Have the blues and boredom of the real world sunk their claws into your life? The perfect cure can come from the best fantasy movies of all time.
The ideal way to escape the monotony and difficulties of real life is to travel far away to a very different world.
With the most magical and best fantasy movies of all time, you can drive away all your anxieties and end up having a fantastic time.
1. The Genre of Fantasy Film
The genre of Fantasy is a kind of theoretical way of imagination encompassing supernatural components, generally taking place in a fictitious world. A lot of times, it is inspired by myths, legends, fairy tales, and folklore.
The popularity of fantasy and the supernatural as a genre can be seen in almost every form of literature and media.
Children love reading fairy tales as bedtime stories, teens enjoy playing fantasy games, and there is also a huge audience for mythological books and fantasy films.
Here you will find a list of some of the best fantasy movies from all time and worldwide.
25+ Best Fantasy Movies That You Have To Watch Right Now
From the classic of Oz to the legendary wizarding world of Hogwarts, there are too many fantastic realms to enter and explore.
So dive into the lands of spells and magic with the best fantasy movies and spend some time away from the real world.
2.1) The Wizard of Oz
The Wizard of Oz ticks all the traits and aspects of the fantasy film genre. You have the colorful munchkins, the good and wicked witches, and the alarming flying monkeys.
The classic 1939 movie version is a musical as well. Keeping true to the book of the same name by L. Frank Baum, the story follows the young girl Dorothy on her journey from a gray and drab world to the vibrant magical land of Oz.
While she goes on a quest to find the all-powerful wizard of Oz to make her wish of returning home, she is joined by delightful characters like the brainless Scarecrow, the Tinman without a heart, and the Cowardly Lion.
Even though the sweet and wonderful film will make you fall in love with the bright, magical land, The Wizard of Oz will also remind you of the importance of family and home.
2.2) The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
One does not simply make a list of best fantasy movies without the legendary trilogy of The Lord of the Rings.
Peter Jackson proved his brilliance by making this outstanding series, considered one of the most extraordinary and best fantasy movies of all time.
With spectacular sights, detailed settings and costumes, tremendous war sequences, a beautiful musical score, and outstanding performance by the whole cast, you will genuinely feel like you are a part of Middle-earth.
The movies undoubtedly did justice to the works of J. R. R. Tolkien, and even the lengthy three hours will fly by.
You can also check out the sequels or prequels to the series – The Hobbit Trilogy. While this one leaves much to be desired, the story of Frodo’s “uncle,” Bilbo Baggins, is still enjoyable.
2.3) Mary Poppins
While this is not a typical fantasy film, you cannot ignore this timeless classic. This movie blends all the components of animation and live-action into the most enjoyable family-friendly movie out there.
Your experience of the best fantasy movies will never be complete unless you can say “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious“!
If not anything else, watch it for the brilliant performance by Julie Andrews as the beloved nanny.
Henry Selick’s vibrant adaptation of “Coraline” gives a new lease of life to the original work by Neil Gaiman with fresh colors and spirit.
Dakota Fanning gives voice to Coraline Jones, a young girl who finds a portal in her new house that opens to an alternate reality inhabited by quietly terrifying doppelgängers with button eyes.
So enter a land world so dark yet colorful that it will dazzle your eyes and mind. You will love the snarky blue-haired Coraline and will be a little or maybe really horrified by the Other Mother. The animation is strange and beautiful, making it one of the best fantasy movies you’ll ever watch.
2.5) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Based on the book of the same name by Roald Dahl, this movie tells the story of a young boy named Charlie Bucket and his exciting journey at a chocolate factory owned by the eccentric Willy Wonka and run by the dwarves called Oompa Loompa.
The cast is brilliant, with little Freddie Highmore as Charlie while Johnny Depp stars and shines in the odd and charming Wonka role.
2.6) Howl’s Moving Castle
Studio Ghibli has given the world some of the best fantasy movies and works of Japanese cinema.
Explore this fantastical tale of an ordinary young hatter, Sophie, and the extraordinary wizard Howl with a giant moving and magical castle.
Both adults and younger viewers will enjoy this movie of love and magic.
2.7) The NeverEnding Story
To get out from his miserable life and tormentors at school, Bastain takes shelter in an old bookshop. There, he starts to read books and discovers himself being pulled into the extraordinary land of Fantasia.
