5 Underrated Films/Series for the Fantasy Lover

The Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Percy Jackson franchises are cool, but there’s way more to fantasy than what you see plastered on the windows of every Barnes and Noble or played a million times on FreeForm. I get it, it’s difficult to find media you haven’t seen before, since those popular franchises are so wildly accessible. But, I have a few suggestions if you’re a fantasy lover itching for something new to get attached to.

1. Neverland (2011)

Based on the classic Peter Pan story of course, this miniseries (which is pretty much the length of a film) that aired in 2011 on the SyFy channel follows a backstory of how Neverland came to be and how everyone got there. There are quite a few renditions of the backstory of Peter Pan in existence, but this one is my personal favorite since the relationship between Peter and Hook actually started out as a friendly “student/teacher” relationship before they discovered Neverland. With the talents of Charlie Rowe as Peter, Q’orianka Kilcher as Tiger Lily, Keira Knightley as the voice of Tinker Bell, and Rhys Ifans (Xenophilius Lovegood in the Harry Potter series if anyone cares) as Captain “Jimmy” Hook, this miniseries is totally something you should check out!

2. Stardust (2007)

Next on our list is a gem from 2007, based on the novel by Neil Gaiman. The story is centered around a young boy named Tristan who is tragically in love with this annoying girl named Victoria. But this chick is practically engaged to this other dude named Humphrey, but Tristan’s too naïve to notice so she “promises” her hand in marriage if he’ll go retrieve a fallen star from the magical realm that borders their small town. He does and discovers the star is actually a pretty woman and you know the rest. But on the good side, the actors are hilarious, the “magical world right outside your door” aspect is really creative, and Michelle Pfieffer rocks it as the vain evil witch.

3. El laberiento de fauno (Pan’s Labyrinth) (2006)

Set in 1944 Francoist Spain, a young girl named Ofelia discovers a portal to a fantasy world in her stepfather’s garden. There, she meets a faun, who believes she is the reincarnation of Princess Moanna, the daughter of the king of the underworld who became mortal and died. The faun gives Ofelia three tasks to complete so that she may return to her kingdom be immortal. This film is not your typical fairytale. Although the fantasy aspect is intriguing, there is nothing as heart-wrenching as the blend between fantasy and the horrors of real life. Fair warning, there is very little happiness in this film, but it is still a wonderful and something you must watch at some point.

4. The 10th Kingdom (2000)

This miniseries is truly the definition of fanfiction at its height. The story follows a teenage waitress named Virginia and her father Tony from New York city who get wrapped up in the plights of a prince who’s been turned into a dog and discover a portal to the nine kingdoms of fairytales (New York being the tenth). The kingdoms are set 100 years after all the classic fairytales such as Snow White, Cinderella, and Little Red Riding Hood take place and the kingdoms are starting to fall apart. This cast is stellar, with Dianne Weist as the Evil Queen, John Larroquete as Tony, Kimberly Williams as Virginia, and the amazing Scott Cohen (Gilmore Girls) as Wolf. So, if you have 7 hours to spare, I highly recommend it!

5. Labyrinth

And finally, last and certainly not least, this gem from 1984. Labyrinth follows the story of Sara, who gets stuck one night babysitting her baby brother Toby. Sara hates doing this, so she asks the goblin king to take him away (not really meaning if of course) and lo and behold, he does! So Sara has to race against time and solve Jareth the goblin kings impossible labyrinth to save her brother before he turns into a goblin. When labyrinth first came out, it didn’t get good reviews, but now these singing goblins have become a cult classic! Starring a young Jennifer Connelly as Sara and David Bowie (who also wrote five songs for the film) as the Goblin King himself, this strange musical comedy is something you certainly don’t want to miss!