Why are fantasy films and books so popular?

Fantasy films and books are stories that often involve adventures, battles or journeys usually in a made up, fictional and supernatural world. This lends itself to the creation of mythical and fascinating creatures, characters with unusual abilities and interesting discoveries and challenges along the way. The only limit to a fantasy book or film is imagination as everything is possible within the fantasy genre.

The reason that fantasy is so popular for both adults and children alike is that they offer escapism from work or school into a different realm. If you’re reading about elves or magic then the worries of business, homework or housework are forgotten and everyone can let their imagination run wild. This is probably the reason that fantasy is such a broad category and unites almost everyone, from the elderly to those just starting to read, or to take an interest in films.

Some of the most popular films and books in the fantasy genre include:

  • Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien. This popular trilogy focuses on one hobbit’s (a fictional character) journey into the evil realm of Mordor to throw a powerful and dark ring into a volcano and destroy it. On his journey he meets many fantastical creatures such as elves, talking trees, wizards, dwarves and orcs. Peter Jackson’s film trilogy of the books has also allowed younger people, or those who are not keen readers, to experience Tolkien’s epic style.
  • His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman. The stories begin with Lyra, a girl from Oxford, but then move away into the realm of fantasy as every person has a daemon, which is their soul portrayed in animal form which accompanies them. Lyra’s adventures with armoured bears and flying witches litter the first book with fantastical imagination and the second and third books in the trilogy fail to disappoint.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis. C.S.Lewis’ series of seven books has long been respected as one of the top series in the fantasy genre. The books are mostly set in the magical world of Narnia, where the characters encounter fawns, magic, Aslan the lion, and mystical and intriguing characters and settings.
  • Harry Potter by JK Rowling. This is one of the most modern series of fantasy books and needs little introduction. Harry Potter discovers he’s a wizard and is sent to Hogwarts school to train to be a wizard and channel his magic. His battle with the Dark Lord continues throughout the seven books, meeting endearing and frightening characters that enchant the reader’s imagination.
  • Shannara by Terry Brooks. This is a series of epic fantasy set on Earth long after civilisation has been destroyed. It focuses on magic, elves and faerie and epitomises the fantasy genre.

Fantasy books are often memorable to children and adults, who want to read and reread their favourite stories. Book scanning is a service that allows people to upload their books on to the computer and could save space in homes and safely preserve the classic fantasy stories.

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