Alethea van Holland 7 of the Best

Alethea van Holland’s 7 of the Best

Written by Alethea van Holland

neverThe Neverending Story
Directed by Wolfgang Peterson
Hands down, this is my all time favorite fantasy film. I love the atmosphere, the attention to detail on sets and costumes, and the voices for the creatures. The effects are dated, but you can see all the effort and creativity that went into it, which gives it it’s own charm. Don’t even get me started on its beautiful score! It’s the epitome of a fantasy epic, daring quests, dangerous foes, and friends to join you along the way. The movie deals with heavy emotions and yet promotes the power of imagination and reading. I know everyone has their own favorite fantasy, and this is mine, I always turn to this movie whenever I need a boost of inspiration.

Directed by Jim Henson
This film is also another fantasy I turn to when I’m in a creative slump, and though it has its flaws it’s still an imaginative film and you can see the master of puppeteering at his best, Jim Henson. The songs are catchy, the puppets are astounding as usual, and I’m a sucker of the “Alice in Wonderland” concept, being whisked away to another world where you’re completely out of your element. The arc the main character goes through is also an important message, to remain humble and never take anything or anyone for granted.

grimmGrimm’s Fairy Tales Collection
Written by the Brothers Grimm
I don’t know if this counts as cheating since they’re a collection of short stories, but if I listed my favorites it would be a long list and they’re fantasy so it still counts, right? Anyway, who doesn’t know about fairy tales? These are stories we all grew up with, each one resonating with each of us. They’re stories that still get retold, re-imagined, and derived from today. From the fantastically macabre, to the whimsical messages held within some stories, the Grimm’s Fairy Tales are stories that set a lot of us into the love of storytelling, reading, or anything involving the creative process.

sightThe Sight
Written by David Clement-Davies
Just the fact that wolves are the leading characters through this story is an amazing feat and probably helped root the idea for my comic to have leading wolves. The Sight follows Larka, a she-wolf from her wolf pack as she has an innate ability that allows her to see things others can’t. It follows the fantasy epic formula in days of old of stopping an evil force, magic, adventure, and sacrifice. I was so immersed with this book as a kid that I couldn’t put it down until I finished reading it.

kikiKiki’s Delivery Service

Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
Okay, I know this one isn’t of a grand epic scale, but it was the first Studio Ghibli film that I ever saw, so it holds a special place in my heart. Although it’s not a fantasy odyssey, it’s still fascinating to watch this little witch go to a completely different town away from all that she knew, where she has to live on her own and make the best of her situation. We watch her at her highs and lows, from her humble and grateful nature, to overcoming self-doubt and fears, until she finds her own balance in the end.

Directed by Ridley Scott
So, from my list it’s pretty clear I’m a fantasy genre nut, but I do enjoy some sci-fi flicks on occasion, the sci-fi horrors my main faves. Although I grew up with Star Wars, Star Trek, etc…they didn’t leave the impact on me like Alien did. Granted it’s a horror, so I know that has something to do with it, but it’s still a film I continue to enjoy and still scares the daylights out of me. It’s a simple story of survival, I love the atmosphere of dread, and of course the Xenomorph design is in a league all it’s own.

baronThe Adventures of Baron Munchausen
Directed by Terry Gilliam
I stumbled upon this movie by accident several years ago and it has since then became such a favorite of mine. I love media that blurs the lines of reality and fiction, with grandiose tales from faraway lands. The story follows Baron Munchausen as he recounts his adventures from traveling to the moon to save his friends to meeting the god of war and everything else in between. It’s such a fun and charming movie, it tickles the imagination. And finally I love how it ends with you never know if the tales Baron said were true or exaggerated exploits from an old man.

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