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7 Sep 2016

HIGH FANTASY FILM RULES - The Rules

Film genres have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas?



High Fantasy is a sub-genre of Fantasy set on a "Secondary World" (a fictional universe, as opposed to the real or "Primary World.")


RULE #1

The Secondary World.

"She thinks she's found a magical land... In the upstairs wardrobe." ~ Susan Pevensie, Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe (2005)


As noted, High Fantasy is defined by being set on a fictional world.  However, some variations can exist.  Secondary Worlds can be:

1a.  Type:
i. Unconnected to the real world.
ii. A faux-past in which legendary or historical people and events exist, but with more fantastical elements.
iii. In rare cases there are hints that's it's a long-post apocalyptic future.
iv. A world that people from the real world can travel to in some way.
v. Represented as completely fictional (appearing in a book/dream).
    The types, especially the last two may cross-over (the land appearing completely fictional, but something hinting it was real.)  The last two types will usually be for children or younger readers. 
    1b.  Faux-medieval - The secondary world will usually and primarily be a pseudo-medieval world (with regional exceptions), but with magic.  This will also require English accents.  Because it is faux-medieval it will contain inaccuracies, be too clean, have weapons used it impossible ways, and/or include modern phrases and in-jokes.
    1c.  Panoramic landscapes with lush green grassy fields, looking a lot like England or New Zealand, or barren and desolate (especially when touched by evil).  The two types can used to show the difference between safety and "home" at the beginning of the journey and the danger of the dark lands.  There will be swamps and creepy forests during the journey.
    1d. Impossible buildings and landmarks - giant dark (evil) or while glittering (good) castles, towers and sculptures that would be impossible without magic.  Any building will have a secret way in.
    1e.  Archaic spelling/strange names - A few words will be spelt in archaic, faux-archaic or just a strange way to remind us that this is a faux-medieval world.
    1f.  Hyper-real - Clothes will remain clean and undamaged (possibly self-clean or repair), hair and make-up with look great most of the time and fix itself.  Injuries and scars will disappear.  Major injuries may cause problems until the climatic battle where they will disappear (possibly reappearing after the battle).  Despite what they see and go through there will be no PTSD.


    RULE #2

    There may be sex and nudity.

    "Now look, I once stood exposed to the Dragon's Breath so that a man could lie one night with a woman. It took me nine moons to recover. And all for this lunacy called, 'love,' this mad distemper that strikes down both beggar and king. Never again. Never." ~ Merlin, Excalibur (1981)


    The intended audience for fantasy films is heavily split.  From purely children's stories to violent adult tales and as such sex and nudity vary wildly from film to film, but with general high fantasy skewing to less sex and nudity, and sub-genres like barbarian films and sword & sorcery being full of it.

    2a.  Nudity - Nude bathing in streams will be a regular occurrence, being acceptable nudity, sexual but innocent.
    i.  Female Nudity - Will range from skimpy clothes to scenes of casual nudity of multiple characters.
    ii.  Male Nudity - Suggested or avoided.  Some skimpy clothing.
    2b.  Sex -
    i.  Death - In most cases sex will mean eventual death, usually for the female.  Possibly for any male who is seduced by a female Dark Lord.
    ii.  Random Sex - Some of the more adult films will include random sexual encounters, even with the hero.
    iii. Relationship Sex - Most likely implied to occur after the film ends.
    iv.  Rape - Rape, or attempted rape, is more likely as the adult level rises.  Films skewing young it (or the suggestion/threat of it) will only be done by the villain, to show he is evil.  For more adult films, it may be done by the hero, but only at first as the victim will, it seems, soon begin to reciprocate his lust.  The film may justified because this is a different time with different values.


    RULE #3

    Characters.

    "Envy the country that has heroes, huh? I say pity the country that needs them." ~ Denton Van Zan, Reign of Fire (2002)


    3a.  The Hero - Can be a range of characters (from 3d- 3h), from macho sword-wielding hero, to small unexpected hero.  They will be human or some form of halfling (4b iv).  They will be male, unless they are young children in which case it is possible for the hero to be a girl.  They will probably be the center of some prophecy.
    3b.  The Hero's Parents - are usually dead, or killed in the beginning of the film, even if they are foster parents: all heroes are orphans.

