films The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked  

Ranker Film
14.2k votes 580 voters 5.6k views 141 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.

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The Princess Bride is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
The Princess Bride 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
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Labyrinth is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
Labyrinth 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

3
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The NeverEnding Story is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
The NeverEnding Story 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

4
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Willow is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
Willow 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
224 63
The Lord of the Rings is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
but chickens double d added The Lord of the Rings John Hurt, Annette Crosbie, Peter Woodthorpe J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings is a 1978 American animated fantasy film directed by Ralph Bakshi. It uses a hybrid of traditional cel animation and rotoscoped live action footage. It is ...more

6
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Ghostbusters is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
Ghostbusters 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

7
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Beetlejuice is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
Beetlejuice 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

8
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The Wizard of Oz is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
The Wizard of Oz 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

9
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Highlander is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
Highlander 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

10
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The Dark Crystal is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
The Dark Crystal 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

11
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Monty Python and the Holy Grai... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
but chickens double d added Monty Python and the Holy Grail 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

12
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The Sword in the Stone is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
but chickens double d added The Sword in the Stone 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

The Best Fantasy TV Shows

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Who Framed Roger Rabbit is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
but chickens double d added Who Framed Roger Rabbit 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

14
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Mary Poppins is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
Mary Poppins 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

15
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Gremlins is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
Gremlins 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

16
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The Little Mermaid is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
The Little Mermaid 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

17
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The Witches of Eastwick is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
but chickens double d added The Witches of Eastwick Jack Nicholson, Michelle Pfeiffer, Cher The Witches of Eastwick is a 1987 American comedy-fantasy film based on John Updike's novel of the same name. Directed by George Miller, the film stars Jack Nicholson as Daryl Van Horne, ...more

Black Panther Movie Quotes

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Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Fa... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson, Tim Brooke-Taylor Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is a 1971 musical fantasy film directed by Mel Stuart, and starring Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka. The film, a film adaptation of the 1964 novel Charlie and ...more

19
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Conan the Barbarian is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
Conan the Barbarian Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Earl Jones, Max von Sydow Conan the Barbarian is a 1982 sword and sorcery/adventure film directed and co-written by John Milius. It is based on stories by Robert E. Howard, a pulp fiction writer of the 1930s, about the ...more

20
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Legend is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
Legend 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

21
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The Jungle Book is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
but chickens double d added The Jungle Book 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

22
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The Hobbit is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
ARDYNRAMIREZ added The Hobbit John Huston, Otto Preminger, Don Messick The Hobbit is a 1977 animated musical television special created by Rankin/Bass, a studio known for their holiday specials, and animated by Topcraft, a precursor to Studio Ghibli, using lyrics ...more

The Best Fantasy Movies

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Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventu... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure 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

24
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Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stol... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
but chickens double d added Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Boris Karloff, June Foray, Hal Smith Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! 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 ...more

25
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Excalibur is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
Excalibur Liam Neeson, Helen Mirren, Patrick Stewart Excalibur is a 1981 dramatic fantasy film directed, produced and co-written by John Boorman that retells the legend of King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table. Based solely on the 15th ...more

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The Secret of NIMH is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
but chickens double d added The Secret of NIMH 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

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Clash of the Titans is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
Clash of the Titans Ursula Andress, Maggie Smith, Laurence Olivier Clash of the Titans is an 1981 British-American fantasy adventure film involving the Greek hero Perseus, and features the final work of stop motion visual effects artist, Ray Harryhausen. It was ...more

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The Last Unicorn is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
The Last Unicorn Jeff Bridges, Christopher Lee, Angela Lansbury The Last Unicorn is a 1982 American animated fantasy film directed and produced by Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass. It was produced by Rankin/Bass for ITC Entertainment, and animated by ...more

29
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Ladyhawke is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
Ladyhawke Michelle Pfeiffer, Matthew Broderick, Alfred Molina Ladyhawke is a 1985 fantasy film directed by Richard Donner, starring Matthew Broderick, Rutger Hauer, and Michelle Pfeiffer.

