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# Posted: 20 Sep 2004 01:33

In the wake of The Lord of the Rings' phenomenal cinematic success, the fantasy genre has been elevated to a new respectability. The Tolkien saga, which was known to million of fans around the world for several generations through the classic books, has now received the big budget treatment it deserved. Each of the three films has made a ton of money at the box office----each one actually making more than the previous one!----and are arguably already considered the greatest movie trilogy of all-time, surpassing the Star Wars classic trilogy in epic grandeur and quality.

So, with The Lord of the Rings soaring high in the hearts and imaginations of millions of moviegoers, I thought I'd take the time to write a brief enumeration of three other good fantasy films that I've seen many times which I recommend.

I also invite peeps to name their favorite fantasy movies. (and I want to emphasize that this thread is solely about fantasy movies, not books.

1. Willow (1988)----------This is a movie that I watched several times as a teenager. Produced by George Lucas and directed by Ron Howard, this movie contains all the elements of a great Swords and Sorcery tale. It's the story of a young dwarf (Warwick Davis, famous for his portrayal of Wicket the Ewok in ROTJ), who must embark on a quest to take a baby princess (who is foretold to someday reign on the land and bring an era of peace and prosperity to the people) to safety.

But of course, an evil queen (who also happens to be a sorceress, as is often the case in this kind of story *L*) kinda objects to this ;) and sends her army of evil warriors in search of the infant to kill her, led by a general with a cool skull-like mask.

On his quest, Willow the Dwarf meets a valiant swordsman (Val Kilmer) and a couple of "brownies" (tiny little men a few inches tall), that like to cause trouble and are merely there for comic relief.

The movie features some pretty good special effects for the time (1988), including trolls that turn into dragons when you "kill" them. All in all, a very entertaining fantasy movie that I highly recommend for viewers of all ages.

Conan the Barbarian(1981)------------I've seen this movie more times than I can count, starting with the first time being when I was about 9 or 10 (when I was actually sent to bed about a third into the movie because of the relentless violence and sex which my parents understandably considered inappropriate for my young eyes. *LOL*) This movie is considered by many to be the greatest fantasy adventure of all time (even more so than  LOTR, if you can believe that! ). You need only read the 100+ reviews from viewers of the movie at IMDb.com to see what I mean. Those that grew up with this film almost all have a special place in their heart for it.

It almost undoubtedly was at the very least the greatest fantasy film of the 1980s-----and actually was a watershed for the genre, mainly due to the fact that it took the subject matter seriously, unlike most of its predecessors, and was aimed more at adults than kids.

I must warn anyone that wants to see it for the first time that it is not for the faint of heart. It is violent and definitely not PC. ;)

The movie takes place in the fictional "Hyborean age" and tells the story of a child who sees his parents and his entire village murdered by a small army of warriors on horseback, led by the fearsome Thulsa Doom (James Earl Jones, in a gripping performance). The young Conan, along with the other children of the village (sole survivors of the attack) are sold into slavery.

It is under the harshest of conditions that he grows up into an adult (Arnold Schwarzenegger, in arguably his greatest role ever, apart from the Terminator).

The now-adult Conan eventually becomes a gladiator for the amusement of rowdy spectators and becomes a champion, adored by the crowds. This wins him his freedom and he thus embarks on a quest to avenge the murder of his parents and his people.

This is truly an awesome movie, but is somehow a lot more popular with men and boys than it is with women and girls, interestingly enough. Some women like it, but many just don't get it, and are turned off by its relentless machismo and (arguably) objectification of women. And though this is true to a certain extent, it does feature a very cool and brave female warrior who fights at Conan's side and falls in love with him, the beautiful Valeria (Sandhal Bergman).

People watching Conan the Barbarian for the first time should leave their political correctness at the door and watch it for what it is, an exciting Swords and Sorcery adventure that takes place in a rugged (fictional) time when lawlessness prevailed, and barbarians and thieves were heroes. And all this takes place with beautiful Spanish scenery in the background. (it was shot entirely in Spain ;) )

Excalibur(1981)-----------------Another wonderful fantasy film! This one tells the legend of King Arthur, from his birth to his death. It includes scenes that are now forever ingrained in pop culture consciousness, mainly because of Disney's versions. I'm talking of course about "the sword in the stone", where the young peasant Arthur gains his kingdom by being the only one able to remove the enchanted sword.

