Fantasy Friday

Fantasy Friday #18: My Top Fantasy Films

Fantasy Friday

Fantasy Friday is my own feature, posted every other Friday. It’s pretty self-explanatory: I do a feature on something to do with the genre. Sometimes it will be a book recommendation, sometimes showcasing a book or series I’ve loved and other times it might be a discussion post. You’re more than welcome to join in with this feature, let me know if you make your own Fantasy Friday post!

Today I want to talk about: my top fantasy films.

For some reason, this one was kind of hard. Looking through my DVD collection, I definitely own a LOT more science fiction films – and most of the fantasy I watch seems to be TV rather than film. Unless I’m just being incredibly forgetful… Some of these were instant answers, others took a little thinking. Also a lot of them are from my childhood…

The Lord of the Rings trilogy

The Lord of the Rings

Come on, are you really surprised?? The film adaptation of my favourite book ever, and it is BRILLIANTLY done. From the sets, to the costumes, from the cast to the locations – and THAT SOUNDTRACK. THAT SOUNDTRACK. Howard Shore’s music is one of the most beautiful things that I’ve ever heard, and it gives me chills. Plus some serious nostalgia. I already spoke about why I love The Lord of the Rings so much, and all those reasons are still valid here. I’ve copied a lot of my DVDs onto an external HDD to take to university, but this was the most important one. I’ve just completely lost count of how many times I’ve watched it. I’m counting them all together on here because I can’t really single them out – plus Tolkien intended the books to be one long book, so I like to see the films that way too. This is my perfect ‘feeling down or sick’ film – and I may have memorised bits of the script…

Why? Hobbits and elves and wizards, oh my! [icon name=”fa-heart”]

The Harry Potter series

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Another unsurprising entry, I’m sure! I grew up with this series: although book Harry was always perhaps four years older than me, film Harry & co were always my age. The first film came out when I was 11 and although at the time I wasn’t massively impressed, I gradually grew to love the first few films after Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban came out, and in my opinion they greatly improve from Goblet of Fire onwards. I have to say that my favourites are Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, because I love the whole idea of Dumbledore’s Army plus loads of new characters appear (or more minor ones become more important) and just the entire atmosphere of the film, as well as Deathly Hallows Part 2. The trio all grown up and making Big Important Decisions! *wipes away tear*

Why? Have you SEEN Hogwarts?! [icon name=”fa-heart”]

Jumanji

Jumanji

Pretty much ever since I can remember, Robin Williams has been one of my favourite actors. Jumanji is one of my favourite childhood films along with Mrs Doubtfire (I was SO excited when I found them both on DVD for £3), and that’s partly to do with Williams’ talent and wit. Jumanji isn’t a fantasy in the tradition of the two films above, there are no elves or magic schools – but there is a magic board game that comes to life and, on occasion, pulls its players in… It’s thrilling, funny, fast-paced and just… again, makes me so nostalgic! Even now I can’t imagine Robin Williams as anyone else but this lovable buffoon – even in films like One Hour Photo where he plays a lonely middle-aged man who becomes fixated on this ‘perfect’ family. The scene in Jumanji where Alan realises that he’s been trapped in the game for years and that his parents are dead is just heart-breaking.

Why? Because I always wanted to play Jumanji… [icon name=”fa-heart”]

How To Train Your Dragon

how to train your dragon

I have to say I’ve only actually seen How To Train Your Dragon the once, and it was a couple of years ago, but I really loved it. It’s incredible how they took a book with only minor elements that they could use, and created something completely new, whilst still retaining the main themes of the book. I love how the dragons aren’t all ‘typical’ fantasy dragons, and they’re all unique. Plus it’s amazing how much one character can get across without actually speaking… Not to mention the fact that it’s about DRAGONS and VIKINGS. Can you get much cooler? No? No. The second film came out in cinemas recently, and it’s had some great reviews – one of the positives that people seem to focus on is how well the relationships are portrayed, and how natural they seem. A great achievement when you consider that all the characters are CG rendered. I can’t wait to see it!

Why? DRAGONS AND VIKINGS?? TOGETHER?? Yes.[icon name=”fa-heart”]

Willow

willow

I’ll be so happy if any of my readers have ever watched (and enjoyed!) Willow. I can’t remember how old I was when I first saw this – perhaps 7 or 8? – but I remember we borrowed it from the video shop, loved it, and then probably borrowed it once every couple of months for a year or two until we finally bought our own copy. I haven’t watched it for years (but I think we have the DVD somewhere…), I just remember at the time it felt like this HUGE epic film, set in a sprawling fantasy land. All I can remember about the plot is that there is a baby (the princess??) who an evil sorceress wants to kill, and somehow the baby ends up with Willow’s family, so he has to go an Epic Quest to return her. Or something like that. It has stop-motion dragons, dogs dressed as giant rats and a character that I like to refer to as a ‘poor man’s Aragorn’. I hope you’re sold.

