New Line Cinema
Sometimes you just want to forget about your real-life responsibilities and get lost in the faraway, magical worlds of fantasy. Netflix has you covered.
The streaming site has plenty of fantasy films to choose from. Standouts include the classic satire “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” the award-winning dark fairytale “Pan’s Labyrinth,” and fantastical romantic comedies like “About Time” and “Groundhog Day.”
Here are 10 great fantasy movies you can stream on Netflix right now.
Note: Numerous Netflix titles drop off the service monthly, so the availability of titles below may change.
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“About Time” is a poignant rom-com involving time travel.
Netflix description: “When Tim learns that the men in his family can travel in time and change their own lives, he decides to go back and win the woman of his dreams.”
Why you should watch it: “About Time” manages to succeed at being both a charming rom-com with a time travel twist, and a bittersweet meditation on growing up and dealing with events out of your control — all the while boosted by irresistibly appealing lead performances from Domhnall Gleeson and Rachel McAdams.
“Monty Python and the Holy Grail” satirizes the legend of King Arthur and his knights.
EMI Films/Cinema 5
Netflix description: “The Monty Python comedy clan skewers King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table as they quest far and wide for the Holy Grail.”
Why you should watch it: Whether you’ve yet to discover the legendary British comedy troupe Monty Python, or you’ve seen their parody of the dark ages dozens of times, this ludicrously funny comedy is bound to make you laugh. It holds up well enough that now, 45 years after its release, lines from the movie (such as “I fart in your general direction” and “Tis but a scratch) are still quoted today.
“Mary and the Witch’s Flower” is a magical adventure story that will appeal to Harry Potter and Studio Ghibli fans alike.
Netflix description: “Ordinary girl Mary picks an extraordinary flower and travels to Endor College, a school for magic. But its foremost teachers have a sinister plan.”
Why you should watch it: While the actual story behind “Mary and the Witch’s Flower” is rather simple, the film more than makes up for it with its stunning visuals and inventive magical world.
Director Hiromasa Yonebayashi is a veteran of Studio Ghibli (the beloved Japanese animation studio behind movies like “Kiki’s Delivery Service” and “My Neighbor Totoro”), and “Mary and the Witch’s Flower” is imbued with those movies’ acclaimed whimsical charm.
“Pan’s Labyrinth” is a Spanish historical fairytale from “The Shape of Water” director Guillermo del Toro.
New Line Cinema
Netflix description: “Young Ofelia meets a mythical faun who claims she is destined to become princess of the Underworld. But first she must carry out three perilous tasks.”
Why you should watch it: Since its release in 2006, the Oscar-winning “Pan’s Labyrinth” has already become a staple of the fantasy genre. Based on fables and folklore that director Guillermo del Toro heard as a child, the dark Spanish fairytale is made even more enthralling thanks to its underlying explorations of the cost and effects of war.
Gene Wilder plays the owner of a candy factory that’s not what it seems in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.”
Warner Bros. screengrab
Netflix description: “Zany Willy Wonka causes a stir when he announces that golden tickets hidden inside his candy bars will admit holders into his secret confectionary.”
Why you should watch it: With its well-known songs, eccentric wit, and bizarre, sometimes frightening fantastical world, “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” is a children’s film that will capture the imaginations of the entire family.
Gene Wilder is particularly memorable as the titular Willy Wonka, with an unhinged yet utterly confident gleam in his eye that suggests the story’s impeccable blend of escapism and sinister moral lessons.
“Groundhog Day” is a sweet and clever tale of a man who begins living the same day over and over again.
Columbia Pictures via YouTube
Netflix description: “Sent to cover the annual ritual of groundhog Punxsutawney Phil, a self-centered TV weatherman mysteriously begins living the same day again and again.”
Why you should watch it: Bill Murray gives one of his best performances in this fantastical comedy classic, in which an egotistical weatherman sees the error of his ways thanks to a very literal case of déjà vu.
The movie’s clever, efficient storytelling allows “Groundhog Day” to achieve surprising depth within the confines of a popular comedy, as its protagonist slowly falls in love and takes the painstaking baby steps required to be a decent person in everyday life (often hilariously so).
“The Little Prince” is a vibrant adaptation of a beloved children’s novella.
Netflix description: “When an overscheduled girl befriends an eccentric aviator, he regales her with tales about the adventures of an unusual boy who lives on an asteroid.”
Why you should watch it: Easily the best adaptation of the well-loved 1943 children’s novella of the same name, “A Little Prince” transforms its eccentric, dreamlike source material into a stunning animated movie.
The Netflix original’s colorful characters and creative alternate world are bound to draw children’s attention, while its added plot about a girl resisting her future in a dreary, real-world workplace environment will likely resonate with older family members.
“The Princess and the Frog” is a jazz-filled adventure with one of Disney’s best princesses.
Netflix description: “In New Orleans during the Jazz Age, a beautiful girl named Tiana has a fateful encounter with a frog prince who desperately wants to be human again.”
Why you should watch it: Disney takes a classic fairytale and drops it into a lively, jazz-age New Orleans setting in “The Princess and the Frog,” with a comfortingly old school Disney animation style sure to appeal to those fond of Disney Renaissance movies like “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Little Mermaid.”
Anika Noni Rose makes for one of the most compelling Disney princesses yet as the ambitious Tiana, and the film’s main song (“Almost There”) is bound to get stuck in your head for days — in a good way.
“Bleach” is a fun, action-packed anime adaptation.
Netflix description: “When high schooler Ichigo is suddenly given reaper abilities, he really wants to give the powers back. But he’ll have to reap some souls first.”
Why you should watch it: Based on a popular manga of the same name, “Bleach” gleefully embraces the inherent fun of its premise, without going overboard trying to explain its mythology or directly follow its source material (as live-action anime adaptations often do).
Yes, the large monsters and the premise of a boy who must fight murderous spirits can be a little silly, but the movie has enough great action sequences and lithe comedy to make it well worth a watch.
“Mary Poppins Returns” is a worthy sequel to its 1964 predecessor.
Walt Disney Pictures
Netflix description: “In 1930s London, Michael Banks and his three children get some help turning their topsy-turvy world around when his magical childhood nanny reappears.”
Why you should watch it: Fans of the original “Mary Poppins” will find lots to love in this sequel, as the titular nanny (now played by Emily Blunt instead of Julie Andrews) returns to help out an adult Michael Banks (Ben Whishaw), who desperately needs a bit of magic in his life again.
“Mary Poppins Returns” finds ways to innovate great elements of the 1964 film (such as the paintings come to life, or the visit to an eccentric relative with a silly supernatural ability), as Blunt seamlessly makes the leading role her own.
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