Who hasn’t wished for this escape from the real world to a fantasy land? In this Wolfgang Petersen movie, the viewer can have that experience with The NeverEnding Story.
2.8) The Princess Bride
The 1987 movie is a compelling story of a young man named Westley who strives to save his lover, Buttercup.
The Princess Bride is like a fairy tale that lightly makes fun of fantasy and romance and ends up being the best representation of those genres.
Full of unforgettable lines, an all-star cast, and stunning shots, this movie became a cult classic with all the elements of best fantasy movies “as you wish.”
2.9) Doctor Strange
While many may consider this a superhero movie like all the other films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Doctor Strange is more than just one genre.
Scott Derrickson manages to tick all the elements of science fiction, horror, and fantasy with this 2016 release.
It is the story of Doctor Stephen Strange, who damages his hands, gains magic, and becomes a great sorcerer.
Starting Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange in the MCU movie is a fantastic superhero origin story and a delightful visual ride.
Other Marvel Movies that fall among the list of best fantasy movies are Thor, Guardians of the Galaxy, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and Eternals.
2.10) Where the Wild Things Are
Based on Maurice Sendak’s picture book for kids, Spike Jonze’s heartfelt adaptation blends live-action, animation, and great storytelling in a beautiful tale of love and loneliness.
So enter the moonlit wilderness surrounded by the sea with little Max on this journey with fantastical creatures.
Based on the legend of King Arthur, Excalibur is the story of Uthur’s bastard son.
When Arthur successfully draws the magical sword Excalibur, he is made the new king. With the help of the sorcerer Merlin, he goes on a battle against his wicked sister Morgana.
2.12) The City of Lost Children
Combining the best of sci-fi and fantasy, The City of Lost Children is about Krank, who has lost his ability to dream and thus steals little kids’ dreams.
Full of dazzling special effects, vibrant costumes, and a colorful cast of characters, this movie should be on your list of best fantasy movies to watch.
2.13) The Spirit of the Beehive
Set after the French victory in the Spanish Civil War, this movie is a brilliant play of fantasy and childhood imagination.
The movie centers on little Ana’s strange fascination with Frankenstein with themes of isolation, civil war, and a child’s grasp of the reality of death.
2.14) Who Framed Roger Rabbit
This delightful fantasy/comedy is a funny and heartwarming story of a grumpy man discovering how to love again.
Throughout the movie, the character of Eddie Valiant learns and ends up teaching us how to love, laugh, and live again.
2.15) The Nightmare Before Christmas
A perfect watch for Halloween and Christmas, this cinematic masterpiece by Tim Burton is full of stunning visuals and fun songs.
Follow the “Pumpkin King” Jack Skellington on his quest to abduct Santa and bring Christmas to Halloween Town.
Sing along to catchy songs like ‘This is Halloween’, ‘Making Christmas‘, and the very popular ‘Oogie Boogie Song‘ and have a few hours of fun and spookiness.
Most Disney Princess movies are filled with fairy tales and magic elements. However, this 1992 musical adaptation of the Arabian A Thousand and One Nights is one of the best fantasy movies by Disney.
The love story of a thief and princes, Aladdin and Jasmine, is scattered with mystical elements of the flying magic carpet and the lamp with a wish-granting genie!
You can also check the animated series that continued for three seasons or the 2019 version with Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott. But the 1992 version remains the most beloved, with Robin Williams voicing the beloved blue genie.
2.17) A Monster Calls
The movie is about a little boy named Conor who meets a tree monster who begins to enable him to confront his mother’s deadly ailment and torment in school.
This story of denial and acceptance comes from one of the best fantasy movies you will ever see.
2.18) King Kong
The story of King Kong changed the world of cinema, and the 2005 remake remains mostly true to the original.
It is about the moviemaker Carl Denham and his team who come across a huge ape in Skull Island and confine it to take it to New York.
But, they end up in grave danger when Kong breaks out and wreaks havoc in the city which ultimately results in a tragic finale of an ending.
2.19) Percy Jackson & the Olympians Series
So you probably don’t agree. It is not a popular choice and has garnered a lot of controversies for not being true to the original books by Rick Riordan.
