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The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked  

Ranker Film
30.1k votes 1.1k voters 14.6k views 140 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite old fantasy movies released before 1990.

This list contains information on the best classic fantasy movies, ranked from best to worst by user votes. The best classic fantasy films come in many forms. Some good old fantasy movies follow princesses as they look for love while other good classic fantasy movies feature epic battles. Many of the best classic fantasy films have been beloved for generations.

What films will you find on this top classic fantasy movies released before 1990 list? Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory has to be near the top. Gene Wilder had whimsy to spare as the candy-loving title character in this 1971 movie. Fantastical plot twists and catchy songs helped to make this musical a classic. Ghostbusters is another good movie that includes elements of fantasy.

Movie-goers found a fairytale fit for the big screen in the 1987 film The Princess Bride. Other good classic fantasy films featured on this list include Mary Poppins, The NeverEnding Story, and The Wizard of Oz.

Do you have a favorite classic fantasy film? Give the best movies a thumbs up and please add any good features we may have missed.

list ordered by
1
The Princess Bride is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
Billy Crystal, Robin Wright, André the Giant
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
2
Ghostbusters is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, Dan Aykroyd
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
3
Beetlejuice is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
Alec Baldwin, Winona Ryder, Geena Davis
Beetlejuice is a 1988 American comedy fantasy film directed by Tim Burton, produced by The Geffen Film Company and distributed by Warner Bros. The plot revolves around a recently deceased young ...more
4
Willow is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
Val Kilmer, Kevin Pollak, Warwick Davis
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
5
Labyrinth is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
Jennifer Connelly, David Bowie, Frank Oz
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
6
The NeverEnding Story is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
Gerald McRaney, Limahl, Moses Gunn
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
7
The Dark Crystal is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Lisa Maxwell
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
8
Who Framed Roger Rabbit is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
but chickens double d added Kathleen Turner, Christopher Lloyd, Bob Hoskins
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
9
The Little Mermaid is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
Jodi Benson, Christopher Daniel Barnes, Pat Carroll
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
10
Mary Poppins is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, Elsa Lanchester
Mary Poppins is a 1964 American musical fantasy film directed by Robert Stevenson and produced by Walt Disney, with songs written and composed by the Sherman Brothers. The screenplay is by Bill ...more
11
The Sword in the Stone is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
but chickens double d added Alan Napier, Sebastian Cabot, Norman Alden
The Sword in the Stone is a 1963 American animated musical fantasy comedy film produced by Walt Disney and released to theaters on December 25, 1963 by Buena Vista Distribution. The 18th film in ...more
12
Snow White and the Seven Dwarf... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
but chickens double d added Billy Gilbert, Pinto Colvig, Jimmy MacDonald
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is a 1937 American animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Productions and released by RKO Radio Pictures. Based on the German fairy tale by the ...more
13
Gremlins is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
Steven Spielberg, Corey Feldman, Phoebe Cates
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
14
Cinderella is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
but chickens double d added June Foray, Mike Douglas, Verna Felton
Cinderella is a 1950 American animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney and released by RKO Radio Pictures. Based on the fairy tale "Cendrillon" by Charles Perrault, it is ...more
15
Sleeping Beauty is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
but chickens double d added Marvin Miller, Mary Costa, Verna Felton
Sleeping Beauty is a 1959 American animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney based on The Sleeping Beauty by Charles Perrault and Little Briar Rose by The Brothers Grimm. The 16th ...more
16
Legend is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
Tom Cruise, Tim Curry, Mia Sara
Legend is a 1985 British-American fantasy adventure film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Tom Cruise, Mia Sara, Tim Curry, David Bennent, Alice Playten, Billy Barty, Cork Hubbert, and ...more
17
Peter Pan is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
but chickens double d added June Foray, Bobby Driscoll, Heather Angel
Peter Pan is a 1953 American animated fantasy-adventure film produced by Walt Disney and based on the play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up by J. M. Barrie. It is the 14th film in the ...more
18
Alice in Wonderland is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
but chickens double d added Ed Wynn, Heather Angel, Sterling Holloway
Alice in Wonderland is a 1951 American animated musical fantasy comedy-adventure film produced by Walt Disney Productions and based primarily on Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland ...more
19
The Jungle Book is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
but chickens double d added Clint Howard, George Sanders, Louis Prima
The Jungle Book is a 1967 American animated film produced by Walt Disney Productions. Inspired by the Rudyard Kipling's book of the same name, it is the 19th animated feature in the Walt Disney ...more
20
The Wizard of Oz is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
Judy Garland, Margaret Hamilton, Frank Morgan
The Wizard of Oz is a 1939 American musical fantasy film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and the most well-known and commercially successful adaptation based on the 1900 novel The Wonderful ...more
21
Monty Python and the Holy Grai... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
but chickens double d added John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle
Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a 1975 British comedy film written and performed by the comedy group of Monty Python, and directed by Gilliam and Jones. It was conceived during the hiatus ...more
22
An American Tail is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
but chickens double d added Christopher Plummer, Madeline Kahn, Dom DeLuise
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
23
Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stol... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
but chickens double d added Boris Karloff, June Foray, Hal Smith
This special is a 1966 American animated television special directed by Chuck Jones. It is based on the eponymous children's book by Dr. Seuss, the story of The Grinch trying to take away ...more
24
Highlander is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
Sean Connery, Clancy Brown, Michael Hayes
Highlander is a 1986 British-American cult fantasy film directed by Russell Mulcahy and based on a story by Gregory Widen. It stars Christopher Lambert, Sean Connery, Clancy Brown, and Roxanne ...more
25
The Secret of NIMH is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
but chickens double d added Shannen Doherty, Wil Wheaton, Derek Jacobi
The Secret of NIMH is a 1982 American animated fantasy adventure drama film directed by Don Bluth in his directorial debut. It is an adaptation of Robert C. O'Brien's 1971 children's novel Mrs. ...more