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The Place Of Fantasy-Based Films In The Film Industry


Fantasy-based films are very appreciated by some of the public audience. The themes of fantasy-based films are considered as very interesting for a large number of public, if we are looking at the audience of certain science fiction movies.


Themes of fantasy-based films

There are many themes that are met very often in fantasy-based films. Most of these themes are closely related to reality, but of course that they are exaggerated. Besides of the exaggeration, there are many themes that are trying to induce some elements of the pseudo-science and occult practices or mysticism. Aliens’ invasion is one theme that is very often seen in the fantasy-based films. Other themes that are frequently the subject of science fiction movies include biotechnology, mind control, monster invasion, Earth destruction as consequences of different natural disasters such as an asteroid impact, severe climate change or global pandemics, and supernatural powers. Many of these themes are introducing negative characters and roles for bad heroes. Due to this fantasy-based films’ directors had tried to introduce also positive superheroes that could save the Earth and human race for extinction.


The fantasy films and their success in the film industry

The film industry is a hard scene where every director and actor tries to impress and gain publicity. Based on public appreciation and demand movies enrich actors and film’s directors. Fantasy films are not an exception. There are awards that are specific for fantasy film in the movies industry. The most important award is the “Saturn Award” and during the years it was won by a large number of science fiction films such as “The Golden Voyage of Sinbad” (1973), “Somewhere in Time” (1980), “The Boy Who Could Fly” (1986), “The Nightmare before Christmas” (1993), “Dragonheart” (1996), “Frequency” (2000) and more recently movies like “Batman Begins” (2005), “Alice in Wonderland” (2010), “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” (2014) and “Cinderella” (2015).


The role of computer techniques in the film industry

In the past, the fantasy films were lacking in special effects due to the limitation of cinematographic techniques that were available in those times. But recently the computer techniques are a real golden mine for fantasy movies. Using computer in the film industry, and especially in the fantasy genre, is extremely important for public appreciation. The last fantasy films gained the public audience and these recent science fiction movies are more appreciated and viewed. For example, movies such as “The Lord of the Rings”, “Harry Poter” or “Pirates of the Caribbean”, which are fantasy movies series, are extremely well received by the public and critics. These recent science fiction movies had a great commercial success, but also, a financial success.


Even if at the beginnings fantasy-based movies were less appreciated due to their quality, nowadays we may observe a growing of the interest of the general public and critics in this genre of the film industry. Larger budgets for fantasy films and high technology that is used in filming are two reasons for this interest growing.

A New Era In Fantasy-Based Films – The Period After The 1990s

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First fantasy-based films were made at the end of the 1800s, in 1899. First fantasy movies were silent movies and gray scale colors. The progress in cinematography changed fantasy movies into full color films and introduced also sound. After the 1990s, a new era begins in the domain of fantasy films.


What has changed in the fantasy movies after 1990?

The new information and computational progress that happened in our society started to be used also in fantasy movies after the 1990. Common subjects such as people robotics, alien invasions or huge natural disasters that will be expected to happen soon, all of these were subjects of science fiction films. Because the public audience was waiting for positive heroes to save the planet for previously mentioned bad heroes and events, there was made fantasy-based movies having as main character superheroes.


All the special effects that we have seen after the year of 1990 in science fiction movies were based on computer science and techniques associated with this new progress of technology all over the world. If we come closer to our days, fantasy movies include subjects like bio-chemical attacks, cloning theory, large nuclear wars, Earth demolition, living on Mars or mind control. Most of these fantasy movies that are filmed nowadays, most of them after the year of 2000, are based on real scientific discoveries, but of course with an important exaggeration degree of these discoveries. Without exaggeration, we will not be able to speak about fantasy movies.


Fantasy movies that appeared after 1990

After the year of 1990, there were filmed more than 110 science fictions or fantasy movies. For sure that many of them we have seen. Many of them gained our appreciation. In the 1990s, some of the most important fantasy films titles are “Groundhog Day” (1993), “Star Trek Generations” (1994), “Jumanji” (1995) and “Toy Story” (1995). After 2000, there was a boom in the fantasy film industry. We have not enough space here, but we will mention just the most important science fiction movies: “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” (2000), “The Brothers Grimm” (2005), “King Kong” (2005), “Race to Witch Mountain” (2009), “Where the Wild Things Are” (2009) and “Dorian Gray” (2009).


