Welcome to Rotten Tomatoes' compendium of cinema's best-reviewed tales of swords and sorcery, fire and ice, and dungeons and... well, you get the idea.
These enchanting selections were considered by weighted formula, factoring each film's Tomatometer, its number of reviews and release year. Movies with fantastical elements but set largely in the real world (i.e. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Groundhog Day) have been excluded.
And now you shall pass into the Best Fantasy Films countdown!
Adjusted Score: 88.626% ?
Critics Consensus: The warmth of traditional Disney animation makes this occasionally lightweight fairy-tale update a lively and captivating confection for the holidays.
Synopsis: Walt Disney Animation Studios presents the musical "The Princess and the Frog," an animated comedy set in the great city of New Orleans. From the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 87.336% ?
Critics Consensus: Those unfamiliar with Alejandro Jodorowsky's style may find it overwhelming, but Santa Sangre is a provocative psychedelic journey featuring the director's signature touches of violence, vulgarity, and an oddly personal moral center.
Synopsis: Circus horrors cross over into the mundane world in this terrifying, psychedelic film from Alejandro Jodorowsky, the man who brought you the infamous... [More]
Directed By: Alejandro Jodorowsky
Adjusted Score: 87.868% ?
Critics Consensus: Though perhaps more enchanting for younger audiences, Chamber of Secrets is nevertheless both darker and livelier than its predecessor, expanding and improving upon the first film's universe.
Synopsis: Youthful wizard Harry Potter returns to the screen in this, the second film adaptation of J.K. Rowling's wildly popular series of novels for young... [More]
Directed By: Chris Columbus
Adjusted Score: 88.25% ?
Critics Consensus: Bridge to Terabithia is a faithful adaptation of a beloved children's novel and a powerful portrayal of love, loss, and imagination through children's eyes.
Synopsis: "Bridge to Terabithia" is a fantasy/adventure story of friendship, family and the power of imagination Jess Aarons is an outsider at school and even... [More]
Directed By: Gabor Csupo
Adjusted Score: 95.52% ?
Critics Consensus: Beautifully animated, smartly written, and stocked with singalong songs, Frozen adds another worthy entry to the Disney canon.
Synopsis: Featuring the voices of Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel, "Frozen" is the coolest comedy-adventure ever to hit the big screen. When a prophecy traps a... [More]
Adjusted Score: 91.684% ?
Critics Consensus: Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet deftly combines horror, sci-fi, and humor in Delicatessen, a morbid comedy set in a visually ravishing futuristic dystopia.
Synopsis: A post-apocalyptic future becomes the setting for pitch black humor in this visually intricate French comedy. The action takes place within a single... [More]
Adjusted Score: 91.767% ?
Critics Consensus: Exquisitely illustrated by master animator Miyazaki, Howl's Moving Castle will delight children with its fantastical story and touch the hearts and minds of older viewers as well.
Synopsis: Hayao Miyazaki, the Japanese animation director who wowed audiences worldwide with his award-winning film Spirited Away, brings another visually... [More]
Adjusted Score: 92.022% ?
Critics Consensus: Dark, thrilling, and occasionally quite funny, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is also visually stunning and emotionally satisfying.
Synopsis: Adolescent wizard-in-training Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts for another year of schooling and learns more about the dark past of the boy who grew... [More]
Directed By: David Yates
Adjusted Score: 93.048% ?
Critics Consensus: Kung Fu Panda has a familiar message, but the pleasing mix of humor, swift martial arts action, and colorful animation makes for winning Summer entertainment.
Synopsis: A clumsy panda bear becomes an unlikely kung fu hero when a treacherous enemy spreads chaos throughout the countryside in this animated martial arts... [More]
Adjusted Score: 93.839% ?
Critics Consensus: While simultaneously embracing and subverting fairy tales, the irreverent Shrek also manages to tweak Disney's nose, provide a moral message to children, and offer viewers a funny, fast-paced ride.
Synopsis: Once upon a time, in a far away swamp, there lived an ornery ogre named Shrek whose precious solitude is suddenly shattered by an invasion of annoying... [More]
Adjusted Score: 93.907% ?
Critics Consensus: While far from Disney's greatest film, Tangled is a visually stunning, thoroughly entertaining addition to the studio's classic animated canon.
Synopsis: When the kingdom's most wanted-and most charming-bandit Flynn Rider hides out in a mysterious tower, he's taken hostage by Rapunzel, a beautiful and... [More]
Adjusted Score: 94.628% ?
Critics Consensus: Guillermo del Toro crafts a stellar comic book sequel, boasting visuals that are as imaginative as the characters are endearing.