However, the quest of the son of the sea god, the daughter of Athena, and a satyr is worth mentioning while listing all the best fantasy movies.
Based on the legends of Greek mythology, the movie’s only saving grace is some beautiful scenic shots and the casting of Logan Lerman, who, despite being way too old for the role of Percy, does a brilliant job of portraying everyone’s favorite ‘seaweed brain.’
This musical fantasy shows the teenage girl Sarah who is on a deadline to rescue her baby brother from the Goblin King by solving the labyrinth.
Even though the movie got much criticism, it was praised for its interesting visuals and creative storytelling.
2.21) The Shape Of Water
An Academy Award winner for best picture of 2018, The Shape of Water tells the story of a mute young woman called Elisa and her unusual connection with a human-like amphibious creature.
This fantasy movie is considered an instance of director Guillermo del Toro at its absolute best with a stunningly visual work of art. The movie is further carried by the brilliant and emotive execution of Elisa’s character by Sally Hawkins.
2.22) The Holy Mountain
The movie starts with a Thief getting down from a cross and arriving at a town where visitors capture public killings and a group of amphibians performing Spanish domination. Then he comes across the Alchemist, and together with seven other men, they go on a quest to reach the Holy Mountain to gain immortality.
Again, it can be said that this movie is not for all. It does not make a lot of sense when you watch it for the first time. Or the third or fourth time. Or like ever. But it is still a fascinating journey full of fantastical elements, brilliant symbolism, and imagery, making it a visual delight.
2.23) Closet Monster
Enter the world of a creative teen who leaves his house wishing to flee from his dark childhood recollections and thwart the monster living within him.
Not exactly a fantasy movie in the sense of magic and wizardry, this film has subtle elements of fantasy mixed with harsh reality.
Strengthened by a brilliant casting of Connor Jessup, Closet Monster is undoubtedly one of the best fantasy and realistic movies. It is also been awarded as the best Canadian Feature Film of 2015.
2.24) Alice in Wonderland
You have been to Oz. You have been to Middle-Earth. Now it’s time for you to fall into the rabbit hole to enter the curious, fascinating, and marvelous world of Wonderland.
Join Alice in her adventure as she meets some of the most bizarre and loved characters in the history of best fantasy movies – Mad Hatter, March Hare, the Blue Caterpillar, Cheshire Cat, and the Queen of Hearts.
The animated version by Disney is the most loved version, but for a delightful portrayal of the Mad Hatter by Johnny Depp, watch the 2010 and 2016 versions of the Lewis Carroll books.
2.25) The Harry Potter Series
How can you even imagine a list of best fantasy movies without the most magical and beloved book-to-movie adaptation of all time?
Enter the wizarding world of Hogwarts and go on a timeless classic adventure with the orphaned wizard Harry Potter and his friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger.
There are no other movies that have remained true to the original works and with some improved changes as well. There are some flaws, but you still love this precious movie that shaped an entire generation’s childhood.
The entire franchise of eight movies, starting from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and concluding with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, deserves to be ranked among the best fantasy movies ever made
3. Special Mentions
The world of delightful and best fantasy movies is vast and never-ending.
So if you are already familiar with the ones on the list or need a few more to watch, read on to find out some more of the best fantasy movies ever made.
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
- Vampire Academy
- Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
- Rise of the Guardians
- Fantastic Four
- Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
- Into the Woods
- The Chronicles of Narnia series
- The Twilight Saga
- Spirited Away
- The School for Good and Evil
Many of the films got their fantastical tales from books and converted them into the best examples of world cinema.
So if you love the film adaptation and are a book lover, make sure to give this novel a read as well.
Click Here: 32 Best Marvel Movies Ranked By The Audience
There is no better escape or distraction from the real world than venturing into the lands of the most loved magical books or best fantasy movies.
Get ready to enter a unique world – sometimes terrible, sometimes wonderful, but always magical. Go on an adventure with witches, wizards, dragons, and fairies, and be part of your favorite story.
So curl up with your favorite supernatural read, grab a bowl of popcorn, and binge-watch the best fantasy movies ever made.
Check out more articles; Best Heist Movies
Verified Content by Experts
USA Tales has content written by niche experts, travelers, students, and those with real-life experience. Our content is also periodically reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure content accuracy and relevancy. Have a question? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org