This is a list of the Best Live-Action Fairy Tale movies that were reviewed. In a lot of ways this list was harder than the worst list since I had the opposite problem there were a dearth of stellar movies but somehow it hit that target.

 

Number #10 

Gemma Craven as Cinderella and Richard Chamberlain as Prince Edward The Slipper and the Rose Cinderella picture image

Gemma Craven as Cinderella and Richard Chamberlain as Prince Edward

The Slipper and the Rose – Originally this was the movie for the surprised/liked list but it broke off from that for  a few reasons. The biggest reason is this the only Cinderella movie that have the godmother doing more stuff for Cinderella and gives a reason for why the magic has a limit. It also just addresses some other issue with the story and while characters aren’t amazing they are likable and there is more than just the Cinderella story being told. Plus the songs and the costumes are awesome.

 

Number #9

Jen with the Skeksis Chamberlain The Dark Crystal picture image

Jen with the Skeksis Chamberlain

The Dark Crystal – There really isn’t anything quite like The Dark Crystal. It has a lot of artistry,  imagination, and heart. The story is dark yet complex and still fairly accessible.

Number #8 

Libuše Šafránková as Cinderella with Pavel Trávníček as the Prince at the ball Three Wishes for Cinderella picture image

Libuše Šafránková as Cinderella with Pavel Trávníček as the Prince at the ball

Three Wishes for Cinderella – In a lot of ways this movie is another breath of fresh air for the Cinderella story. While  there is magic there is no fairy godmother but instead an owl and hazelnuts. Cinderella in this version is very able; she rides, hunts and is clever while still being kind. I do like that she veils her face so no one can recognizes her, even the prince. Plus the snow landscapes are lovely.

 

Number #7 

Ron Perlman as One and Judith Vittet as Miette The City of Lost Children picture image

Ron Perlman as One and Judith Vittet as Miette

City of Lost Children – You don’t get much more surreal than this one. The weird imaginary just adds so much to this story that it makes it more of a fairy tale.

Number #6

Ivana Baquero as Ofelia with Faun Pan’s Labyrinth picture image

Ivana Baquero as Ofelia with Faun

Pan’s Labyrinth – This movie is intoxicating. It combines a beautiful dark fairy tale with the horrors of reality within the context of Fascist Spain. I do wish that it wasn’t so balanced between the two settings as the fairy tale elements were better but that could be just wanting more of it.

 

Number #5

Noah Hathaway as Atreyu and Falkor The Neverending Story picture image

Noah Hathaway as Atreyu and Falkor

The Never Ending Story –  This movie traumatized so many children in the 80’s but it’s just pure uncut nostalgia that you can’t deny it. While it does have complex idea at play the philosophies in this story are lovely. Plus Falcor is awesome.

Number #4 

Johnny Depp as Edward Scissorhands & Winona Ryder as Kim Boggs Edward Scissorhands picture image

Johnny Depp as Edward Scissorhands & Winona Ryder as Kim Boggs

Edward Scissorhands – Edward Scissorhands effortlessly combines a lot of fairy tale tropes into a modern setting. It’s a beautiful bittersweet tale that is very emotionally charged.

Number #3

Drew Barrymore as Danielle and Dougray Scott as Prince Henry Ever After: A Cinderella Story picture image

Drew Barrymore as Danielle and Dougray Scott as Prince Henry

Ever After – Let’s not pretend that this isn’t the best Cinderella movie. This movie gives story gives Cinderella a.k.a Danielle  the most acengy she can possible have while still being the Cinderella character and it does it well. All the Cinderella elements are there is someway but the are elevated in such a way that makes them make sense in the story and the world. Plus it’s a fun movie with great costumes.

 

Number #2

Cary Elwes as Westley and Robin Wright as Buttercup The Princess Bride picture image

Cary Elwes as Westley and Robin Wright as Buttercup

The Princess Bride – Another nostalgia bomb. I’m not sure would really understand a person if the didn’t like something about this movie, it literally has everything and it’s super entertaining and vastly quotable.

 

Number #1

Josette Day as Belle and Jean Marais as The Beast La Belle et la Bete Jean Cocteau 1946 picture image

Josette Day as Belle and Jean Marais as The Beast

La Belle et la Bete – There should be no surprise here, that the 1946 Belle et la Bete movie would be number one.  It’s just so perfect. It’s only flaw is that it knows it’s flawed and the story doesn’t make sense so it tells you to keep your childlike sensibility and just hits you with a dream-like movie.

I do hope the Disney Live-action remake will be on the level of the 1946 movie. Maybe when it comes out next year I will review it but till then the blog is moving on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pan’s Labyrinth picture image

Pan’s Labyrinth

Before I begin this review I just want to say that Guillermo del Toro you some how read this, please make that Monster adaptation for HBO! Please.

