Apple TV+ keeps Charles Schultz’s legacy alive in the latest special, Snoopy Presents: Welcome Home Franklin. Raymond S. Persi directed the film, and the script was written by Robb Armstrong, Bryan Schultz, Craig Schultz, and Cornelius Uliano. An origin story of Peanuts’ most beloved characters, the film follows a boy named Franklin and his approach to making new friends.
Willow is a whimsical sequel
A beloved eighties fantasy film receives a sequel in a series format three decades later in Willow from Disney+. Based on George Lucas’ 1988 fantasy-adventure film Willow, the series picks up years after the Nelwyn sorcerer Willow (Warwick Davis) successfully rescued the infant empress Elora Danan from the clutches of the evil sorceress Queen Bavmorda of Nockmaar.
Sorsha (Joanne Whalley) is now queen of the land and shares two children with Madmartigan, formerly a boastful mercenary swordsman. After she receives a vision of impending doom that leads to the kidnapping of her son, Sorsha puts together a team to find Willow and rescue her son.
The group of misfit heroes on the harrowing rescue mission through a world beyond imagination include Sorsha’s daughter Kit (Ruby Cruz), the knight in training Jade (Erin Kellyman), kitchen maid Dove (Ellie Bamber), young scholar Graydon (Tony Revolori) and thief /swordsman Boorman (Amar Chadha-Patel). Join the group on their quest as they encounter brownies, sorcerers, trolls, and other mystical creatures while their inner demons unite to save their world.
I still remember seeing Willow in theaters during the summer of 1988 and enjoying the film. I haven’t sent the movie from start to finish in about a decade, but I was looking forward to seeing where showrunner Jonathan Kasdan would take the series. Viewing the first three episodes, Willow grabbed my attention.
Warwick Davis and Joanne Whalley slide back into their with ease, and I was fond of the scenes where the characters reminisce on the past. Kudos to the writers for using the first episode to introduce us to the new heroes and taking their time to bring Willow back into the fold.
Regarding the new cast, I was only familiar with Erin Kellyman and Tony Revolori. Kellyman displays the enjoyable heroine skills she brought to The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, while Revolori tones down the jerk schtick to deliver a likable character. The other remaining cast members turned in solid performances from the limited episodes I saw.
While Willow wasn’t a massive hit when it hit theaters, the film has earned a respectable cult status over the years. Focusing on the elements that made the original a whimsical, fun time, the series is worth a view for fantasy fans.
Willow premieres today exclusively on Disney+.
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