The 25 Best Fairy Tale Movies of All Time

Fairy tales tell of the adventures of princes and princesses, evil witches, and heroic children who have to fight against dark forces. Their magic fairy tale films accompany us into another world and provide a good mood and the best entertainment. This list shows the 30 best fairy tale movies of all time.

1. Frozen (2013)


The film tells the story of the unequal sisters Anna and Elsa. After the kingdom of Arendelle is trapped under a blanket of ice, the king’s daughter Anna sets out to find her sister. Elsa has the gift of creating ice and snow with her hands. By accident, she caused the kingdom to sink into the eternal ice. Elsa has since lived hidden in an ice palace in the mountains, full of shame and self-doubt. Anna gets help in her search from funny snowman Olaf, reindeer Sven, and daredevil adventurer Kristoff. Together they try to find the ice queen and defeat the curse.

The film inspires people of all ages. With beautiful songs, an emotional as well as exciting plot, and enchanting characters, the film is one of the most successful Disney fairy tale films of all time.

2. The Last Unicorn (1982)


In a magical forest lives a beautiful unicorn. One day she learns that all the unicorns have disappeared and that an evil king and his red bull are behind the disappearance. With the sad awareness that she is the last unicorn, she searches for her fellow unicorns. A journey full of danger and adventure begins. On the way, she meets the untalented sorcerer’s apprentice Schmendrick and the bitter robber bride Molly Grue. Together they set off to King Haggard to rescue the captured unicorns.

In 1982 the film moved to tears. Above all, the film music gives you goosebumps and gives the story a fairy-tale atmosphere.

3. The NeverEnding Story (1984)


Young Bastian is an outsider and is bullied daily by his classmates. One day he finds a mysterious book in the store of an old bookseller, which attracts him magically. The boy borrows the book and hides in the attic of his school. Bastian learns about Fantasia, a mysterious land threatened by a dark force. The young hero Atréju is the last hope to save the childlike empress and the whole country. Bastian soon becomes part of the never-ending story and embarks on a magical journey.

The old-fashioned look and the enchanting scenery give the film a very special charm to this day. The film was from 1984, when real handicraft was still used, and computer effects played no role.

4. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)


Princess Snow White has inherited the beauty of her deceased mother. Her father, the king, marries again, and Snow White gets a stepmother. The new queen is vain, wicked, and envious of her stepdaughter’s youth and beauty. The young girl finds refuge with the friendly seven dwarfs in the forest. But the curse of the wicked stepmother is not far, so Snow White must fear for her life. Through a trick, a poisoned apple becomes a tragic fate. Only true love can still save Snow White.

The classic from 1937 is still timeless and is considered a milestone in film history. The fairy tale film was the first full-length animated film by Walt Disney and laid the foundation for further fairy tale adaptations of the Walt Disney Studios.

5. Maleficent (2014)


The film tells the story of the fairy Maleficent. She lives happily and contentedly in the fairy forest until one day, and her former human friend cuts off her enchanted wings out of greed. Driven by revenge, the fairy curses his daughter Aurora and takes her to her kingdom. The years pass, and the girl grows up to be a cheerful young woman. Maleficent develops a deep bond with the girl, but her dark magic threatens Aurora’s life.

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The special thing about the modern “Sleeping Beauty” adaptation is that the story is told from the point of view of the evil fairy, who actually also has a good heart but has become bitter due to heartbreak. The film delights fairy tale fans worldwide with fantastic animation and spectacular scenery.

6. Frau Holle (1961)


The fairy tale film from 1961 tells the story of Goldmarie. Since the death of her parents, the girl lives with her unloved stepmother and lazy stepsister. Without love and with a strict hand, the girl has to do all the work alone all day long. The wicked stepmother daily comes up with new chicaneries against Goldmarie, until one day, the spool of the spinning wheel falls into a well. Goldmarie arrives quite unexpectedly in the magical realm of Frau Holle. From then on, the girl helps the kind woman to shake the beds, which makes it snow again on earth.

The magic of the film lies in the handmade sets and special costumes, all of which were very elaborately made at the time. The story of the unloved Goldmarie moves to tears, but with Frau Holle, the girl finds love and bliss for the first time in her life.