30
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Big Trouble in Little China is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
Big Trouble in Little China Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, John Carpenter Big Trouble in Little China is a 1986 American action film directed by John Carpenter, and starring Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, Dennis Dun and James Hong. The film was released in the United ...more

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An American Tail is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
but chickens double d added An American Tail 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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Sleeping Beauty is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
but chickens double d added Sleeping Beauty 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

The Best Foreign Fantasy Movies, Ranked

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The Rescuers is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
but chickens double d added The Rescuers Bob Newhart, Eva Gabor, Geraldine Page The Rescuers is a 1977 American animated adventure film produced by Walt Disney Productions and first released on June 22, 1977 by Buena Vista Distribution. The 23rd film in the Walt Disney ...more

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Bedknobs and Broomsticks is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
but chickens double d added Bedknobs and Broomsticks Angela Lansbury, Roddy McDowall, Bruce Forsyth Bedknobs and Broomsticks is a 1971 American musical film produced by Walt Disney Productions and released by Buena Vista Distribution Company in North America on December 13, 1971. It is based ...more

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Alice in Wonderland is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
but chickens double d added Alice in Wonderland 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

36
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Peter Pan is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
but chickens double d added Peter Pan 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

37
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Snow White and the Seven Dwarf... is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
but chickens double d added Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 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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All Dogs Go to Heaven is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
but chickens double d added All Dogs Go to Heaven Loni Anderson, Dom DeLuise, Vic Tayback 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

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Cinderella is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
but chickens double d added Cinderella 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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The Black Cauldron is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
The Black Cauldron John Hurt, John Huston, Nigel Hawthorne The Black Cauldron is a 1985 American animated dark fantasy adventure film released by Walt Disney Pictures. The 25th film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics, it is loosely based on the first ...more

41
87 52
The Lion, the Witch and the Wa... is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
ARDYNRAMIREZ added The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Leslie Phillips, June Whitfield, Arthur Lowe The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is an animated television film that was broadcast on CBS in 1979, based on the novel by C. S. Lewis.

42
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Time Bandits is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
Time Bandits Sean Connery, John Cleese, Ian Holm Time Bandits is a 1981 British fantasy film co-written, produced, and directed by Terry Gilliam, and starring Sean Connery, John Cleese, Shelley Duvall, Ralph Richardson, Katherine Helmond, Ian ...more

The Best Fantasy & Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix Instant

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Big is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
Big Tom Hanks, Jon Lovitz, Elizabeth Perkins 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

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The Beastmaster is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
The Beastmaster Tanya Roberts, Rip Torn, Janet Jones The Beastmaster is a 1982 fantasy film directed by Don Coscarelli and starring Marc Singer, Tanya Roberts, John Amos and Rip Torn. The film was marketed with the tagline "Born with the ...more

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Splash is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
Splash Tom Hanks, John Candy, Daryl Hannah 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

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Dumbo is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
but chickens double d added Dumbo Sterling Holloway, Cliff Edwards, Verna Felton Dumbo is an American animated film produced by Walt Disney Productions and premiered on October 23, 1941, by RKO Radio Pictures. Sound was recorded conventionally using the RCA System. One voice ...more

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The Many Adventures of Winnie ... is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
but chickens double d added The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh Clint Howard, Howard Morris, Sterling Holloway The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is a 1977 American animated musical film produced by Walt Disney Productions and distributed by Buena Vista Distribution. It is the 22nd animated feature ...more

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Little Shop of Horrors is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
but chickens double d added Little Shop of Horrors Bill Murray, Steve Martin, John Candy 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

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Superman is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
but chickens double d added Superman Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve Superman is a 1978 superhero film directed by Richard Donner. It is based on the DC Comics character of the same name and stars Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, ...more

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Ghostbusters II is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
Ghostbusters II Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, Dan Aykroyd 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