100 best fantasy movies of all time

Written by:
June 18, 2020
Walt Disney Pictures

100 best fantasy movies of all time

If movies routinely plunge the depths of human imagination, the fantasy genre goes one level deeper. Culling from the tradition of epic storytelling, the best examples introduce all the living entities in parallel worlds. Powerful wizards. Evil creatures. Futuristic spaceships. Distant planet landscapes. When the budget is big enough, all impossibilities are made possible. That’s not to mention animation, which serves up its own unique tier of boundless potential.

Historically speaking, fantasy films don’t always make for critical darlings. Nevertheless, there have emerged a slate of acclaimed works over the decades, some of which even dominated during award seasons. Meanwhile, certain figures pop up time and time again, such as Tim Burton, Guillermo del Toro, Peter Jackson, George Lucas, and Hayao Miyazaki. Each of these masters doesn’t just conjure a unique world, but renders an identifiable style or aesthetic in the process. In essence, they’ve built worlds within worlds.

Any given list of fantasy films will include family fare, and this one is no exception. However, there also exists a special kind of fantasy film that typically aims for adults and incorporates a psychological element. The viewer is left to wonder whether or not the fantasy is real or merely a figment of some character’s imagination. Prime examples include 1973’s “The Spirit of the Beehive” and 2019’s “The Lighthouse,” to name a couple.

To give this beloved genre its due, Stacker presents the 100 best fantasy movies of all time. Data was compiled on all fantasy movies to come up with a Stacker score, which represents a weighted index split evenly between IMDb and Metacritic scores. To qualify, the film had to be listed as fantasy on IMDb, have a Metascore, and have at least 5,000 votes. Ties were broken by Metascore and further ties were broken by IMDb user rating. Every film on the list has been considered according to the cinematic history and development of fantasy. Here’s the best of the best.

You may also like: 111 monumental movies from film history and why you need to see them

1 / 100
Twentieth Century Fox

#100. Edward Scissorhands (1990)

- Director: Tim Burton
- Stacker score: 84
- Metascore: 74
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 105 minutes

One of director Tim Burton’s most personal works is also one of his most quintessential. Johnny Depp stars as a young man with scissors for hands, who serves as a metaphorical stand-in for society’s creative outliers. Wynona Ryder plays his love interest.

2 / 100
Walt Disney Pictures

#99. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

- Director: Taika Waititi
- Stacker score: 84
- Metascore: 74
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 130 minutes

A tonal departure from previous installments, “Thor: Ragnarok” infuses epic adventure with vibrant color and the occasional comic relief. Imprisoned on a distant planet, the titular hero, played by Chris Hemsworth, must escape and save his home from the wrath of a deadly villain, played by Cate Blanchett. Director Taika Waititi is reportedly working on a fourth installment.

3 / 100
Elcalvo Films

#98. Undertow (2009)

- Director: Javier Fuentes-León
- Stacker score: 84
- Metascore: 76
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 97 minutes

More drama than fantasy, this Peruvian film nevertheless incorporates a ghost story. It takes place in a rigidly-traditional seaside town, where a young man grapples with his sexual identity. The debut work from Javier Fuentes-León, it won the audience award for best world dramatic feature at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.

4 / 100
Inforg-M&M Film Kft.

#97. On Body and Soul (2017)

- Director: Ildikó Enyedi
- Stacker score: 84
- Metascore: 77
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 116 minutes

Two introverted slaughterhouse workers form a magical bond in this Oscar-nominated Hungarian drama. Upon sharing the same dream world at night, they give romance a try in the real world. It’s a starkly original take on the theme of human connectivity.

5 / 100
Apple Corps

#96. Yellow Submarine (1968)

- Director: George Dunning
- Stacker score: 84
- Metascore: 79
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Runtime: 85 minutes

The Beatles were apparently too busy to perform speaking roles in this visual tour de force, which still incorporates plenty of their signature tunes. Set in the psychedelic world of Pepperland, it pits the fab four against music-hating Blue Meanies. A landmark achievement, it paved the way for new modes of animated entertainment.

You may also like: 71 years of Emmy history

6 / 100
Sailor Bear

#95. A Ghost Story (2017)

- Director: David Lowery
- Stacker score: 84
- Metascore: 84
- IMDb user rating: 6.9
- Runtime: 92 minutes

Despite its title, this solemn drama is a far cry from traditional ghost stories. After dying prematurely, a deceased man, played by Casey Affleck, drifts through time as a passive observer. To reinforce a minimalist vibe, the ghost wears only a bedsheet with eyeholes.

7 / 100
Fox Searchlight Pictures

#94. The Tree of Life (2011)

- Director: Terrence Malick
- Stacker score: 84
- Metascore: 85
- IMDb user rating: 6.8
- Runtime: 139 minutes

Terrence Malick explores the history of time in this Oscar-nominated drama. Connecting the macro with the micro, the creation of the universe gives way to a poignant domestic drama. A spiritual restlessness permeates the narrative and provides yet another fantastical foundation.

8 / 100
DreamWorks Animation

#93. How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)

- Director: Dean DeBlois
- Stacker score: 84
- Metascore: 76
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 102 minutes

A young Viking named Hiccup, voiced by Jay Baruchel, and his dragon Toothless are back in this beloved sequel. Upon discovering a secret ice cave filled with dragons, the heroes find themselves in the midst of another war. Cate Blanchett provides the voice of Hiccup’s mother, a legendary dragon rider named Valka.

9 / 100
Aoi Promotion

#92. The Taste of Tea (2004)

- Director: Katsuhito Ishii
- Stacker score: 84
- Metascore: 77
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 143 minutes

Director Katsuhito Ishii was best known for pulpy violence until he helmed this quirky drama. Widely viewed as a surrealist answer to Ingmar Bergman’s “Fanny and Alexander,” it chronicles the exploits of a rural Japanese family. A young daughter’s experiences with her doppelganger inject a fantasy element.

10 / 100
Warner Bros.

