Total Film lists 30 (5) of the Greatest Mythical Movies


5. Princess Mononoke (1997)

The Movie: The clue is in the name. "Mononoke" means spirit, and Hayao Miyazaki's historical fantasy creates its dramatis personae from the various spirits of traditional Japanese folklore.

Most Magical Moment: The kodama (tree spirits) awaken to watch the 'nightwalker, the Great Spirit of the Forest.

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4. The Lord Of The Rings (2001-3)

The Movie: Peter Jackson does J.R.R.R. Tolkien. Worth remembering, though, that Tolkien based much of Middle Earth on his lifelong interest in Old Norse mythology.

Most Magical Moment: "You shall not pass!" Gandalf - modelled partially on Norse god Odin - makes his stand against a Balrog on the Asgard-esque Bridge of Khazad-dûm.

Orlok rises from his coffin on the boat in Nosferatu

3. Nosferatu (1922)

The Movie: Let's be honest, we could fill this list with films based on vampire legends. Instead, we're singling out the most influential - F.W. Murnau's silent adaptation of Dracula, which swaps Bram Stoker's urbane gentleman vampire for Max Schreck's hideous monster.

Most Magical Moment: Count Orlok rises from his coffin. Shudder.


2. Jason And The Argonauts (1963)

The Movie: Jason (Todd Armstrong) goes in search of the Golden Fleece, but - thanks to Ray Harryhausen's iconic creature designs - it's the journey, not the destination, that counts.

Most Magical Moment: Jason kills the Hydra only for its teeth to re-emerge as sword-wielding skeleton warriors - one of the most complex live-action/stop-motion sequences ever devised, but worth the effort.


1. Pan's Labyrinth (2006)

The Movie: Amidst the horrors of the Spanish Civil War, reality and fantasy collide as young girl Ofelia finds her way into a labyrinth controlled by a faun-like creature modelled on Pan, the Greek god of hunting.

Most Magical Moment: Ofelia is pursued by the Pale Man - in fact, a nightmarish creature from the imagination of Guillermo Del Toro rather than any overt mythological basis, but so creepy you'd believe he'd been haunting us for centuries.

The rest at the source.