Favorite Fae Films & Shows
March is here, which means everything is leprechauns, rainbows, and shamrocks for the next couple weeks. But like last year, Kori and I want to use this month to dive into Celtic mythology and one of our favorite fantastical groups: the fae.
I'm kicking off our month-long theme with some of my favorite faerie films and shows!
As a fae-obsessed kid (not much has changed, huh?), I adored the cartoon series Winx Club about a kickbutt fairy girl squad attending a magic academy. It had everything! (Yes, it's cheesy now—but so adorable).
As an adult, I'm thrilled to see this concept re-imagined as a Young Adult show with a darker twist. Now the characters must balance training their elemental powers with preparing for war against a horrifying threat: an army of undead Burned Ones led by corrupt fairies with sinister abilities of the mind.
Looks like it got a little more badass, huh?
Despite its dorky-sounding title, this movie features some big-wig acting names (Randy Quaid, Whoopi Goldberg, and Kieran Culkin among them) in addition to being one of the few fae movies I've seen that sticks close to Celtic mythology and has a cast largely comprised of Irish and Scottish actors.
Mythological figures like the Dullahan (the Irish origin of The Headless Horseman) and the bean-sidhe make an appearance in this Romeo and Juliet retelling between a leprechaun and a trooping fairy.
A huge favorite of mine as a kid, W.I.T.C.H. topped even Winx with its darkly gorgeous aesthetics (yep, I was a darkling even then).
Also in spite of its title, this show isn't about witches. Rather, it's an acronym for each of the five young women with control over their own element who must become the new Guardians of the Veil. While not technically faeries, the characters' wings, elemental magic, and ability to "teletransport" beyond the Veil certainly make them close to it.
This high fantasy series has surprisingly complex lore (seriously, check out its wiki) and follows Will Vandom, Irma Lair, Taranee Cook, Cornelia Hale, and Hay Lin as they fight to save planet Meridian from the evil Prince Phobos and Lord Cedric, protect the true heir and regain her throne, and master their powers to become the Guardians they're meant to be.
If you've kept up with the blog for a while, you might be aware of my minor obsession with the Spiderwick books by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi. That's because this series was my first introduction to dark folklore and the concept of faeries as mischievous, deadly creatures rather than Disney-fied pixies.
Spiderwick follows siblings Jared, Simon, and Mallory Grace as they move into their great uncle Arthur Spiderwick's eerie Victorian home. Upon exploring the house, the Grace children discover Arthur's secret study and Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You, with detailed drawings and entries of (you guessed it) the fae folk.
With the help of a Seeing Stone, the siblings are able to peer through the Veil and fend off the ogre king Mulgarath and his army of goblins who threaten their family.
This adorable animated film is based off the concept of tiny, faerie-like defenders known as Leaf Men from a children's book of the same name. Perfect for all ages, Epic is, well, an epic tale about nineteen-year-old Mary Katherine on a quest to save the forest while caught in a war between its woodland protectors and their rotting Bogmen adversaries.
Maybe it's my nostalgic inner '90s kid talking, but Ferngully is such an underrated work of gorgeous animation. Plus, Robin Williams as Batty automatically makes it that much better.
When humans begin tearing down the rain forest, it drives animals and fairies alike from their homes and unleashes a creature of smoke and pollution called Hexxus (voiced by Tim Curry and with one of the catchiest villain songs ever).
Free-spirited Crysta meets human Zak after he's magically shrunk down to fairy size. Crysta shows Zak around her world; he's moved by all the lives people are destroying and vows to do what he can to help when he gets back.
Probably one of my favorite fae movies to date, this music and humor-packed film follows a kickass, sword-fighting princess who ventures into the forbidden Dark Forest to rescue her sister from the Bog King.
Except the story takes an interesting turn when Marianne learns the Bog King kind of sucks at being evil and is adorably awkward, kind, and misunderstood. An outcast, just like her.
Another movie featuring Freddie Highmore (and David Bowie as the villain <-<), young Arthur has been told stories of the Minimoys—or Invisibles—his entire childhood. But when his grandparents' home is threatened with destruction unless they can come up with the money to save it, he follows his missing grandfather's instructions into the land of the Minimoys to retrieve a lost treasure.
Arthur teams up with Princess Selenia and her brother Betameche to face off with the evil Maltazard and save both his home and the Minimoys'.
From Don Bluth—the same creator who brought us Anastasia, Land Before Time, and All Dogs Go to Heaven—we get this beautifully-animated retelling of the classic Hans Christian Anderson tale about a girl no bigger than a person's thumb.
Thumbelina has always felt out of place around her human "mother" and all the animals she can talk to. When she meets Cornelius, Prince of the Fairies, he promises to take her to meet his family—in a land full of people who look like her (and, we later learn, where she came from).
Ah, yes, I saved the best—or at least the most iconic—for last. Combining the concept art of Brian Froud (my all-time favorite artist whose book is featured in this post's cover photo), the creative mind and practical effects of director/producer Jim Henson, and the acting talent of David Bowie as the infamous Goblin King Jareth, this film was bound to be a cult classic.
When sixteen-year-old Sarah's baby brother is stolen by the Goblin King, she's tasked with traveling through the impossible, perilous maze that is the Goblin Kingdom in thirteen hours—or her brother becomes a goblin.
Helped by a cast of misfits in Henson's distinctive Muppet style, Sarah solves riddles and dodges deadly traps and creatures to beat Jareth's game and save her brother.
That's all I have for you today, folks! Are any of these on your list of favorites? Let us know in the comments!
Keep an eye out for the rest of our Faerie series during the month of March. If you're not yet subscribed to our newsletter, you can do that below so you don't miss tomorrow's edition and can stay on top of future posts!
If you liked this post, you might also be interested in:
Bookish Destinations for Date Night (so many fae realms!)
Until next time, witches!