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The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked 

Ranker Film
Updated January 14, 2020 31.8k votes 1.1k voters 17.1k views 143 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

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#9 of 803 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #44 of 1,009 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Filmsfeaturing Inconceivable Yet Believable 'Princess Bride' Fan Theories

2
Beetlejuice is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
Alec Baldwin, Winona Ryder, Geena Davis
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

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#57 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Moviesfeaturing Strange Things You Probably Didn't Know About The Making Of 'Beetlejuice'listed on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

3
Ghostbusters is listed (or ranked) 3 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

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#7 of 1,009 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #7 of 1,196 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Timefeaturing Behind The Scenes Secrets From 'Ghostbusters' Most People Have Never Heard

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

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#380 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #100 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Rankedfeaturing 'Willow' Is A Watered-Down Version Of 'The Lord Of The Rings'

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

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#138 of 376 The Best Musical Movies of All Time #66 of 217 Musical Movies With the Best Songsfeaturing Get Lost In The Best Quotes From 'Labyrinth'

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

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#7 of 78 The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels #231 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

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

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#151 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #210 of 243 Critically Acclaimed Movies That Kinda Suckfeaturing Jim Henson's 'The Dark Crystal' Is Even Darker Than You Remember

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

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#56 of 351 The Best Movies Based On Booksfeaturing The Best 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' Quotes Aren't Bad They're Just  Drawn That Waylisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

9
The Sword in the Stone ... is listed (or ranked) 9 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

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#108 of 376 The Best Musical Movies of All Time #100 of 217 Musical Movies With the Best Songs

10
The Little Mermaid is listed (or ranked) 10 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

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11
Mary Poppins is listed (or ranked) 11 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

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12
Alice in Wonderland is listed (or ranked) 12 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

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#53 of 351 The Best Movies Based On Books #40 of 590 The Best Animated Films Ever #83 of 217 Musical Movies With the Best Songs

13
Cinderella is listed (or ranked) 13 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

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#40 of 590 The Best Animated Films Ever #39 of 376 The Best Musical Movies of All Time

14
Snow White and the Seven... is listed (or ranked) 14 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

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#138 of 351 The Best Movies Based On Books #38 of 590 The Best Animated Films Ever #24 of 376 The Best Musical Movies of All Time

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

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#235 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #37 of 217 Musical Movies With the Best Songs

16
Peter Pan is listed (or ranked) 16 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

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#43 of 590 The Best Animated Films Ever #63 of 376 The Best Musical Movies of All Time

17
Gremlins is listed (or ranked) 17 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

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#36 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #96 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Moviesfeaturing 'Gremlins' Was So Intense That It Led To The Invention Of The PG-13 Rating

18
The Jungle Book is listed (or ranked) 18 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

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#26 of 590 The Best Animated Films Ever #41 of 376 The Best Musical Movies of All Timefeaturing The Jungle Book Was Originally Written To Prove That White People Are The Superior Race

19
Legend is listed (or ranked) 19 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

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#240 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #311 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

20
An American Tail is listed (or ranked) 20 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

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#109 of 217 Musical Movies With the Best Songs #74 of 292 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry

21
Monty Python and the Hol... 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

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22
Dr. Seuss' How the Grinc... is listed (or ranked) 22 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

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23
The Wizard of Oz is listed (or ranked) 23 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

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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

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25
Bill & Ted's Excelle... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
Keanu Reeves, George Carlin, Jane Wiedlin
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

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