a journey of my own. Or go to the mountains and hike around away from everything to be in my own little world. And even if you have never seen the movie, I don’t have any good reasons why you would dislike this soundtrack has it has just about everything you might want in it; hope, action, a bit of love, slow pacing, fast pacing, full orchestra, unique instrumentation…what else could you ask for?

NT

Originally posted on Epinions.com

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I am an author, I sell books for a living, and I love music like there's no tomorrow. I've experienced much of this country, from forested hills of the East, to the golden plains of the Midwest, the sandy beaches of the Southeast, and the oh-so-majestic mountains of the Rockies. And when all else fails, eat chocolate.