There are many shades when it comes to fantasy films — works that cross genres effortlessly. Garden variety sword and sorcery movies don’t appear to have much in common with neo-noir fantasy tales like David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive, but there are shared mythical elements and phenomena that bond them.
The third season of HBO’s Game of Thrones is right around the corner (March 31), and we wanted to get in the mood for faraway lands, extraordinary creatures, and vivid storytelling by visiting 10 fantasy films you may have missed. There’s something for everyone here — from Amazon women, to trolls, and 20th-century Parisian adventures. Share your underseen favorites in the comments section.
The work of Romantic-era Russian poet Alexander Pushkin inspired a 1972 film adaptation, Ruslan and Ludmila, directed by the “Soviet Walt Disney,” Aleksandr Ptushko. The mythological fairy tale about an abducted princess held captive by an evil wizard is a more sumptuous Ray Harryhausen-esque spectacle. If you miss the days of practical effects, matte paintings, and imaginative settings (the crystal garden is gorgeous), this is a must see.