Synopsis: Ron Perlman returns to the role of the big red BPRD agent in this sequel to 2004's Hellboy, directed once again by Guillermo del Toro and scripted as... [More]
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro
Adjusted Score: 94.835% ?
Critics Consensus: It may not be as fresh as the original, but topical humor and colorful secondary characters make Shrek 2 a winner in its own right.
Synopsis: After battling a fire-breathing dragon and the evil Lord Farquaad to win the hand of Princess Fiona, Shrek now faces his greatest challenge: the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 94.921% ?
Critics Consensus: Colorful, atmospheric, and infections, Black Orpheus takes an ancient tale and makes it fresh anew, thanks in part to its bewitching bossa nova soundtrack.
Synopsis: Black Orpheus (Orfeu Negro) is literally what its title suggests: a retelling of the "Orpheus and Eurydice" legend enacted by black performers. This... [More]
Directed By: Marcel Camus
Adjusted Score: 94.99% ?
Critics Consensus: Time Bandits is a remarkable time-travel fantasy from Terry Gilliam, who utilizes fantastic set design and homemade special effects to create a vivid, original universe.
Synopsis: A young boy joins a group of renegade dwarves on an unpredictable journey through time in this humorous fantasy. Monty Python animator Terry Gilliam... [More]
Directed By: Terry Gilliam
Adjusted Score: 95.07% ?
Critics Consensus: This Disney dreamscape contains moments of grandeur, with its lush colors, magical air, one of the most menacing villains in the Disney canon.
Synopsis: Disney produced this lavish animated fairy tale, the most expensive cartoon ever made up to its release with a budget of $6 million. When the young... [More]
Adjusted Score: 95.359% ?
Critics Consensus: The main characters are maturing, and the filmmakers are likewise improving on their craft; vibrant special effects and assured performances add up to what is the most complex yet of the Harry Potter films.
Synopsis: Directed by Mike Newell, the fourth installment to the Harry Potter series finds Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) wondering why his legendary scar -- the... [More]
Directed By: Mike Newell
Adjusted Score: 96.8% ?
Critics Consensus: Smartly written and beautiful to behold, Blancanieves uses its classic source material to offer a dark tale, delightfully told.
Synopsis: Once upon a time there was a little girl who had never known her mother. She learned the art of her father, a famous bullfighter, but was hated by her... [More]
Directed By: Pablo Berger
Adjusted Score: 96.486% ?
Critics Consensus: The Secret of NIMH is a dark, well-told tale that respects its young audience enough to not tone down its subject matter.
Synopsis: Frustrated with the Walt Disney studio's reluctance to produce full-length animated films, Don Bluth and a number of animators left the studio in the... [More]
Directed By: Don Bluth
Adjusted Score: 97.193% ?
Critics Consensus: With its epic story and breathtaking visuals, Princess Mononoke is a landmark in the world of animation.
Synopsis: Directed by renowned animator Hayao Miyazaki, this anime has broken a number of box office records in its native Japan. Essentially a statement on the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 96.826% ?
Critics Consensus: The arresting and dynamic visuals, offbeat details and light-as-air storytelling make James and the Giant Peach solid family entertainment.
Synopsis: A young boy's discovery of a gigantic peach triggers an eventful journey across the sea in this strikingly designed and surprisingly twisted animated... [More]
Directed By: Henry Selick
Adjusted Score: 97.062% ?
Critics Consensus: With its vivid stop-motion animation combined with Neil Gaiman's imaginative story, Coraline is a film that's both visually stunning and wondrously entertaining.
Synopsis: Coraline Jones is a girl of 11 who is feisty, curious, and adventurous beyond her years. She and her parents have just relocated from Michigan to... [More]
Directed By: Henry Selick
Adjusted Score: 97.219% ?
Critics Consensus: The Little Mermaid ushered in a new golden era for Disney animation with warm and charming hand-drawn characters and catchy musical sequences.
Synopsis: Disney's The Little Mermaid was the first in a series of blockbusters that restored the venerable firm's reputation as the world's premiere... [More]
Adjusted Score: 97.924% ?
Critics Consensus: Full of eye-popping special effects, and featuring a pitch-perfect cast, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring brings J.R.R. Tolkien's classic to vivid life.
Synopsis: Assisted by a Fellowship of heroes, Frodo Baggins plunges into a perilous trek to take the mystical One Ring to Mount Doom so that it and its magical... [More]
Adjusted Score: 97.759% ?
Critics Consensus: Visually lush, refreshingly free of family-friendly clatter, and anchored with soulful depth, The Secret World of Arrietty lives up to Studio Ghibli's reputation.
Synopsis: Arrietty (Bridgit Mendler), a tiny, but tenacious 14-year-old, lives with her parents (Will Arnett and Amy Poehler) in the recesses of a suburban... [More]
Directed By: Hiromasa Yonebayashi
Adjusted Score: 97.617% ?
