Audiences love fantasy cinema because it has an escapist value – it allows us to forget about everyday worries and immerse ourselves in a bit of film magic. Once upon a time fantasy was associated with nerds; nowadays it is one of the most frequently taken up themes in the cinema and television (just to mention the success of the series “Game of Thrones”). We’ve selected ten of the best titles of the genre for you.
The best fantasy movies – TOP 10 ranking
The Lord of the Rings series (2001-2003)
A trilogy, which in this case we will treat as a general, recommendable whole. And why is it worth recommending? The answer is obvious, and almost everyone knows the series as well – it’s simply a great, epic cinematic adventure that has fully earned its majestic status. The series features some of the best shots and developed battle scenes, and the whole thing is a treat for fans of fantasy cinema. On the other hand, the character of Gollum (played by Andy Serkis) is one of the first of his kind. He is one of the first characters to be completely CGI-created and made such a colossal impression on audiences.
“Edward Scissorhands” (1990)
Johnny Depp’s body of work is full of capital, thrilling, monumental roles. One of his more iconic roles is the one in Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands. This brilliant production about a sad boy created as a result of a crazy experiment still captivates not only with its message and acting but also with its incredible production values – it won, among others, a BAFTA for the production design. In a film about social prejudice and how we are quick to judge “queers”, Depp plays a young man with scissors instead of hands.
“Jumanji” is not only a cult title among the youngest viewers; it is also one of the favourite adventure/fantasy titles among their parents. In part, the film is an answer to the question of what it means to be human, and in part, it is one big exciting spectacle – full of breathtaking scenes and great special effects. In the film, the protagonists become prisoners of the title game and go on incredible, yet equally dangerous adventures.
Fantasy movies TOP 10 – what is worth watching?
“The Illusionist” (2006)
The film is set in 19th-century Vienna and combines romance with fantasy cinema. Edward Norton appears here as the main character – a magician in love with a woman who is unattainable to him, as she has the status of a duchess. The film is captivating, has a hint of mystery and, of course, plenty of charm. Viewers in love with this type of unusual romance may even be mesmerized. In the film, the director also discusses religion, art and politics.
“Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl” (2003)
A mixture of fantasy and adventure movies directed by Gore Verbinski – the creator of “Ringu”. The cast includes Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, and Zoe Saldana. Depp in one of his most recognizable performances; five Academy Award nominations (including for the leading role).
The best fantasy movies – top titles
“Big Fish” (2003)
Will Bloom travels with his wife from Paris to Alabama to visit his dying father. The men are almost strangers to each other, but Will hopes they will reconcile. He also hopes to learn more about his childhood. The film consists of fairy-tale and fantastic stories that William’s father is famous for. It is only at the threshold of a coming tragedy that the protagonist begins to understand their deeper meaning—four nominations for Golden Globes, including a great performance by Albert Finney (Ed Bloom).
“Pan’s Labyrinth” (2006)
The darkest item in this ranking. “Pan’s Labyrinth” is a fantasy horror film with a war plot. Guillermo del Toro is responsible for the project – a master of this type of production, the creator of, among others, the Oscar-winning “The Shape of Water” (which is in itself a beautiful drama with a fantasy-romantic theme). The protagonist of “Labyrinth…” is Ophelia – a girl who lives in the estate of her strict stepfather. In the garden, the eleven-year-old discovers a passage to a bizarre world, where the fairy-tale creature of the title lives. The story is set in Spain during World War II.
“Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” (2004)
Chris Columbus is responsible for the start of the Harry Potter film series, but 2004 saw the release of Prisoner of Azkaban, which was directed by Alfonso Cuarón – today’s four-time Academy Award winner. It was during this part of the series that “real” cinemagoers started to take Harry Potter seriously. Thanks to Cuarón more mature themes started to appear in the Potter series and the tone became more emotional and raw – despite the fantasy cinema setting.
“Avatar,” directed by visionary filmmaker James Cameron, is one of the most popular films in cinema history – ranking among the highest-grossing blockbusters. In this fantasy film, an ex-military officer ends up on the planet Pandora and becomes an ally of the local fantastic blue-skinned community. “Avatar” is first and foremost a film that delights with its beautiful setting. Pandora enchants thanks to the beautiful, cosmic flora and fauna, and “Avatar” itself is a visually stunning work. The picture won three Oscars, among others for special effects.