7. Three Wishes For Cinderella


Since the death of her parents, pretty Cinderella has had to lead a life as a maid for her wicked stepmother and mean stepsisters. One day she receives three enchanted hazelnuts that can grant wishes. Cinderella is not allowed to go to the prince’s ball because the stepmother wants to introduce the stepsisters to the court. Thanks to the magic of hazelnuts, Cinderella also gets to the ball, and the prince falls madly in love with the pretty girl. But the evil stepmother makes sinister plans to break the young happiness.

The film is one of the most popular and best fairy tale films of all time. Above all, the beautiful winter landscapes give the film a special charm and fit perfectly into the pre-Christmas season. The beautiful actress of Cinderella still enchants the hearts of fairy tale lovers all over the world.

8. Beauty and the Beast (1991)


In 1992 Disney enchanted us with a very special fairy tale film. It tells the story of a selfish prince who is turned into a monstrous beast by a fairy as punishment. Only true love can free him from the spell. To save her father, the clever and beautiful Belle goes to the Beast’s castle.

From now on, the young woman must live with the creature. After initial fear and aversion Belle recognizes the good heart of the Beast. But the dark curse is upon them, and time is running out. Belle must listen to her heart and make a momentous decision.

The film stands out, especially for its clever dialogues and enchanting animations. Plus, a soundtrack to sing along with and a touching story that demands a tear or two.

9. The Wizard of Oz (1939)


Dorothy lives with her aunt and uncle on a farm in Kansas. A whirlwind carries her together with dog Toto and the house to the enchanted land of Oz. Only the Wizard of Oz can send the girl back home. Dorothy embarks on a long journey to the capital city with a scarecrow, a lion, and a tin man. On the way, the friends encounter all kinds of adventures and dangers. The wicked Witch of the West keeps trying to steal Dorothy’s magic shoes and becomes a great danger.

The musical film belongs among the best and most popular films of all time. Judy Garland made history in 1939 with her rendition of “Over The Rainbow” and enchanted millions around the globe. A film jewel that everyone should have seen.

10. The Little Mermaid (1989)


The young mermaid Arielle lives in the ocean below. She is the daughter of the underwater King Triton. Arielle is curious and a little whirlwind. Much rather than doing her daily chores, she goes on a journey of discovery. Together with her friend, the fish Fabius, she ventures to the sea’s surface and observes the people with fascination. Ever since she saved Prince Eric’s life, Arielle’s most fervent wish has been to become human. Despite all warnings, she makes a momentous decision and asks the evil sea witch Ursula for help.

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In 1989 Disney delighted us with this beautiful film adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale. The film is visually a feast for the eyes. Warm background tones and the beautiful colors of the ocean give the story that certain something. In addition, there is a soundtrack to fall in love with, where everyone wants to sing along immediately.

11. Aladdin (1992)


The story of the street urchin Aladdin is told. Together with Abu the monkey, the thief dreams of a better life. When he falls in love with the beautiful Jasmine, daughter of the Sultan, he wants to become a grown man. Quite unexpectedly, he receives a magic lamp that houses a genie, the mighty Genie. This one fulfills the three wishes of its owner. But dark forces also want to get hold of the magic lamp.

The oriental fairy tale film was produced by Disney in 1992 and is one of the most successful Hollywood films of all time. Robin Williams remains unforgotten, lending his voice to the funky Genie and providing laughs time and again. A film that thrills the whole family and provides the best entertainment.

12. Hook (1991)


Peter was once the legendary Peter Pan in Neverland. But these times have long forgotten the stressed family father. As a lawyer, he barely finds time even for his family. Only a visit to grandmother Wendy awakens old memories. Quite unexpectedly, his arch-enemy, the nasty villain Captain Hook, kidnaps his two children. Peter returns to Neverland and, with the help of the lost boys, finds back to his old self. The final battle against Hook and his gang becomes a great adventure for life and death.

Director Steven Spielberg has created a film jewel that fascinates people of all ages. The fantastic story about the boy who never wants to grow up is grandiose and timeless. Robin Williams, in the role of Peter Pans, touches and amuses.

13. Tangled (2010)


The clever thief Flynn Rider unexpectedly meets Rapunzel in a tower. The girl has exceptionally long hair, with which she can put many a villain to flight. After initial reluctance and a spirited discussion, Rapunzel decides to leave her tower for the first time in her life. An exciting adventure awaits the girl and Flynn, who develops more and more feelings for the pretty princess.

With very elaborate and breathtaking animation, this modern fairy tale adaptation is considered one of the best films of all time. This Rapunzel is funny and sassy and quickly becomes the new heroine of all girls.