Ok, so Pan’s Labyrinth a.k.a El Laberinto del Fauno or Faun’s Labyrinth is a 2006 Spanish movie written and directed by Guillermo del Toro who I hope one day will do that HBO version of Monster which is a kick-ass anime but enough on that. Pan’s Labyrinth is a very dark fairy that mixes the 1940’s political climate of Spain with a girl quest to free her soul through a fairy.

Ivana Baquero as Ofelia with Faun Pan’s Labyrinth picture image

Ivana Baquero as Ofelia with Faun

The movie follows a young girl named Ofelia as she moves with her pregnant mother to live with her new step father, a sadistic captain in the country. There Ofelia encounters fairy-like creature who bring her into a nearby labyrinth where she meets, Faun, an ancient half-human half goat creature. Faun tells her that she is a the reincarnation of Princess Moanna, who once lived underground in a land with no pain or sorrow. One Moanna went up to the human world and forget everything and died. Faun tells her she must perform three task so her soul can be returned.

While Ofelia tries to accomplish her tasks, the captain has to deal with rebels one of whom works as maid, Mercedes. Ofelia first task to get a key from a frog who lives under a dying tree. Before the second task Faun gives Ofelia a mandrake root to aid her mother which works.

For the second task Ofelia is given magical chalk that can create passageways. She has to enter the abode of the Pale Man to retrieve an item. She is told to not eat any of the food at the Pale Man’s table. She uses the key she got from the frog’s belly to find a dagger. However she breaks the rules and eats two grapes. This awaken the very creepy Pale Man who kills two out the three fairies and nearly gets Ofelia. Ofelia tells Faun about what happens and tells her that she can never return.

The evil Captain finds the mandrake root and is mad and Ofelia’s mother burns it only to go into labour and dies giving birth to Ofelia’s brother. Ofelia and Mercedes try to escape but the captain catches them. Mercedes is nearly interrogated but she gets away. Ofelia is locked in her room. Faun comes to Ofelia and tells he will give her one last chance but she must not question him. She must bring her baby brother to the labyrinth and Faun gives her some chalk to help her get out of the room.

Ofelia gets her little brother but the captain sees her and goes after her. The rebels attack and when the go into Ofelia’s room all the see is the chalk door. Ofelia maged to get to the center of the labyrinth where Faun tells her that the blood of her brother must spill to open the portal. Ofelia refuses and Faun leaves her. The Captain shows up takes the baby and shots Ofelia.

As the captain leaves the labyrinth he meets the rebels who kill him and take the baby. Mercedes goes to a dying Ofelia. Ofelia then see her King father and Queen mother as Princess Moanna in the underground kingdom. Faun tells her that her final test was not allowing the innocent blood of her brother to flow for her sake.

Ivana Baquero as Ofelia Pan’s Labyrinth picture image

Ivana Baquero as Ofelia

The question that most people ask about this movie is was were the fantasy elements real or not. There seems to be indication that it was both true as Ofelia did get out her lock room, the mandrake worked, her getting to the center of labyrinth magically and the flower blooming from the dead tree. However when the captain saw Ofelia in the labyrinth talking with Faun, the captain didn’t see Faun. This might mean it’s not true but the Captain was a horrible person so I wouldn’t go by his perspective. Really it’s up to the viewer to make the call if the fairy tale Ofelia lives and dies for is real or her imagination to escape her reality.

Ivana Baquero as Ofelia with the Pale Man Pan’s Labyrinth picture image

Ivana Baquero as Ofelia with the Pale Man

While I really like this movie I have a huge problem with it, the real world issue and the fairy tale element competing for importance. Most of this movie is a cartoony fascist being a villain peppered with Ofelia doing her fairy tale JRPG quests. The real world fascist such vs the rebels does give the fairy tale parts more poignance and there were handled well together but I feel like they were two different movie ideas that got combined. Maybe if was more fantasy less horrible fascist it would have been better because the dark fairy tale part were more interesting. Or if the real world character were not so black and white, the captain was clearly evil and Mercedes was clearly good.

Ivana Baquero as Ofelia with the Pale Man Pan’s Labyrinth picture image

Ivana Baquero as Ofelia with the Pale Man

However this movie isn’t about characters, it’s more of a mood piece. It creates a dark world paired with a harsh reality. None of the characters are that deep or have have compelling motivation but the technicals more than make up for it. Faun and the Pale Man are really amazing and the dark richness of the sets draw the viewer into the movie world. The CG work isn’t as glorious but it could have been worse. Also the lullaby melody is so beautiful.

Ivana Baquero as Ofelia entering the Underground kingdom as Princess Moanna Pan’s Labyrinth picture image

Ivana Baquero as Ofelia entering the Underground kingdom as Princess Moanna

Pan’s Labyrinth is a intoxicating movie that combines a beautiful dark fairy tale with the horrors of reality, though because the fairy part were more interesting I wish the movie had more of those scene than that cartoonish villain being a jerk.

Clue 1 and Clue 2