Let’s talk about fantasy movies and T.V. Shows today.
Fantasy as a genre is so fundamental to storytelling, whether it be through the screen or through books that you simply cannot imagine stories without it. It is probably one of the first story genres most of us are exposed to. ( Remember Cinderella? Snow White? Peter Pan?) Fairy Tales, myths, legends and whatnot; they’re all fantasies at their core. If you think about it, every single book or movie fulfils some specific fantasy; provides some escape. That is why we love stories in the first place, humans adore escapism! (Stop all research, I’ve figured it out! )
Fantasy is officially defined as a genre of imaginative fiction involving magic and adventure, especially in a setting other than the real world. Imagination, magic, adventure AND a different world? Kid me is already losing her mind(and not gonna lie, adult me is not much different, just better at hiding it.) It’s not hard to see why fantasy as a genre has not only, persisted but thrived through the ages. It may be escapism, but for most of us, it is like coming back home.
So, instead of going on and on about the obvious things we all get, I will jump right into my current top 5 fantasy recommendations, in no particular order, across movies and TV Shows. As always if you do end up giving any of them a shot please do tell me. (You can comment on my blog, email me or contact me @musingsofwhimsicalsoul on Instagram) I would love to hear from you!
Also, a disclaimer, before we jump into the list: Though, for many of these stories the problematic aspects of both the stories and the creators are now widely recognised, just for today we live in a ‘fantasy’ world where all the people are wonderful and unproblematic, to be on theme.
THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA SERIES
The Narnia movies are a childhood favourite, for me as well as a lot of people who grew up in the 2000s. For the unaware, they are a series of movies based on C.S Lewis’ novels by the same name. Three movies came out over 2005-2010 with the story being primarily about the four Pevensie children and their adventures in the magical, mystical world of Narnia. With a pretty stellar cast, it is the perfect fantasy series for children as well as fantasy novices; it is simple enough to understand yet magical enough to escape into.
THE HARRY POTTER SERIES
Who doesn’t know about the massive cultural phenomenon that was and is the Harry Potter series? The 8 movies based on the 7 novels by J.K. Rowling, were a defining era for not only fantasy as a genre but for movies and fiction as a whole. It was the first fantasy series I invested completely into and I also grew up with Harry Potter and his adventures at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It also has an exceptional cast and remains the most beloved and popular fantasy movie series.
THE LORD OF THE RINGS SERIES
The Lord of The Rings trilogy is probably the one that shows the grandeur of the fantasy genre the best in this list. It is an epic adventure saga, based on the eponymous novels by J. R.R Tolkein, considered the father of modern fantasy. It features an ensemble cast and is set in the fictional world of Middle-earth, following the hobbit Frodo Baggins as he and the Fellowship embark on a quest to destroy the all-powerful One Ring. I love Lord of The Rings but I’d recommend giving it a watch after the simpler fantasies just because it is a bit complicated but SO intelligent and worth it. It is an adaptation made with love, and for someone who couldn’t even finish the books(Sorry, I was so little and there were so many nature descriptions, there is only so much about trees a 10-year-old can take) everything fantasy should aspire towards.
THE GAME OF THRONES
A cultural phenomenon and television’s answer to high fantasy, the eight season drama was based on the “A Song of Ice and Fire” books by George R.R Martin. Featuring a huge ensemble cast, it marries together politics and magic in a near-perfect result. It was a very defining series in television and for many years had people on the edge of their seats. I would be remiss to not mention that yes, the conclusion is uh, disappointing, for lack of a better word, but the first few seasons are truly the best of fantasy TV and make the show a worthwhile watch.
SHADOW AND BONE
The latest offering on this list, Shadow and Bone came out on Netflix in 2021 and is based on Leigh Bardugo’s two series of books in the Grishaverse: the Shadow and Bone trilogy and Six of Crows duology. It is very classic young adult fiction; a young soldier discovers she has mysterious powers that can change the world, a country in turmoil, a group of people who can do “magic” and the chaos all that brings. I loved the series and already look forward to the next season. If you’re into teen/YA fiction, its the perfect fantasy series for you, I highly recommend it. (Also it has Ben Barnes in it, in case you need the push!)
THIS POST’S QUESTION: What is your Top 5 list of fantasy recommendations? Comment below with what you think about it, I’d love to hear from you!