14. Alice in Wonderland (2010)


In 2010, cult director Tim Burton thrilled audiences with a new film version of the popular story. Alice Kingsley is a free spirit and finds it hard to submit to the strict etiquette of her time. When she receives a marriage proposal, she runs away. Unexpectedly, she follows a strange rabbit and accidentally falls into its burrow. Alice lands in Wonderland and encounters many strange characters. But the country is oppressed by the Red Queen. Alice’s arrival becomes the only hope for the whole of Wonderland to defeat the evil queen.

The film is considered a milestone, as it was shown in cinemas completely in 3D and became a box office hit. The fantastic animations enchant and make Wonderland a motley world where dreams come true.

15. The Chronicles of Narnia (2005)


During World War II, all the children are evacuated and taken to rural safety. So do the children of the Pevensie family. An old cupboard leads siblings Lucy, Edmund, Peter, and Susann into another world. Narnia is a magical land shrouded in eternal winter under the rule of an evil witch. Together with the lion Aslan, the siblings want to help free Narnia.

It is above all the extraordinary characters that make the film so fabulous. The talking lion Aslan and the friendly faun Tumnus are among the fans’ favorites. The two sequels were also great successes and attracted millions of moviegoers.

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16. The Princess Bride (1987)


The story of Buttercup is told. The young woman is madly in love with the stable boy Westley. It could not be more beautiful for the young happiness until a tragic moment changes everything. Believing that pirates killed her beloved, Buttercup marries the sinister Prince Humperdinck. Unexpectedly, an actually evil pirate comes to Buttercup’s aid. Together, they embark on an unforgettable adventure, and even one who is actually dead returns.

The story is captivating from the very first minute. The beautiful love story between Buttercup and Westley is the film’s heart, magnificently portrayed by the actors Robin Wright and Cary Elwes.

17. The story of little Muck


Little Muck lives in the Orient and is teased because of his humpback. He wants nothing more than to find great happiness. One day he finds enchanted slippers in the desert with which he can run as fast as a rocket. Muck thinks he has found great happiness and even becomes a runner for the Sultan. But envy runs deep at court, and Muck has to prove himself more than once against the machinations of the begrudging opponents.

To this day, the film is considered the most successful children’s film in the GDR. The sad and mocked Muck’s story moves to tears, mainly due to the very authentic portrayal of Thomas Schmidt.

18. Cinderella (1950)


In 1950, Disney delighted the audience with the beautifully animated film “Cinderella.” The story is told by the pretty Cinderella, who has to work as a maid for her evil stepmother after her father’s death. The stepsisters make the girl’s life hell. When the king invites him to a ball because his son wants to find a bride, the wicked stepsisters also have to try their luck. Thanks to the help of a fairy godmother, two mice, and some birds, Cinderella gets the chance to attend the ball and win the prince’s heart.

The special thing about the story is the characters. Above all, Cinderella is not only extremely beautiful but also very human and becomes an identification figure. Besides the plot, the magical soundtrack makes the film so fascinating.

19. Cursed (2005)


Princess Giselle is pushed into a well by her evil stepmother and ends up in New York City. The smart lawyer Robert takes care of her and experiences a few surprises with the cheerful king’s daughter, who loves to sing for a living. Unexpectedly, the wicked stepmother and the fairy-tale Prince Edward appear in Manhattan. A chaotic adventure begins, and Giselle has to make a momentous decision in the end.

The film is loud, cheerful, and colorful. Amy Adams is the heart of the film and enchants with her singing in the role of the lovely princess Giselle. The film is just fun and provides the best entertainment.

20. Brave (2012)


Princess Merida lives in Scotland and is not at all ladylike. She loves archery and is a little tomboy. Her mother would like to marry her off, but Merida resists with all her might. To change her mother’s mind and prevent the marriage, the princess turns to a dark sorceress. But everything turns out differently than hoped. Only with a lot of courage can Merida save her mother’s life.

The special thing about the film is the little heroine Merida. She is loud, rude, and cheeky. Such a princess has never been seen in a movie before. Merida doesn’t need a prince to save her; she can defend herself perfectly and becomes a role model for many girls.

21. Sleeping Beauty (1959)

22. Pinocchio (1940)

23. Ella Enchanted (2004)

24. Jumanji (1995)

25. Snow White & the Huntsman (2012)

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