The Frida Cinema

Orange County's Year-Round Film Festival

The Rise of Fantasy Films in the ’80s

Science fiction, teen comedy, adventure…the 80s were full of these types of films. One genre that was on the rise was Fantasy. A number of these films have become classics in these modern times. The decade was full of fantasy books, fantasy movies, even fantasy mini-series. Fairytale Fantasy was in high demand. People were taking what they could get. 

They loved following the tales of traveling heroes on a quest to save the land and the people they love. They would have to solve riddles, fight through enemies, and find themselves along the way. Sometimes it was a simple villager with a heart of gold. Sometimes it was a knight sent out on orders by the princess. Sometimes it was the princess. Everyone found something to enjoy in such films. 

Some examples of such films include The Dark Crystal (1982), The NeverEnding Story (1984), Legend (1985), The Princess Bride (1987), and Willow (1988). All of these films take place in fantasy worlds, two of them even beginning with the opening of a storybook. While the foundation of these stories are the same, with good fighting evil, the details make each one unique and appealing to different people. All of the worlds have a bit of magic that works in different ways and each time it is introduced in a way that makes sense to the audience and gives them an idea of how interwoven that magic is in the character’s daily life.

In the end, usually, good triumphs over evil. But we as an audience know that already. It’s a fairytale, of course good wins, but it is the journey that draws us in and allows us to celebrate with the characters.

We hope you will be joining us at Anaheim’s Zion Lutheran Church & School Thursday, August 13th for a Drive-In showing of The NeverEnding Story. For more information about times and tickets, please take a look at our Drive-In page and keep an eye out for what we have coming next.