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The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies

Updated February 3, 2020 5.2k votes 419 voters 9.3k views41 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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  • 1
    Beauty and the Beast is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
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    66

    Beauty and the Beast

    Dan Stevens, Luke Evans

    Released2017

  • 2
    Cinderella is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
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    24

    Cinderella

    Julie Andrews, Edie Adams

    Released1957

    Directed byRalph Nelson

    Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella is a musical written for television, with music by... more on Wikipedia
  • 3
    Tales From Muppetland: The Fro is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
    102
    22

    Tales From Muppetland: The Frog Prince

    Trudy Young, Jim Henson

    Released1971

    Directed byJim Henson

    Enchanted by an evil witch, a beautiful princess is forced to speak only in nonsense phrases....
  • 4
    Snow White is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
    98
    19

    Snow White

    Diana Rigg, Nicola Stapleton

    Released1987

    Directed byMichael Berz

    Snow White is a 1987 American musical/fantasy film based on the classic fairytale and released... more on Wikipedia
  • 5
    Hey, Cinderella! is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
    98
    21

    Hey, Cinderella!

    Jim Henson, Frank Oz

    Released1969

    Directed byJim Henson

    Hey, Cinderella! is a television special adaptation of Cinderella featuring The Muppets.... more on Wikipedia
  • 6
    Cinderella is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
    108
    28

    Cinderella

    Ginger Rogers, Lesley Ann Warren

    Released1965

    Directed byCharles S. Dubin

    Cinderella is a 1965 musical fantasy film written by Joseph Schrank and directed by Charles S....
  • 7
    Enchanted is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
    134
    66

    Enchanted

    Amy Adams, Susan Sarandon

    Released2007

    Directed byKevin Lima

    Enchanted is a 2007 American musical live-action/animated fantasy romantic comedy film,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 8
    Peter Pan is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
    73
    26

    Peter Pan

    Jason Isaacs, Saffron Burrows

    Released2003

    Directed byP. J. Hogan

    Peter Pan is a 2003 Australian-American-British fantasy film released by Universal Pictures,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 9
    Cinderella is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
    146
    99

    Cinderella

    Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter

    Released2015

    Directed byKenneth Branagh

    Cinderella is a 2015 American romantic fantasy film directed by Kenneth Branagh, from a... more on Wikipedia

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    #48 of 97 The Best Disney Live-Action Movies#302 of 372 The Best Musical Movies Of All Time

  • 10
    Mirror Mirror is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
    61
    33

    Mirror Mirror

    Julia Roberts, Lily Collins

    Released2012

    Directed byTarsem Singh

    Mirror Mirror is a 2012 American comedy fantasy film based on the fairy tale "Snow White"... more on Wikipedia

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  • 11
    The Princess Bride is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
    130
    102

    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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  • 12
    Snow White and the Huntsman is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
    73
    46

    Snow White and the Huntsman

    Charlize Theron, Kristen Stewart

    Released2012

    Directed byRupert Sanders

    Snow White and the Huntsman is a 2012 American dark fantasy action film based on the German... more on Wikipedia

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  • 13
    Pan's Labyrinth is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
    39
    15

    Pan's Labyrinth

    Sergi López, Maribel Verdú

    Released2006

    Directed byGuillermo del Toro

    Pan's Labyrinth is a 2006 Spanish-Mexican dark fantasy film directed by Guillermo del Toro. It... more on Wikipedia

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  • 14
    Red Riding Hood is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
    57
    35

    Red Riding Hood

    Amanda Seyfried, Gary Oldman

    Released2011

    Directed byCatherine Hardwicke

    Red Riding Hood is a 2011 American dark fantasy historical romance film directed by Catherine... more on Wikipedia

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  • 15
    Aladdin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
    43
    21

    Aladdin

    Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott

    Released2019

    Directed byGuy Ritchie

    Aladdin is a 2019 American musical romantic fantasy adventure film directed by Guy Ritchie,... more on Wikipedia
  • 16
    Stardust is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
    79
    64

    Stardust

    Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert De Niro

    Released2007

    Directed byMatthew Vaughn

    Stardust is a 2007 British-American romantic fantasy film from Paramount Pictures, directed by... more on Wikipedia
  • 17
    Ever After is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
    112
    104

    Ever After

    Drew Barrymore, Anjelica Huston

    Released1998

    Directed byAndy Tennant

    Ever After is a 1998 American romantic comedy-drama film inspired by the fairy tale... more on Wikipedia

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  • 18
    Penelope is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
    45
    32

    Penelope

    Reese Witherspoon, Christina Ricci

    Released2007

    Directed byMark Palansky

    Penelope is a 2006 fantasy romantic comedy film directed by Mark Palansky which was first... more on Wikipedia

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  • 19
    Maleficent is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
    129
    138

    Maleficent

    Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning

    Released2014

    Directed byRobert Stromberg

    Maleficent is a 2014 American dark fantasy film directed by Robert Stromberg, loosely inspired... more on Wikipedia

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  • 20
    Splash is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
    37
    28

    Splash

    Tom Hanks, John Candy

    Released1984

    Directed byRon Howard

    Splash is a 1984 American fantasy romantic comedy film directed by Ron Howard, written by... more on Wikipedia

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  • 21
    Ella Enchanted is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
    95
    114

    Ella Enchanted

    Anne Hathaway, Heidi Klum

    Released2004

    Directed byTommy O'Haver

    Ella Enchanted is a 2004 British–American–Irish fantasy romantic comedy film loosely based on... more on Wikipedia
  • 22
    Sydney White is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
    28
    27

    Sydney White

    Amanda Bynes, Sara Paxton

    Released2007

    Directed byJoe Nussbaum

    Sydney White also known as Sydney White and the Seven Dorks is a 2007 teen comedy film... more on Wikipedia
  • 23
    Gretel & Hansel: A Grim Fairy  is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
    7
    2

    Gretel & Hansel: A Grim Fairy Tale

    Sophia Lillis, Sam Leakey

    Released2020

    Directed byOz Perkins

    Gretel & Hansel: A Grim Fairy Tale is a 2020 American supernatural horror film directed by Oz... more on Wikipedia
  • 24
    Alice in Wonderland is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
    81
    115

    Alice in Wonderland

    Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway

    Released2010

    Directed byTim Burton

    Alice in Wonderland is a 2010 British-American live action and computer animated adventure... more on Wikipedia

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  • 25
    The Nutcracker and the Four Re is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Live Action Fairy Tale Movies
    16
    22

    The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

    Mackenzie Foy, Keira Knightley

    Released2018

    Directed byLasse Hallström

    The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is a 2018 American fantasy film directed by Lasse... more on Wikipedia
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