NOTE: Everything that follows is my opinion… and it’s all fact.
Fantasy movies are geared toward the audience that longs to be whisked away, and that’s namely the pre-teens of this world. The reason why they are so susceptible: there’s still imagination (child-like wonder) remaining in their brains. Any adult that is too into fantasy films obviously has a mental/social disorder (hello PotHeads and Twihards)…
I’m not meaning to be mean. I’m merely meaning to get to the bottom of why fantasy films don’t do it for me anymore.
Growing up, I loved Clash of the Titans, The Beastmaster, The Dark Crystal, Gremlins, Tron, The Princess Bride, and some movies had to deal with a Star War or a few. There were others that I couldn’t quite get into like Legend and Labyrinth, but I always felt they were more for the young ladies (for the record, The Princess Bride was being read to Kevin Arnold Fred Savage).
Outside of The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (it’s insanely absurd and clever), when I was turning thirteen, Willow wasn’t even cutting it anymore. If I was going to like a dopey fantasy movie, it had something else going for it, such as my crush on Winona Ryder in Edward Scissorhands or me still being a fan of Steven Spielberg when he made Hook.
Let’s use The Neverending Story trilogy (yes there were three – and a TV show) to reiterate:
The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
The first film released in 1984: AWE-SOME (hyphen added for pause worthy emphasis).
The second film released in 1990: (Avoid making tasteless joke about Jonathan Brandis, avoid making tasteless joke about Jonathan Brandis, avoid making tasteless joke about Jonathan Brandis…)
The third film released in 1994: Really?! Highlights from an IMDB review:
I cannot begin to describe how awful this movie is… NES3, for lack of a better term, sucks. The storyline was as unimaginative and vapid as you could hope for… After the fart jokes and potty humor commenced, I just couldn’t take it any longer. My advice is don’t wast your time and ruin your childhood memories with this piece of refuse.
Now I don’t count superhero movies or animated films because they’ve almost attained the status of having their own genre. Outside of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, what do you have left to defend? The Mummy films? Van Helsing? (Not fair – those are mostly Stephen Sommers‘ pieces of crap.) Okay, then. MirrorMask? Eragon? Beowulf? Lady in the Water?! Stardust and Coraline were even kind of meh.
(SIDENOTE: I will give props to The Last Mimzy, The Bridge to Terebithia, and Big Fish for tugging my heart strings, 300 for being new, and the first Pirates of the Caribbean for the laughs. Am I missing any others?)
Ultimately, have fantasy films declined from being the shit to just shitty, or am I just getting old? I guess the proof will be in the pudding (sorry for the oldtimer-y expression) when the following films get remade or updated:
(FINAL SIDENOTE: I really, really, really, seriously hope that M. Night Shyamalan doesn’t fuck up The Last Airbender. I looooove that cartoon. That ended it’s run. On Nickelodeon. Just last year. Stop looking at me that way! I don’t have that serious of a mental/social disorder! Use this blog as proof!)