Throwback Thursday: Willow
I know this 1988 movie has its haters. But I'm not one of them. I adore Willow! The number one reason? Warwick Davies. You just completely believe he is Willow Ufgood, a Nelwyn farmer who is thrust into a dangerous magical quest when a Daikini baby washes up from the river. You 100% want him to succeed. And you absolutely know he will. Even when things go from bad to worse. Even when he fails, then fails again. Willow may actually be my favorite fantasy movie hero of all time.
The movie also stars Val Kilmer as the reluctant hero Madmartigan, Billy Barty as The High Aldwin, and Jean Marsh as the positively deliciously evil Queen Bavmorda. And don't forget the babies who played Elora Danan! Their facial expressions were scene stealers on many occassions. The acting was stellar, and the creative team was top notch. Willow was directed by Ron Howard, and the story was written by George Lucas. Industrial Light & Magic, the special effects team, did some groundbreaking sequences, the most notable being when Fin Raziel goes through a series of animal transformations before settling into her human form. This morphing technique was a breakthrough for computer-generated imaging (CGI).
DID YOU KNOW?
1. Warwick Davies made his movie debut as the Ewok Wicket in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. He also plays both Professor Flitwick and Griphook in the Harry Potter movie franchise.
2. Jean Marsh is also a villainess in Return to Oz (1985). She scares me as Nurse Wilson in the Kansas part of the movie and Princess Mombi in the Oz part.
3. At the Academy Awards, Willow was nominated for Sound Effects Editing and Visual Effects, but lost both to Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (another movie I love), whose effects were also done by Industrial Light & Magic.
4. Billy Barty was a television and movie actor from 1930 to 2001! He played Gwildor in 1987's Masters of the Universe. My sister and I were HUGE He-Man fans, so this movie was definitely in our VHS rental rotation.
Did you miss last week's post in this series? Take a look at Throwback Thursday: The Wizard of Oz.
Inspired by Summer: Stars & Stripes
I am an Army Brat, and I have oh-so-many wonderful childhood memories of the 4th of July. We would always go see the fireworks display on base. Let me tell you, the Army knows how to put on a fireworks show. I especially loved when the military band would play patriotic music. When I was a teenager, I was always at Camp Sumatanga's Music & Arts Week during the 4th. My Independence Day consisted of fireworks over the lake after a round of camp songs and storytelling. As an adult, I don't have a 4th of July tradition. Each year I'm looking for a different way to participate. This year I think I'll give some of these ideas a try. Maybe you will do the same!
1. Light Up the Night with Firework Crafts!
Americans spend more than $1 billion on fireworks each year. By weight, that makes for roughly 268 million pounds of fireworks — or roughly a pound of pyrotechnics for every American man, woman and child! Obviously, we love fireworks. I would guess we also love firework crafts. Did you know that you can use pipe cleaners, forks, dish brushes, or toilet paper tubes for firework printing? You can also use cotton swabs to make your firework art more three-dimensional. If you can't wait until nightfall to catch the fireworks display in your community, you can whip up your own show -- in a jar!
2. Wave Your Grand Old Flag Crafts!
The American flag has 13 stripes (representing the original 13 colonies) and 50 stars (representing the 50 states). The colors of the flag have important meanings. Red symbolizes hardiness and valor, white symbolizes purity and innocence, and blue represents vigilance, perseverance and justice. Our country is made of many different kinds of people, all equally important. So I chose flag crafts where many small parts make something big and beautiful. Get creative with a magazine mosaic flag, a pony bead flag, or a button flag. And here's a challenging flag craft bonus! Can you fit all 13 stripes and 50 stars onto a single toilet paper tube?
3. Star-Spangled Wearables
I like to wear red, white, and blue on the 4th of July. And, if possible, stars and stripes. Many people feel the same way. But a word of warning! Don't wear something that looks like it was made from an American flag. That is against flag etiquette. Why not try making a patriotic accessory? You can fold and thread a necklace, bend and link a bracelet, or twist a ring.
4. For Your Fourth of July Parade
Maybe you'll attend one in your community. Maybe you'll host one in your neighborhood or backyard. Make it memorable with parade wands, straw rockets, and confetti launchers!
5. Patriotic Recipes for Fourth of July Treats
There are SO MANY options! I can't begin to link them all, so I'm going to focus on the ones I think are most intriguing. And doable. I am NOT the best in the kitchen. If you want to make some healthy choices, try fruit sparklers, fruit rockets, frozen yogurt berry bites, or red-white-and-blue flag toast. If you want to add a little more sugar, try red-white-and-blue cheesecake salad, cinnamon-sugar star chips with fruit salsa, chocolate-covered strawberries, or shortcake cups. If you want a lot of sugar, try patriotic pudding cups, star-spangled gumdrops, or a fireworks sugar cookie cake. If you're more into savory treats, try a taco salad flag, patriotic 7-layer dip, or firecracker hog dogs. Wash everything down with this red-white-and-blue summer drink.