Fantasy is a movie genre that tends to come and go in cycles, and there’s no question that the 2010s was one of the better eras for the genre. This was the decade that saw the return of works based on JRR Tolkien, as well as strong offerings from the animation studio Pixar. These were movies that worked to transport viewers to entirely new worlds full of enchantment and magic.
The users at the Internet Movie Database have helpfully outlined just which of these movies deserve to be seen as the best fantasy movies of that particular decade.
10 Monsters University (2013) – 7.3
monsters Inc. is often seen as one of the best Pixar movies, and its success led to the creation of a prequel, monsters university. As its title suggests, the movie focuses on James P. Sullivan and Mike Wazowski during their time at the university, as they overcome their original antagonism to become best friends. It has all of the signature Pixar magic, with complex animation, witty dialogue, and dynamic voice performances from Billy Crystal and John Goodman.
9 Wonder Woman (2017) – 7.4
wonder-woman is one the best movies of the DCEU, and it’s easy to see why it would be so popular among the users of IMDb. Gal Gadot has a powerful charisma as the title character, one of the mythical Amazons. What makes Wonder Woman such a great superhero movie, however, is that it allows the viewer to see the many struggles and heartbreaks that she has to endure, showing that just having superhuman strength is not enough to guarantee happiness.
8 On Body And Soul (2017) – 7.5
Though many of the best fantasy movies of the 2010s came from the United States, On Body and Soul comes from Hungary and focuses on two people who, while working in an abattoir, discover that they have a shared dream and begin to fall in love. It is a beautiful and evocative movie, and though its story is rather strange, it is nevertheless a haunting and evocative portrait of the power of connection to fight back against the loneliness of modern existence. What’s more, the performance from the two leads grounds its otherwise strange story.
7 Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (2010) – 7.6
Michael Cera has been in many great movies in his career, and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is rightly regarded as one of those. It has a unique style, and it features a quirky sense of humor and strong performances to draw in the viewer. What really allows the movie to succeed, and what helps to explain its popularity among subsequent viewers, is its aesthetic, which captures the particular look of both video games and manga. While it might not have been financially successful, it has enjoyed a strong afterlife.
6 Wreck-It Ralph (2012) – 7.7
Walt Disney has been responsible for many great movies, and the 2010s was a particularly strong decade for the studio. Of their many movies of the period, Wreck It Ralph is one of its best, managing to capture both humor and deep emotional resonance. Focusing on the title character, an arcade game character who yearns to gain respect. As with so many of the best Disney movies, it features a strong voice cast – led by John C. Reilly – and a visual aesthetic that is nostalgic and entertaining.
5 Kubo And The Two Strings (2016) – 7.8
Kubo and the Two Strings is one of the most extraordinary fantasy movies of the 2010s. Focusing on the title character, it follows him as he sets out to battle the evil members of his own family.
As its ranking on IMDb suggests, it is a powerful and beautifully animated movie, even if at times its narrative can be quite melancholy. It is thus the type of animated movie that manages to appeal to both children and adults in equal measure.
4 The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug (2013) – 7.8
The works of JRR Tolkien have led to some of the greatest cinematic successes in the history of fantasy movies. Having succeeded with The Lord of the Rings and the first Hobbit movie, Peter Jackson returned with The Desolation of Smaug, which follows Bilbo and the Dwarves as they finally encounter the vicious dragon Smaug. It has even more excitement than the first movie in the series, and the dragon Smaug is a masterpiece of CGI moviemaking, given a terrifying voice by Benedict Cumberbatch.
3 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) – 7.8
Even though it didn’t become quite as successful as The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey still manages to become quite an enchanting movie. As its title suggests, it focuses on the peace-loving hobbit Bilbo gets swept up in an adventure with a company of Dwarves and the Wizard Gandalf as they set out to gain a treasure from a dragon.
It has a lighter touch than its predecessor, and it manages to capture the playful spirit of Tolkien’s novel while also managing to be a successful epic in its own right.
two Inside Out (2015) – 8.2
inside-out, like many of the great Pixar movies, manages to be both very funny and very touching. What’s more, it manages to address some serious issues, focusing as it does on the fundamental human emotions that motivate a young girl. Amy Poehler brings her own effervescent charm to the character of Joy, who gradually learns that her own way of looking at the world, and governing human behavior, isn’t the only way that things should be done. It’s the sort of magical movie that only Pixar could provide.
1 Coconut (2017) – 8.4
One of the most extraordinary things about Pixar in the 2010s (and, later, the 2020s) has been its willingness to use various cultures to craft its stories. Coconut draws on Mexican culture to tell the story of Miguel, who travels to the Land of the Dead and has to try to return to that of the living. It has a perfect blend of joy and sadness, making it one of the most touching movies that Pixar has produced, and it is bolstered by both its skilled animation and its talented voice cast.
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