Watchworthy

The Best Fantasy Movies of the 1980s 

Ranker Film
Updated March 20, 2020 1.1M votes 42.1k voters 320.4k views 77 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite fantasy films that were released in the 1980s.

"My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die." That's only one of the many memorable quotes that will be stuck in your head as you vote on this list of the best 80s fantasy movies. With so many classics, this list of 1980s fantasy movies will make it hard to choose, but we want to know what your favorites are.

The Princess Bride gave a new definition of an epic sick day from in this great 80s fantasy movie classic; with so many unforgettable characters, this movie is still quoted today. And you can't talk about iconic fantasy films from the 1980s without mentioning Ghostbusters. Starring legends such as Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd, this 80s fantasy movie is sure to be on top of the list.

Which iconic 1980s fantasy movie will be on top of your list? Upvote your favorites below, and downvote any films that you didn't like for some reason.
Data-driven recommendations based on voting from over 40 million monthly visits to Ranker. Try the free app
list ordered by
1
Ranker Video
Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, Dan Aykroyd

Released: 1984

Directed by: Ivan Reitman

Ghostbusters is a 1984 American sci-fi-fantasy comedy film, directed and produced by Ivan Reitman and written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis. The film stars Bill Murray, Aykroyd, and Ramis as ...more

More Ghostbusters 

Behind The Scenes Secrets From 'Ghostbusters' Most People Have Never Heard #2 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #2 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

2
Ranker Video
Alec Baldwin, Winona Ryder, Geena Davis

Released: 1988

Directed by: Tim Burton

Beetlejuice is a 1988 American fantasy-comedy-horror film directed by Tim Burton. The spirits of a deceased couple (Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis) are harassed by an unbearable family that has ...more

More Beetlejuice 

Strange Things You Probably Didn't Know About The Making Of 'Beetlejuice' #9 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetimelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

3
The Goonies is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Fantasy Movies of the 1980s
but chickens double d added Corey Feldman, Josh Brolin, Sean Astin

Released: 1985

Directed by: Richard Donner

The Goonies is a 1985 American adventure comedy film directed by Richard Donner. The screenplay was written by Chris Columbus from a story by executive producer Steven Spielberg. The film's ...more

More The Goonies 

20 Goonies Trivia Facts Everyone Should Know #8 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #98 of 1,208 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

4
Ranker Video
Harrison Ford, Alfred Molina, Karen Allen

Released: 1981

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Raiders of the Lost Ark is a 1981 American adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg. The screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan was from a story by George Lucas and Philip Kaufman. It was produced by ...more

More Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark 

12 Stories That Prove The Making Of 'Raiders Of The Lost Ark' Was An Adventure Behind The Scenes Too #9 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

5
Gremlins is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Fantasy Movies of the 1980s
but chickens double d added Steven Spielberg, Corey Feldman, Phoebe Cates

Released: 1984

Directed by: Joe Dante

Gremlins is a 1984 American horror comedy film directed by Joe Dante, released by Warner Bros. The film is about a young man who receives a strange creature called a mogwai as a pet, which then ...more

More Gremlins 

'Gremlins' Was So Intense That It Led To The Invention Of The PG-13 Rating #22 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #32 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

6
Ranker Video
Jennifer Connelly, David Bowie, Frank Oz

Released: 1986

Directed by: Jim Henson

Labyrinth is a 1986 British-American musical adventure fantasy film directed by Jim Henson, executive produced by George Lucas and based upon conceptual designs by Brian Froud. The film stars ...more

More Labyrinth 

Get Lost In The Best Quotes From 'Labyrinth' #83 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #60 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

7
Ranker Video
Gerald McRaney, Limahl, Moses Gunn

Released: 1984

Directed by: Wolfgang Petersen

Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial The NeverEnding Story is a 1984 West German epic fantasy film based on the novel of the same name by Michael Ende, about a boy who reads a magical library book that tells a story of a young ...more

More The NeverEnding Story 

#62 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #77 of 410 The Best Rainy Day Movies #114 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