Critics Consensus: Bursting with Terry Gilliam's typically imaginative flourishes, this story of a possibly deranged Baron recounting his storied life is a flamboyant and witty visual treat.
Synopsis: The tale of the enchanting adventures of Baron von Munchausen on his journey to save a town from defeat. Being swallowed by a giant sea-monster, a... [More]
Directed By: Terry Gilliam
Adjusted Score: 97.685% ?
Critics Consensus: Under the assured direction of Alfonso Cuaron, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban triumphantly strikes a delicate balance between technical wizardry and complex storytelling.
Synopsis: After directing the first two movies in the Harry Potter franchise, Chris Columbus opted to serve as producer for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of... [More]
Directed By: Alfonso Cuarón
Adjusted Score: 98.957% ?
Critics Consensus: It requires some viewing commitment, but this beautifully assembled showcase for Douglas Fairbanks' acting offers some splendid treats for classic film fans.
Synopsis: Douglas Fairbanks is at his most graceful and charismatic in one of the classic silent films of the 1920s. As the thief of Baghdad, his movements are... [More]
Directed By: Raoul Walsh
Adjusted Score: 98.036% ?
Critics Consensus: A smart re-imagining of fairy tale tropes that's sure to delight children and adults, Enchanted features witty dialogue, sharp animation, and a star turn by Amy Adams.
Synopsis: A classic Disney fairytale collides with modern-day New York City in a story about a fairytale princess from the past who is thrust into present-day... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Lima
Adjusted Score: 98.248% ?
Critics Consensus: A highly entertaining entry in Disney's renaissance era," Aladdin is beautifully drawn, with near-classic songs and a cast of scene-stealing characters.
Synopsis: Robin Williams's dizzying and hilarious voicing of the Genie is the main attraction of Aladdin, the third in the series of modern Disney animated... [More]
Adjusted Score: 99.085% ?
Critics Consensus: Don Chaffey's Jason and the Argonauts is an outlandish, transportive piece of nostalgia whose real star is the masterful stop-motion animation work of Ray Harryhausen.
Synopsis: Greek mythology is done up brown by the special-effects expertise of Ray Harryhausen in Jason and the Argonauts. Jason (Todd Armstrong), rightful heir... [More]
Directed By: Don Chaffey
Adjusted Score: 99.691% ?
Critics Consensus: Heavy with symbolism and deliberately paced, Orpheus may not be for everyone -- but as an example of Jean Cocteau's eccentric genius, it's all but impossible not to recommend.
Synopsis: Cinematic poet Jean Cocteau explored the myth of Orpheus on no fewer than three occasions: Le Sang d'Un Poete (Blood of a Poet, 1930), Orphee... [More]
Directed By: Jean Cocteau
Adjusted Score: 101.064% ?
Critics Consensus: Visually breathtaking and emotionally powerful, The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King is a moving and satisfying conclusion to a great trilogy.
Synopsis: The final battle for Middle-earth begins. Frodo and Sam, led by Gollum, continue their dangerous mission toward the fires of Mount Doom in order to... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.356% ?
Critics Consensus: Kiki's Delivery Service is a heartwarming, gorgeously-rendered tale of a young witch discovering her place in the world.
Synopsis: Veteran animator Hayao Miyazaki directs this buoyant children's adventure yarn about a young witch striking out on her own. At her mother's behest,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 102.079% ?
Critics Consensus: Spirited Away is a dazzling, enchanting, and gorgeously drawn fairy tale that will leave viewers a little more curious and fascinated by the world around them.
Synopsis: Master animation director Hayao Miyazaki follows up on his record-breaking 1997 opus Princess Mononoke with this surreal Alice in Wonderland-like tale... [More]
Adjusted Score: 95.979% ?
Critics Consensus: Enchanting, sweepingly romantic, and featuring plenty of wonderful musical numbers, Beauty and the Beast is one of Disney's most elegant animated offerings.
Synopsis: Walt Disney Animation Studios' magical classic Beauty and the Beast returns to the big screen in Disney Digital 3D(TM), introducing a whole new... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.737% ?
Critics Consensus: With a deliciously wicked performance from Angelica Huston and imaginative puppetry by Jim Henson's creature shop, Nicolas Roeg's dark and witty movie captures the spirit of Roald Dahl's writing like few other adaptations.
Synopsis: A little boy and his kindly grandmother thwart the efforts of a coven of witches to rid Britain of children by turning them into mice. [More]
Directed By: Nicolas Roeg
Adjusted Score: 101.914% ?
Critics Consensus: With its thought-provoking themes, rich atmosphere, and brilliant direction, Kenji Mizoguchi's Ugetsu monogatari is a towering classic of world cinema.