#91. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)

- Director: David Yates
- Stacker score: 84
- Metascore: 78
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 153 minutes

Harry Potter, played by Daniel Radcliffe, returns for his sixth year at Hogwarts and his sixth adventure in the popular franchise. In hopes of taking down Lord Voldemort, played by Ralph Fiennes, the young wizard dives deep into the past of his nemesis. Providing extra help is an ancient book of potions, which once belonged to the Half-Blood Prince.

You may also like: Most famous musician born the same year as you

11 / 100
StudioCanal

#90. Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015)

- Directors: Mark Burton, Richard Starzak
- Stacker score: 84
- Metascore: 81
- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Runtime: 85 minutes

A British TV series jumped onto the big screen with this stop-motion animated feature. When a mischievous plan goes awry, a sheep and his flock take off for the big city. It comes from the same company behind “Chicken Run” and the “Wallace and Gromit” franchise.

12 / 100
Walt Disney Pictures

#89. Star Wars: Episode VIII—The Last Jedi (2017)

- Director: Rian Johnson
- Stacker score: 84
- Metascore: 84
- IMDb user rating: 7
- Runtime: 152 minutes

Film critics and hardcore fans remain firmly divided on this “Star Wars” installment from director Rian Johnson. To this day, it holds a 90% on the Tomatometer and 43% Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes. Under the tutelage of Luke Skywalker, played by Mark Hamill, Daisy Ridley’s character, young Rey, conjures the Force while taking on the First Order.

13 / 100
Kick the Machine

#88. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010)

- Director: Apichatpong Weerasethakul
- Stacker score: 84
- Metascore: 87
- IMDb user rating: 6.7
- Runtime: 114 minutes

The past comes to life in this Thai art house drama, which won Palme d’Or at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. While on his deathbed, a rural man communicates with the spirits of deceased loved ones. Director Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s shifting cinematic styles reflect themes of memory and transformation.

14 / 100
Columbia Pictures Film Production Asia

#87. Kung Fu Hustle (2004)

- Director: Stephen Chow
- Stacker score: 85
- Metascore: 78
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 99 minutes

Set in 1940s Shanghai, this action comedy uses cartoonish violence to generate fantasylike overtones. When an unruly gang imparts totalitarian rule over Pig Sty Alley, some of the locals brush up on their former martial arts skills. The thrilling showdowns were choreographed by industry legend Yuen Woo-ping, who’d previously worked on “The Matrix” and “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.”

15 / 100
Walt Disney Productions

#86. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)

- Director: Richard Fleischer
- Stacker score: 85
- Metascore: 83
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Runtime: 127 minutes

Walt Disney Studios brought Jules Verne’s adventure novel onto the big screen in thrilling Technicolor. Deep below the ocean’s surface, various seamen and their advanced submarine square off against a mythical squid. Iconic art direction and groundbreaking special effects earned the film two Academy Awards.

You may also like: 30 celebrities you might not know are Canadian

16 / 100
Pierre Grise Productions

#85. Holy Motors (2012)

- Director: Leos Carax
- Stacker score: 85
- Metascore: 84
- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Runtime: 115 minutes

Style reigns supreme in this visual tour de force from French director Leos Carax. It centers on the mysterious Monsieur Oscar, played by Denis Lavant, who inhabits various personas as he cruises around Paris. Despite an elusive narrative, the film often feels like an ode to cinema itself.

17 / 100
DreamWorks Animation

#84. How to Train Your Dragon (2010)

- Directors: Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders
- Stacker score: 85
- Metascore: 75
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 98 minutes

Vikings and dragons are mortal enemies by the opening of this computer-animated fantasy film. Upon forming an unbreakable bond, a clumsy young Viking, voiced by Jay Baruchel, and his Night Fury dragon attempt to usher in a new era. A critical and commercial smash, it yielded two blockbuster sequels.

18 / 100
Xilam

#83. I Lost My Body (2019)

- Director: Jérémy Clapin
- Stacker score: 85
- Metascore: 80
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 81 minutes

A severed hand crosses Paris in search of its original host in this animated French fantasy. The hand’s perilous journey gives way to vivid flashbacks, telling a story of romance and tragedy. Harrowing drama blends with macabre elements and comic relief to create a unique viewing experience.

19 / 100
Studio Ghibli

#82. The Secret World of Arrietty (2010)

- Director: Hiromasa Yonebayashi
- Stacker score: 85
- Metascore: 80
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 94 minutes

From Studio Ghibli comes this animated adaptation of Mary Norton’s timeless book “The Borrowers.” Behind household walls there lives a tiny family named the Clocks, who occasionally borrow items from their hosts. Worlds collide and friendships are forged when one of the Clocks is discovered by her muchbigger counterpart.

20 / 100
Dispat Films

#81. Black Orpheus (1959)

- Director: Marcel Camus
- Stacker score: 85
- Metascore: 81
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Runtime: 100 minutes

Director Marcel Camus updates the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice and sets it in Rio de Janeiro during Carnaval. Starring a nearly all-black cast, the film employs stunning dance sequences and an iconic soundtrack. It won the Palme d’Or at Cannes and the Academy Award for best foreign language film.

You may also like: Best and worst Leonardo DiCaprio movies

21 / 100
Warner Bros.

#80. Corpse Bride (2005)

- Directors: Tim Burton, Mike Johnson
- Stacker score: 85
- Metascore: 83
- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Runtime: 77 minutes

Creators used a mix of handmade puppetry and innovative computer technology when bringing this stop-motion fantasy to life. It tells the story of unlikely romance between a timid man and a recently-deceased woman. Many consider it a spiritual successor to Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”

22 / 100
McElroy & McElroy

#79. The Last Wave (1977)

- Director: Peter Weir
- Stacker score: 85
- Metascore: 85
- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Runtime: 106 minutes

While defending aboriginal people in a murder case, an Australian lawyer, played by Richard Chamberlain, encounters mystical phenomenon. The film explores the theme of putting a practical man in touch with something he can’t explain. It was later distributed in the United States under the title “Black Rain.”

