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Modern Fantasy: 6 Movies Since 1990 That Shaped The Genre

By    |   Monday, 07 Mar 2016 05:53 PM

The silver screen’s a fantasy in itself, an escape from the workaday world. But lately, the fantasy genre has been used to explore our own world — while using the latest modern technical tricks to shape more fantastic worlds.

Here are six movies made since 1990 that left their stamp on fantasy filmmaking:

1. "Edward Scissorhands" (1990)

This updating of the Frankenstein story, with a fearsome, but gentle character at the heart of it, added a love story and the lesson that appearances aren’t everything.

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Director Tim Burton told the Los Angeles Times this was his most personal work, and it earned recognition from both science fiction fans (the Hugo award) and fantasy writers (the Saturn).

2. "Pleasantville" (1998)

By no means the first to use the shift from color to black-and-white to signal the crossover between fantasy and reality, this spoof of a 1950s America that existed mostly on TV used the technique to be sledgehammer-subtle in its treatment of prejudice in which the black-and-white folks detested the “coloreds.”

According to TimeOut London
, it “playfully spoofs the small-minded lifestyle idealized by ‘family values’ advocates, and the intolerance and insecurity underlying that ideal.”

3. The "Harry Potter" Movie Series (2001-2011)

A coming-of-age story folded into the hero’s journey (along with learning someone isn’t fully as good or as bad as you think they are), "Harry Potter" gave us the fantasy franchise in which, thanks to the core cast staying the same, let us see our heroes and heroines grow into near-adulthood along the way.

GamesRadar
made special mention to the installments after 2004, starting with “Prisoner of Azkaban,” for streamlining the stories and cutting back on the cutesy elements in J.K. Rowling’s books.

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4. "The Lord of the Rings" Trilogy (2001-2003)


J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic quest got the epic movie treatment: grand strategy and grand battles against a fantastic landscape into which one does not simply walk.

But the films were as much a character journey as a literal one for Frodo and his companions.

Peter Jackson's trilogy set the standard of grandeur and success to which modern fantasy films aspire.

5. "Enchanted" (2007)

Disney mixed it all up and made fun of itself in this live-action, animated, romance, comedy, fantasy, parody story of a stereotypical Disney princess who was exiled from her fairyland to modern-day New York City so the fairyland queen can keep her job.

6. "Sita Sings The Blues" (2008)

From the studio of cartoonist Nina Paley’s desktop computer, "Sita" retells ancient Hindu mythology as a modern romance-and-breakup story. Distributed for free online, this movie both turns an ancient story (and modern copyright law) on its ear and shows what can be done by one determined artist with modern technical tools.

“Something universal and completely unique,” said David Fear of TimeOut New York.

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The silver screen’s a fantasy in itself, an escape from the workaday world. But lately, the fantasy genre has been used to explore our own world — while using the latest modern technical tricks to shape more fantastic worlds.
modern, fantasy, movies, shaped, genre
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2016-53-07
Monday, 07 Mar 2016 05:53 PM
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