    3c - 3i.  The Party of Adventurers - A rag-tag group of different character who initially don't get along but help the hero (3a.)  One will be a (reluctant) agent for the Dark Lord (3l).  One (possibly the same one) will sacrifice themselves to save the hero, especially during the final battle.  Anyone who sacrifice themselves will be deeply mourned for 3 seconds, longer if it's a pet or animal (3i)
    3c.  The Mentor - Usually a wise old wizard with a long white beard.  May or may not travel with the party, but will die for/in front of the hero to add to his determination.  Will often experiment with not only magic but alchemy, early science, orreries and clockwork Rube Goldberg machines.
    3d.  The Heroine - May be part of the party, or may be held captive by the Dark Lord.  Either way will be spunky or feisty, but be easily overcome by the bad guys.   Will always remain pure no matter what, even if all the other women around them are defiled.  The Dark Lord will want to marry/bed her for political or magical power.  She will be the daughter of the King (3j) unless the hero is the King's son.  The hero will fall for her immediately he sees her, but she will be stand-offish (either not loving him immediately or trying not to show it.)  May reluctantly act as a shapely or cutesy distraction to get past guards.  
    3e.  A Warrior - Bigger and stronger than the hero, but dumber and not as good at fighting.  Will often be more violent than the hero and constantly wrong or a strong silent type.  Upon initial meeting they will be unexpectedly bested by the hero and follow them out of respect for that.  Will often be a mercenary, interested in personal gain, not a cause, but will eventually fight for the what is right (and gain more than they would otherwise, or die trying.)  May be a Washed up hero/heavy drinker.  In rare cases will be the non-magical mentor (3c).
    3f.  A Warrior Woman - Usually slightly masculine looking but scantly clad and large breasted.  May come from a race of warrior women, such as the Amazons.   Will show disdain for most men, but when they find one they like will bed them immediately if they prove worthy.  May act as a shapely distraction to get past guards even without trying.
    3g.  A User of Magic - Someone with the ability to do magical things, usually more inept than the mentor (3c).  Will continually fail at a simple spell until it is needed in the final conflict where belief in themselves will make them a better spell-caster.  May be cowardly and act as comic relief.
    3h.  A Thief - Someone small and quick, possibly from a smaller race or a young/female human.  Cowardly if male, feisty if female.  It may a plucky young beggar boys/girl or a girl who disguises herself as a boy in order to adventure.  May act as comic relief.
    3i.  A pet or other animal - With a seeming (or actual) psychic bond to one of the characters.  May act as comic relief.

    3j.  King - Parent of the heroine.  May be under the control of someone evil.
    3k.  The Hag - An older, ugly female magic user, witch/herbalist/shaman/healer and fortune teller with important information for the hero.  May have a strong dislike for the Mentor (3c).  A beautiful Elven character may fill this role instead.

    3l.  The Dark Lord - The head of the dark forces, usually a powerful user of magic.  Most often male, but may be female.  May be ugly or at least scarred.  For females will probably be older rather than ugly, but still be (or be able to pretend to be) beautiful.  Often has the ability to change forms.  Is clearly evil which is shown by their random cruelty (like mistreating women) and acts of violence (like killing civilians and henchmen) and by the way they want to take over/destroy the world for no reason other the fact that they're evil.  Will only wear dark colours, especially black with red highlights and have a higher class British accent.  May have a dark or tragic past to "explain" their evil.
    3m.  An evil female - Will betray the Dark Lord because of love.  May act as a shapely distraction.  Usually destined to die, or end up with a male member of the Party.
    i. Female Henchman - Usually more competent and fiercely loyal (until they turn) than the usual Male Henchmen (3n), and will constantly need to prove themselves more capable and better fighters than the men.  I assume they're also paid less.  Because they're trying to be strong and independent, they will fight the fact that they're falling in love with one of the heroes.
    ii. Member of Harem - Sexily dressed and forced into being used for the Dark Lord's pleasure.  Will help the heroine if she is forced into the Harem, otherwise will fall for one of the heroes (the ongoing rape not having turned her off men.)
    iii.  Dark Lord's Daughter - May also be a Henchmen (3m i), but either way assumed to be the most loyal of followers.  Will however be the easiest to turn.
    3n.  Male Henchmen - Strong men, brash and powerful.
    3o.  Minions - Incompetent, making them comic relief, and libel to be killed randomly for it by the Dark Lord.

