Since the dawn of storytelling, fantasy has been a popular genre in books, television, and - of course - film. Fantasy offers a way for viewers to break from reality and imagine a world they could only dream of. The realities talented writers and directors create can truly resonate with an audience.
Some essential fantasy films, like the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter franchise, were successes right away and still constitute some of the most popular, beloved movies of all time. Other must-see fantasy movies, such as Willow and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, only found a small niche audience at first before become famous via cult followings. Regardless of whether these films instantly found an audience, they all influenced the genre in a major way. Therefore, you can consider these fantasy films for beginners - a great way to introduce you to the genre!
Watch some of these movies to get an intro to fantasy films. Then, vote up your favorites below to decide which fantasy movies everyone should watch.
The Lord of the Rings is a film series consisting of three epic fantasy adventure films directed by Peter Jackson. They are based on the novel The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien. The films are subtitled The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King. They were distributed by New Line Cinema. Considered to be one of the biggest and most ambitious film projects ever undertaken, with an overall budget of $281 million, the entire project took eight years, with the filming for all three films done simultaneously and entirely in New Zealand, Jackson's native country. Each film in the series also had special extended editions released on DVD a year after their ...more on Wikipedia
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Harry Potter is a British-American film series based on the Harry Potter novels by author J. K. Rowling. The series is distributed by Warner Bros. and consists of eight fantasy films, beginning with Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001) and culminating with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011). A spin-off prequel series will consist of five films, starting with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016). The Fantastic Beasts films mark the beginning of a media franchise known as J. K. Rowling's Wizarding World. ...more on Wikipedia
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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 Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. The film stars Judy Garland; Terry the dog, billed as Toto; Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Bert Lahr, Frank Morgan, Billie Burke, Margaret Hamilton, with Charley Grapewin and Clara Blandick, and the Singer Midgets as the Munchkins, with Pat Walshe as leader of the flying monkeys. Notable for its use of Technicolor, fantasy storytelling, musical score and unusual characters, over the years it has become one of the best-known films and part of American popular culture. It was not a ...more on Wikipedia
Actors: Judy Garland, Margaret Hamilton, Frank Morgan, Billie Burke, Ray Bolger, + more
Initial Release: 1939
Directed by: Mervyn LeRoy, Norman Taurog, King Vidor, George Cukor, Victor Fleming
The Hobbit is a film series consisting of three epic fantasy adventure films directed by Peter Jackson. They are based on the 1937 novel The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien, with large portions of the trilogy inspired by the appendices to The Return of the King, which expand on the story told in The Hobbit, as well as new material and characters written especially for the films. The films are subtitled An Unexpected Journey, The Desolation of Smaug, and The Battle of the Five Armies. The screenplay was written by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Jackson, and Guillermo del Toro, who was originally chosen to direct before his departure from the project. The films take place in the fictional world of ...more on Wikipedia
Actors: Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Orlando Bloom, Aidan Turner, Sylvester McCoy, + more
Initial Release: 2012
Directed by: Peter Jackson