23 / 100
Pandemonium Films

#78. Coraline (2009)

- Director: Henry Selick
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 80
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 100 minutes

Using 3D replacement faces for the first time in a feature-length film, Laika Entertainment created this stop-motion animated classic. It follows the 11-year-old title character into a parallel world, where things are not what they seem. Before the movie, it was a Hugo Award-winning novella by fantasy writer Neil Gaiman.

24 / 100
Les Armateurs

#77. The Secret of Kells (2009)

- Directors: Tomm Moore, Nora Twomey
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 81
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 75 minutes

Set during medieval times, this animated adventure follows a young boy through an enchanted forest. With help from a wolf-girl and a fairy, the boy overcomes obstacles of both the internal and external variety. It comes from Cartoon Saloon, an Irish studio that went on to animate acclaimed films such as “The Breadwinner” and “Song of the Sea.”

25 / 100
Hurwitz Creative

#76. Moana (2016)

- Directors: Ron Clements, John Musker, Don Hall, Chris Williams
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 81
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 107 minutes

Disney puts a computer-animated twist on Polynesian mythology with this adventure tale. Hoping to remedy an ancient curse, fearless warrior Moana Waialiki sets out on a dangerous ocean quest. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s original song “How Far I’ll Go” was nominated for an Academy Award.

You may also like: Ranking The Best Years in Movie History

26 / 100
Arcadia Motion Pictures

#75. Blancanieves (2012)

- Director: Pablo Berger
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 82
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Runtime: 104 minutes

Described as a “love letter to European silent cinema,” this black-and-white drama relocates the story of Snow White to 1920s Spain. Hated by her evil stepmother, a bullfighter’s daughter runs away from home. As it turns out, she has some bullfighting skills of her own.

27 / 100
Pathé

#74. The Illusionist (2010)

- Director: Sylvain Chomet
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 82
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Runtime: 80 minutes

An unproduced script from French icon Jacques Tati laid the groundwork for this animated tale. It takes place in the late 1950s and follows a struggling illusionist to Scotland, where he rekindles some of his old magic. Like the 2006 Edward Norton film of the same name, this one explores the fine line between fantasy and reality.

28 / 100
Walt Disney Animation Studios

#73. Sleeping Beauty (1959)

- Directors: Clyde Geronimi, Les Clark, Hamilton Luske, Wolfgang Reitherman
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 85
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Runtime: 75 minutes

Princess Aurora has fallen victim to a deadly spell and only the kiss of true love can save her. Like a number of early Disney films, this one underperformed upon release and then made a killing over time. It was the studio’s last fairy tale adaptation until 1989’s “The Little Mermaid.”

29 / 100
Act III Communications

#72. The Princess Bride (1987)

- Director: Rob Reiner
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 77
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 98 minutes

Presented as a story within a story, this seminal classic pays tribute to the power of true love. Despite perilous adventure and gripping characterization, it never loses a comedic edge. A grandson, played by Fred Savage, can do without all the kissing, but he doesn’t seem to mind by the time the story concludes.

30 / 100
Tokuma Shoten

#71. Castle in the Sky (1986)

- Director: Hayao Miyazaki
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 78
- IMDb user rating: 8
- Runtime: 125 minutes

Animation legend Hayao Miyazaki was a rising star when he unleashed this acclaimed fantasy adventure. Featuring his signature visual style, it sends a young boy and young girl in pursuit of a floating castle. It was the first full-length feature from Studio Ghibli, which Miyazaki co-founded.

You may also like: Top 100 Country songs of all time

31 / 100
Fox 2000 Pictures

#70. Life of Pi (2012)

- Director: Ang Lee
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 79
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 127 minutes

Director Ang Lee and his team built elaborate set pieces and used cutting-edge technology when crafting this blockbuster adaptation. It follows a young man, played by Suraj Sharma, out to sea aboard a lifeboat, which he shares with a deadly Bengal tiger. Beyond the fantasylike veneer is an examination on the nature of storytelling itself.

32 / 100
Madhouse

#69. Paprika (2006)

- Director: Satoshi Kon
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 81
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 90 minutes

A thief takes off with a dream-penetrating device and it threatens to uproot the very fabric of reality. Can a young therapist named Paprika stop the thief and save the material world? So goes this mind-bending thriller, which is often cited as a predecessor to 2010’s “Inception.”

33 / 100
Mediapro

#68. Midnight in Paris (2011)

- Director: Woody Allen
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 81
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 94 minutes

Among Woody Allen’s best latter-day efforts, this one centers on aspiring novelist Gil Pender, played by Owen Wilson. In Paris with his fiancée, played by Rachel McAdams, Gil travels to the 1920s and befriends famous artists and authors. It won an Academy Award for best original screenplay.

34 / 100
Warner Bros.

#67. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

- Director: Mike Newell
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 81
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 157 minutes

Harry Potter, played by Daniel Radcliffe, is growing up and so too is the franchise in this fourth installment. Darker and more mature than its predecessors, it was the first film in the series to earn a PG-13 rating. It finds Harry competing in the high-stakes Triwizard Tournament.

35 / 100
Paramount Pictures

#66. Hugo (2011)

- Director: Martin Scorsese
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 83
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Runtime: 126 minutes

A far cry from the standard Scorsese fare, this family film adapts a bestselling novel. It takes place in 1931 Paris and chronicles the adventures of a clever orphan named Hugo Cabret, played by Asa Butterfield. Ben Kingsley plays real-life artist and filmmaker Georges Méliès, whose work informs the story on multiple levels.

You may also like: The 100 best TV shows of all time

36 / 100
Walt Disney Productions

#65. Cinderella (1950)

- Directors: Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 85
- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Runtime: 74 minutes

Adult viewers might be surprised as to just how well this children’s classic holds up. It tells the story of Cinderella, who outwits her captors and fulfills her destiny with help from her fairy godmother. Walt Disney himself once claimed that his favorite moment in animation history came “when Cinderella got her ball gown.”

