Best Movies The Top 25 Must-See Quintessential Fantasy Movies  

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120.1k votes 9k voters 93k views 25 items

List Rules Vote up the fantasy movies that define the genre and should be required viewing for beginners in an Intro to Fantasy Class.

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. 

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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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#2 on The Very Best Movie Franchises

#4 on The Best Rainy Day Movies

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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. 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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#12 on The Best Movies Based on Books

#1 on The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels

#6 on The Very Best Movie Franchises

#13 on The Best Rainy Day Movies

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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

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#8 on The Best Movies Based on Books

#23 on The Most Rewatchable Movies

#14 on 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

#7 on The Most Quotable Movies of All Time

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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 story is presented in the film as a book being read by a grandfather to his sick grandson, thus effectively preserving the novel's narrative style. This film is number 50 on Bravo's "100 Funniest Movies", number 88 on The American Film Institute's "AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions" list of the 100 greatest film love stories, and 46 in Channel 4's 50 Greatest Comedy Films list. In the United Kingdom as well as the United States, The Princess Bride has developed into a cult film. ...more on Wikipedia

Actors: Billy Crystal, Robin Wright, André the Giant, Fred Savage, Mark Knopfler, + more

Initial Release: 1987

Directed by: Rob Reiner

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#18 on The Best Movies Based on Books

#6 on The Most Rewatchable Movies

#13 on The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made

#17 on 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

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