After the year of 2010 we are coming close to our days and for sure that you will find many movies that you have already seen in the following list of fantasy films: “Gulliver’s Travels” (2010) “The Muppets” (2011), “Paddington” (2014), “Goosebumps” (2015), “Crimson Peak” (2015) and “The Jungle Book” (2016).

There were also several fantasy series films such as “Pirates of the Caribbean” that was released in 2003, 2006, 2007 and 2011, “Alvin & the Chipmunks”, a fantasy film that was on screen in 2007, 2009 and 2011, or “The Chronicles of Narnia”, which had three appearances, in 2005, 2008 and 2010.


We hope that you find in this short presentation some of your favourite’s fantasy-based movies. We are sure that we help some of you to remind your childhood with these films. We are impatient to see which the new fantasy films that will be released in the following years are.

Fantasy-Based Films Before The 1990s


Fantasy films are considered to be very interesting for an important number of movie lovers. Most of fantasy films are based on novels and fantasy stories. The history of this genre of films started at the ends of the 1800s, in the year of 1899.


The first fantasy film

Georges Méliès is considered as one of the first directors of fantasy movies. “Cinderella” (1899) is the first fantasy movie in the world. Georges Méliès has other fantasy films of the beginnings of the 1900s, such as “The Infernal Boiling Pot” (1903) and “The Impossible Voyage” (1904). Other fantasy films that appeared in the first period of this genre include films that were under the signature of Douglas Fairbanks, such as “Destiny” (1921) and “The Thief of Bagdad (1924)”. Fritz Lang is another important film director in the fantasy genre. He has titles like “Der müde Tod” (1921), “Die Nibelungen: Siegfried” (1924) or “Die Nibelungen: Kriemhilds Rache” (1924).

Fantasy films in the period 30’s and 60’s

Most of the movies until 1930 were silent movies. After 1930, the sound was introduced into the movies and fantasy films were more appreciated by the public. “The Wizard of Oz” (1939) was one of the greatest movies in that period, which is the opera of Victor Fleming. Other great movies in the 1930s were “Death Takes a Holiday” (1934), “The New Gulliver” (1935), “Wish upon a Pike” (1938) and “Vasilisa the Beautiful” (1939), the last two being the opera of Aleksandr Rou.


Starting from the 1940s a new element was added to fantasy films – the full color images. Great fantasy-based films were “Jungle Book” (1942), “Beauty and the Beast” (1946), “Down to Earth” (1947), “Alice in Wonderland” (1949), “Beauty and the Devil” (1950), “Peter Pan” (1953), “The Pied Piper of Hamelin” (1957), “Journey to the Center of the Earth” (1959) and “Sleeping Beauty” (1959). The 1960s were dominated by fantasy movies that are mainly based on the sword and sandal. Some of the most interesting movies of this period include “The Devil’s Eye” (1960), “The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm” (1962), “De-aș fi…Harap Alb” (1965) and “Asterix and Cleopatra” (1968).

Fantasy-based films in the period 1970-1990

Movies in the fantasy genre that was made in the 1970s were based on many of them on the Arthurian legend. In the 1980s, the Arthurian characteristics were still present in fantasy movies. We will mention some of the most important fantasy movies in the period between 1970 and 1990. We remind you here movies such as “The Golden Voyage of Sinbad” (1974), “The Twelve Tasks of Asterix” (1976) and “Heaven Can Wait” (1978), “Return of the King” (1980), “Excalibur” (1981), “The Sword and the Sorcerer” (1982), “Thor the Conqueror” (1983), “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen” (1988).


Most of the movies that were mentioned above are based on supernatural power, mythology or are coming from the popular folklore. We are sure that some of you have seen part of these movies that was before the 1990s. Those of you that are younger missed them, but you can try to find them and compare with modern fantasy-based films.

