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The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies 

Ranker Film
Updated February 3, 2020 3.7k votes 394 voters 8.7k 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.

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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

Released: 2017

2
Enchanted is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
Amy Adams, Susan Sarandon, Julie Andrews

Released: 2007

Directed by: Kevin Lima

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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3
Cinderella is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
DeborahTragasz added Julie Andrews, Edie Adams, Alice Ghostley

Released: 1957

Directed by: Ralph Nelson

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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#91 of 372 The Best Musical Movies of All Time #18 of 39 The Best Cinderella Movies

4
Cinderella is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, Hayley Atwell

Released: 2015

Directed by: Kenneth Branagh

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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5
Cinderella is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
DeborahTragasz added Ginger Rogers, Lesley Ann Warren, Celeste Holm

Released: 1965

Directed by: Charles S. Dubin

Cinderella is a 1965 musical fantasy film written by Joseph Schrank and directed by Charles S. Dubin.
6
Tales From Muppetland: T... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
DeborahTragasz added Tales From Muppetland: The Frog Prince Trudy Young, Jim Henson, Frank Oz

Released: 1971

Directed by: Jim Henson

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
7
Hey, Cinderella! is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
DeborahTragasz added Hey, Cinderella! Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson

Released: 1969

Directed by: Jim Henson

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
8
Snow White is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
DeborahTragasz added Diana Rigg, Nicola Stapleton, Billy Barty

Released: 1987

Directed by: Michael Berz

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
9
The Princess Bride is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
Billy Crystal, Robin Wright, André the Giant

Released: 1987

Directed by: Rob Reiner

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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10
Peter Pan is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
Jason Isaacs, Saffron Burrows, Rachel Hurd-Wood

Released: 2003

Directed by: P. J. Hogan

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

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11
Ever After is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
Drew Barrymore, Anjelica Huston, Dougray Scott

Released: 1998

Directed by: Andy Tennant

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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12
Snow White and the Hunts... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
Charlize Theron, Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth

Released: 2012

Directed by: Rupert Sanders

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

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13
Stardust is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert De Niro, Claire Danes

Released: 2007

Directed by: Matthew Vaughn

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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14
Maleficent is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Juno Temple

Released: 2014

Directed by: Robert Stromberg

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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15
Mirror Mirror is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
Julia Roberts, Lily Collins, Sean Bean

Released: 2012

Directed by: Tarsem Singh

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

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16
Red Riding Hood is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
Amanda Seyfried, Gary Oldman, Julie Christie

Released: 2011

Directed by: Catherine Hardwicke

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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17
Aladdin is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
laura.delcellier.93 added Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott, Will Smith

Released: 2019

Directed by: Guy Ritchie

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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18
Pan's Labyrinth is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
laura.delcellier.93 added Sergi López, Maribel Verdú, Ivana Baquero

Released: 2006

Directed by: Guillermo del Toro

Pan's Labyrinth is a 2006 Spanish-Mexican dark fantasy film directed by Guillermo del Toro. It was produced and distributed by Esperanto Films. In the Falangist Spain of 1944, the bookish young ...more

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19
Ella Enchanted is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
Anne Hathaway, Heidi Klum, Vivica A. Fox

Released: 2004

Directed by: Tommy O'Haver

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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20
Penelope is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
Reese Witherspoon, Christina Ricci, Russell Brand

Released: 2007

Directed by: Mark Palansky

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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21
Splash is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
Tom Hanks, John Candy, Daryl Hannah

Released: 1984

Directed by: Ron Howard

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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22
Alice in Wonderland is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter

Released: 2010

Directed by: Tim Burton

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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23
Sydney White is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
Amanda Bynes, Sara Paxton, John Schneider

Released: 2007

Directed by: Joe Nussbaum

Sydney White also known as Sydney White and the Seven Dorks is a 2007 teen comedy film starring Amanda Bynes, Sara Paxton, and Matt Long, and based on the story of Snow White and the Seven

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24
Gretel & Hansel: A G... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
Sophia Lillis, Sam Leakey, Charles Babalola

Released: 2020

Directed by: Oz Perkins

Gretel & Hansel: A Grim Fairy Tale is a 2020 American supernatural horror film directed by Oz Perkins, based on the German folklore tale of the same name. A young girl (Sophia Lillis) leads ...more
25
The Nutcracker and the F... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
DeborahTragasz added The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Mackenzie Foy, Keira Knightley, Eugenio Derbez

Released: 2018

Directed by: Lasse Hallström

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is a 2018 American fantasy film directed by Lasse Hallström, based on works by E.T.A. Hoffmann and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. After being led by her ...more