This movie is literally a visual feast, filmed in beautiful locales and with awesome cinematography. It has a sweeping epic feel, and features everything from King Arthur (Nigel Terry)'s quest for the holy grail, to the betrayal by his queen Guinevere and his best friend Lancelot, to his illegitimate child Mordred (born from his evil sorceress sister, who had deceived Arthur into sleeping with her)'s mission of revenge against his father. This movie tells the whole story, and thus far still remains the unchallenged champion in the telling of this centuries-old tale. And throughout the film, Arthur is counseled in his actions by none other than Merlin the magician himself, in an awesome performance by Nicol Williamson. (Please note that Patrick Stewart------Captain Picard in ST: TNG and Professor X in X-Men------appears in the film as a knight. You'll have to pay close attention to recognize him, since he looks rather different, with his beard and hair (Yes, I said hair!!-----not that much of it, mind you *L* )

So anyway, these are three awesome, often overlooked fantasy films that I recommend. I could name many more, but that would make this post extremely long. I would very much enjoy hearing the opinions of those who HAVE seen these films; and also to hear about other great fantasy films that you may have seen, other than LOTR.

Also, I want to emphasize that Conan the Barbarian, in particular (and Excalibur, to some extent), is intended for viewers that are at least 16 years of age. If you are younger than that, wait until you're older, please. I don't want to be attacked by a mob of angry moms! :? *LOL*


# Posted: 20 Sep 2004 07:44

Some other staples of the fantasy movie include Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, and The Princess Bride.

Labyrinth, a Jim Henson masterpiece, is the story of 14 year old Sarah who is unhappy with her normal life and always tries to escape into the fantasy world of her favorite book that shares a name with the movie.  Her fantasies end up getting her younger brother Toby stolen by the goblin king (David Bowie!;) and she has to make it through a labyrinth to reach the king's castle in 13 hours or her brother becomes a goblin forever.

The Dark Crystal, another Henson gem that didn't quite garner the fame of his other work in the 80's, weaves a tale of a strange and magical planet where a young gelfling, the last of his kind, who goes on a quest to save his world.

The Princess Bride is one of the few occasions when the movie is just as good as the book.  The actors capture the essence of the characters so perfectly that you realize they're almost exactly like the mental image you get while reading the book.  Anyone who hasn't seen this movie yet needs to do so.  Now.

# Posted: 20 Sep 2004 18:22


Lets not forget Time Bandits, I always enjoy watching that film.


# Posted: 21 Sep 2004 01:21

I really like Legend made my Ridley Scott.
And does The Goonies count as fantasy or is this more of an adventure movie, anyway also one I really like.


# Posted: 21 Sep 2004 02:54

I liked Legend as well, and Time Bandits :D.

I also enjoy the christmas fairy tales they show on channel 4 - last year it was Jack and the Beanstalk, which I thought was a brillant adaption!


# Posted: 21 Sep 2004 16:26

Here are a few classics!

Jason and the Argonauts (1963), with the title character searching for the Golden Fleece while confronting clashing rocks, a 7-head Hydra, and an army of sword-wielding skeletons!

The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1973) and Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1979)

This next one doesn't really count as fantasy, but I still recommend it!

The Rocketeer (1991) - about a top-secret jetpack (sought by Nazi spies) that propelled a young 1930s stunt flyer into being a super-hero

I hope that, if any of you decides to see these, you'll enjoy them as much as I have.


# Posted: 5 Oct 2004 19:41

Unfortunately, I haven't yet seen Time bandits, Legend and The Princess Bride, but I have indeed seen Labyrinth several times as a teenager, which---I agree---is a brilliant and imaginative fantasy film which has never gotten the respect that it deserves. Therefore, it's a perfect entry in this thread about much-overlooked fantasy movies. :)

I have also seen The Dark Crystal as a child, and I remember that it was absolutely awesome puppetry. I've only seen it once, unfortunately, when I was no older than 9 or 10. So, needless to say, it was a while back. *L* I wonder if it's available on DVD?

# Posted: 1 Nov 2004 10:25

Wow...some truly brilliant movies. I loved Legend and The Dark Crystal, and Time Bandits...but I've always really loved The Princess Bride.  "As You Wish" , "He's only mostly dead"....that's such a GREAT movie! ROUS's *L*
Such fond memories of Labryinth. My how I loved that movie! I think I love Labyrinth almost as much as The Princess Bride *pokes Rabido and Goddessly will's his mind to go rent it* :k

Ummm anyone else love The Last Unicorn? That's a great one as well!

The Neverending Story? The first part, the second part was lame.

# Posted: 14 Mar 2005 23:04

*takes a stroll down memory lane, seeing all of these great, yet cheesy, 80's/90's fantasy movies, seeing how far the genre has moved to the future*

Willow.. wow. I checked Warwick Davis's website and I guess there's talks for a possible Willow 2! *happydancegeneraljigging* As soon as Mr. Lucas is done with Star Wars, of course. On a side note: Hot damn! Warwick Davis is in every great fantasy/sci-fi movie out there! Harry Potter, Star Wars, Willow, Leprechaun.. great actor you are, good sir.

