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.