    3o - 3q.  An Evil Person.  They may seem nice in the beginning, but the nicer more protective they seem, the higher they'll end up being in the Death Cult.  They may even be the Dark Lord.
    3o.  Grand Vizier - Adviser to the King (3j).  They are always evil, even if it's only secretly.  They many be manipulating a weak-willed king or using magic to control him.  Will want to marry the King's Daughter, but not for love (although he may think he loves her and she'll grow to love him) but for the position and power that comes with the marriage.
    3p.  Evil relative - Often a step-mother trying to get rid of a step-daughter or an uncle trying to gain his brother's title by killing his nephew.  These may be the Dark Lord. or just a member of his death cult.
    3q.  The Priest - An older, ugly male member of a pious religion, who is politically manipulative, gluttonous, lustful, worldly, violent, etc.  Often in charge of an evil death cult in opposition to their public religion.

    RULE #4

    Races & Cultures.

    "Mortal world turned to ice... Here be goblin paradise!" ~ Blix, Legend (1985) 


    4a.  Homogeneous Races - Apart from humans, the members of a race will share characteristics and behaviours.  Characters that travel with the hero with either do so because they are different (outcast) or grow beyond their racial stereotypes.  There may be more extreme sub-races (More magical Elves that never leave the forest, Dwarfs who live live deeper and can't stand light, etc) that are encountered but never join the party.

    i.  Good/Evil - All races - except humans - will either be good or totally evil.  Evil races will be dumb, dark and ugly.
    ii.   Magic - Races will generally be magical (Elves, Fairies) or non-magical (Dwarves, Orcs).  Some, especially humans, will be non-magical but with magical individuals.
    iii.   Habitat - Will mostly stick to a single habitat, usually forests or underground.  Everywhere else will be left for humans and the occasional wanderer from other races.
    4b.  Races - May use Tolkienesque/D&D-style elves, orcs, dwarves, trolls, etc.  The more the films are targeted at children the more fantastic the races will be, or more like anthropomorphic animals and include faerie folk.  The more adult/less magical the films the less races there will be, other than those directly created by magic.  Males of many race will be grotesque, females will be sexy and curvy.
    i.  Humans -  Almost every world will have humans as the default main race, who make up most of the population across most of the lands.  They will be the least homogeneous of races with only individuals being truly good or truly evil.  It should be noted that make-up and effects for humans will usually be cheaper for the filmmakers than doing other races.
    ii.  Elves - Thin, graceful, beautiful mysterious, magical, forest dwelling. The more adult/less magical the film, the taller, less magical they will be.  Will be good (but maybe in ways different to humans), but may have an evil sub-race.   Party members will be more human-like and less magical than the most of the race, possible half-human.
    iii.  Dwarfs - Short, grumpy, tough, bearded, stocky, ugly underground dwellers.  Will hate/fear magic.  Will mainly use axes or maces in combat.  Good or neutral.  Will often join an adventuring party, but won't be happy about it.  Will usually only fill Warrior (3e) roles if they do join.
    iii.  Halflings - Based on Hobbits.  Good or neutral.  Will have natural abilities as thieves, which is the role they will fill in the Party, even if they isn't their profession.
    iv.   Fairies - will be mostly female, tiny,  clad in thin see-through material, jealously attached to one male member of the party.  The more adult/less magical the film the bigger, less glowy and less likely to appear in the film they will be.  Will be good, but pranksters. Won't join a Party, but will follow them.
    v.  Centaurs/part animals - The more adult/less magical the film the less likely they are to appear.  Will mostly be good/neutral, may be pranksters.  Includes Centaurs, Satyrs, Mermaids, while less common mixes will be more likely to be creations of evil and evil themselves.  Will certainly conform to the ugly male/sexy female rule.  Rarely join parties, but may offer advice, or appear as an army in the final battle.
    vi.  Giants - The more adult/less magical the film the smaller, more human sized they will be.  May be good, neutral or evil.  Will be mostly ugly.   Will fill a role as fighter if they join the Party, but will more likely be an obstacle, good or evil.  A few individuals may join the final battle, especially as a last minute savior.
    vii.  Trolls -  Ugly, large creatures.  The more adult/less magical the film the smaller and less likely to turn to stone in sunlight they will be.  Will only ever be evil.  Will be part of the Dark Lord's army.
    viii.  Orcs, Goblins, Hobgoblins -  Ugly creatures.  Will be evil, stupid and cannon fodder in the Dark Lord's army. Females will be rarely seen.

