My Favorite 50 Fantasy Films


Lord of the Rings ~ The Fellowship of the Ring ~ Vanderstelt

Simply put, this is a list of my favorite fantasy films (the top 50).  Movies which are a part of a series/trilogy, like Lord of the Rings are listed all together. (I know.  I cheated.)  I have also left out animated films and films I felt fit better in the historical fiction genre, but I will likely do separate lists of these in later posts.  The “KH” mark indicates a movie I worked on.  If something is missing it’s probably because I haven’t seen it, I didn’t like it, or I didn’t remember it.  If you want to know more about these films, I suggest you check out the Internet Movie Database. The order may not be exact, it’s hard to choose amongst one’s favorites, but here it is:

My Favorites

  1. Lord of the Rings [2001, 02, 03, 12?] (I expect the Hobbit, my favorite Tolkien story to join them.  I can hardly wait!)
  2. Stardust [2007] (Made me a Neil Gaiman fan!)
  3. Princess Bride [1987]
  4. Inkheart [2008]
  5. Chronicles of Narnia [2005, 2008, 2010] (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; Prince Caspian; The Voyage of the Dawn Treader)
  6. Pan’s Labyrinth [2006]
  7. The Brothers Grimm [2005] (Matt Damon, Heath Ledger, Monica Bellucci)
  8. Sleepy Hollow [1999]
  9. Pirates of the Caribbean [2003, 06, 07, 11] (IV, On Strange Shores was by far the least impressive and feels like a make-a-few-bucks-on-its-name tack-on.)
  10. Excalibur [1981] (an awesome telling of the Arthur legend)
  11. Highlander [1986] (not any of the silly sequels – it was pretty much ruined in the first sequel attempt, the TV show had some promise)
  12. Lady Hawke [1985]
  13. Unbreakable [2000]
  14. Army of Darkness [1992]
  15. The Adventures of Baron Munchausen [1988]
  16. Willow [1988]
  17. Big Fish [2003]
  18. Big Trouble in Little China [1986]
  19. The 13th Warrior [1999]
  20. Conan the Barbarian [1982]  (Not “the Destroyer” (sequel) and not the 2011 remake with Jason Momoa – who was fine as Ronon Dex in Stargate Atlantis)
  21. The Sorceror’s Apprentice [2010]
  22. Reign of Fire [2002]
  23. Monty Python and the Holy Grail [1975] (The Python gang at their funniest!)
  24. Labyrinth [1986]
  25. Erik the Viking [1989]
  26. Hellboy [2004, 2008] (I and II: The Golden Army)
  27. Dragon Heart [1996] (a fun romp with Sean Connery and Dennis Quaid)
  28. Enchanted [2007]
  29. The Forbidden Kingdom [2008] (Jackie Chan, Jett Li)
  30. Legend [1985] (Tom Cruise, Mia Sara, Tim Curry)
  31. The Court Jester [1956] (Danny Kaye)
  32. The Spiderwick Chronicles [2008]
  33. Season of the Witch [2011] (Nicolas Cage, Ron Perlman)
  34. King Arthur [2004] (Clive Owen, Keira Knightly)
  35. Jason and the Argonauts [1963] (Ray Harryhausen goodness!)
  36. The 7th Voyage of Sinbad [1958] (More Ray Harryhausen goodness!)
  37. The Golden Voyage of Sinbad [1973] (Still more Ray Harryhausen goodness!)
  38. Dark Crystal [1982] (Jim Henson)
  39. Sinbad, the Sailor [1947] (awesome cast – Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Maureen O’Hara, Walter Slezak, Anthony Quinn)
  40. The Prince Who Was a Thief [1951] (Tony Curtis, Piper Laurie)
  41. Son of Ali Baba [1952] (Tony Curtis, Piper Laurie)
  42. The Thief of Bagdad [1940]
  43. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon [2000]
  44. Jumanji [1995]
  45. The Mummy [2001] (the sequels lacked for the most part)
  46. Prince of Persia [2010]
  47. The Last Airbender [2010]
  48. Clash of the Titans [2010]
  49. Bridge to Terabithia [2007]
  50. Lady in the Water [2006]

Honorable Mention

  1. Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events [2004]
  2. Hook [1991]
  3. Sword of the Valient: The Legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
  4. Legend of the Seeker [2008-2010] (I know it’s TV, but its a good adaptation of Terry Goodkind’s classic fantasy tale, Wizard’s First Rule, etc. and I streamed it like a long movie)
  5. Mermaid Chronicles Part 1: She Creature [2001KH] (Again, made for TV, but in movie format – great performance by Rufus Sewell)
  6. Ghostbusters [1986, 1989]
  7. The Lake House [2006]
  8. Meet Joe Black [1998]
  9. Night at the Museum [2006, 2009]
  10. Ghost [1990]
  11. The Thief of Bagdad [1924]
  12. Clash of the Titans [1981] (Ray Harryhausen goodness!)
  13. The Wizard of Oz [1939]
  14. The City of Lost Children [1995]
  15. Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger [1977] (Ray Harryhausen goodness!)
  16. Mary Poppins [1964]
  17. Bedknobs and Broomsticks [1971]
  18. The Island at the Top of the World [1974] (this fell to this list, mostly because I do not remember it all that well, but would like to see it again)
  19. Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief [2001]
  20. The NeverEnding Story [1984]
  21. Red Sonya [1985]
  22. Hawk the Slayer [1981] (Makes my list because of the automatic elf and Jack Palance)
  23. Sword and the Sorcerer [1982] (This barely made the list, mostly because a friend worked on that film, but it did feature an interesting if impractical weapon and some OK effects)
  24. Eragon [2006] (Even though if features Jeremy Irons, it did not make the top 50 list as Star Wars told this tale first and better.)

Please give me your thoughts about what movies I may have missed or, in your opinion, should have added (or subtracted).  I look forward to your input, which will undoubtedly remind me of 50 more films I wish I had included. 🙂

OW Original