37 / 100
Road Movies Filmproduktion

#64. Wings of Desire (1987)

- Director: Wim Wenders
- Stacker score: 87
- Metascore: 79
- IMDb user rating: 8
- Runtime: 128 minutes

Guardian angels hover over the city of Berlin and bear witness to the various lives therein. When one angel falls in love, it sends him on a quest to become human. The film was later remade for American audiences as the 1998 romantic fantasy “City of Angels.”

38 / 100
Pixar Animation Studios

#63. Monsters, Inc. (2001)

- Directors: Pete Docter, David Silverman, Lee Unkrich
- Stacker score: 87
- Metascore: 79
- IMDb user rating: 8
- Runtime: 92 minutes

Pixar Studios was in full stride by the time it released this inventive comedy. Monsters Mike, voiced by Billy Crystal, and Sulley, voiced by John Goodman, help power the city of Monstropolis by scaring the screams out of human children. It was later followed by the 2013 prequel “Monsters University.”

39 / 100
Rizzoli Film

#62. Juliet of the Spirits (1965)

- Director: Federico Fellini
- Stacker score: 87
- Metascore: 83
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 137 minutes

Federico Fellini’s first color feature stars wife and muse Giulietta Masina as middle-aged cuckquean Giulietta, aka Juliet. Guided by hallucinatory visions, Giulietta actualizes her emotional and physical emancipation. Arguably one of Fellini’s lesser-known works, it won the Golden Globe for best foreign film.

40 / 100
A24

#61. The Lighthouse (2019)

- Director: Robert Eggers
- Stacker score: 87
- Metascore: 83
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 109 minutes

Modern horror icon Robert Eggers followed 2015’s “The Witch” with this psychological fever dream. Set in 1890s New England, it follows two lighthouse keepers, played by Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe, as they succumb to the madness of isolation. When crafting the work, Eggers took inspiration from an incomplete short story by gothic legend Edgar Allan Poe.

You may also like: 30 stars who hit their stride late in life

41 / 100
Cinereac

#60. Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)

- Director: Benh Zeitlin
- Stacker score: 87
- Metascore: 86
- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Runtime: 93 minutes

This award-winning drama is nothing if not a tribute to the power of perseverance and imagination. It takes place in a Southern bayou community that’s been devastated by an environmental catastrophe. Six-year-old Hushpuppy is played by Quvenzhané Wallis, who confronts literal obstacles and metaphorical ones alike while trying to save her sick father and sinking home.

42 / 100
DENTSU Music And Entertainment

#59. Princess Mononoke (1997)

- Director: Hayao Miyazaki
- Stacker score: 87
- Metascore: 76
- IMDb user rating: 8.4
- Runtime: 134 minutes

The film that made Hayao Miyazaki an international name, “Princess Mononoke” takes place in the late Muromachi period. While trying to cure himself of a deadly curse, a young warrior gets swept up in the battle between humans and forest gods. As with a number of Miyazaki films, this one pits mankind’s thirst for power and progress against the order of the natural world.

43 / 100
Fox Searchlight Pictures

#58. Waking Life (2001)

- Director: Richard Linklater
- Stacker score: 87
- Metascore: 82
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 99 minutes

Blending naturalism and surrealism, this existential drama meditates upon the relationship between dreams and reality. Incorporating multiple people and perspectives, it delivers an ongoing dialectic in lieu of a traditional narrative. Creating the work involved the use of special software, allowing animators to draw over video images in a style similar to rotoscoping.

44 / 100
Warner Bros.

#57. A Little Princess (1995)

- Director: Alfonso Cuarón
- Stacker score: 87
- Metascore: 83
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 97 minutes

Inspired by a 1905 children’s novel as well as previous film adaptations, this family drama takes place during World War I. While attending boarding school in New York City, a young British girl, played by Liesel Matthews, gets word that her father’s been killed in action. So begins a life of harsh servitude, as the girl struggles to retain her good manners and youthful ideals.

45 / 100
Japan Airlines (JAL)

#56. Porco Rosso (1992)

- Director: Hayao Miyazaki
- Stacker score: 87
- Metascore: 83
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 94 minutes

Hayao Miyazaki adapted this adventure comedy from his own watercolor manga series. Set in 1930s Italy, it chronicles the exploits of an ex-fighter pilot turned anthropomorphic pig. A PG affair, the movie nevertheless explores a number of mature themes.

You may also like: Longest-running TV series

46 / 100
Touchstone Pictures

#55. Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)

- Directors: Robert Zemeckis, Richard Williams
- Stacker score: 87
- Metascore: 83
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 104 minutes

While not the first film to mix live-action and animation, “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” is arguably the most important. Reimagining 1947 Hollywood, it presents a world in which humans and cartoons coexist. Academy Award-winning special effects bring the story to life, while noirish overtones and a devious plot drive home its darker themes.

47 / 100
Warner Bros.

#54. The Lego Movie (2014)

- Directors: Christopher Miller, Phil Lord
- Stacker score: 87
- Metascore: 83
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 100 minutes

Awash with pop culture references and a prescient subtext, this computer-animated adventure became an unexpected blockbuster. It tells the story of a Lego construction worker named Emmet, voiced by Chris Pratt, whose seemingly-ideal life is uprooted by a shocking discovery. Most of the film’s unique visual style came by way of computer-generated imagery (CGI), though stop-motion animation and real-life Lego sets were also employed.

48 / 100
The State Hermitage Museum

#53. Russian Ark (2002)

- Director: Aleksandr Sokurov
- Stacker score: 87
- Metascore: 86
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Runtime: 99 minutes

Follow an unnamed narrator as he drifts through the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, interacting with the ghosts of Russia’s past. Filmed on location, the movie glides by in a single unbroken take. Achieving such a feat required a Steadicam and the cooperation of more than 2000 actors.

49 / 100
Double Dare You (DDY)

#52. The Shape of Water (2017)

- Director: Guillermo del Toro
- Stacker score: 87
- Metascore: 87
- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Runtime: 123 minutes

Romance blossoms between a janitor, played by Sally Hawkins, and sea creature in this genre-twisting Academy Award best picture winner. Set at the height of the Cold War, it blends classic horror tropes with endearing drama and a spylike sensibility. The lush visual palette also calls upon the work of European directors such as Jean-Pierre Jeunet.

