fantasy movies

Fantasy Movies

More special selections and reviews coming soon

The Dark Crystal Collector's Edition Box Set

Jim Henson's fantasy epic The Dark Crystal doesn't take place a long time ago
in a galaxy far, far away, but like Star Wars it takes the audience to a place
that exists only in the imagination and, for an hour and a half, on the screen.

Recalling the worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien, Henson tells the story of a race of
grotesque birdlike lizards called the Skeksis, gnomish dragons who rule their
fantastic planet with an iron claw.

A prophecy tells of a Gelfling (a small elfin being) who will topple their empire,
so in their reign of terror they have exterminated the race, or so they think.
The orphan Jen, raised in solitude by a race of peace-loving wizards called
the Mystics, embarks on a quest to find the missing shard of the Dark Crystal
(which gives the Skeksis their power) and restore the balance of the universe.

Henson and codirector Frank Oz have pushed puppetry into a new direction:
traditional puppets, marionettes, giant bodysuits, and mechanical constructions
are mixed seamlessly in a fantasy world of towering castles, simple huts,
dank caves, a giant clockwork observatory, and a magnificent landscape that
seem to have leaped off the pages of a storybook.

Muppet fans will recognize many of the voice actors--a few characters sound
awfully close to familiar comic creations--but otherwise it's a completely
alien world made familiar by a mythic quest that resonates
through stories over the ages. --Sean Axmaker /

The Neverending Story DVD

Wolfgang Petersen (In the Line of Fire) made his first English-language film
with this 1984 fantasy about a boy (Barret Oliver) visualizing the stories
of a book he's reading. The imagined tale involves another boy, a warrior
(Noah Hathaway), and his efforts to save the empire of Fantasia from a nemesis
called the Nothing.

Whether or not the scenario sticks in the memory, what does linger are the
unique effects, which are not quite like anything else.
Plenty of good fairy-tale characters and memorable scenes, and the film
even encourages kids to read. --Tom Keogh/

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