Top 10 Family-Friendly Fantasy Films of All Time


If fantasy is “your” genre, you probably know just how many fantasy films there are that give the genre a bad rap. You also probably know just how many films make the genre really rock. What you may be struggling to find is a family-appropriate movie to watch with kids who love the genre. With that in mind, here are the top 10 family-friendly fantasy films of all time.

The Harry Potter Series
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It’s hard to pick a favorite from the series, so we’re just going with the whole series. If you ever want a fantasy fiction story, pick up the books before watching the movies. The great visuals, (mostly) great acting, and a rockin’ story line make this #1 on our list of best fantasy films.

Star Wars

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Once again, we can’t pick a favorite (actually, we can’t agree on a favorite). The entire Star Wars franchise has amassed more of a following that any other “fandom” in history. Starting with Episode 4, 5, and 6, these movies have a unique flow that no other fantasy film has matched. The story line continues to this day, with five new films in the works to add to our #2 spot.

The Matrix Series

Do you want the blue pill or the red pill? No other movie on this list has more influence on pop culture, from the famous slow-mo shooting scene, to the discuss Neo has with Morpheus about living in the Matrix. If you’re in the mood for a mind bender, check out the entire series, which is #3 on our list.

The Lord of the Rings Series

Hobbits, elves, wizards, dragons. What’s not to like?


The late David Bowie stars in this film that makes all of us scared of the Goblin King. The visuals were especially great in the 80’s, and it’s become a cult classic.

The Princess Bride

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The Dread Pirate Roberts tries to kidnap the princess, only for the princess to discover she has found her long-lost love. Lots of one-liners and comedy make this a fan favorite for sure.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

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Charlie gets the Golden Ticket, and wins over Wonka’s factory. Tons of “magical happenings” inside the factory, coupled with quirky music. What’s not to like?


Pirates of the Caribbean Series

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Johnny Depp and his character, Captain Jack Sparrow, make it hard to not love this series. Lots of adventure, comedy, action, and Johnny Depp. Definitely fun for the whole family.


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A little boy saves ET, the extra-terrestrial, after being left by his spaceship in the woods. The boy and his sister hide ET from their mother, and eventually the authorities. Emotional and targeted to youth, this is a great pick.

The Chronicles of Narnia

This series of seven books is a great set to read with your kids prior to watching. The newest installments of the book are still being made, making it a fun theater-going experience for the whole family.

What’s the Difference Between Scifi and Fantasy?

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If you’re a fan of fiction in general, and movies that are not based in our current reality, you probably lump science fiction (scifi) and fantasy into one lump genre. Of course, there’s not really anything wrong with that, but there are a couple of differences you should be aware of.

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For one, the science fiction genre is based on some sort of scientific advancement based in our current reality (or a future reality). We see this in movies like 2001: A Space Odyssey or The Matrix. Of course, these have marks of fantasy, but they are built on the idea that science advances or something happens to alter current reality.


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Generally, these movies and books are much more based in general non-reality. For example, no amount of science will bring about Harry Potter style changes to the world – magic is still magic. Fantasy films like Pirates of the Caribbean, Edward Scissorhands, and others are just solely based in a fiction world that may mimic aspects of our own, but not all of them.

When SciFi and Fantasy Collide

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Of course, it’s quite possible for science fiction and fantasy to mix, as we see in movies like Avatar, Tron, The Matrix, The Hunger Games, Elysium, and others. Essentially, these films are somewhat based in science, with aspects of the surreal or magical involved. These are often the “favorites” in many fan opinions, with just enough of a storyline based in our current reality to make it slightly feasible. After all, we’re just seeking a relatable story line in any book or movie we consume.

When SciFi and Fantasy Don’t Mix

Most of the “most hated” scifi and fantasy movies are the ones involving comic book characters, who are either scientifically enhanced, or who are born with innate super powers. In most movies, the science and the magical combine poorly, making it hard to believe and harder to understand. Fantastic Four, Terminator, Transformers, and pretty much anything involving time travel is guaranteed to get a bad review by viewers.

Which is Better?

