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A spin-off from the cinematic world of Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is the first film of a new magical series featuring "magizoologist" Newt Scamander, played by Eddie Redmayne (Harry Potter fans may recall Scamander's name from being the author of one of the Hogwarts crew's textbooks about magical creatures). The film begins to flesh out a wizarding era different to the Harry Potter films' setting—this series takes us back to 1920s America!
It's notable that Fantastic Beasts became the first film from J.K. Rowling's magical world to win an Oscar; it won Best Costume Design at the 89th Academy Awards.
Directed by the Muppets creator Jim Henson, Labyrinth is a musical fantasy film that's become a cult favorite over the years. Young Jennifer Connelly stars as a teenager forced to undertake a strange, dangerous quest to rescue her baby brother from the clutches of the Goblin King, played with excellent eccentricity by the late David Bowie. Featuring deceitful fairies, a huge labyrinth, plenty of puppets and animatronics, and a masquerade ball, it's a uniquely magical pick.
This fantasy adventure film starts off with two boys in the 1800s burying something and hoping it will never be found. Cut to 1969, where a 12-year-old escapes his bullies and stumbles upon a construction site. Mysterious drumbeats lead him to discovering a board game. When his crush comes over, they begin to play it... and he's literally sucked into the game board while a swarm of bats chase her away.
26 years later, a pair of newly-orphaned siblings find the game, unleashing an extremely dangerous magical world and freeing the man who's been trapped inside the game for all these years. Their only hope for freedom and safety is to successfully finish the game. Starring Robin Williams, Jumanji will definitely bring comedy, adventure, and magic to your movie night.
A beautifully shot fantasy tale, Stardust is a crowd-pleaser that's filled with action, adventure, suspense, comedy, and romance. Intertwining a grand quest with dramatic love stories and plenty of swordplay, it makes for a magical movie that the whole family (minus very young kids) will enjoy. Claire Danes, Sienna Miller, Peter O'Toole, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert De Niro, and Ian McKellen comprise a star-studded cast.
If you're looking for an adorable, heartwarming, and G-rated movie with wholesome appeal for all ages, rent Ponyo. This fantasy comedy animation, written and directed by acclaimed filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki and produced by Studio Ghibli, follows the adventures of a 5-year-old boy and his new friend Ponyo, a young goldfish-princess-turned-little-girl that desires nothing more than to become permanently human.
Flipping the classic Sleeping Beauty story, Maleficent retells the fairy tale from the perspective of the "evil" fairy of the original tale. As a young girl, Maleficent was a kind fairy known for her strong, powerful wings. She and a human boy fall in love and exchange "true love's kiss," but his political ambition eventually leads to him betraying her in a horrific, traumatic way.
After he becomes king, she crashes his newborn daughter's christening and curses her to fall into a deathlike sleep on her sixteenth birthday. However, Maleficent's watchful eye on the princess results in a maternal love for the girl. Rent this for gorgeously lush scenes of the magical realm and Angelina Jolie's spindle-sharp cheekbones.
CHILDREN & FAMILY
ACTION & ADVENTURE
ANIME & ANIMATION
One of our DVD Directors, Laura R., is extremely talented when it comes to throwing beautiful and creative parties! We asked her to put together a Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them party for all the Harry Potter fans to try out when they receive the movie in the mail (it joins our library on April 25—add it here).
Laura did an amazing job and delivered a truly magical party set-up! Head to her blog for the full list of party ideas.
From The Hours, to The NeverEnding Story, to Adaptation, cinema has helped us peer into the secret world of authors and their creative process. But film can do that in ways that are more moving. Now imagine that a book about moviemaking that went on to influence some of film’s greatest legends has its own amazing backstory told in a riveting documentary. That documentary exists, and it’s called Hitchcock/Truffaut.Read More