The 30 greatest mythical movies

10. Monty Python And The Holy Grail (1975)

The Movie: King Arthur (Graham Chapman) and his Knights of the Round Table ride off in search of the titular goblet. Well, we say 'ride,' although it'd be more accurate to say that they pretend to ride on horses while their servants provide the coconut-based sound effects.

Most Magical Moment: The arrival of the (hitherto unheralded) legend that is the killer Rabbit of Caerbannog. More mythical stories should have a killer rabbit.

9. Aladdin (1992)

The Movie: Borrowing heavily from 1940's The Thief Of Bagdad, Disney adds music and comedy to the best-known of Arabian folk tales.

Most Magical Moment: Aladdin rubs the lamp. Out pops the Genie, who has the voice (and comic timing) of Robin Williams.

8. Orphe (1950)

The Movie: Jean Cocteau borrowed the Greek myth of Orpheus' journey into the underworld as the basis for his surreal modern-day drama about a man plagued by visitations from Death and weird radio messages.

Most Magical Moment: Orpheus (Jean Marais) plunges his hand into a mirror - the gateway to the underworld - and it dissolves into liquid.

7. How To Train Your Dragon (2010)

The Movie: Less a specific myth than an abstraction of Viking and dragon lore, this DreamWorks classic - with assistance from cinematography legend Roger Deakins - redefined how epic animation can be.

Most Magical Moment: Hiccup and Toothless take flight. Wow.

6. The Adventures Of Robin Hood (1938)

The Movie: The definitive screen version of Sherwood Forest's finest sees Errol Flynn speak treason (fluently) as he robs from the rich to give to the poor.

Most Magical Moment: Robin's climactic duel with Guy of Gisborne sees the men spar with words as much as swords. "Do you know any prayers, my friend?" asks Guy, to which Robin cheekily replies, "I'll say one for you!"

5. Princess Mononoke (1997)

The Movie: The clue is in the name. 'Mononoke' means spirit, and Hayao Miyazaki's historical fantasy creates its dramatis personae from the various spirits of traditional Japanese folklore.

Most Magical Moment: The kodama (tree spirits) awaken to watch the 'nightwalker', the Great Spirit of the Forest.

4. The Lord Of The Rings (2001-3)

The Movie: Peter Jackson does J.R.R.R.R.R.R. Tolkien. Worth remembering, though, that Tolkien based much of Middle Earth on his lifelong interest in Old Norse mythology.

Most Magical Moment: "You shall not pass!" Gandalf - modelled partially on Norse god Odin - makes his stand against a Balrog on the Asgard-esque Bridge of Khazad-dm.

3. Nosferatu (1922)

The Movie: Let's be honest, we could fill this list with films based on vampire legends. Instead, we're singling out the most influential: F.W. Murnau's silent adaptation of Dracula, which swaps Bram Stoker's urbane gentleman vampire for Max Schreck's hideous monster.

Most Magical Moment: Count Orlok rises from his coffin. Shudder.

2. Jason And The Argonauts (1963)

The Movie: Jason (Todd Armstrong) goes in search of the Golden Fleece, but - thanks to Ray Harryhausen's iconic creature designs - it's the journey, not the destination, that counts.

Most Magical Moment: Jason kills the Hydra only for its teeth to re-emerge as sword-wielding skeleton warriors - one of the most complex live-action/stop-motion sequences ever devised, but worth the effort.

1. Pan's Labyrinth (2006)

The Movie: Amidst the horrors of the Spanish Civil War, reality and fantasy collide as young girl Ofelia finds her way into a labyrinth controlled by a faun-like creature modelled on Pan, the Greek god of hunting.

Most Magical Moment: Ofelia is pursued by the Pale Man - in fact, a nightmarish creature from the imagination of Guillermo Del Toro rather than any overt mythological basis, but so creepy you'd believe he'd been haunting us for centuries.