For me, one of the most enjoyable genres in both literature and in film is fantasy. The reason being that as a genre fantasy is unique in its ability to provide people with both profoundly intelligent and thought provoking stories as well as shallow and fun escapist entertainment. Here are my top 5 favorite films of the genre!
Lyman Frank Baum's whimsical fairy tale is turned into the first great fantasy film in this classic 1939 MGM musical starring Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Burt Lahr, Frank Morgan, Billie Burke, and the brilliant Margaret Hamilton. At the time, due to the film's cost, "The Wizard of Oz" failed to make a profit. But since its airings on TV in the 1950s, it's become the most celebrated and beloved films of all time. Just ask Toto!
When it was announced that some Kiwi zombie film director was going to film J.R.R. Tolkien's classic fantasy novel "The Lord of the Rings" I was dreading an abomination... instead Tolkien fans ended up with one of the greatest film trilogies of all time and the first installment, "The Fellowship of the Ring", proved itself to be one of the most ingenious fantasy films ever made.
Who would've guessed that the silly bearded guy who voiced Kermit the Frog and created "Sesame St." and the Muppets would create one of the most amazing fantasy films ever made. Not only was "The Dark Crystal" the first full-length film to use puppets as its main characters, but it was also one of the first American fantasy films to bring philosophical and spiritual ideas to life on screen.
Mexican director Guillermo del Toro's awesomely powerful and visually stunning fairy tale for adults stunned viewers with its deeply mystical symbolism and its use of history as a backdrop for a fantasy film.
With the aid of Ray Harryhausen's incredible stop-motion animation the ancient Greek myth of Jason and his search to find the Golden Fleece is brought to life in one of the all-time great special effects films. Even with today's complex computer generated imagery, nothing compares to the amazing skeleton fight in this film!