Adventures in far-flung countries, voyages to distant planets, or quests in fantasy worlds - let your imagination fly away with these ten film picks.
Before an eccentric inventor accidentally miniaturised his children in 1989’s Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, or 2015’s Ant-Man took a journey into the quantum realm, 1987 flick Innerspace showed us what big screen fun could be had by making someone really, really small.
In this sci-fi comedy, Dennis Quaid stars as a test pilot who is miniaturised in a secret experiment, and accidentally injected into a supermarket employee, played by Martin Short. The result is entertaining and silly.
The film, which also stars Meg Ryan, was inspired by another flick with miniaturised people, 1966’s science fiction film Fantastic Voyage.
Raiders of the Lost Ark
“Indiana Jones… I always knew some day you’d come walking back through my door.” So says Marion Ravenwood when Harrison Ford’s plucky archaeologist steps into her bar in Nepal in 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark.
From the opening scenes in a jungle temple, to the dramatic opening of the Ark of the Covenant near the end, the first Indy outing provides pure, adrenaline-filled fun. And then there’s the unforgettable theme song, which we all recognise within seconds.
The NeverEnding Story
If you’re a child of the ‘80s, you may not be able to read that film title without feeling a burst of nostalgia, while the chorus of the theme song “tra-la-las” through your mind.
In the 1984 flick, a young boy called Bastian finds a book that transports him into Fantasia, a world of fantastic beings that only he can save.
The film, or at least its soundtrack, came back into the spotlight recently, when two characters in Netflix series Stranger Things 3 belt it out in an impromptu duo.
Back to the Future trilogy
“Great Scott!”, it’s Back to the Future, the blockbuster film series in which Marty McFly shares time travel adventures with eccentric scientist, Doc.
From the DeLorean time machine, to a masterful soundtrack and fun innovations like hoverboards, these are true feel-good films.
Also, the second in the trilogy gives you the chance to get a glimpse into the 2015 of the future, as it was imagined in the past (1989, to be precise).
David Bowie as a goblin king, Jim Henson puppets, and George Lucas as executive producer: Labyrinth is another ‘80s fantasy throwback that holds a treasured place in many people’s hearts.
In the film, teenager Sarah must journey through a huge and mysterious maze to save her baby brother from the goblin king.
The film wasn’t a big Box Office hit on release, but has since won a cult following.
Would you choose the red pill or the blue pill? It’s the choice between a hard truth or remaining in blissful ignorance. Thankfully for viewers, in the 1999 film The Matrix, hero Neo chooses enlightenment, and a trip down the rabbit hole which pitches him up against the robots who are really in charge.
You may want to skip the sequels, but the original film is a sci-fi dream.
Lord of the Rings trilogy
Take a long journey into J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth, as young hobbit Frodo Baggins journeys to Mount Doom to destroy a mystical and powerful ring. While there’s a lot more at stake, this trilogy tells a story of friendship and unexpected heroism.
If you’ve already binged on the films, then try re-living the story through the pages of the original books.
Any film by director Guillermo del Toro will take you to another world, and that’s certainly true of 2006 movie Pan’s Labyrinth.
It’s a Spanish-Mexican fantasy film, which is described on the Rotten Tomatoes review site as Alice in Wonderland for grown-ups.
Set in 1944, five years into Franco's regime, Pan’s Labyrinth is an unlikely combination of fantasy film and war movie. The result, while spellbinding, is not for the faint hearted.
Escape to an alien planet, where a human mind can travel in an alien body (an ‘avatar’), and be dazzled by director James Cameron’s creations.
At 162 minutes, Avatar is certainly not short, but it’s truly sensational.
Until recently, the 2009 film was the biggest grossing film ever, making $2.7 billion worldwide. It has since been overtaken by Avengers Endgame, which is another top pick for flights of fancy.
Avatar’s long-awaited sequel is due for release in December 2021.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Ever find your mind wandering, perhaps dreaming of a sunny beach or becoming the hero of your own adventures?
That’s the basic premise of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, the 2013 film starring
Ben Stiller, who also was also its director.
He’s a daydreamer who is suddenly propelled into action in the real world and his adventures are bound to take you on a fantastic ride.
Whether you take your pick or decide to watch them all, you’re all set to be transported to distant lands with this film selection. Time to take your place on the sofa and make the most of the journey.
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