Back in Science Fiction I mentioned that the two genres are often grouped together. Although the two can be clearly divided in literature, I don't think there's been a conscious decision to "brand" the fantasy genre in film until the recent success of the Lord of the Rings films. Of course, the case has also been made that many so-called "science fiction" films (namely Star Wars) are actually fantasy films disguised with spaceships.
So what I do define as fantasy? An element of magic mixed with adventure or humour and generally family-friendly. Ergo:
- Fantasia (1940)
- Scrooge (1951)
- It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
- Nausicaa (1984)
- Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
- The Princess Bride (1987)
- The Dark Crystal (1982)
- The Wizard of Oz (1939)
- The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)
- Jason and the Argonauts (1963)
All but two of these are films from my childhood and I still tend to relate to fantasy films based on my youthful standards. I never really graduated to the dragon-loving dungeon-raiding he-man sword/sorcery type fiction.
I leave you with my favorite sequence from Fantasia: Night on Bald Mountain.
Tomorrow: some parting thoughts on film genres.