50 / 100
Indian Paintbrush

#51. Isle of Dogs (2018)

- Director: Wes Anderson
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 82
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 101 minutes

Wes Anderson recruited a legion of talented voices for this stop-motion adventure comedy. In a dystopian Japan, authorities have sent all dogs to Trash Island to curb a deadly outbreak. Determined to reunite with his beloved pet Spots, a young boy, voiced by Koyu Rankin, heads into dangerous territory.

You may also like: 100 best albums of the 21st century, according to critics

51 / 100
Warner Bros.

#50. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

- Director: Alfonso Cuarón
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 82
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 142 minutes

The Harry Potter film franchise soared to new heights in its third installment, with Alfonso Cuarón at the helm. Upon returning to Hogwarts, the titular wizard uncovers buried secrets and tinkers with time travel. Moving well beyond the sound stage, Cuarón made expert use of various outdoor locations for the shoot.

52 / 100
Kiki's Delivery Service Production Committee

#49. Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)

- Director: Hayao Miyazaki
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 83
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 103 minutes

Another acclaimed fantasy from Hayao Miyazaki, this one tells the story of a young witch named Kiki. While struggling to fit in with a small coastal community, Kiki takes to her broom and launches a delivery service. Charming but not overly saccharine, the movie deftly explores coming-of-age themes.

53 / 100
Twentieth Century Fox

#48. Avatar (2009)

- Director: James Cameron
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 83
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 162 minutes

After dubbing himself “king of the world” for 1997’s “Titanic,” director James Cameron looked for new worlds to conquer. That brought him to the fictional planet of Pandora, where humans exploit the native population and mine for a precious mineral. Thrilling visuals and advanced 3D technology takes viewers along for the ride.

54 / 100
Prima Linea Productions

#47. The Red Turtle (2016)

- Director: Michael Dudok de Wit
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 86
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Runtime: 80 minutes

Rich in imagery and devoid of dialogue, this animated fantasy takes place on a deserted island. As a shipwrecked man tries to escape, his various attempts are thwarted by a mysterious red turtle. A co-production between Wild Bunch and Studio Ghibli, it won Un Certain Regard—Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

55 / 100
Aardman Animations

#46. Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)

- Directors: Steve Box, Nick Park
- Stacker score: 88
- Metascore: 87
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Runtime: 85 minutes

A mutated rabbit is destroying gardens in a small village and the annual vegetable-growing competition is just days away. It’s time to call in Anti-Pesto, the pest-control unit run by Wallace and his dog Gromit. Like the TV shows and short films before it, this full-length feature employs cheeky British humor and a signature claymation style.

You may also like: 100 best movies of all time

56 / 100
Buena Vista Home Entertainment

#45. Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)

- Director: Hayao Miyazaki
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 80
- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Runtime: 119 minutes

Master of fantasy Hayao Miyazaki brought forth another classic with this animated family adventure. A young woman has fallen victim to a witch’s curse and only a self-indulgent wizard named Howl can break the spell. Hand-drawn characters were digitally scanned, while every background was fully drawn or painted by hand.

57 / 100
Touchstone Pictures

#44. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

- Director: Henry Selick
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 82
- IMDb user rating: 8
- Runtime: 76 minutes

What began as a poem by Tim Burton became one of the greatest achievements in stop-motion animation history. When Jack Skellington brings a little Christmas spirit to Halloweentown, it kicks off all kinds of chaos. Frequent Burton collaborator Danny Elfman provided the music.

58 / 100
Focus Features

#43. Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)

- Director: Travis Knight
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 84
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 101 minutes

Travis Knight, Laika Entertainment president and CEO, took on directing duties for this stop-motion animated fantasy. Set in feudal Japan, it sends a young boy on the search for mystical Samurai armor. Production involved crafting realistic puppets from scratch over the course of many months.

59 / 100
Pixar Animation Studios

#42. Toy Story 4 (2019)

- Director: Josh Cooley
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 84
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 100 minutes

The latest, and possibly last, “Toy Story” installment goes extra thick on the coming-of-age element. No longer the alpha toy, Woody embarks on a journey of self-discovery. A host of new characters are introduced, as are a slate of celebrity voices.

60 / 100
DreamWorks Animation

#41. Shrek (2001)

- Directors: Andrew Adamson, Vicky Jenson
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 84
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 90 minutes

In a world of beloved fairy tale characters, there lives an ogre named Shrek, voiced by Mike Myers, and his loudmouthed donkey, voiced by Eddie Murphy. To free his swampland from exiled creatures, Shrek takes on the role of begrudging hero. Three sequels would follow.

You may also like: Best Robert De Niro movies

61 / 100
Amuse

#40. Your Name (2016)

- Director: Makoto Shinkai
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 79
- IMDb user rating: 8.4
- Runtime: 106 minutes

Two distant strangers have the ability to swap bodies and experience one another’s lives. Will their magical connection become something more when they try to meet in person? Hailing from Japan, this remains the highest-grossing anime of all time at the worldwide box office.

62 / 100
Studio Ghibli

#39. Ponyo (2008)

- Director: Hayao Miyazaki
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 86
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 101 minutes

Loosely inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid,” this Studio Ghibli production bears little resemblance to the 1989 Disney film. While both adaptations explore themes of rebellion, they take on starkly different visuals and narratives. Upon forging a bond with a 5-year-old boy, a goldfish named Ponyo strives to be human.

63 / 100
Tempesta

#38. Happy as Lazzaro (2018)

- Director: Alice Rohrwacher
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 87
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 128 minutes

Filmmaker Alice Rohrwacher drew upon a real event when crafting this unique Italian fable. It tells the story of a young farmer named Lazzarro, played by Adriano Tardiolo, whose imagination and naivety ward off some harsh realities. About halfway through the film, social satire gives way to magical realism.