The problem with the scifi/fantasy debate is that people often think one is better than the other. In reality, they’re both pretty great (in our humble opinions). It just depends on personal taste. If you like a little more science in your fiction, scifi is obviously more for you. If you’re really into magic and you don’t need a real explanation or source for it, then fantasy is more for you. The real issue comes when you combine the two (which most movies have to do). Nothing in a movie can ever be entirely explained by science, but you also can’t accept an entirely new reality. The best script writers and movie producers know that they can toe the line and create a fan favorite, one that will generate a lot of support and money for years to come. Look at how successful Star Wars and other franchises are!

The Scariest Fantasy Films for the Horror Fan


Do you want to watch a fantasy film, but also want to get a little scared? There are a few films that really suck at scaring you, and there are other movies that really rock at scaring you. If you’re ready to get your scare on, here are 10 horror fantasy films to rent tonight.

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While it’s mostly scifi, this film has withstood the “horror movie test of time,” still scaring people nearly 3 generations later. What’s scarier than being stuck on a spaceship with killer aliens? Not much.


Yes, it’s a Halloween staple, and may not seem that scary from the outside. What’s so scary about a little dead dude coming to bother you when you say his name three times? Watch the movie, and you’ll find out.

The Terminator

Arnold Schwarzenneger’s accent is enough to scare most people. This film is about a cyborg who targets a woman whose son will start “a war against the machines,” which naturally the cyborg wants to prevent. The scary parts are when the cyborg just won’t die.

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Who would have thought that cute little mogwai would turn out to be so scary if you feed them after midnight? Watch it, but be prepared to maybe hide under the covers or jump a couple of times.

The Night of the Living Dead

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While the original may no longer scare you with visuals, the idea is absolutely terrifying. Consider being trapped in a house as literally an entire army of the dead is trying to get you.


This late ‘80’s horror hit is probably not as scary as it was nearly 3 decades ago, but it sure started the horror movie trend towards the really gory and graphic. If you’re settled in for the night, watch the movie and figure out why nobody wants to build on an Indian burial ground anymore.

Child’s Play

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What’s more fantastical than a kid’s doll coming to life? What’s more terrifying than a kid’s doll coming to life and try to kill you. “Chucky wants to play” will haunt your dreams, and you’ll never look at dolls the same.

Interview with a Vampire

Based on Anne Rice’s books The Vampire Chronicles, this movie stars Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise (so how can you lose?), and tons of other creepy vampires on the hunt in post-Civil War era Louisiana. Be prepared to be enthralled and terrified all at the same time.

Evil Dead

This recent remake of a classic will have you screaming! This is a “cult classic” that many people enjoy re-watching, but once is enough for most people. Watch with the lights on, or you’ll have nightmares! (You’ll probably have nightmares anyways.)

Paranormal Activity

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While these movies are shot in a “reality TV” way, the story lines are quite obviously fantasy. However, try telling yourself that when you’re stuck having nightmares about getting dragged into your attic by the poltergeist who haunts your house.

Top 8 Fantasy Films We Want to Live In  


Sometimes, you see a movie and think, “Wow, I wish I lived in that world!” Some people go a little crazy and actually try to think they’re living in that world. But no matter how many times you watch a movie, we promise you: you’re not crazy. Once you start thinking magic works in this world, though, we’re going to have to intervene. Here is our list of the top 7 movies that will make you wish magic really did work.

Harry Potter

This one is a big “duh.” Of course everyone wants to live in Harry Potter’s world- except maybe when Voldemort was a big deal. Magic, flying creatures, flying brooms, cool places to visit unseen by the Muggle eye. What’s not to like?

Star Wars

For some reason, people really like the idea of living in the Star Wars “Galactic Empire.” If political disunity, wars, and entire planets exploding appeals to you, this is probably the reality for you. Also, they do have pretty sweet light sabers, and robots that help you out of tight binds.

The Lord of the Rings

Fantastical worlds that are nothing like our own, creatures that we’ve never even imagined, and epic journeys that involve hero’s quests all make the Lord of the Rings one of our top films we wish we could live in. We might just want to take out the little bit where the ring controls you and turns you into Gollum.