Synopsis: Presented in a manner as eerie as it is heartbreaking, this film is a gorgeous supernatural fable about the folly of men with dreams larger than their... [More]
Directed By: Kenji Mizoguchi
Adjusted Score: 102.068% ?
Critics Consensus: A delightfully postmodern fairy tale, The Princess Bride is a deft, intelligent mix of swashbuckling, romance, and comedy that takes an age-old damsel-in-distress story and makes it fresh.
Synopsis: Robin Wright and Cary Elwes star in this fairytale adventure about a beautiful princess and the gallant hero who rescues her from an evil villain.... [More]
Directed By: Rob Reiner
Adjusted Score: 101.958% ?
Critics Consensus: With its magical optical effects and enchanting performances, Jean Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast remains the most surreal -- and soulful -- of the fairy tale's film adaptations.
Synopsis: Jean Cocteau's adaptation of Beauty and the Beast (originally released in France as La Belle et la Bte) stars Josette Day as Beauty and Jean Marais as... [More]
Adjusted Score: 102.472% ?
Critics Consensus: The Two Towers balances spectacular action with emotional storytelling, leaving audiences both wholly satisfied and eager for the final chapter.
Synopsis: Frodo and Samwise press on toward Mordor. Gollum insists on being the guide. Can anyone so corrupted by the ring be trusted? Can Frodo, increasingly... [More]
Adjusted Score: 102.671% ?
Critics Consensus: Pan's Labyrinth is Alice in Wonderland for grown-ups, with the horrors of both reality and fantasy blended together into an extraordinary, spellbinding fable.
Synopsis: Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro returns to the phantasmagorical cinema that defined such early fare as Cronos and The Devil's Backbone with this... [More]
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro
Adjusted Score: 102.812% ?
Critics Consensus: Boasting dazzling animation, a script with surprising dramatic depth, and thrilling 3-D sequences, How to Train Your Dragon soars.
Synopsis: The son of a Viking chief must capture a dragon in order to mark his passage into manhood and prove his worthiness to the tribe in directors Chris... [More]
Adjusted Score: 102.855% ?
Critics Consensus: A landmark in animation (and a huge influence on the medium of music video), Disney's Fantasia is a relentlessly inventive blend of the classics with phantasmagorical images.
Synopsis: Fantasia, Walt Disney's animated masterpiece of the 1940s, grew from a short-subject cartoon picturization of the Paul Dukas musical piece The... [More]
Adjusted Score: 102.771% ?
Critics Consensus: Dashing, dazzling, and altogether magical, The Thief of Bagdad is an enchanting fantasy for children of all ages.
Synopsis: In ancient Bagdad, Abu, a good-natured young thief (Sabu), befriends the deposed king Ahmad (John Justin) as both are imprisoned in the palace... [More]
Adjusted Score: 104.24% ?
Critics Consensus: Thrilling, powerfully acted, and visually dazzling, Deathly Hallows Part II brings the Harry Potter franchise to a satisfying -- and suitably magical -- conclusion.
Synopsis: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2, is the final adventure in the Harry Potter film series. The much-anticipated motion picture event is... [More]
Directed By: David Yates
Adjusted Score: 104.515% ?
Critics Consensus: A cult classic as gut-bustingly hilarious as it is blithely ridiculous, Monty Python and the Holy Grail has lost none of its exceedingly silly charm.
Synopsis: From its opening multi-language titles (that sure looks like Swedish) to the closing arrest of the entire Dark Ages cast by modern-day bobbies, Monty... [More]
Adjusted Score: 105.441% ?
Critics Consensus: Ambitious, adventurous, and sometimes frightening, Pinocchio arguably represents the pinnacle of Disney's collected works -- it's beautifully crafted and emotionally resonant.
Synopsis: When the gentle woodcarver Geppetto (Christian Rub) builds a marionette to be his substitute son, a benevolent fairy brings the toy to life. The... [More]
Adjusted Score: 106.882% ?
Critics Consensus: With its involving story and characters, vibrant art, and memorable songs, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs set the animation standard for decades to come.
Synopsis: It was called "Disney's Folly." Who on earth would want to sit still for 90 minutes to watch an animated cartoon? And why pick a well-worn Grimm's... [More]
Directed By: David Hand
Adjusted Score: 115.372% ?
Critics Consensus: An absolute masterpiece whose groundbreaking visuals and deft storytelling are still every bit as resonant, The Wizard of Oz is a must-see film for young and old.
Synopsis: L. Frank Baum's classic tale comes to magisterial Technicolor life! The Wizard of Oz stars legendary Judy Garland as Dorothy, an innocent farm girl... [More]