Why? It’s so wonderfully 80’s. [icon name=”fa-heart”]

What are your favourite fantasy films? Have you seen any of these? I feel like I’m forgetting something…

31 thoughts on “Fantasy Friday #18: My Top Fantasy Films”

    1. Yay, another Willow fan! 😀 I want to re-watch it too, but I have a feeling my sister took the DVD when she moved out…

      What would be in your list (apart from Willow 😉 )?

    1. You know, I’ve never seen all of that film I think. It’s been on TV a lot here, so I’ve always caught bits of it now and again, but never the full thing all in one go! I should really try to 😛

  1. Oh gosh, you have some great movies on your list! Yes, I remember Willow from when I was little. ^_^ I think we had a VHS of it and I watched it wayyy too often, but I also had it on rotation with some others. I liked Jumanji and How to Train Your Dragon when I saw those as well, but not enough to put them into my personal movie library.

    Some of my favorite fantasy movies from my childhood:

    Labyrinth
    The Dark Crystal
    Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (the original with Gene Wilder)
    Legend
    Masters of the Universe (Dolph Lundgren as He-Man!)
    The Golden Child
    The Neverending Story (I watched 2 and 3 as well but they don’t compare)
    Alice in Wonderland (the only Disney animation I like)
    The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
    Ladyhawke
    The Princess Bride
    Willow
    Krull
    The Beastmaster (I even watched the TV serial later lol)
    Conan the Barbarian
    The Secret of NIMH
    Teen Witch
    The Witches of Eastwick
    Edward Scissorhands
    Highlander

    I watched a surprising amount of fantasy, I suppose, but it seems like good speculative fiction was easier to come by in the 80s and 90s. My list for horror favorites as a child is much much longer. >_>

    And more recently:
    Harry Potter series
    Lord of the Rings trilogy (didn’t care for The Hobbit)
    Pan’s Labyrinth

    1. Do you remember the amazing stop motion hydra type things at the end? 😀 Haha, so very 80s.

      You know I haven’t watched the majority of your list! D: I do love Edward Scissorhands though, I have the DVD of that.

      I’m still too scared for Pan’s Labyrinth…

      1. Haha I don’t remember the hydras but it’s been years and years since I’ve seen it. I’m sure if I put it on to play it would all come rushing back to me. 🙂

        Oh gosh you should totally watch everything on my list that you haven’t seen! A lot of it is very 80s-tastic, but if you know that going in you might still be able to enjoy it without having grown up seeing it. For me it’s part nostalgia and part because I enjoy ridiculous 80s movies.

        Pan’s Labyrinth even creeped ME out a little bit and made me extremely sad, which is hard to do on both counts. I don’t blame you for being scared of it.

      2. Yeah, it’s been years here too but it’s one of the bits I do remember. That, the very beginning, and those ratdog things!

        Haha, I should! Some of it I plan to, some of it I’ve not heard of before 😮

  2. Ah the ever great WILLOW. I watched this show years ago. I have now introduced the show to my 11 year old son and his 9 yr old sister. Needless to say they both loved it! We watch numerous fantasy and SciFi movies and read all types of ebooks and or books. My daughter is the speed reader in the house she reads around 300 words a minute and has reread various Harry Potter books. This of course after having read All of them in the series. I encourage nightly reading and take my ebook in each ones room to read while they read theirs.
    Some might think ebooks are extravagance but I purchased my daughters for $25.00 last Christmas and she loves it. My son reads an older Prs 700 Sony ebook of mine.
    My current ebook I bought for $40.00 used with cover included. Thus they do not cost a lot and all are very durable.
    Want your child to read, then read to them and with them. I also find books that are about the movies they love to watch. Nut Willow will always be one of my special movies.

    1. It definitely appeals to the whole family, because it’s so exciting and action-packed without being violent or graphic in any way.

      So great to have a family of readers! It’s not extravagance at all if they have their own e-readers – they’re doing something great with them after all.

  3. I’m obsessed with the LOTR movies and now with The hobbit movies. Some of the best fantasy movies I’ve ever seen. So detailed and great characters.

    HP doesn’t always have the best adaptations from the books, but it’s just fantastic to see all the characters I’ve grown to love on the screen.

    HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON (L) I’m in love with both movies. They make all the relationships between characters so honest and realistic.

    Willow! It’s so long ago I’ve seen that movie, but I watched it a lot when I was younger.

    1. I love The Hobbit movies too, but I felt like it would perhaps be too much Tolkien – plus I want to see how the last one is before I judge the series as a whole.

      Yeah, the first three are pretty weak. I mean, the trio were AWFUL actors to start with – but they really do improve.

      Glad you’ve heard of Willow too! 😀

  4. How to Train Your Dragon is one of the best movies I have ever seen, and the sequel is just as amazing. I adore the characters.

    HARRY POTTER.

    And I used to watch Jumanji every day when I was younger. I could recite it word for word.

    1. New plan: X-Men marathon, followed by Harry Potter, followed by HTTYD 1 & 2, followed by a silent screening of Jumanji where we have to fill in the dialogue. Yeah?

  5. I love Jumanji! That movie came out when I was a kid, and I have very fond memories of it. I also love Robin Williams.

    And definitely HP are some of my favorite fantasy films. I also love The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Princess Bride, Stardust. I’m not a huge fan of the Lord of the Rings movies or books. They’re just not my thing. I don’t really hate them, but I don’t love them, either.

    1. Yep, I remember watching it so many times, I must have worn out the VHS of it.

      I didn’t really think of any Disney films for this for some reason 😮

  6. I was not allowed to watch Jumanji as a child, and now I still haven’t seen it!!
    The Neverending Story was huge for me as a kid, both book and movie. I used to think Atreyu was suuuper cute! I was a strange kid…

  7. Willow brings me back..I remember first seeing that film at my best friends birthday party LOL I LOVE that movie..I love a lot of the 80’s fantasy films like Legend!

  8. The Lord of the Rings trilogy is far and away my top favorite as well. To that I would add:

    Labyrinth
    Ladyhawke
    The Princess Bride
    Pan’s Labyrinth

    Many, many years back, I hitched a ride with my high school art teacher (the summer after I left for college) from Nebraska to KC, MO so that I could go visit the girl I was dating (who eventually became my wife). I stopped at drug store to look at their book section and picked up the novelization of Willow and read it on the way down and back. Loved it. I found the film to be less satisfying than the book, but I still enjoy it very much.

    1. I’ve only seen The Princess Bride out of those four! I really need to watch Labyrinth.

      Aww 😀 Was that a long journey? I’m sure I’ve read the book too – at least I remember owning a copy at one point…

  9. Some great choices there. I haven’t seen Jumanji since it first came out but I remember liking it a lot and you’ve made me keen to go back and revisit it! 🙂

    It’s hard to narrow down my own list but The Princess Bride, The Neverending Story, Spirited Away and Kiki’s Delivery Service would probably be on or around the top 5.

  10. As you know.. I am a big movie person. And fantasy is something I really love! Labyrinth is one of my all time favorite movies. I started to think about it.. and I find that I like 80s fantasies more then the more recent ones.

    1. I sort of feel like many of the 80s/90s films have a lot more… heart to them. I don’t know if that’s the right word. But definitely a major focus on characters rather than special effects 🙂

  11. Willow was totally George Lucas trying to do the poor man’s LotR. So, it’s not just you. I like the speech Val Kilmer gives to the daughter when he’s under the love spell. Their relationship turns so sharply but I always thought was really believable.

    Also, from the 80s is Legend with Tim Curry and Tom Cruise. Have you seen that?

    LotR, yes. and yes. I have a few minor complaints here and there but most of them are resolved by the extended editions (like how they handle Faramir’s character). And the score is amazing. And yes, I love it all.

    Harry Potter is also amazing. I agree, the films became much better when Alfonso Cuaron did Prisoner of Azkaban. And then from Goblet of Fire on, though Half Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows part 2 are my favorites 🙂

    I also consider the Pirates of the Caribbean movies to be fantasy and I love those. I love the score of 1 and 3, especially.

    And the live action Peter Pan from a few years ago with Jason Isaacs and Captain Hook – amazing.

    But I also find that I have more scifi movies than fantasy. Though I have an awful lot more fantasy books 🙂

    1. Haha it’s such a wonderfully cheesy film, how can you not love it? 😀

      I haven’t seen Legend, no. I could listen to the LotR and Hobbit soundtracks non-stop, Howard Shore is a complete and utter genius.

      Oh yes, the PotC score is a great one too! I haven’t seen the newest film, and thought the sequels never quite reached the standard of the first, but they’re still enjoyable.

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