4YE Quicklist: Three of the Best Fairy Films Ever Made

The supernatural has long proven to be a popular theme among filmmakers. With everything from vampires to elves to wizards and witches populating the world of 21st-century cinema, those with a taste for fantasy have a rich abundance of titles to choose from.

But if there’s one type of magical creature that appears less frequently than others, it’s the fey folk. Often found in children’s books and movies, fairies and pixies nonetheless fall out of favor when it comes to creating content for adults.

That doesn’t mean they’re absent entirely. For those who fancy their fantasy with a slightly different flavor than usual, here are three of the best fairy films for you to check out.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1999)

Fairies have been a source of inspiration for writers, storytellers, and artisans since time immemorial, with everyone from Shakespeare to modern-day slot game designers using them as the basis for their creations. Those who want to get a taste for their world have plenty of material to choose from. There’s the original Shakespearean script that this comedy is based on for the studious, while gamers can take up the chance to play Pixies of the Forest at Magical Vegas and perhaps benefit from the Tumbling Reels™ feature as they indulge a penchant for the reels. But it’s the film we want to focus on here. Released in 1999, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a romantic comedy film directed by Michael Hoffman. Starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Rupert Everett as Titania and Oberon, King and Queen of the Fairies, it tells the tale of star-crossed lovers who grow caught in their games. Earning generally favorable reviews, it has been praised for both its sublime acting and its stunning set pieces, making it a sumptuous and enjoyable watch for fans of the fantastical.

Fairytale: A True Story (1997)

The 90s was a period when fairy folk were incredibly popular in the world of cinema, and Fairytale: A True Story is another fine example. A fantasy drama directed by Charles Sturridge, it is – as the name implies – based on real-life reports of the Cottingley Fairies, which appeared in a series of five photographs snapped in Bradford in 1917. Set at this point in history, with the First World War raging in the background, it follows the story of Frances Griffiths and Elsie Wright, cousins who discover fairies at a nearby brook. Taking photographs of the fey folk, they unwittingly draw hundreds of people to the fairies’ home, causing chaos for their newfound friends. Sweet, pure, and nostalgic, this is a perfect film for a rainy Sunday afternoon.

Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)

For a fairy film with a darker twist, Pan’s Labyrinth is most definitely worth a watch. The fantasy drama film, which was written and directed by Guillermo del Toro, is set in Spain during the summer of 1944. Intertwining reality with the mythical labyrinth at its center, it sends its main character Ofelia into a world of strange and magical creatures. Charged with three tasks, which she must complete in order to win immortality and return to her own realm, she finds herself surrounded by a cast of characters that is frequently terrifying. While making for an immensely enjoyable watch, you’ll definitely want a pillow to hide behind and some friends to keep you company once the lights go down.

Tell us, which of these films would you like to experience first?

Erika Negrón Rivera
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