Fantasy Definition-Fantasy is a genre of fiction that uses magic and othersupernatural occurrences as a main element of the plot,theme, or setting.-The genre the setting takes place in imaginary worldswhere magic is common.-Considered to be distinct from science fiction film andhorror films (although do overlap which then becomesub-genres)
What are the fundamental aspects of Fantasy? Fantasy films are films with themes involving: -magic -supernatural events - make-believe creatures -exotic fantasy worlds Fantasy films often have an element of magic, myth, wonder, escapism, and the unexpected.
Genre HistoryFantasy films were rare until the 1980s, when high-tech filmmaking techniques had increased the audience interest also increased which then caused the genre to succeed. With its roots in myth and legend, fantasy is the most basic of all the genres.
Genre History- 1900’sThe earliest fantasy films combined science fiction with visions of the future. Some of the earliest were Georges Melies fantasy silent film about a trip to the Moon, Voyage Dans La Lune (1902) It was extremely popular at the time of its release.
Genre History- 1930’sThe greatest childrens fantasy/musical of all time was The Wizard of Oz (1939) The Wizard of Oz is a 1939 Americanmusical fantasy film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Genre History- 1940’s In 1946, Jean Cocteaus classic adaptation of Beauty and the Beast won praise for its surreal elements and for exceeding the boundaries of the fairy tale genre. Sinbad the Sailor (1947), starring Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., has the feel of a fantasy film though it does not actually have any fantastic elements.Because these movies do not feature elements common to high fantasy or sword and sorcery, some modern critics do not consider them to be examples of the genre.
Genre History- 1950’sThere were a number of low budget fantasies produced in the 1950s, typically based on Greek or Arabian legend. Scrooge, released as A Christmas Carol in the US, is a 1951 filmadaptation of Charles Dickenss A Christmas Carol. It starred AlastairSim as Ebenezer Scrooge and was directed by Brian Desmond Hurst. Disneys 1951 animated film Alice in Wonderland is also a fantasy classic.
Genre History- 1960’s Jason and the Argonauts is a 1963 fantasy film starring ToddArmstrong as the mythical Greek hero. Directed by Don Chaffey, the film was well-known for its stop-motion features. 1968 saw the release of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang based on a story by Ian Fleming with a script from Roald Dahl. It Starred Dick Van Dyke, Sally Ann Howes and Lionel Jeffries.
Genre History – 1970’s A few low budget pictures were made in this era such as: -1975s The Land That Time Forgot.-1971s Bedknobs and Broomsticks and Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (again being from Roald Dahl in both script and novel.)
Genre History-1980’sThe modern sword and sorcery boom began at this time with 1982s Conan the Barbarian. Conan The Barbarian starred Arnold Schwarzenegger, and tells the story of a young barbarian who seeks vengeance for the death of his parents.
Epic or High FantasyHigh fantasy is defined as fantasy fiction set in an alternative, entirely fictional ‘secondary’ world, rather than the real, or ‘primary’ world. The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien created a massive influence on the writing of the field, which established the form of epic fantasy. Other examples include The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis. Typical features of high fantasy include elements such as: elves, fairies, dwarves, dragons, demons, magic or sorcery, wizards or magicians, constructed languages, quests, coming-of-age themes, and multi-volume narratives.
Low FantasyLow fantasy is characterised by being set in the real ‘Primary’ world, or anormal and familiar fictional world, with the addition of magical elements. "Low" is not an suggestion of quality but of the level of "fantasy" contained. Examples include 17 again which is a combination of low fantasy, romance and a teen comedy. Matilda: Low fantasy includes a young girl with telekinesis’ powers.
Distinguishing between subgenresThe distinction between whether the setting is the primary or secondaryworld, and therefore whether it is low or high fantasy, can be unclear:The secondary world may take three forms.-Primary does not exist-Entered through a portal from the primary-World-within-a-worldHOWEVER:The Lord of the Rings is set in Earths past but the setting,Middle-earth, is different from the reality to beclassed as a secondary world and therefore high fantasy.Harry Potter series is set in the real world; however, the primary setting,which is the school, (Hogwarts) in Scotland, but isseparated from the real world and becomes a "world-within-a-world.’ Hogwarts is therefore as much of an alternative world as C. S.Lewis Narnia, which means that both series are in the high fantasysubgenre.
Contemporary fantasy Contemporary fantasy, also known as modern fantasy or indigenous fantasy is set in the present day.The contemporary fantasy and low fantasy genres can overlap as both are defined as being set in the real world. Contemporary fantasies are set in the real world but may also include distinct fantasy settings within it, such as the Harry Potter series, in which case they would be high rather than low fantasy.
Sword and sorcery Sword and sorcery (S&S) is a sub-genre of fantasy and historicalfantasy, it generally includes sword-wielding heroes engaged in violent battles. An element of romance is often present, as well as an elementof magic and the supernatural. Unlike the genre high/epic fantasy, the tales, though dramatic, focus mainly on personal battles rather than world-endangering matters. The sub-genre will soon have been around for a hundred years, author Robert E. Howard generally being considered the founder of Sword and Sorcery in the late 1920s.
Romantic Fantasy Romantic fantasy is a subgenre of fantasy which describes a fantasystory using many of the elements and features of the genre romance. Magic in Romantic Fantasy are usually expressed differently then inhigh fantasy or sword and sorcery. Magic is represented by taking the form of abilities that are natural and simple to use, sometimes described as psychic talents. Examples include Twilight Saga: Eclipse which is a romantic fantasy film including the story of vampires and werewolves joining forces to defeat a vampire army.
Science fantasy Science fantasy is a mixed genre within fiction elements from both science fiction and fantasy.An example is Star Wars. The main difference between the two is that science fiction is largely based on scientific concepts, while science fantasy is largely far-fetched and unlikely. Other examples include the 1980’s films Time Bandits E.T and Back To The Future.
FantasyIf the author is doing their job you can experience a world as close to ours or as different from ours as their imagination allows, but at the same time allowing us to believe that elves, magic, epic adventure, and fairy folk exist. Fantasy plays with our imaginations and lets them run wild in a way that few other genres allow. (source for definition fandomania.com)
ConclusionKEY ELEMENTS: -Magic -Supernatural -Fantasy or parallel worlds as a setting -Make-believe creatures -Villain or hero