64 / 100
Sidéral Productions

#37. The Double Life of Véronique (1991)

- Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski
- Stacker score: 90
- Metascore: 86
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 98 minutes

Before helming the famous “Three Colors Trilogy,” Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski churned out this haunting meditation. It follows two identical women, both played by Irène Jacob, in separate parts of the world, whose lives are inexplicably connected. Part of the mystery is figuring out what it all means.

65 / 100
Walt Disney Pictures

#36. The Little Mermaid (1989)

- Directors: Ron Clements, John Musker
- Stacker score: 90
- Metascore: 88
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 83 minutes

It was a whole new world for Disney Studios when it released this animated classic and kicked off a renaissance. Wishing to be human, mermaid Princess Ariel makes a deal with the deadly sea witch Ursula. The film won two Academy Awards for best original song and best original score.

You may also like: Most influential celebrities on social media

66 / 100
Walt Disney Pictures

#35. Coco (2017)

- Directors: Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina
- Stacker score: 90
- Metascore: 81
- IMDb user rating: 8.4
- Runtime: 105 minutes

Largely set in the Land of the Dead, this Pixar outing is nevertheless bursting with life. It tells the story of young Miguel, who dishonors a strict family code by pursuing a career in music. Vibrant visuals and infectious songs keep the atmosphere relatively joyous, even when the narrative takes a dark turn.

67 / 100
La Parti Productions

#34. Ernest & Celestine (2012)

- Directors: Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar, Benjamin Renner
- Stacker score: 90
- Metascore: 86
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 80 minutes

This Franco-Belgian dramedy centers on the unlikely friendship between a bear and mouse. Adapted from a series of children’s books, it features a distinct palette of watercolorlike animation. An Oscar nominee, it currently holds an impressive Metacritic score of 86.

68 / 100
Backup Media

#33. Song of the Sea (2014)

- Director: Tomm Moore
- Stacker score: 91
- Metascore: 85
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 93 minutes

From the co-director of “The Secret of Kells” comes this thrilling adventure. Adopting a slower pace than the big studio counterparts, it employs a signature hand-drawn animation style. Determined to save the spirit world, two siblings journey across a perilous sea.

69 / 100
Warner Bros.

#32. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)

- Director: David Yates
- Stacker score: 91
- Metascore: 85
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 130 minutes

A blockbuster saga concluded with this eighth and final installment. Determined to rid the world of evil, Harry Potter, played by Daniel Radcliffe, prepares for a final battle against Lord Voldemort, played by Ralph Fiennes. With $1.3 billion in worldwide box office receipts, it remains the highest-grossing film in the series.

70 / 100
Walt Disney Pictures

#31. Aladdin (1992)

- Directors: Ron Clements, John Musker
- Stacker score: 91
- Metascore: 86
- IMDb user rating: 8
- Runtime: 90 minutes

Scrappy street urchin Aladdin chances upon a genie’s lamp and makes all his dreams come true in this Disney classic. When voicing the genie, comedian Robin Williams ad-libbed so many lines that the film could no longer compete for best adapted screenplay at the Oscars. A recent live-action remake scored big at the box office, but arguably doesn’t capture the same magic.

You may also like: The richest country music stars

71 / 100
Elías Querejeta Producciones Cinematográficas S.L.

#30. The Spirit of the Beehive (1973)

- Director: Víctor Erice
- Stacker score: 91
- Metascore: 87
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 98 minutes

One of the greatest foreign films of all time, this gripping drama takes place in the wake of the Spanish Civil War. After watching the movie “Frankenstein,” a young girl enters a fantasy world of her own creation. Her haunting and imaginative gestures brush up against the hard realities of a new Francoist regime.

72 / 100
StudioCanal

#29. Paddington 2 (2017)

- Director: Paul King
- Stacker score: 91
- Metascore: 88
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 103 minutes

His name is Paddington and he’s just a CGI bear trying to make his way in a live-action world. Framed for robbery, the naive British character settles into prison life. It’s all way more family-friendly than it sounds and universally acclaimed as well.

73 / 100
Walt Disney Productions

#28. Mary Poppins (1964)

- Director: Robert Stevenson
- Stacker score: 91
- Metascore: 88
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 139 minutes

Live-action Disney musicals don’t get more iconic than this one, which took home five Academy Awards. Julie Andrews stars as Mary Poppins, a charming nanny who descends from the sky by way of an umbrella. The adjoining soundtrack was a chart-topping bestseller and for obvious reasons.

74 / 100
Nibariki

#27. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)

- Director: Hayao Miyazaki
- Stacker score: 91
- Metascore: 86
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 117 minutes

Most of Hayao Miyazaki’s output is synonymous with top fantasy fare and this early effort is no exception. Adapted from the director’s own manga, it depicts the war between two clans in a post-apocalyptic landscape. Themes of environmental destruction are built into the narrative.

75 / 100
Pixar Animation Studios

#26. Toy Story 2 (1999)

- Directors: John Lasseter, Ash Brannon, Lee Unkrich
- Stacker score: 91
- Metascore: 88
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 92 minutes

What was originally intended as a direct-to-video release became this massively popular and Oscar-nominated sequel. When Andy heads off to summer camp, Woody, voiced by Tom Hanks, gets stolen by an obsessive toy collector. It’s up to Buzz Lightyear, voiced by Tim Allen, and the gang to save their friend from being permanently encased in glass.

You may also like: Mistakes from the 100 worst movies of all time

76 / 100
Astralwerks

#25. Being John Malkovich (1999)

- Director: Spike Jonze
- Stacker score: 91
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 113 minutes

Director Spike Jonze and screenwriter Charlie Kaufman established their own brand of surrealist comedy with this feature debut. Set against a dreary urban backdrop, it sends depressed puppeteer Craig Schwartz, played by John Cusack, into the body of actor John Malkovich. When first presented with the concept, Malkovich suggested Tom Cruise instead.

77 / 100
Tokuma Japan Communications

#24. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

- Director: Hayao Miyazaki
- Stacker score: 92
- Metascore: 86
- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Runtime: 86 minutes

Two young girls move into a new house and get a taste of magical realism, Miyazaki style. Their fantastical adventures in the nearby forest provide respite from the reality of their ailing mother. On a 2012 Sight & Sound critics’ poll of the greatest films of all time, this was the highest-ranking animated title.