Jurassic Park

Aside from homicidal, meat-eating dinosaurs, the idea of Jurassic Park is one that appeals to the masses. Who doesn’t want to run with the dinosaurs, see how they interacted, and relive a time that came millions of years before humans? Just make sure you double check to make sure the cages are locked.

The Chronicles of Narnia

Sure, there are scary parts like wars and the Evil Snow Queen, but that’s nothing you can’t overcome with a little hard work. Centaurs, talking animals, and a sweet lion as your mentor would make for a really cool story on this side of the wardrobe.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

As long as you’re Charlie, Willy, or the Oompah-loompahs, the chocolate factory would be a pretty sweet place to live. Unlimited candy, contraptions, and shenanigans to get into.

Indiana Jones

While there’s plenty of danger and intrigue involved in the escapades of Indiana Jones, it’s hard to argue that he lives a pretty cool life. Tons of treasure, beautiful women, and an exciting job. Plus you get to solve puzzles, escape mazes, and beat the bad guy. Who doesn’t want to be Indiana Jones?

Star Trek

These movies are the epitome of awesome space travel. While there’s always some threat to galaxy that the Starship Enterprise has to handle, there are tons of adventures that you just can’t have in this world (or dimension). Space nerds all agree: Life on Captain Kirk’s spaceship would be pretty cool.

Five Best Standalone Fantasy Films

Often times, fantasy films come in series. If you’re not a fan of series, or don’t have that amount of time to commit, you may be asking yourself what movie you should rent or buy that doesn’t have a series/prequel/trilogy involved. Luckily for you, there are a few, and we’ve compiled the best ones right here for you.

The Princess Bride  

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Many people consider this to be a “kid’s movie,” but that’s just not true. This movie has it all: great humor, well-known actors, sarcasm, action, and a love story for the ages. The best part? It begins and ends in this one movie that has not been added to, redone, or anything else. If you’re wondering where famous quotes like, “My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father. Prepare to die” came from, take the time to watch The Princess Bride. You won’t be sorry.


You’re probably sensing a theme here and wondering when we’ll stop covering the “kid’s movies,” but you’ll just have to trust us. Labyrinth is about a deal made with the Goblin King to save a girl’s brother after she wishes he were gone. David Bowie plays the Goblin King, so really, how can you lose? This movie has it all, singing, excitement, and of course the happily ever after (maybe).

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Technically, this movie should not be on this list, as they did in fact make a Goonies 2, but do everyone a favor and don’t watch it. It was truly terrible. Stick to the first (and best) movie, Goonies. Yes, yes, it’s a “kid’s movie,” but there’s plenty of adult references, funny jokes, and exciting action to keep even your boring adult brain intrigued. A group of kids find a treasure map, and proceed to follow the directions on the map to race a group of evildoers to the jackpot. It’s fun, it’s sort of scary, and it’s a nice trip back to your youth. Plus you can do the Truffle Shuffle later.

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Yep, we did it again. OK, so we love “kid movies,” can you blame us? This one is about a small extraterrestrial found by a young boy. He takes him home (because what else would you do with an alien you found in the woods) and attempts to keep the alien quiet so no one finds out. Of course, people find out, and the little boy has to help “E.T. phone home.” Surprisingly funny and emotional, you really have to watch it. Steven Spielberg wrote and directed the movie, so you have to watch it.

Edward Scissorhands

This one is not really appropriate for young children, so it’s not technically a “kid movie.” (You’re welcome.) This one is about a human/machine hybrid who has scissors for hands (duh), and how he is forced into the normal human world after the death of his creator. It’s dark, it’s funny, and then it’s dark again. You’ll be feeling things you didn’t think you’d feel for such a creepy character. Thanks, Tim Burton.

10 Best Animated Fantasy Films


When you think of animated films, you probably think they are just movies for kids. You’re quite wrong- even adults can enjoy them just as much as kids do (and maybe even respect them more). If you’re an adult who has retired your animated movie collection, maybe it’s time to pull it out again. Or maybe this list will help you find a new favorite.

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It has fantasy in the name! Fantasia is a Disney animated musical film, basically using classic music set to unique animation to bring the tunes to life. This is also the first time that we saw Mickey Mouse with his wizard hat!