    4c.  Societies - Outside the main, faux-medieval, setting will be societies based off of historical societies, especially the Celts, Norsemen, Romans and warrior cultures based off of the Samurai or Spartans as well as tribes of Amazons/women warriors.  Warrior cultures will survive with no sign of agriculture or a way to feed themselves (apart from raiding other lands).
    4d.  Homogeneous Culture - Despite the differences in races, societies, lands, etc, there will be a common tongue spoken by almost all people and currency and customs will be very similar and assimilation will be quiet easy - after the initial misunderstanding leading to threats of executions and death.  The common tongue will be English (or the hero's native language) if the hero is a visitor is from modern Earth, and will sound like English either way.
    4e.  Rival cultures - Races/cultures/kingdoms that hate each other will work together for a cause.  If they're working for good, they will become friends or lovers.  Armies working for evil may turn on each other, armies working together for good will learn a grudging respect for each other.

    RULE #5

    Magic & Monsters

    "How may a mortal man face and defeat the Kraken?" ~ Perseus.
    "The Kraken is invulnerable. 100 men could not fight him." ~ Stygian Witch, Clash of the Titans (1981)


    5a.  Magical Past - There will be evidence of more magic in the past then there is now.  For example, there will be impossible buildings (see 1d) or major artifacts that were constructed in ancient times.  There will be legends of powerful wizards or beasts that are no longer around, but prophecy says will return.
    5b.  Low Magic Present - Normal folk, especially peasants and villagers will have little contact with magic and the magic they will have contact with will be low-level and unreliable.  They will rely more on superstition and may shun or dismiss magic all together.  The rich and powerful, or certainly cultures or races may, however, have more access to magic.  More adult films may be less magical.
    5c.  Magical lawsMagic systems will either follow laws a lot like modern physics (though this is more likely in games or novels than films) or have follow no discernible rules at all.  Any rules, however minimal, will be disappear when convenient to the plot.  While magic may have limits and need to be conserved there will always be those who use their powers indiscriminately and to ridiculous excess.  If no limits are placed on magic it still won't be used for everything, and you've got to wonder why.    Magic that should be able to destroy castles, isn't used to do so, but rather is used to raise armies to fight conventionally.  There will be items, spells or powers that must never be used, but will be to save the heroine or sidekick (or by the heroine or sidekick to save the hero).  The use of these magics will alert evil and bring in upon the heroes, and/or corrupt the user.
    5d.  Good vs Evil - Magic will be "black" or "white"/"dark" or "light."  Often able to do many of the same things despite the dichotomy.
    5e.  Gendered - Magic will be used by men and women differently, and often with different types of spells, powers, organisations.  Alternately, one gender may not be able to use powers at all (except, possibly, the chosen one.)
    5f.  Hereditary - Children may get their magic sensitivity from their parents.  The Chosen One, especially, will be because of their magic bloodline.
    5g.  Spells & Powers - There will be a number of spells and powers that recur, including:
    i.  Healing - Spells, potions or items will (as with 5c) have rules limiting their use or making the process slow or difficult, but will be very effective and seem easier than suggested.  The greatest healing potion, however, will be the will to live. 
    ii.  Remote Viewing - The Dark Lord will be able to spy on the heroes, mostly through and item (Crytstal Ball, Mirror, Paired gems, etc) or a spell via the cauldron.  This will mostly occur at the same angles as the film.  Such powers and items will catch important conversations, but may not give locations.  The Hag may have limited similar powers.  Many of the Dark Lord's spells will be performed through his viewing device. 
    iii.  Obfuscation - The Dark Lord will have spells that make the hero believe things that are happening that are not, or will make the a copy of the hero or other good guys, or have limited control over them. 
    iv.  Shape changing - Magic users, especially the Dark Lord will have the ability to change shape, or to make others change shape or appear to change shape. 
    v.  Necromancy - One type of magic almost always limited to dark magic.
    5k.  Items of Magic - Especially swords, will glow, shoot lightning or flame, talk and be near indestructible.  Often just so the audience knows they are magic.  Talking magical items will be witty and sarcastic.  They may even turn out to be artifacts of great power...
    5l.  Artifacts of Great Power - Items of great power will exist, and will be fought over by the forces or good and evil, but mainly be carried by the small and powerless.  Many of these items will be Doomsday Weapons or the only thing able to destroy such weapons or the Dark Lords who wish to wield them.  These items will usually come from the Magical Past (5a).  Artifacts may include - swords, rings, chalices, gems, stones, or other weapons or vessels.  These usually come with prohibitions on being used (5c).
    5m.  Religion - Will be believed by most if there is no proof of it, and disbelieved if gods (or the abilities granted to their followers) actually have a physical effect on the world.  They may also be into witch burning, especially by religions with superstitious peasant followers.
    5n.  Mythical creatures - As with magic and religion will be rarer than in the past (5a), rarely encountered by the average person (5b) and disbelieved if they exist and believed if they don't (like 5m).
    i.  Dragon - obviously the standard in major creature to face at the end of the story.  May be beastial or intelligent (and magic).  May be things of legend (5a), especially the ability to ride them (which may no longer be a thing - unless you're the chosen one.)
    ii.  Unicorns - Elusive, symbolic.  More popular in less adult/more magic fare. 
    iii.  Griffins, Rocs, Sphinx - or new random, powerful and deadly beasts meet along the way.  Often summoned by magic and a combination of animal parts.  Sometimes combinations or humans and animals, but more bestial than 4b v. 
    iv.  Giant Things - Often created by magic.  The smaller the original animal, the bigger the resulting creature. 
    v.  Supernatural Creatures - Demons, vampires, werewolves, or versions thereof. 
    vi.  Raised creatures - The result of necromancy, skeletons and forms of zombies.
    vii.  Nameless Beast - Often part of the final doomsday ritual, really giant, black, often tentacled things that cannot be destroyed except with a special item or spell.




