7. Willow

Ron Howard (who directed) and George Lucas (who came up v the story; Lucasfilm’s ILM also worked on the film’s then-groundbreaking unique effects) rejoined 15 year after American Graffiti for this fable around a baby with a an extremely important destiny and also the people and magical creatures who step up to assist her. The title character is an unlikely hero, a bumbling magician played by Warwick Davis (whose best-known prior role was under furry costuming as wicket the Ewok in Return that the Jedi). His quest to supply the infant to safety and security sees that cross courses with every manner of vivid characters: brownies, trolls, fairies, a rakish warrior (Val Kilmer, post-Top Gun), and also multiple sorcerers, including an evil queen played by Jean Marsh—who likewise portrayed an angry witch in Return to Oz (more on the movie below).


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6. The Princess Bride

You’ve probably already seen rob Reiner’s lover 1987 classic, adapted by william Goldman indigenous his novel, about one zillion times. The Princess Bride—starring cary Elwes and Robin Wright—is conveniently one of the most quotable movies ever before made, and also is so instantly recognizable (even 30-plus year after its early release) that its structure story to be repurposed for one more in last year’s PG-13 re-do the Deadpool 2. Yet we feared gift tossed in the Pit that Despair if we didn’t include The Princess Bride ~ above this very genre-specific list.

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5. Legend

Legend is a movie precious revisiting every few years simply to remind yourself the it exists. Yes, in 1985 Ridley Scott make a dark (yet sorta campy) fantasy tale starring a post-Risky Business (but pre-Top Gun) Tom Cruise together a forest-dwelling scamp who romances a princess (Mia Sara from Ferris Bueller’s job Off).


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Yes, Princess Lili foolishly, albeit rather understandably, seizes the opportunity to pet a unicorn. Who wouldn’t? Yes, that forbidden plot sets a chain of dreadful things in motion, at least “awful” in the paper definition of Legend, since Tim Curry’s performance together the lord of Darkness—a deeply angry character who tempts Lili v a super-goth, wonder dancing dress!—is a majestic wonder, helped along by the wizardry the special results make-up grasp Rob Bottin.


4. The secret of NIMH

After animator Don Bluth left Disney, wherein he’d operated on films like Robin Hood, The Rescuers, and Pete’s Dragon, he collection up his very own studio and got to work-related on this 1982 adaptation of lovely children’s publication Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (in the movie, the main character was renamed “Mrs. Brisby” to stop legal entanglements with the machines of “Frisbee” toys).


The tale—about a widowed ar mouse desperate to save her children safe from the numerous cruelties the the world (illness, farm machinery, cats), and also the super-smart rats (and various other assorted creatures) who assist her—is together action-packed as it is tearjerking, and the voice actors has part surprising entries. Amongst the large names like Derek Jacobi and also John Carradine, you’ll also hear a pair of child actors named Wil Wheaton and also Shannen Doherty.


3. Return to Oz

The sole feature film directed by famous editor Walter Murch, 1985's Return to Oz to be a little misunderstood at the time of the release—but has since become a cult favorite, many thanks in no small part to the wondrously creepy, Oscar-nominated intuitive effects. An 11-year-old Fairuza Balk (who would go ~ above to lead The Craft) stars together Dorothy, whose life has actually gotten exceptionally bleak because the occasions of the an initial film (the most obvious audience recommendation point, despite Return to Oz takes its cues indigenous L. Open minded Baum’s Oz books rather than the 1939 movie; ain’t no to sing in this one). The household farm has been in struggle mode due to the fact that the tornado six months prior, and also so has Dorothy, who can’t sleep with the night or prevent blabbing around Oz.


When Auntie Em (Piper Laurie the Carrie and also Twin Peaks fame) decides to authorize her up for shock treatment, Dorothy escapes and ends up back in Oz, however it’s no the Technicolor dream human being she remembers; every her friends room either missing or have actually been turned come stone, thanks to a sinister brand-new regime that has allowed the Emerald City to slide into ruin. Fortunately, Dorothy renders some fantastical brand-new allies—mostly depicted by complex puppets, including a loquacious chicken that tags along from Kansas. Yes sir a particular amount of whimsy in Return to Oz, but it come wrapped in a blanket of despair and darkness, which only makes it an ext timeless. Mustachioed mechanical male Tik-Tok, who’s fond of speak things favor “I have constantly valued mine lifelessness,” is a forever mood.

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2. Labyrinth

Labyrinth has a the majority of shared DNA with other movies on this list—it’s directed by Jim Henson, executive produced by George Lucas, and also fantasy artist Brian Froud (who additionally worked top top The Dark Crystal) created the conceptual designs. (What’s more, Froud’s son, future Age that Resistance design supervisor Toby, likewise played “the babe” in the movie; you have the right to read much more about the below.)


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The puppet characters are as remarkable as all that behind-the-scenes talent would have you believe, as is the production design, however Labyrinth’s human characters are additionally exceptional—Jennifer Connelly as Sarah, together the angsty teenager fairy-tale fanatic who easily regrets wishing her small brother away into a fantasy land, and of course David Bowie as the gloriously-maned Jareth, the Goblin King. Bowie additionally recorded several songs for the film, consisting of eternal tear-the-club-up fantasy jam “Magic Dance.”


1. The Dark Crystal

This one’s obvious, yet if, somehow, the hype end Netflix’s lavish prequel hasn’t yet tempted you come revisit Jim Henson and Frank Oz’s 1982 initial film, what room you waiting for? It’s together intricate and terrifying together you remember, v amazingly well-realized civilization building and puppets that may be several generations behind the Netflix series—but are no much less eerie and expressive.