50 Greatest Fantasy Movie Characters

Engywook & Urgl - The NeverEnding Story (1984)

The Characters: Husband-and-wife gnomes whom Atreyu (Noah Hathaway) encounters on his quest through Fantasia.

Engywook is the scientist who's dedicated his life to studying the Southern Oracle, while Urgl is a healer whose brews don't look like they taste very nice. Their banter's brilliant.

Fantastic Dialogue: "To the winch, wench!"

Hushpuppy - Beasts Of The Southern Wild (2012)

The Character: Wise beyond her years, but probably because she's faced more hell than most six year olds, Hushpuppy (Quvenzhané Wallis) is a feisty resident of the Bathtub.

As a storm threatens to destroy her Louisiana bayou home, she sets off to look for her mother, hoping to save her ailing father. Now that's resourceful.

Fantastic Dialogue: "I hope you die and after you die I'll go to your grave and eat birthday cake all by myself."

Ravenna - Snow White & The Huntsman (2012)

The Character: Plucking the hearts out of dead birds and devouring them, sucking the life out of innocent young things, burying blades in the chests of unsuspecting men…

Ravenna (Charlize Theron) is one fearsome fantasy femme, slicing and dicing her way to the top - and then slicing and dicing some more in order to stay there.

Fantastic Dialogue:
"Do you hear that? It's the sound of battles fought and lives lost. It once pained me to know that I am the cause of such despair, but now their cries give me strength. Beauty is my power."

Carol - Where The Wild Things Are (2009)

The Character: For lack of a better term, Carol's a Wild Thing - a big hairy monster that lives in isolation with other big hairy monsters.

That's until nine-year-old Max (Max Records) stumbles across the Wild Things and convinces them that he's their king - but only to stop them eating him.

Fantastic Dialogue:
"If I was stranded on a desert island and could only take one thing, it'd be Douglas. We can share him if you want."

Cowardly Lion - The Wizard Of Oz (1939)

The Character: His descriptive name pretty much sums up the Cowardly Lion, a giant pussycat who's, yep, a giant pussy.

Searching the land of Oz for his courage, he befriends Dorothy (Judy Garland) and ends up realising that he had courage all along. Ah, bless.

Fantastic Dialogue: "Put 'em up, put 'em up! Which one of you first? I'll fight you both together if you want. I'll fight you with one paw tied behind my back. I'll fight you standing on one foot. I'll fight you with my eyes closed..."

Giselle - Enchanted (2007)

The Character: A Disney princess who topples out of her animated world right into present day New York, Giselle (Amy Adams) gets quite a shock when she discovers the real world is a grubby, unfriendly place.

By the time Narissa (Susan Sarandon) closes in on her, Giselle's transformed into a kick-ass heroine, taking down Narissa almost single-handedly.

Fantastic Dialogue: "Now if only I can find a place to rest my head for the night… Maybe a nearby meadow or a hollow tree. Or a house full of dwarves. I hear they're very hospitable."

Jack Burton - Big Trouble In Little China (1986)

The Character: Though Wang Chi (Dennis Dun) is meant to be the hero of the film, Jack Burton (Kurt Russell) steals just about every scene in this martial arts fantasy.

Wearing a vest and jeans, he's every bit the eighties fantasy hero, with some of the best one-liners this side of Snake Plissken.

Fantastic Dialogue: "I'm a reasonable guy. But, I've just experienced some very unreasonable things."

Willow - Willow (1988)

The Character: The best heroes are often the unexpected ones, and that's certainly true of Willow Ufgood (Warwick Davis).

A Nelwyn (think 'Hobbit' only minus the hairy feet), he's a wannabe magician who ends up saddled with a child of prophecy who has the power to bring down the evil Bavmorda.

Fantastic Dialogue:
"Madmartigan, you never, ever drive that fast with an infant!"

Red Queen - Alice In Wonderland (2010)

The Character: Talk about having a temper. The Red Queen (Helena Bonham-Carter) is so full of hot air that her head has swelled to almost double its size and threatens to explode at any second.

Small wonder the inhabitants of Underland live in fear of her - she's basically a human volcano.

Fantastic Dialogue: "I love a warm pig belly for my aching feet."

Conan - Conan The Barbarian (1982)

The Character: Inspired by the tales of John Milius, Conan (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is the weirdly-accented brute of the title, who swears vengeance against Thulsa Doom (James Earl Jones), the dark sorcerer who massacred his tribe.

He has a big sword and likes talking nonsense.

Fantastic Dialogue: " [What is best in life? ] To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women."

Josh Winning has worn a lot of hats over the years. Contributing Editor at Total Film, writer for SFX, and senior film writer at the Radio Times. Josh has also penned a novel about mysteries and monsters, is the co-host of a movie podcast, and has a library of pretty phenomenal stories from visiting some of the biggest TV and film sets in the world. He would also like you to know that he "lives for cat videos..." Don't we all, Josh. Don't we all.