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The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked

Updated August 7, 2020 37.4k votes 1.3k voters 20.2k views143 items

List RulesVote 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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  • 1
    The Princess Bride is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
    663
    117

    The Princess Bride

    Billy Crystal, Robin Wright

    Released1987

    Directed byRob Reiner

    The Princess Bride is a 1987 American romantic comedy fantasy adventure film directed and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 2
    Ghostbusters is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
    530
    121

    Ghostbusters

    Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver

    Released1984

    Directed byIvan Reitman

    Ghostbusters is a 1984 American sci-fi-fantasy comedy film, directed and produced by Ivan... more on Wikipedia

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  • 3
    Beetlejuice is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
    543
    127

    Beetlejuice

    Alec Baldwin, Winona Ryder

    Released1988

    Directed byTim Burton

    Beetlejuice is a 1988 American fantasy-comedy-horror film directed by Tim Burton. The spirits... more on Wikipedia

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  • 4
    Willow is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
    511
    121

    Willow

    Val Kilmer, Kevin Pollak

    Released1988

    Directed byRon Howard

    Willow is a 1988 American fantasy film directed by Ron Howard, produced and with a story by... more on Wikipedia

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  • 5
    Labyrinth is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
    652
    196

    Labyrinth

    Jennifer Connelly, David Bowie

    Released1986

    Directed byJim Henson

    Labyrinth is a 1986 British-American musical adventure fantasy film directed by Jim Henson,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 6
    The Dark Crystal is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
    465
    131

    The Dark Crystal

    Jim Henson, Frank Oz

    Released1982

    Directed byFrank Oz, Jim Henson

    The Dark Crystal is a 1982 American–British fantasy film directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz.... more on Wikipedia

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  • 7
    The NeverEnding Story is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
    559
    191

    The NeverEnding Story

    Gerald McRaney, Limahl

    Released1984

    Directed byWolfgang Petersen

    The NeverEnding Story is a 1984 West German epic fantasy film based on the novel of the same... more on Wikipedia
  • 8
    The Little Mermaid is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
    383
    124

    The Little Mermaid

    Jodi Benson, Christopher Daniel Barnes

    Released1989

    Directed byRon Clements, John Musker

    The Little Mermaid is a 1989 American animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney... more on Wikipedia
  • 9
    Mary Poppins is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
    389
    128

    Mary Poppins

    Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke

    Released1964

    Directed byRobert Stevenson

    Mary Poppins is a 1964 American musical fantasy film directed by Robert Stevenson and produced... more on Wikipedia

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  • 10
    Alice in Wonderland is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
    267
    70

    Alice in Wonderland

    Ed Wynn, Heather Angel

    Released1951

    Directed byWilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske, Clyde Geronimi

    Alice in Wonderland is a 1951 American animated musical fantasy comedy-adventure film produced... more on Wikipedia
  • 11
    The Sword in the Stone is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
    323
    97

    The Sword in the Stone

    Alan Napier, Sebastian Cabot

    Released1963

    Directed byWolfgang Reitherman

    The Sword in the Stone is a 1963 American animated musical fantasy comedy film produced by... more on Wikipedia
  • 12
    Who Framed Roger Rabbit is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
    381
    125

    Who Framed Roger Rabbit

    Kathleen Turner, Christopher Lloyd

    Released1988

    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

    Who Framed Roger Rabbit is a 1988 American live-action/animated fantasy-comedy film directed... more on Wikipedia
  • 13
    Snow White and the Seven Dwarf is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
    290
    86

    Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

    Billy Gilbert, Pinto Colvig

    Released1937

    Directed byWilfred Jackson, Larry Morey, Perce Pearce, Ben Sharpsteen, William Cottrell

    Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is a 1937 American animated musical fantasy film produced by... more on Wikipedia
  • 14
    Sleeping Beauty is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
    277
    80

    Sleeping Beauty

    Marvin Miller, Mary Costa

    Released1959

    Directed byClyde Geronimi

    Sleeping Beauty is a 1959 American animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney based... more on Wikipedia
  • 15
    Gremlins is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
    377
    131

    Gremlins

    Steven Spielberg, Corey Feldman

    Released1984

    Directed byJoe Dante

    Gremlins is a 1984 American horror comedy film directed by Joe Dante, released by Warner Bros.... more on Wikipedia

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  • 16
    Cinderella is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
    268
    76

    Cinderella

    June Foray, Mike Douglas

    Released1950

    Directed byWilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske, Clyde Geronimi

    Cinderella is a 1950 American animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney and... more on Wikipedia
  • 17
    Peter Pan is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
    261
    73

    Peter Pan

    June Foray, Bobby Driscoll

    Released1953

    Directed byWilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske, Clyde Geronimi, Jack Kinney

    Peter Pan is a 1953 American animated fantasy-adventure film produced by Walt Disney and based... more on Wikipedia
  • 18
    Legend is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
    358
    125

    Legend

    Tom Cruise, Tim Curry

    Released1985

    Directed byRidley Scott

    Legend is a 1985 British-American fantasy adventure film directed by Ridley Scott and starring... more on Wikipedia
  • 19
    Bill & Ted's Excellent Adv is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
    287
    94

    Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure

    Keanu Reeves, George Carlin

    Released1989

    Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure is a 1989 American science fiction comedy buddy film and the... more on Wikipedia
  • 20
    An American Tail is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
    271
    86

    An American Tail

    Christopher Plummer, Madeline Kahn

    Released1986

    Directed byDon Bluth

    An American Tail is a 1986 American animated musical adventure film directed by Don Bluth and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 21
    The Jungle Book is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
    302
    102

    The Jungle Book

    Clint Howard, George Sanders

    Released1967

    Directed byWolfgang Reitherman

    The Jungle Book is a 1967 American animated film produced by Walt Disney Productions. Inspired... more on Wikipedia

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  • 22
    Monty Python and the Holy Grai is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
    352
    130

    Monty Python and the Holy Grail

    John Cleese, Terry Gilliam

    Released1975

    Directed byTerry Gilliam, Terry Jones

    Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a 1975 British comedy film written and performed by the... more on Wikipedia

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  • 23
    The Secret of NIMH is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
    294
    100

    The Secret of NIMH

    Shannen Doherty, Wil Wheaton

    Released1982

    Directed byDon Bluth

    The Secret of NIMH is a 1982 American animated fantasy adventure drama film directed by Don... more on Wikipedia
  • 24
    The Wizard of Oz is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
    465
    196

    The Wizard of Oz

    Judy Garland, Margaret Hamilton

    Released1939

    Directed byMervyn LeRoy, Norman Taurog, King Vidor, George Cukor, Victor Fleming

    The Wizard of Oz is a 1939 American musical fantasy film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 25
    Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stol is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked
    268
    89

    Released1966

    Directed byChuck Jones, Ben Washam

    This special is a 1966 American animated television special directed by Chuck Jones. It is... more on Wikipedia

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