The 80s was an interesting decade when it came to fantasy movies, wasn’t it? Coming up with a list of the best fantasy movies from the 80s isn’t an easy task, especially since there’s a lot of room for argument as to which ones were ‘the best’. Given the fact that this term is highly subjective though the list below is composed of the five best in our opinion, and it’s likely that some people would agree with several of the picks, but might want to expand the list given that there just so many to pick from. Those that are featured below however are some of the best movies ever made in the opinions of many, even if there are plenty of plot holes and unexplained storylines that didn’t get the chance to be fully fleshed out. Overall the story of each movie is what drew a lot of people, while the effects, limited as they were a few decades ago, were amazing to us as kids, even if they’re a bit commonplace now. The whole idea of fantasy in the 80s was still about as innocent as it got at times, while still being brutal in its delivery at certain points. Keep in mind, this was before the PC became so serious, and it was more of a joke than anything.
Here are five of the best fantasy movies from the 80s.
5. The Dark Crystal
Jim Henson managed to create a world that a lot of us grew up with and still love today. With Netflix’s series hopefully still coming up with another season, the original movie is being broadened in a huge way since the Gelflings are looking strong and united at the moment, but are still in grave danger as the fans know since, by the time this movie came around, there were supposedly only a few left, with Jen and Kira being the only representatives of their people that were left. It’s almost saddening to think that the heroes that were seen in the Netflix series will have to fall eventually, but it certainly won’t diminish the love for the movie.
4. The Princess Bride
This movie pretty much helped to immortalize Andre the Giant as Fezzik and brought forth a group of very popular and very worn quotes that are still highly popular today. How many people can still recite, “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”? There’s something so whimsical about this movie that it’s hard not to like it, but there’s plenty of action and personality to it as well since it caters to a lot of different tastes and manages to link them all together in a way that keeps it light but just exciting enough to be one of the most well-put-together movies of all time.
One big reason why this movie is so big is David Bowie, plain and simple since the singer turned actor was so insanely popular at one time and remained so for many years since he was an icon that people couldn’t look away from. The story was incredibly dark from a certain point of view, but it was also heroic in its own way since like it or not, there was a definite sense of purpose here, on that was hard to see at times but was still something that managed to draw people in since with the combination of Bowie and the overall storyline, people still talk about this movie today, and it’s not much of a surprise why.
2. The Neverending Story
Whether it made you cry, shout for joy, or hold your breath in anticipation, this was one of the most loved movies of the 80s simply because it did manage to pull at your emotions in such a way. Admit it, you cried when Artax got sucked into the swamp, and your eyes bugged out of your head when Morla appeared. You should even be able to admit that you were holding your breath when Atreyu was attempting to make his way past the oracle and just barely avoided being blasted. This movie worked on so many different levels that it’s not hard to wonder why it’s still considered one of the classics.
One of the most epic fantasy movies from the 80s is sadly one that doesn’t get talked about that often since it does feel like it was ahead of its time. In that respect, it does feel as though this movie could do very well in this era if it were to be given a reboot. Normally I’m not the one to call for such things, but if a cast could be found and the source material was followed as closely as possible, this could work. The story was great and the effects were, for the time, pretty good.
Some things from the 80s are still worth keeping around.