    RULE #6

    The Quest


    "My Father's half-dead. My bride has been captured. And you're babbling on about seedlings?" ~ Steven, Flesh+Blood (1985)


    Most of the stories will have the same basic quests:

    6a.  The Artifact - Find and/or Destroy/protect/steal the artifact (5l) or keep it away from the Dark Lord (3l).  The artifact may be a child instead (or as well).  The Dark Lord will gain the artifact from the heroes near the end, with them finding it to keep it safe or traveling to him to destroy him with it making it easier for him to obtain.
    6b.  Destroy the Dark Lord - The final solution to the pesky artifact problem will be to destroy said Dark Lord, or be the main use of the artifact is that it is the only way to destroy him.  Destroying the Dark Lord will cause his fortress to immediately crumble, his forces to be routed and the blighted land to spring back to life.  He may become a Dragon (5n i) or a Nameless Beast (5n vii) or have summoned one to destroy the world.  Either way it will need to be destroyed, too.
    6c.  Save the Heroine - Secondary to the major quest, but part of it and important to the hero.  Even more important to the heroine.  This will impress the heroine and her father enough to allow a marriage.
    6d.  Unite the races/Raise an army - Not the goal of the quest, but important to its completion.  May be the hero's job or relegated to a secondary character to do while the hero is questing so they are there to clean up while the hero is dealing with the Dark Lord.
    6e.  Prophecy - All or part of the above will fulfill a prophecy.  The more the hero tries to avoid their destiny the more they'll fulfill it, mostly because these things are stupidly vague or confusing.
    6f.  Other events:
    i.  Win a Contest - A minor early event may be a rigged contest (joust, archery tournament, etc) run by the Dark Lord.  Even though the contest is rigged, the hero will win, but instead of a prize will be captured.
    ii.  Stop an Execution - At the last moment, and usually with a Hail Mary shot that kills the executioner or cuts the rope.
    iii.  Stop a Wedding - The forced marriage of the heroine and the Dark Lord.  And the moment that they interrupt the wedding will be "Speak now or forever hold your peace" whether it's coincidental or they for some reason wait.  (Not to be confused with an earlier wedding between good characters which will include death or a kidnapping caused by the villain, immediately after the vows.)
    6g.  The Hero's Journey - During the quest the hero will undergo a personal journey (see 7, 8 & 9.)


    RULE #7



    The Hero's Journey - Departure.


    "A long time ago, in the underground realm, where there are no lies or pain, there lived a Princess who dreamed of the human world. She dreamed of blue skies, soft breeze, and sunshine. One day, eluding her keepers, the Princess escaped." ~ PanPan's Labyrinth (2006)


    Being inspired by myths, legends and fairy tales, fantasy films will often follow "The Hero's Journey": the monomyth outlined by Joseph Campbell and others, which pulls apart stories and highlights common elements.

