Like Star Wars before them, Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” movies have become a cultural touchstone for a generation, inspiring a large, avid fan base to embrace their version of a fantasy world consisting of good, evil and hundreds of clever cosplay ideas. And although the new “Hobbit” trilogy has perhaps failed to energize those fans the way “The Lord of the Rings” movies have, there’s no denying that, taken as a whole, these films have helped shape the depiction of fantasy on the big screen for years to come.
In fact, Peter Jackson’s films have so dominated the fantasy landscape that they seem to have overshadowed most of the other fantasy films in the hearts and minds of their audience. Sure, there’s still room in fans’ hearts for Harry Potter and Studio Ghibli and “Game of Thrones,” but many other fine fantasy films seem to have fallen out of favor, or even out of the public eye entirely, in the wake of this Middle-earth juggernaut.
Sometimes we don’t terribly mind that these films have disappeared from the public consciousness. (It’s not like we’ll shed any tears if the Clash of the Titans remake gets lost one day to the annals of history.) But there are many fantasy films that deserve more attention for what the do well, even if they’re not necessarily as impressive as Jackson’s J.R.R. Tolkien adaptations. So, with the franchise finally coming to an end with The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies this month, we wanted to recommend some other fantasy films that might slake the audience’s thirst for adventure.
You already know The Princess Bride and Jason and the Argonauts are great, but if you’re still looking for more fun fantasy films to take the edge off the conclusion of the Middle-earth saga, we recommend these underrated adventures.
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