The Best 80s Fantasy Movies, Ranked

For a variety of reasons, the 1980s were indeed a strange time. It was the era of the Rubik’s Cube, neon colored clothes, synthesizer soundtracks, huge hair and shoulder pads. A swarm of absolutely spectacular and unusual fantasy films can be added to the list of 1980s anomalies. Just like star wars and aliens brought a rise to the science fiction category, likewise, the period also gave a boost to the fantasy world. All of the films were genre mash-ups that mixed medieval sorcery and armored knights with contemporary sci-fi features, like digital beasts and laser weapons; some of which were shot from metal blades. There were also magicians, flying horses and leggings in these films. Strangely, most of these movies weren’t meant to be funny. They were all very serious about themselves.



Many fantastic films were launched in the 1980s, so let’s take a look at some of the most memorable.

8 The Princess Bride (1987)

The princess to be marriedthe most eloquent film, is not only among the most legendary fantasy films of the 1980s, but also one of the most cherished romantic escapades of all time. The princess to be married features pirates, magicians and princesses, with more than enough fun and wit to delight any viewer.

Everyone will enjoy this movie because it has a bit of everything. The film is epic with gallant action, melodrama, spellcasting, and an inventive and brilliant storyline not often seen in this genre of film. It’s the perfect movie if viewers want a romantic drama or an exciting duel. For those who want to watch, The Princess Bride is streaming on Disney+.

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seven The Neverending Story (1984)

The never-ending story is among the best-known fantasy films of the 1980s, including white horses, princesses, goblins, castles, and lots of mist. Atreyu’s journey through Fantasia on his mission to subdue Nothingness is majestic and entertaining. It can be mystical and enchanting, but it can also be dark and enigmatic, when the situation calls for it. Immerse yourself in this popular 80s masterpiece by dropping into this magical film, also based on a book by Michael Ende.

6 Labyrinth (1986)

Labyrinth was a hit when it launched in 1986, and is famous for featuring musician David Bowie as Jareth the Goblin King. It’s hard to imagine anything more 80s than a tight, spandex-clad David Bowie backed by a horde of Jim Henson freaks. Labyrinth is equally gripping and wacky, but it’s still one of the most revered fantasy films. The film follows 16-year-old Sarah, who travels through a maze to save her newborn brother, who has been kidnapped by the enigmatic Goblin King. It’s no surprise that the pic has a loyal fanbase, with a soundtrack produced and sung by David Bowie and some of the most amazing puppets and special effects from Jim Henson’s Creature Shop.


5 Willow (1988)

willow, a fantastic little film with a substantial plot, was created by the brilliant imagination of George Lucas and Ron Howard. Action, magic and heroic journey follow soon after when a dwarf peasant must travel through a high fantasy realm to protect a newborn from an evil queen.

willow seems to have very good dramatic characteristics, thanks to the skills of Val Kilmer and Warwick Davis in the film, and an original idea by George Lucas. It may not be spectacular, but it has to be on any fantasy lover’s wish list. Fans are also excited about the new series, which will premiere later in 2022 on Disney+.

4 Excalibur (1981)

In this 1981 masterpiece directed by John Boorman, the classic tale of King Arthur and the wizard Merlin is given the full 80s flavor in Excalibur. Most romanticized interpretations of the renowned legend rely more on enchantment, action and spectacle than on John Boorman’s incredible reworking of the Arthurian legend. A few great fight scenes definitely boost the film. Despite the fact that the film hasn’t aged gracefully, it should be seen as a box of memories and a legacy from another period. After 40 years, Liam Neeson looks back on his breakthrough role in Excalibur and says it was a wonderful experience.

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3 The Last Unicorn (1982)

The last unicorn lacks the smooth animation that really makes an animated classic shine, but quirky characters and a touching plot make it one of a kind for cult followers. The animated musical features an evil King Haggard who wants to wipe out all the unicorns in the world. When a juvenile unicorn discovers she’s a threat and may soon be the last of her kind, she flees her safe woodland home and joins the help of kind but clumsy wizard Schmendrick. Together they embark on a long and risky journey with one goal in mind: to defeat Haggard and save the unicorns from death. It is still considered a cult masterpiece and a must-see movie.

2 The Black Crystal (1982)

The dark crystal by Jim Henson is a fantastic dark fantasy drama with a universe and grandeur that JRR Tolkien would have loved. It is without a doubt one of the most memorable cult films ever made. It is a puppet film centered on a distant planet in the ancient past, in which a race of beings known as the Gelflings embark on an adventure to find the missing fragment of a mystical crystal, believed to be restore stability to their universe. It’s a strange but intriguing fantasy film.

1 Conan the Barbarian (1982)

We can’t have a build like this without adding the first Conan the Barbarian film. This film, which starred Arnold Schwarzenegger as Conan, is first and foremost an epic tale that follows Conan’s transformation from a sickly boy into a barbaric warrior seeking revenge on the evil wizard who murdered his parents and all. his tribe. Conan the Barbarian is a great action movie for anyone looking for fantasy, sword fighting, might and mayhem. The film has just been celebrated his 40th birthday.


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