If you haven’t seen this one, then rush out and buy it. Not even kidding. Cary Elwes stars as Wesley, the farm boy who is in love with Princess Buttercup, played by Robin Wright. Problem is, Wesley went on a ship and got attacked by the Dread Pirate Roberts and she heard that he was dead. So, she agreed to marry Prince Humperdinck, although she promised herself to never love again. Love, Swords, horses, giants, death, dungeons, haunted forests! What more could you want!?
Directed by Ron Howard and written and produced by George Lucas. Starring Warwick Davis as Willow and Val Kilmer as Madmartigan (and many other fantastic actors you may have seen in other movies).
There have been many fantasy movies featuring little people since Willow, like Lord of the Rings and Snow White and the Huntsman, but none of them feature the actual little people who play the Dwarves or Hobbits, etc... Yet, in Willow, Warwick Davis plays Willow both when he is facing away from the camera, AND when he’s facing it. Warwick Davis is the star of this movie AS a little person. No movie has done this since Willow. This also true for the village scene where all the little people are played by little people. This is the largest gathering of actual little people in cinema history, this was true before Lord of the Rings, and still probably true afterwards.
Willow also set cinema history by having the first morphing scene. Oh yeah, and it’s a freekin’ awesome fantasy movie.
Side note: the romance between Val Kilmer and Joanne Whalley (who played Sorsha) is real in this movie, they actually ended up getting married.
Princess Mononoke isn’t as old as these other movies, but it isn’t that new either and it definitely has the same feel as these classic fantasy films.
Don’t be scared away by the fact that this is an animated film, it’s pretty dang hard core and with voice actors like Mini Drive, Billy Bob Thornton, Clair Danes, Jada Pinkett Smith and Gillian Anderson, you can’t go wrong. The story is very solid, this is a Miyazaki film, the same guy who did Spirited Away, Ponyo, and My Neighbor Totoro, Howl’s Moving Castle, and Kiki’s Delivery Service. All these are great, but in my opinion, Princess Mononoke is his best.
Lady Hawk stars Rutger Hauer, Matthew Broderick and Michelle Pfeiffer. This is definitely a classic fantasy flick, that you’ve probably never heard of. There is a twist to this story that I won’t give away, but I fully recommend it. This is also one of the only fantasy movies with a Christian, moral message. What’s also quite interesting is that unlick most movies, there are Christians that actually love God and talk to him, and others who say they are Christian...but are pretty dang evil and use religion as a weapon of power. Very good story, with a good mixture of comedy, drama and fantasy action. Classic.
This is an early movie with Tom Cruise (who was only 23 when he made Legend, but he looks like he’s about 13). Legend is about some magical unicorns and Darkness (which is obviously the devil), played by Tim Curry (best freekin’ Devil ever), wants to kill them so darkness can reign forever. Mia Sara plays a princess captured by Darkness, you might remember her from Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Original theatrical music by Tangerine Dream, and, OH yeah, and it’s directed by Ridley Scott. Pick this one up quick.
Never Ending Story
In spite of Homer’s lawsuit, the movie actually ends. Please, for all that is good and holy, do not try the sequels, just pretend, like most movies, that the first one is the only one that exists. This is downright a classic. Lot’s of great special effects, really good storytelling and fun plays with breaking the fourth wall. One of the only movies that is conscious of the fact that it’s being watched. Pretty trippy. Sidenote: not gonna lie, when I was a kid, I had a thing for the princess.
Modernized Fairy Tales
Snow White: A Tale of Terror
I actually hope for more creepy ass versions of fairy tales like this, definitely meant to be a horror movie, NOT one for the kidos.. Sigourney Weaver does a really good job at being the wicked stepmother/witch. Sam Neil...well, he’s Sam Neil. Worth a watch if you can find it, it might be on Netflix.
Red Riding Hood
From the same people who brought us Twilight...only stupider. I didn’t see it, I don’t plan to. But I heard there was a werewolf. There, I ruined it for you.
Alice in Wonderland (Tim Burton)
Eh...it was ok. Definitely...Burtony, and Johnny Depp...y. Just strange...honestly, I prefer the original with Gene Wilder.
No, it’s not a movie, but it’s definitely a modern retelling of some of our old favorite fairy tales. If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out on Hulu. It’s not perfect, but it’s definitely fun. This is one of those shows that has a decent story arc that runs throughout the seasons, but has a short story that’s tightened up by the end of one episode. Check it out if you’re looking for a good show to watch.
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