    7a.  Secret Origin - Many fantasy stories include a special background for the main (or other important) character.
    i.  The Chosen One - There will be a prophecy about the character and their role in des1troying/saving the world.
    ii.  Orphaned - The character is an orphan or unaware of their true parentage.
    iii.  Revenge - There will be some motivation for revenge.  A child sees family killed, entire village destroyed, a woman is raped.
    7b.  Ordinary World - 
    i.  From Earth - The main character may come from the actual ordinary world may be a modern human from America, or possibly England.  (Usually in settings of type 1a iv or v)
    ii.  Peaceful Lands - The main character may live in a peaceful, low-magic region of the fantasy world that looks like England or New Zealand.
    7c.  Initial Tests - The main character will feel like an outcast, suffer violent or prophetic dreams, or show signs of an emerging power.  The first signs of evil may appear and launch an aborted attack.
    7d.  The Call to Adventure - Something will happen to show the main character that they need to go on their journey.
    7e.  Refusal of the Call - The hero fears not being ready, inadequate or up to the task and wishes it wasn't up to them to be the chosen one.
    7f.  Supernatural Aid -
    i.  Meeting with the Mentor.
    ii.  A supernatural guide.
    iii.  May be given a magic item or artifact.
    iv.  The Party will begin to form.
    7g.  Crossing the Threshold - The character will reach the limits of their ordinary world.
    7h.  Belly of the Whale - The world they enter will be darker and more dangerous than the one they have known.


    RULE #8



    The Hero's Journey - Initiation.

    "The temple is at the center of the swamp where three trees grow as one." ~ Seer.
    "How can anything grow in that place? It smells of death." ~ Prince Colwyn.
    "Death and power are close cousins" ~ Ynyr, Krull (1983).



    8a.  The Road of Trials - Hero face a series of tests.
    8b.  The Vision Quest - A side quest which offers some (perhaps cryptic) answers.
    8c.  The Meeting with the Goddess - The hero falls in love with heroine at first sight, even though he knows he can’t have her.
    8d.  Lure away from Journey - Temptation to stop the adventure, possibly by the lure of a female, good or evil.
    8e.  A Greater Power - The appearance of the Dark Lord.
    8f.  The Ordeal - Apotheosis/Death - The hero transcends mortality and ascends, gains knowledge.
    8g.  The Ordeal - Descent into the underworld - An intermediate zone with new guardians and tests.
    8h.  The Ultimate Boon - Reward, achievement of goal.




    RULE #9

    The Hero's Journey - Return.

    "Tell me again, lad... where are we going?" ~ Bilbo.
    "To the harbor, Bilbo. The elves have accorded you a special honor; a place on the last ship to leave Middle Earth." ~ Frodo, Return of the King (2003)



    9a.  Refusal of the Return - The character will not want to return to a normal life.
    9b.  The Magic Flight - The hero makes the journey home.
    9c.  Rescue from Without - The hero is saved from an unexpected source from a final danger.
    9d.  The Crossing of the Return Threshold - The hero makes it back to the ordinary world.
    9e.  Master of Two Worlds - Hero has mastered the outside world, and now is has more confidence and control in the ordinary world he left.  The outsider will be accepted.  He may even become a good king despite having no experience or training in ruling.
    9f.  Freedom to Live - The hero lives life how they choose.


    RULE #10


    Sequels/Remakes/Adaptations


    "Bastian made many other wishes, and had many other amazing adventures - before he finally returned to the ordinary world. But that's... another story." ~ Narrator, The Never Ending Story (1984)


    10a.  Adaptation - As a genre far more likely than most to be an adaptation of a novel or series of novels.
    10b.  Sequels - More expensive than most genres, and with a niche audience then end up being cult films there is rarely sequels, even when the source book has them.
    10c.  Remakes - More likely to have new adaptations of the original source than actual remakes.

    The Films.

    1.  Wizard of Oz (1939) 
    2.  Star Wars (1977) - Space Opera (to see how this film fits the tropes) 
    3.  Dragonslayer (1981) 
    4.  Conan the Barbarian (1982) - Sword & Sorcery example. 
    5.  Fire & Ice (1983) - an animated film.
    6.  Labyrinth (1986)
    7.  The Princess Bride (1987)
    8.  Willow (1988) 
    9.  Pan's Labyrinth (2006) 
    10.  Stardust (2007)
























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