In recent years, Netflix has cemented itself as the go-to streaming service for some of the best fantasy films ever made. From epic films like Lord of the Rings to enchanting films like Stardust, we’ve compiled a list of must-watch fantasy movies available on Netflix that are guaranteed to provide hours of entertainment.
Howl’s Moving Castle
Based on the novel by the beloved Diana Wynne Jones, acclaimed director Hayao Miyazaki’s Howl’s Moving Castle is a shining example of an iconic fantasy film. It follows the story of an 18-year-old girl named Sophie who is cursed and transformed into an old woman by an evil witch. In an effort to break the curse, Sophie befriends a mysterious wizard named Howl. This heartwarming film is filled with magical adventures, inventive creatures and friendship.
The Princess Bride
An ode to classic fairy-tales, The Princess Bride is a delightful fantasy film that’s perfect for all ages. Starring Cary Elwes and Robin Wright, this beloved classic follows the story of a young woman named Buttercup who is kidnapped and forced to marry a spurned prince of the kingdom. Along the way, Buttercup’s valiant heroes come to her rescue, embark on death-defying tasks, and ultimately fight for the power of true love.
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Arriving on the scene in 2001, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring thrilled moviegoers worldwide. Directed by Peter Jackson and featuring an ensemble cast that includes Elijah Wood, Orlando Bloom and Ian McKellen, this epic three-part series is a fantasy classic. Loosely based on the books by J.R.R. Tolkien, the films follow a band of Hobbits and humans as they battle a legendary force known as the Dark Lord Sauron in an effort to save Middle-earth.
Jim Henson’s 1986 classic Labyrinth, still captivates audiences to this day. Starring the late David Bowie and Sarah Jessica Parker, this beloved fantasy film follows the story of a 15-year-old girl named Sarah who must brave an enchanted maze in order to save her brother from the clutches of the Goblin King. Littered with incredible puppets and offbeat characters, Labyrinth is a timeless classic that will take viewers on a most magical journey.
The Neverending Story
Written and directed by the late German filmmaker Wolfgang Petersen, The Neverending Story is a stunning film adapted from Michael Ende’s classic best-selling novel. Starring Barret Oliver and Noah Hathaway, this whimsical fable follows the story of a young boy who discovers an old book in a bookstore called The Neverending Story. Through the pages of this mysterious book, the boy embarks on a magical journey in an effort to save the world of Fantastica from an impending destruction.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Adapted from J.K. Rowling’s best-selling book series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone follows the story of a young wizard, who is unaware of his magical legacy. With an impressive cast of familiar faces, this timeless classic is an absolute must-watch. Taking viewers on a magical journey filled with spellbinding creatures and classic locations, this film is nothing short of amazing.
A Wrinkle in Time
In Ava DuVernay’s 2018 version of the classic children’s book, A Wrinkle in Time, explores a world of imagination and fantasy. Starring Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, and Mindy Kaling, the film follows the story of a young girl named Meg, who embarks on a journey to a distant universe in order to save her scientist father who has disappeared mysteriously. Along the way, Meg learns about the power of true friendship and discovers the meaning of love.
The Dark Crystal
Created by legendary puppeteer Jim Henson and animatronics expert Frank Oz, The Dark Crystal is a classic fantasy film deserving of its cult status. Set in the world of Thra, this spellbinding adventure follows Jen, a Gelfling, as he embarks on a quest to restore the mythical crystal of truth and heal the land from the evil Skeksis. Featuring visually stunning stop-motion animation and incredible creatures, The Dark Crystal sets a true benchmark for fantasy films.
The Sword in the Stone
Disney’s 1963 classic The Sword in the Stone is inspired by the classic tale of King Arthur and the legends of Camelot. Created by by Wolfgang Reitherman, this enchanting film follows the story of a young orphan named Wart, who is plucked from obscurity by a wizard named Merlin. With the help of his magical friend, Wart embarks on a journey of a lifetime, learning valuable lessons about life and courage along the way.
Where the Wild Things Are
Where the Wild Things Are is an imaginative fantasy film based on Maurice Sendak’s famous picture book. Directed by Spike Jonze, this whimsical adventure follows a young boy named Max who, after running away from home, sails across the sea to a distant land filled with wild things. Along the way he befriends the creatures of this strange land and learns important lessons about growing up.
The 2005 classic Batman Begins brings Christopher Nolan’s epic superhero trilogy to life. Starring Christian Bale and Liam Neeson, this film follows Bruce Wayne as he faces his inner turmoil and embarks on a quest for justice. With brilliant performances and impeccable cinematography, this film centers more on the human-drama and realism, rather than special effects, making it a must-watch for a fantasy fan.
Guillermo Del Toro’s 2006 film Pan’s Labyrinth is a true piece of cinematic beauty. Starring Ivana Baquero and Doug Jones, this Spanish-language fantasy film follows the story of Ofelia, a young girl living in 1944 Spain who finds herself in a contradictory and dangerous reality. Through a magical book and mysterious creatures, Ofelia embarks on a series of tasks, determined to unravel the mysteries of her world.
MirrorMask is an enchanting fantasy film written by the legendary Neil Gaiman, and directed by the acclaimed Dave McKean. It follows the story of Helena, a young girl who is suddenly thrown into a strange world filled with dark and mysterious characters. Along the way, Helena learns about the power of courage and the importance of her own personal journey.
Ever since its release in 1984, Ghostbusters has become a classic of the fantasy genre. Starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver and Harold Ramis, this film follows a group of four paranormal experts as they try to save New York City from a powerful and evil entity. Featuring plenty of special effects, indelible characters, and iconic scenes, Ghostbusters is an action-packed fantasy classic that’s perfect for all audiences.
Beauty and the Beast
The 1991 animated classic Beauty and the Beast tells the timeless tale of Belle, a young woman who is taken prisoner by a cursed prince. Voiced by the late and great Robby Benson, Belle befriends a castle full of magical servants as she sets out to break the prince’s curse. Featuring stunning animation, fantastic music and a heartwarming story, this film is definitely worth a watch.
Kubo and the Two Strings
2016’s Kubo and the Two Strings is an epic, anime-style fantasy film. Directed by Travis Knight, this remarkable tale follows the story of a brave young boy named Kubo, who sets off on a quest to retrieve an armor that can save his family from danger. Littered with themes of courage and selflessness, Kubo and the Two Strings is an inspiring fantasy film that’s perfect for viewers of all ages.
Tim Burton’s 2003 classic Big Fish is a charming, whimsical fantasy film. Starring Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney and Billy Crudup, this emotionally-charged adventure follows the story of a young man’s quest to uncover the truth about his larger-than-life father, who is known for embellishing his stories. Featuring colorful characters, expertly-crafted set designs, and an immersive soundtrack, Big Fish is an exciting fantasy film that will take viewers on an unforgettable journey.
The Secret of NIMH
The Secret of NIMH is a classic tale of bravery and self-discovery. Directed by Don Bluth, this 1982 sci-fi fantasy film follows the story of Mrs. Brisby, a widowed field mouse, who embarks on a quest to save her children from the sinister thugs of NIMH, a mysterious research facility. Filled with thrilling sequences, captivating musical sequences and memorable characters, The Secret of NIMH is an exciting fantasy film.
Written and directed by stop-motion master Henry Selick, Coraline is a true work of art. Based on Neil Gaiman’s beloved novel, this haunting film follows a brave young girl named Coraline, who discovers a secret door in her family’s new home that leads to an alternate dimension with dark secrets. Jam-packed with stunning visual effects, incredible creature designs and a great storyline, Coraline is a classic fantasy film that will surely almost anyone.