Fairy Tales

The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies 

Ranker Film
2.1k votes 258 voters 6.7k views 41 items

Classic fairy tales can go from the page to the screen, as if by magic. First, the animated films of Disney inspired audiences to follow their dreams and believe in fairy godmothers. More recently, a number of studios have put live-action spins on these timeless stories. The best live action fairy tale movies feature beloved literary characters played by talented actors and actresses, and magical obstacles that can only be surmounted by true love and pure hearts. This is a list of the top live fairy tale movies including everything from The Princess Bride to Oz the Great and Powerful to Cinderella.

What films will you find on this list of the best live action fairy tales movies? In Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, Mia Wasikowska played the courageous lead, but it was Johnny Depp's Mad Hatter that stole every scene. Helena Bonham Carter also won over audiences with her wonderfully wicked spin on the Red Queen. Penelope is another great live action fairy tale film full of imagination and creativity. The lives of multiple fairy tale characters collide in the 2014 adaptation of the hit musical Into the Woods. Other enchanting movies found on this list include Beauty and the Beast, Red Riding Hood, and Finding Neverland.

It's up to you to decide which fairy tale film deserves the top spot on this list. Vote your personal picks towards number one, and please add any magical movies that are missing.

list ordered by
1
Beauty and the Beast is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
Beauty and the Beast
Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Emma Watson
2
Peter Pan is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
Jason Isaacs, Saffron Burrows, Rachel Hurd-Wood
Peter Pan is a 2003 Australian-American-British fantasy film released by Universal Pictures, Columbia Pictures and Revolution Studios. It was the first authorized and faithful film or TV ...more
3
The Princess Bride is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
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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4
Enchanted is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
Amy Adams, Susan Sarandon, Julie Andrews
Enchanted is a 2007 American musical live-action/animated fantasy romantic comedy film, produced by Walt Disney Pictures with New York Academy Barry Sonnenfeld and Josephson Entertainment. ...more

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5
Maleficent is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Juno Temple
Maleficent is a 2014 American dark fantasy film directed by Robert Stromberg, loosely inspired by the fairy tale by Charles Perrault. A vengeful fairy (Angelina Jolie) is driven to curse an ...more

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6
Ever After is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
Drew Barrymore, Anjelica Huston, Dougray Scott
Ever After is a 1998 American romantic comedy-drama film inspired by the fairy tale Cinderella, directed by Andy Tennant and starring Drew Barrymore, Anjelica Huston, and Dougray Scott. The ...more

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7
Cinderella is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, Hayley Atwell
Cinderella is a 2015 American romantic fantasy film directed by Kenneth Branagh, from a screenplay written by Chris Weitz. Produced by David Barron, Simon Kinberg and Allison Shearmur for Walt ...more

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8
Snow White and the Hunts... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
Charlize Theron, Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth
Snow White and the Huntsman is a 2012 American dark fantasy action film based on the German fairy tale "Snow White" compiled by the Brothers Grimm. In the film's retelling of the tale, ...more
9
Ella Enchanted is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
Anne Hathaway, Heidi Klum, Vivica A. Fox
Ella Enchanted is a 2004 British–American–Irish fantasy romantic comedy film loosely based on Gail Carson Levine's 1997 novel of the same name. The film stars Anne Hathaway as Ella and Hugh ...more

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10
Stardust is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert De Niro, Claire Danes
Stardust is a 2007 British-American romantic fantasy film from Paramount Pictures, directed by Matthew Vaughn. The film is based on Neil Gaiman's novel Stardust and stars an ensemble cast ...more

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11
Alice in Wonderland is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter
Alice in Wonderland is a 2010 British-American live action and computer animated adventure fantasy film directed by Tim Burton and written by Linda Woolverton. Released by Walt Disney Pictures, ...more

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12
Aladdin is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
laura.delcellier.93 added
Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott, Will Smith
Aladdin is a 2019 American musical romantic fantasy adventure film directed by Guy Ritchie, based on the Arab-style folktale. Smitten with the free-spirited Princess Jasmine (Naomi Scott), an ...more

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13
Red Riding Hood is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
Amanda Seyfried, Gary Oldman, Julie Christie
Red Riding Hood is a 2011 American dark fantasy historical romance film directed by Catherine Hardwicke, produced by Leonardo DiCaprio and starring Amanda Seyfried as the title role, from a ...more

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14
Tales From Muppetland: T... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
DeborahTragasz added Tales From Muppetland: The Frog Prince
Trudy Young, Jim Henson, Frank Oz
Enchanted by an evil witch, a beautiful princess is forced to speak only in nonsense phrases. One day, she finds a small frog who can understand what she says. The frog claims to really be a ...more
15
Cinderella is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
DeborahTragasz added
Julie Andrews, Edie Adams, Alice Ghostley
Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella is a musical written for television, with music by Richard Rodgers and a book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. It is based upon the fairy tale Cinderella, ...more

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16
Snow White is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
DeborahTragasz added
Diana Rigg, Nicola Stapleton, Billy Barty
Snow White is a 1987 American musical/fantasy film based on the classic fairytale and released as part of the "Cannon Movie Tales" series. The film was released straight to video. In ...more
17
Cinderella is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
DeborahTragasz added
Ginger Rogers, Lesley Ann Warren, Celeste Holm
Cinderella is a 1965 musical fantasy film written by Joseph Schrank and directed by Charles S. Dubin.

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18
Into the Woods is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
Johnny Depp, Anna Kendrick, Meryl Streep
Into the Woods is a 2014 American fantasy musical drama film directed by Rob Marshall, and adapted to the screen by James Lapine from his and Stephen Sondheim's Tony Award-winning Broadway ...more

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19
Mirror Mirror is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
Julia Roberts, Lily Collins, Sean Bean
Mirror Mirror is a 2012 American comedy fantasy film based on the fairy tale "Snow White" collected by the Brothers Grimm. It is directed by Tarsem Singh and stars Lily Collins, Julia ...more
20
Pan's Labyrinth is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
laura.delcellier.93 added
Doug Jones, Ivana Baquero, Sergi López i Ayats
Pan's Labyrinth, originally known in Spanish as El laberinto del fauno, is a 2006 Spanish-Mexican dark fantasy film written and directed by Mexican Guillermo del Toro. It was produced and ...more

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21
Hey, Cinderella! is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
DeborahTragasz added Hey, Cinderella!
Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson
Hey, Cinderella! is a television special adaptation of Cinderella featuring The Muppets. Kermit the Frog hosts the special with King Goshposh and Rufus and Splurge appearing in this special as ...more
22
Hook is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
Gwyneth Paltrow, Julia Roberts, Robin Williams
Hook is a 1991 American fantasy adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on Peter and Wendy by J. M. Barrie. When Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman) kidnaps his children, an adult Peter Pan ...more

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23
A Cinderella Story is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
Hilary Duff, Jennifer Coolidge, Chad Michael Murray
A Cinderella Story is a 2004 American teen romantic comedy film. The film stars Hilary Duff, Chad Michael Murray, Jennifer Coolidge, and Regina King and was directed by Mark Rosman. The film's ...more

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24
Penelope is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
Reese Witherspoon, Christina Ricci, Russell Brand
Penelope is a 2006 fantasy romantic comedy film directed by Mark Palansky which was first released in 2006 and stars Christina Ricci, James McAvoy, Catherine O'Hara, Peter Dinklage, Richard E. ...more

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25
Splash is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
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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