78 / 100
Engine Film

#23. After Life (1998)

- Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
- Stacker score: 92
- Metascore: 91
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 119 minutes

Director Hirokazu Koreeda puts a humanist twist on the afterlife in this quirky and sentimental drama. Upon dying, souls are sent to a way station and asked to preserve just one memory for eternity. Koreeda weaves real-life interviews and other documentary components into the otherwise fictional narrative.

79 / 100
Lucasfilm

#22. Star Wars: Episode V—The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

- Director: Irvin Kershner
- Stacker score: 92
- Metascore: 82
- IMDb user rating: 8.7
- Runtime: 124 minutes

A perennial fan favorite, this “Star Wars” chapter continues the ultimate space battle between the Rebel Alliance and Imperialist Empire. Bolstered by a tight script, the story unfolds through a series of epic action sequences. It all builds up to one of the most famous reveals in movie history.

80 / 100
Studio Ghibli

#21. The Tale of The Princess Kaguya (2013)

- Director: Isao Takahata
- Stacker score: 92
- Metascore: 89
- IMDb user rating: 8
- Runtime: 137 minutes

Helmed by Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata, this animated fantasy adapts a 10th-century folktale. Raised in a bamboo stalk, Princess Kaguya must contend with the real world upon leaving the proverbial womb. The exquisite animation style calls upon the minimalism of Japanese watercolor paintings.

You may also like: 100 best Western films of all time, according to critics

81 / 100
Les Films André Paulvé

#20. Beauty and the Beast (1946)

- Directors: Jean Cocteau, René Clément
- Stacker score: 93
- Metascore: 92
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 93 minutes

Long before the blockbuster adaptations, there was this French classic from multihyphenate Jean Cocteau and René Clément. Brimming with enchantment, it chronicles the romance between a young woman and her beastly captor. Walt Disney was so impressed that he stopped pursuing a similar project at the time.

82 / 100
Walt Disney Productions

#19. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

- Directors: William Cottrell, David Hand, Wilfred Jackson, Larry Morey, Perce Pearce, Ben Sharpsteen
- Stacker score: 93
- Metascore: 95
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 83 minutes

A landmark achievement, Disney’s first full-length feature was also the first full-length animated film produced in North America. Four years and $1.7 million in the making, it became the most successful movie of its time. Fearing the wrath of a jealous queen, Snow White takes to the woods and meets seven lovable dwarfs.

83 / 100
Asia Union Film & Entertainment Ltd

#18. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

- Director: Ang Lee
- Stacker score: 94
- Metascore: 94
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 120 minutes

Returning to his Chinese Mandarin roots, director Ang Lee crafted one of the highest-grossing foreign language films of all time. It follows two 19th-century warriors as they hunt for a missing sword, crossing paths with a young martial arts prodigy. Expertly-choreographed fight scenes blend with sweeping drama for Oscar-winning results.

84 / 100
Bitter Films

#17. It’s Such a Beautiful Day (2012)

- Director: Don Hertzfeldt
- Stacker score: 95
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 8.3
- Runtime: 62 minutes

Unifying three short films into a seamless whole, Don Hertzfeldt’s animated masterpiece introduces a stick figure named Bill. While suffering from a psychological breakdown, Bill takes a journey of philosophical proportions. A blend of surrealist visuals and techniques drives home the experimental narrative.

85 / 100
Walt Disney Animation Studios

#16. Pinocchio (1940)

- Directors: Norman Ferguson, T. Hee, Wilfred Jackson, Jack Kinney, Hamilton Luske, Bill Roberts, Ben Sharpsteen
- Stacker score: 95
- Metascore: 99
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Runtime: 88 minutes

Upon springing to life, a wooden puppet must demonstrate morals and courage if he’s going to become a real boy. By presenting a world of constant temptation and deceit, this Walt Disney production strikes an ever-prescient chord. The hand-drawn animation is nothing short of stunning, and reminiscent of an era that can never be repeated.

You may also like: Can you answer these real 'Jeopardy!' questions about TV shows?

86 / 100
New Line Cinema

#15. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

- Director: Peter Jackson
- Stacker score: 95
- Metascore: 87
- IMDb user rating: 8.7
- Runtime: 179 minutes

Two hobbits journey on to Mordor in their quest to destroy an all-powerful ring. Hoping to trick them is a shifty-eyed creature named Gollum, voiced by Andy Serkis, who’s rendered in groundbreaking CGI. The story climaxes with one of the most epic battle sequences in film history.

87 / 100
Walt Disney Productions

#14. Fantasia (1940)

- Directors: James Algar, Samuel Armstrong, Ford Beebe Jr., Norman Ferguson, David Hand, Jim Handley, T. Hee, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske, Bill Roberts, Paul Satterfield, Ben Sharpsteen
- Stacker score: 95
- Metascore: 96
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 125 minutes

A passion project for Walt Disney, this iconic production let classical music be its guide. The experimental film breaks down into segments while demonstrating an array of different styles and themes. It was a critical and commercial disappointment upon its release, only to be rediscovered and reappraised by future generations.

88 / 100
Liberty Films (II)

#13. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

- Director: Frank Capra
- Stacker score: 96
- Metascore: 89
- IMDb user rating: 8.6
- Runtime: 130 minutes

Hard as it may be to fathom, this enduring holiday classic originally tanked at the box office and even helped bankrupt its studio. Subsequent TV airings throughout the 1970s and beyond would turn it into a Christmas staple. In the film, a world-weary businessman, played by James Stewart, is shown what life would look like if he’d never existed.

89 / 100
Walt Disney Pictures

#12. Toy Story 3 (2010)

- Director: Lee Unkrich
- Stacker score: 96
- Metascore: 92
- IMDb user rating: 8.3
- Runtime: 103 minutes

It’s time for Andy to grow up and that means leaving his toys behind in the third “Toy Story” movie. Woody and the gang end up at a hostile daycare center, where an evil bear runs the show at night. The film won two Academy Awards, including best animated feature.

