The hardest thing to accomplish in the various fields of art, I believe, is to successfully evoke a mood. Conveying information in a clear and easy-to-understand manner is simple enough; any class on journalism or technical writing can teach you how. But to evoke a mood, ah, there’s the rub. And it’s one reason why I believe so many fantasy films are—not to put too fine a point on it—dreck. It’s difficult enough to create a specific feeling in your audience when you’re dealing with familiar elements set in the real world. Switch over to an imaginary setting with imaginary rules and you compound that difficulty tenfold.
All of which is to say, there really aren’t that many fantasy films that I like, or that I feel actually work as fantasy. Nevertheless, there are a few (in no particular order), which are listed below.