The Dark Crystal -- SKEKZIES! *hides* I remember, as a child, being horribly afraid of these terrifying puppets. Another person I must thank for my childhood is Mr. Jim Henson: Without your glorious productions, the children of the 80's would be lost. *continues to hide from the skekzies*

The Witches -- Roald Dahl was one of those great writers, may he rest in peace. Almost all of his children's books have made it to the big screen and I'd have to say this one is my favorite (with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory a very close second.) Add the great acting abilities of Anjelica Huston (whom I STILL say would've made a great Madame Maxine Olympe
:o  :o  :o silly casting people of OotP) and you've got a great movie.. and some more Jim Henson puppets.

And many many many many many many more. :P

# Posted: 20 May 2005 12:44

Don't forget these few:

King Arthur
Pirates of the Caribbean (it can be classified as fantasy, although more adventure)
League of Extrodinary Gentlemen (can't forget Captain Nemo, Dr.Jekkyl and the Hyde, and Allen Quartermain[Indianna Jones])
Dungeons and Dragons

You can almost put Highlander on there...almost.

# Posted: 17 Aug 2005 19:23

Ooohhhhhh How I love The Princess Bride*g*
and don't forget Kimmy...
"You mocked me once...never do it again...I died that day"
I love that line*sighs*

oh! but  what I posted for was I was surprised that noone mentioned "The Beast Master" made in the early 80's.... I love that movie and if you haven't seen it,I suggest you go rent it. It has animals,witches,evil men,monsters and just about anything else you can think of*L* This guy can  see what the animals see! It's amazing! I can watch it over and over again.
Go now! Watch it!
(sometimes stations like USA and TBS will play it)


# Posted: 22 Sep 2005 13:06

Woohoo man Ive seen Advent children, one f#cking cool film, you have to see it, and the  new ps3 final fantasy 7, BTW Im writting this on my shiny new PSP. I rock!

# Posted: 6 Dec 2005 08:39

<!--QuoteBegin--hongjun+Sep. 20 2004,18:22--></span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td><b>Quote</b> (hongjun @ Sep. 20 2004,18:22)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE"><!--QuoteEBegin-->Hi,<br>Lets not forget Time Bandits, I always enjoy watching that film.<!--QuoteEnd--></td></tr></table><span id='postcolor'><!--QuoteEEnd--><br><br>Time Bandits is a superb movie. <br>What kid wouldn't want to travel through history with a gang of rebellious dwarves getting one up on the adults they come across pursued by the devil and an angry God who wants his map back.<br><br>Just brilliant. <!--emo&:D--><img src="http://www.outpost10f.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/haw.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':D'><!--endemo--> <br><br><!--EDIT|bloomsbury|Dec. 06 2005,08:42-->

# Posted: 5 Dec 2006 15:33

I'm surprised no one has mentioned "The Never Ending Story"  awesome, awesome awesomeness

# Posted: 6 Dec 2006 03:57


come on, anyone who claims to be a fantasy person much know WILLOW!!!!

Its got magic, trolls, mythical creatures, its got everything!!


# Posted: 17 Jan 2007 21:15

<!--QuoteBegin--david1+Dec. 06 2006,03:57--></span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td><b>Quote</b> (david1 @ Dec. 06 2006,03:57)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE"><!--QuoteEBegin-->WILLOW!!!!!!<br><br>come on, anyone who claims to be a fantasy person much know WILLOW!!!!<br><br>Its got magic, trolls, mythical creatures, its got everything!!<br><br><b>XZ</b><!--QuoteEnd--></td></tr></table><span id='postcolor'><!--QuoteEEnd--><br>seen it <!--emo&:)--><img src="http://www.outpost10f.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smi.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':)'><!--endemo-->......how about Nightmare before Christmas, does that count as fantasy??<br><br><br>I also enjoyed the film made a couple years about Merlin...I think was called either Merlin or Excalibur.<br><br>Princess Bride was fun as well <!--emo&:D--><img src="http://www.outpost10f.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/haw.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':D'><!--endemo-->  "He's not completely dead, he's ALMOST dead."<br><br>Chronicles of Narnia: Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe is a pretty darn decent movie as well...<br><br>Harry Potter....decent.<br><br>Highlander! <!--emo&:D--><img src="http://www.outpost10f.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/haw.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':D'><!--endemo--><br><br>will probaby think of more later and add to the list. <!--emo&;)--><img src="http://www.outpost10f.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/win.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=';)'><!--endemo-->

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