90 / 100
Python (Monty) Pictures

#11. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

- Directors: Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones
- Stacker score: 96
- Metascore: 93
- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Runtime: 91 minutes

An enduring benchmark of comedy and pop culture alike, this Monty Python outing retells the story of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. Deliriously subversive, it takes constant detours in pursuit of the next absurdist bit. In addition to Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones, the film credits 40 specially trained Ecuadorian mountain llamas, six Venezuelan red llamas, 142 Mexican whooping llamas, 14 North Chilean guanacos that are closely related to the llama, Reg Llama of Brixton, and 76,000 battery llamas from “Llama-Fresh” Farms Ltd. near Paraguay as directors.

You may also like: 30 musicians with legendarily long careers

91 / 100
Pixar Animation Studios

#10. Inside Out (2015)

- Directors: Pete Docter, Ronnie Del Carmen
- Stacker score: 96
- Metascore: 94
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 95 minutes

Boldly going where only a TV show called “Herman’s Head” dared to go before, this Pixar film takes viewers into the mind of young Riley. As she deals with various upheavals, Riley’s personified emotions undergo an adventure of their own. Comedians and actors such as Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, Diane Lane, and Kyle MacLachlan all lend their voices.

92 / 100
Walt Disney Pictures

#9. Beauty and the Beast (1991)

- Directors: Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise
- Stacker score: 96
- Metascore: 95
- IMDb user rating: 8
- Runtime: 84 minutes

Captive to a beast, the beautiful Belle must see past his unruly demeanor to find the cursed prince hiding within him. This tale as old as time relied primarily on hand-drawn animation, using newly developed CGI technology for the ballroom sequence. It was the first full-length animated film to earn an Oscar nomination for best picture in the history of cinema.

93 / 100
Lucasfilm

#8. Star Wars: Episode IV—A New Hope (1977)

- Director: George Lucas
- Stacker score: 96
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 8.6
- Runtime: 121 minutes

Cinema’s foremost space opera kicked off with this hotly anticipated chapter, which paired philosophical underpinnings with groundbreaking special effects. Tasked with saving Princess Leia, played by Carrie Fisher, the Rebel Alliance and Luke Skywalker, played by Mark Hamill, take on the evil Empire. This is world building on such an epic scale that Disney continues to explore new characters and storylines more than 40 years later.

94 / 100
Walt Disney Pictures

#7. Ratatouille (2007)

- Directors: Brad Bird, Jan Pinkava
- Stacker score: 96
- Metascore: 96
- IMDb user rating: 8
- Runtime: 111 minutes

An epicurean rat named Remy, voiced by Patton Oswalt, pursues his unlikely goal of becoming a world-class chef. Industry legend Brad Bird inherited the project and reworked it into one of the best-reviewed Pixar films ever made. At its core is the message that one’s dreams are never completely beyond reach.

95 / 100
Pixar Animation Studios

#6. Toy Story (1995)

- Director: John Lasseter
- Stacker score: 97
- Metascore: 95
- IMDb user rating: 8.3
- Runtime: 81 minutes

A veritable milestone, Pixar’s inaugural feature ushered in a new era of computer-animated entertainment. It introduces a pocket-sized cowboy named Woody, voiced by Tom Hanks, who gets jealous when his owner brings home a new toy, voiced by Tim Allen. Three blockbuster sequels would follow.

You may also like: 50 ways music has changed in the last 50 years

96 / 100
New Line Cinema

#5. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

- Director: Peter Jackson
- Stacker score: 98
- Metascore: 92
- IMDb user rating: 8.8
- Runtime: 178 minutes

It took decades of failed attempts to give J.R.R. Tolkien’s trilogy the live-action adaptation it deserved. In this first installment, hobbits Frodo, played by Elijah Wood, and Sam, played by Sean Astin, dodge evil creatures on their way to destroy a mystical ring. Various New Zealand locations provided the perfect backdrops for Middle Earth.

97 / 100
Estudios Picasso

#4. Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)

- Director: Guillermo del Toro
- Stacker score: 98
- Metascore: 98
- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Runtime: 118 minutes

Winner of three Academy Awards, this historical drama takes place in Spain during the early Francoist era. Grappling with a range of conflicts, a bookish young girl, played by Ivana Baquero, flees into a fully realized fantasy world. Drawing upon Guillermo del Toro’s greatest strengths, it pairs iconic special effects with rich characterizations to generate palpable gravitas.

98 / 100
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

#3. The Wizard of Oz (1939)

- Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Mervyn LeRoy, Norman Taurog, Richard Thorpe, King Vidor
- Stacker score: 98
- Metascore: 100
- IMDb user rating: 8
- Runtime: 102 minutes

Few fantasy films have stayed the course like “The Wizard of Oz,” which continues to draw in new audiences after eight decades. Upon waking up in a magical land, young Dorothy, played by Judy Garland, sets out to find her way home. It won two Academy Awards for the music, but lost best picture to a little movie called “Gone with the Wind.”

99 / 100
Tokuma Shoten

#2. Spirited Away (2001)

- Director: Hayao Miyazaki
- Stacker score: 99
- Metascore: 96
- IMDb user rating: 8.6
- Runtime: 125 minutes

Hayao Miyazaki’s most quintessential effort remains the highest-grossing movie in Japan to this day. A truly singular vision, it follows a young girl into a dangerous parallel world. Part of the film’s magic is its ability to pour out of the screen, infusing the viewer’s reality with a renewed sense of enchantment.

100 / 100
New Line Cinema

#1. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

- Director: Peter Jackson
- Stacker score: 100
- Metascore: 94
- IMDb user rating: 8.9
- Runtime: 201 minutes

Peter Jackson’s original trilogy concluded in fittingly epic fashion, presenting the final showdown between good and evil. It made over $1.1 billion at the global box office and won 11 Academy Awards, matching an all-time record. If nearly three-and-a-half hours of adventure doesn’t suffice, there’s an extended version with more than 50 minutes of additional footage.

You may also like: Best-selling book series of all time

Trending Now