Join our ongoing discussion about the different genres. This time around we talk fantasy films Joined once again by Young Master Noah Gibbs!
About Fantasy Films
Fantasy Films: Unlike science fiction films that base their content upon some degree of scientific truth,take the audience to netherworld, fairty-tale places where events are unlikely to occur in real life. In mythological or legendary times, they transcend the bounds of human possibility and physical laws. Fantasy films are often in the context of the imagination, dreams, or hallucinations of a character or within the projected vision of the storyteller. Fantasy films often have an element of magic, myth, wonder, escapism, and the extraordinary. They may appeal to both children and adults, depending upon the particular film. See AFI’s 10 Top 10 – The Top 10 Fantasy Films.
In fantasy films, the hero often undergoes some kind of mystical experience, and must ask for aid from powerful, superhuman forces on the outside. Ancient Greek mythological figures or Arabian Nights-type narratives are typical storylines. Flying carpets, magic swords and spells, dragons, and ancient religious relics or objects are common elements. Bizarre and imaginary, invented lands include sci-fi worlds, unreal worlds, fairy tale settings, or other whimsical locales (e.g., Shangri-La or Brigadoon). The earliest sci-fi writers (H. G. Wells and Jules Verne) created fantastic worlds and/or journeys – the subject matter of many fantasy films.
Typically, the predominant characters in fantasies are princes or princesses. Some fantasy-type films might also include quasi-religious or supernatural characters such as angels, lesser gods, or fairies. Or they include the gnomes, dwarves and elves of legend.
Odd phenomena, physical aberrations, and incredible characters (sometimes monstrous characters that represent the divine or evil spirits, or fabulous magicians and sorcerers) are incorporated into fantasy films, and often overlap with supernatural films. They are often inspired or taken, however remotely, from myth or legend. They fill us with a marvelous sense of awe and touch off deep primal emotions.
Fantasy films are most likely to overlap with the film genres of science fiction and horror. When the narrative of a fantasy film tends to emphasize advanced technology in a fantastic world, it may be considered predominantly a science fiction film. Or when the supernatural, fantasy forces are specifically intended to frighten the audience, a fantasy film falls more within the horror genre.