8
Ranker Video
Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak, Debra Winger

Released: 1982

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a 1982 American science fiction-family film co-produced and directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Melissa Mathison, featuring special effects by Carlo ...more

More E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial 

The Dark Story Behind The Canceled Sequel To 'E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial' #17 of 191 The Best Alien Movies Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

9
Ranker Video
Billy Crystal, Robin Wright, André the Giant

Released: 1987

Directed by: Rob Reiner

The Princess Bride is a 1987 American romantic comedy fantasy adventure film directed and co-produced by Rob Reiner. It was adapted by William Goldman from his 1973 novel of the same name. The ...more

More The Princess Bride 

Who Would Star In 'The Princess Bride' If It Were Made Today? #27 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #13 of 1,208 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

10
Ranker Video
Kathleen Turner, Christopher Lloyd, Bob Hoskins

Released: 1988

Directed by: Robert Zemeckis

Who Framed Roger Rabbit is a 1988 American live-action/animated fantasy-comedy film directed by Robert Zemeckis. The screenplay by Jeffrey Price and Peter S. Seaman is based on Gary K. Wolf's ...more

More Who Framed Roger Rabbit 

The Best 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' Quotes Aren't Bad They're Just  Drawn That Way #175 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

11
Batman is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Fantasy Movies of the 1980s
but chickens double d added Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Michael Keaton

Released: 1989

Directed by: Tim Burton

Batman is a 1989 American superhero film directed by Tim Burton, based on the DC Comics character. The Dark Knight of Gotham City (Michael Keaton) begins his war on crime with his first major ...more

More Batman 

#38 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #14 of 185 The Greatest Comic Book Movies of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

12
The Little Mermaid is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Fantasy Movies of the 1980s
Jodi Benson, Christopher Daniel Barnes, Pat Carroll

Released: 1989

Directed by: Ron Clements, John Musker

The Little Mermaid is a 1989 American animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Based on the Danish fairy tale by Hans ...more

More The Little Mermaid 

#87 of 601 The Best Animated Films Ever #9 of 217 Musical Movies With the Best Songslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

13
Indiana Jones and the La... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Fantasy Movies of the 1980s
but chickens double d added Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, River Phoenix

Released: 1989

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is a 1989 American adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg, from a story co-written by executive producer George Lucas. It is the third installment in the ...more

More Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade 

The Best Characters in the Whole Indiana Jones Franchise, Ranked #20 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

14
Indiana Jones and the Te... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Fantasy Movies of the 1980s
but chickens double d added Harrison Ford, Steven Spielberg, Dan Aykroyd

Released: 1984

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is a 1984 American adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg, and the second installment in the Indiana Jones franchise and a prequel to the 1981 film ...more

More Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom 

The Best Characters in the Whole Indiana Jones Franchise, Ranked #42 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

15
Ranker Video
Tom Hanks, Jon Lovitz, Elizabeth Perkins

Released: 1988

Directed by: Penny Marshall

Big is a 1988 American fantasy comedy film directed by Penny Marshall, and stars Tom Hanks as Josh Baskin, a young boy who makes a wish "to be big" and is then aged to adulthood ...more

More Big 

'Big' Is Actually An Existential Nightmare #26 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #45 of 1,208 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

16
Ranker Video
Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, Dan Aykroyd

Released: 1989

Directed by: Ivan Reitman

Ghostbusters II is a 1989 American science fiction fantasy comedy film produced and directed by Ivan Reitman. It is the sequel to the 1984 film Ghostbusters and follows the further adventures of ...more

More Ghostbusters II 

#51 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #599 of 1,208 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #319 of 1,027 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

17
An American Tail is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Fantasy Movies of the 1980s
but chickens double d added Christopher Plummer, Madeline Kahn, Dom DeLuise

Released: 1986

Directed by: Don Bluth

An American Tail is a 1986 American animated musical adventure film directed by Don Bluth and produced by Sullivan Bluth Studios and Amblin Entertainment. The film tells the story of Fievel ...more

