In the wake of the release of THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY, here is a list of MOVIEGUIDE®’s 10 favorite fantasy movies. Some of them are intended for older children or teenagers and adults.
THE LION KING
A magnificent example of Disney animation, THE LION KING is an heroic tale of good versus evil which embodies many Christian allegorical elements. The sinister usurper Scar plots to kill his brother and nephew so he can become King himself. While there are several minor areas which call for discernment in THE LION KING, the good far outweighs the bad, and the film conveys a clear message of hope, reconciliation and appreciation for the majesty of creation.
THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO
Woody Allen’s 1985 fantasy, THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO, shows that God can speak through unbelievers.
The first totally computer animated movie is TOY STORY. It answers the question "What happens to my toys when I leave the room?" in a wonderful, moral, fantastic way. In the movie, Woody is a cowboy doll, voiced by Tom Hanks, who envies the new favorite toy in town, Buzz Lightyear, space ranger, voiced by Tim Allen. When their fighting gets Woody and Buzz left behind at a gas station, they have to start working together to get home. TOY STORY is funny, clean, wholesome, and virtuous -- a classic beginning to a new genre and a masterpiece which is sure to capture the imaginations of young and old alike.
THE DEVIL AND DANIEL JOHNSTON
THE DEVIL AND DANIEL JOHNSTON is a documentary about Christian folk songwriter and artist Daniel Johnston, who has had a long bout with manic depression since a teenager. Although Daniel rebelled against his mother’s Christian faith as a young man, this documentary only superficially explores the issue of David’s current Christian faith. It also contains some strong foul language, brief nudity and drug references, so extreme caution is advised.
THE WIZARD OF OZ
Despite some confusion over witches, this classic Hollywood take on L. Frank Baum’s beloved book features a tremendous performance by Judy Garland as Dorothy, who desperately wants to get back to her Christian guardian, Aunt Em, in Kansas.
THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE
THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE, based on C. S. Lewis’s popular Christian fable, tells the story of four English children, who enter the land of Narnia, where they meet Aslan, the son of the Emperor-Beyond-the-Sea, who rescues the land from the evil White Witch. Despite some minor changes from the book, THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE retains most of its Christian focus and is tremendously exciting, thrilling and redemptive.
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING
THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, part one of THE LORD OF THE RINGS, opens in a small village in the Shire in Middle Earth, where a young Hobbit named Frodo has been entrusted with an ancient evil ring and must embark on an Epic quest to the Crack of Doom to destroy it. With dazzling effects and a great moral story, Part One of THE LORD OF THE RINGS is a must for fantasy fans, with a caution to parents of older children for strong sword-type violence and a brief occult element not in the book.
FINDING NEMO is a wonderful animated adventure about a small clownfish who goes in search of his son, who's been put into a fish tank by human beings. Every second of FINDING NEMO is beautifully animated, spectacularly directed and written with great heart and strong moral values.
IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE
Jimmy Stewart plays the beleaguered but good-hearted George Bailey, who finds out what life would be like if he’d never been born. A very slight caution is urged because of the false angelology, although the movie is number one on our list because of its emotive revelation of man’s relationship to God, who answers our prayers.