All products and services featured by IndieWire are independently selected by IndieWire editors. However, IndieWire may receive a commission on orders placed through its retail links, and the retailer may receive certain auditable data for accounting purposes.
Seeing is believe, but fantasy films are a special genre that will push your imagination to the limit and maybe even open up a part of your mind that you didn’t know existed. The good thing about fantasy movies is that they typically have a deeper subtext that will give you a deeper appreciation for life, and film.
For those who love streaming a variety of movies, signing up for streaming platforms is the easiest way to get access to tons of titles from plenty of different genres. If you’re not already signed up for at least one of the major platforms, it’s quick and easy to join, and you won’t have to pay much. For example, a Hulu subscription starts at just $5.99 a month, or $59.99 a year. To get even more bang for your buck, try a bundle deal with Disney+ and ESPN+ for $13.99 a month.
Amazon Prime at $12.99 a month allows you to stream from the massive Prime Video catalog, and gives you access to two-day shipping on select items, and more perks. The most expensive streamer on the list is HBO Max at $14.99 a month, but it’s totally worth it. With HBO Max, you get to stream countless blockbusters films, TV series, and exclusive programming, which includes new releases from Warner Bros. for the first month after theatrical release.
We rounded up a list of the best fantasy films currently streaming on HBO Max, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, outside of blockbuster fantasy film franchises such as “Harry Potter” and “Lord of the Rings.” The list includes “The Secret Garden,” “Big Fish,” and a few other fantasy film creations that you either will love, or already do.
Warner Bros./YouTube Screenshot
“The NeverEnding Story”
If you were born in the ‘80s, or ‘90s, then you’re probably already familiar with this film. But it’s time to watch it again. Directed by Wolfgang Petersen, the 1984 fantasy adventure follows a 10-year-old boy who gets chased by bullies one day and seeks cover in a bookstore. There, he uncovers, “The NeverEnding Story,” an enthralling adventure tale with a lucky dragon, a racing snail, a rock-biting giant, a narcoleptic bat, and more crazy characters. Things get emotional in “The NeverEnding Story” so don’t be surprised if you find yourself bawling your eyes out. You can stream the film on HBO Max.
“The Secret Garden”
A young girl sent to live with her uncle where she finds herself alone and neglected more often than not. To combat the isolation, she explores her uncle’s home and stumbles upon a hidden passageway that leads her to “The Secret Garden.” The 1993 film, directed by Agnieszka Holland and executive-produced by Francis Ford Coppola, stars Kate Maberly, Heydon Prowse, Andrew Knott, John Lynch, and Maggie Smith. You can stream “The Secret Garden” on HBO Max.
Sony Pictures/YouTube Screenshot
Tim Burton’s wild film totes the line between reality and fantasy. The plot centers around a fictitious journalist WiIliam Bloom (Billy Crudup), who’s piecing together the stories of his father’s (played by Albert Finney) life and desperately trying to separate fact from fiction. Along the way, he learns that his father’s extravagant stories weren’t as far-fetched as he originally thought. The film stars Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Crudup, Jessica Lange, Helena Bonham Carter, Alison Lohman, Robert Guillaume, Marion Cotillard, Steve Buscemi, and Danny DeVito. Stream “Big Fish” on Amazon Prime Video.
The ‘80s produced a bunch of classic fantasy films, and “Labyrinth” is definitely among them. The film is about a 16-year-old girl named Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) who has to solve a sprawling puzzle and rescue her kid brother before time runs out. “Labyrinth” was directed by Jim Henson and produced by George Lucas, and David Bowie stars as the king of goblins. You can stream the film on HBO Max.
The epic 1997 animated film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, which is set in the 14th century, follows a young boy name Ashitaka, and the journey to restore harmony amid misalignment between the forest gods and over-consuming humans. The film stars the voices of Yoōji Matsuda, Yuriko Ishida, Yūko Tanaka, Kaoru Kobayashi, Masahiko Nishimura, Tsunehiko Kamijo, Akihiro Miwa, Mitsuko Mori, and Hisaya Morishige. Stream “Princess Mononoke” on HBO Max.