More An American Tail 

#53 of 601 The Best Animated Films Ever #71 of 217 Musical Movies With the Best Songs #101 of 293 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry

18
Bill & Ted's Excelle... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Fantasy Movies of the 1980s
but chickens double d added Keanu Reeves, George Carlin, Jane Wiedlin

Released: 1989

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure is a 1989 American science fiction comedy buddy film and the first film in the Bill & Ted franchise in which two slackers travel through time to assemble ...more

More Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure 

#36 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #99 of 1,208 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #90 of 1,027 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

19
All Dogs Go to Heaven is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Fantasy Movies of the 1980s
KristinRathbun added Loni Anderson, Dom DeLuise, Vic Tayback

Released: 1989

Directed by: Don Bluth, Gary Goldman, Dan Kuenster

All Dogs Go to Heaven is a 1989 American–Irish animated musical adventure comedy film directed and produced by Don Bluth and released by United Artists and Goldcrest Films. The film tells the ...more

More All Dogs Go to Heaven 

Animation Is The Only Thing Keeping 'All Dogs Go to Heaven' In The Kids' Films Genre #58 of 601 The Best Animated Films Ever #113 of 217 Musical Movies With the Best Songs

20
Little Shop of Horrors ... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Fantasy Movies of the 1980s
mizzarychic added Bill Murray, Steve Martin, John Candy

Released: 1986

Directed by: Frank Oz

Little Shop of Horrors is a 1986 American rock musical horror comedy film directed by Frank Oz. It is a film adaptation of the off-Broadway musical comedy of the same name by composer Alan ...more

More Little Shop of Horrors 

Every Song in Little Shop of Horrors, Ranked by Singability #79 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #27 of 217 Musical Movies With the Best Songs

21
Ranker Video
Val Kilmer, Kevin Pollak, Warwick Davis

Released: 1988

Directed by: Ron Howard

Willow is a 1988 American fantasy film directed by Ron Howard, produced and with a story by George Lucas, and starring Warwick Davis, Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Jean Marsh, and Billy Barty. ...more

More Willow 

'Willow' Is A Watered-Down Version Of 'The Lord Of The Rings' #122 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #155 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

22
Scrooged is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Fantasy Movies of the 1980s
but chickens double d added Bill Murray, Robert Mitchum, Miles Davis

Released: 1988

Directed by: Richard Donner

Scrooged is a 1988 American Christmas comedy film, a modernization of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. The film was produced and directed by Richard Donner, and the cinematography was by ...more

More Scrooged 

#95 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #111 of 1,208 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #154 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

23
Splash is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Fantasy Movies of the 1980s
but chickens double d added Tom Hanks, John Candy, Daryl Hannah

Released: 1984

Directed by: Ron Howard

Splash is a 1984 American fantasy romantic comedy film directed by Ron Howard, written by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel, and starring Tom Hanks, Daryl Hannah, John Candy, Eugene Levy, and Dody ...more

More Splash 

#208 of 1,208 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #71 of 804 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #270 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

24
Harry and the Hendersons... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Fantasy Movies of the 1980s
but chickens double d added John Lithgow, Don Ameche, David Suchet

Released: 1987

Directed by: William Dear

Harry and the Hendersons is a 1987 American fantasy comedy film directed and produced by William Dear, and starring John Lithgow, Melinda Dillon, Don Ameche, David Suchet, Margaret Langrick, ...more

More Harry and the Hendersons 

#154 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #166 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

25
Ranker Video
Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Lisa Maxwell

Released: 1982

Directed by: Frank Oz, Jim Henson

The Dark Crystal is a 1982 American–British fantasy film directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz. The plot revolves around Jen, an elflike 'Gelfling' on a quest to restore balance to his alien world ...more

More The Dark Crystal 

Jim Henson's 'The Dark Crystal' Is Even Darker Than You Remember #137 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #26 of 96 The Best Movies to Watch on Mushrooms