How to Train Your Dragon

This movie is more recent than a lot of the ones on this list, and for good reason. In a Viking-style village, a little boy named Hiccup finds a dragon and learns to train it. His fellow Vikings hunt and kill dragons, so you can see the dilemma. Get the tissues ready!


Another tearjerker, Up follows the story of an old man who is looking to check one more place off his bucket list after losing his wife. He befriends a small boy and a dog, and hilarity ensues (until the end, when you’ll cry your eyeballs out).

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Made by Studio Ghibli, Ponyo is the Japanese interpretation of Hans Christian Anderson’s original story of The Little Mermaid. This is no Disney movie, and it is entirely non-verbal, just a few grunts and giggles. You’ll love it, and its quirkiness, just like anything Ghibili produces.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

 images (16)This is a cult classic, usually pulled out between (you guessed it) Halloween and Christmas. Jack Skellington leaves Halloweentown and finds Christmasland, and tries to change things up between the two worlds. Burton’s world is equally dark and light as you fall in love with the characters, music, and visuals.

The Lego Movie

First, Legos are cool, and two, this is a screen-by-screen live animated film. Consider how long it takes to film a movie by moving Lego pieces around!

Inside Out

 You remember all of those emotions you didn’t quite understand as a kid? Watch this movie bring those emotions to life, and put a face to complex ideas such as long-term memory and pillars of personality.

Lion King

Everyone cries watching the Lion King, or you don’t have a heart. Just prepare for the cry fest, and bring tissues. You’ll also have a few tunes stuck in your head, but that’s cool.


This movie is chalk full of adult jokes and pop culture references that are sneaky enough to get to only the adults. If you’ve seen this movie as a kid, try watching it again now as an adult, and enjoy it on a whole new level.


Robin Williams is the voice of the genie, and the music is great. Take a trip back to childhood on a magic carpet ride; it’s a whole new world.

Why You Should Watch More Fantasy Movies


If you’re a total bore, you’re probably watching documentaries and old television series from the 90s instead of watching the latest and greatest in fantasy movie selection. We’re here to tell you to stop what you’re doing and start watching more fantasy movies. Why? Because they’re awesome! We also have a few more reasons for you:

Engage Your Brain
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Sure, documentaries are educational, but how much of that information do you really absorb, and how much of it is really true? When you watch fantasy movies, you’re actually expanding your imagination. Studies have shown that people with a greater imagination tend to be more intelligent, and actually have better and more unique ways of solving problems.

Culturally Rounded

Don’t you hate it when you’re the only person who doesn’t get a movie quote, pop culture reference, or anything cool at all? Don’t be that guy any more! Watch more fantasy movies and find new friends who understand all your movie references, and be the one guy/girl who laughs when someone else makes a reference. Friendships can be made, and you won’t be the odd man out.

Entertainment Value
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What would you rather watch: another documentary on the financial collapse or a movie about traveling to space to rescue Matt Damon (again)? Unless you’re dead inside, the answer is pretty obvious. Entertainment value on fantasy movies is through the roof. Even if you don’t end up liking the story line, you’re going to be engaged for the majority of the movie, as it’s funny, action-packed, and overall interesting enough to not put you to sleep.

Never Run Out of Material

There are only so many boring chick flicks you can watch, but fantasy is such a broad genre that you can literally pick up any movie in any style and never get bored because every movie is different in some way! Chick flicks all have one formula, so do documentaries. But fantasy movies always surprise you – different creatures, different worlds, different problems! Plus with thousands of movies that fall under the fantasy category, you won’t find yourself scraping the bottom of the barrel any time soon.

It’s Better Than Reality
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People watch movies and read books to escape reality. So why would you want to watch a movie that is set in this world, with problems similar to yours, and with characters that are freakily similar to you? That’s boring! Don’t be boring. Watch a movie about another world, with an entirely different set of problems, with an entirely different species as the main characters. You can even learn a new language (Elvish in Lord of the Rings, Klingon in Star Trek, or Gibberish in Gremlins). You can imagine what it would be like to live in the future, in the past, on a different planet, in a different body. The thing with fantasy is the choices are endless, and you don’t have to settle for ordinary.