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50 Greatest Fantasy Movie Characters

Maleficent - Sleeping Beauty (1959)

The Character: With her high cackle and even higher sense of self-importance, Maleficent is the bad fairy we all just love to hate.

Horned, served by a scraggy old crow and a legion of pigs, she's the one responsible for turning Princess Aurora into a sleeping beauty - and then turning herself into a terrifying nightmare of a dragon. Cower you may…

Fantastic Dialogue: "A forest of thorns shall be his tomb! Borne through the skies on a fog of doom! Now go with the curse, and serve me well! 'Round Stefan's Castle, CAST MY SPELL!"

Toothless - How To Train Your Dragon (2010)

The Character: The most fearsome of all dragons, Toothless is a Night Fury who becomes the best bud of young Viking Hiccup.

"[We] built within him a design where he could become a big, cuddly pussycat. In fact, we referenced panthers when we designed him," says co-director Dean DeBlois. "A black panther is very sleek and powerful with those piercing eyes. Those were all things we put in there."

Fantastic Dialogue: [insert your own adorable growling-purr-noise here]

Edward - Edward Scissorhands (1990)

The Character: A tragic figure created by The Inventor (Vincent Price), Edward (Johnny Depp) was left unfinished when the Inventor died.

The result? He has scissors for hands. When he's discovered by an Avon saleswoman (Dianne Wiest), he attempts to fit into the real world (or at least as 'real' as Tim Burton can imagine).

Fantastic Dialogue: "And then she showed me the back room where she took all of her clothes off."

Shrek - Shrek (2001)

The Character: "I am an ogre!" bellows Shrek (Mike Myers) in DreamWorks' stand-out animated fantasy.

He's not lying. A stinky, green-skinned, ugly-looking, vaguely Scottish beast, Shrek's not the obvious choice for a princess-saving quest, which makes his disgust at the quest all the more hilarious. We love a bit of fairytale piss-taking…

Fantastic Dialogue: "For your information, there's a lot more to ogres than people think. Example? Uh, ogres like onions."

Jareth - Labyrinth (1986)

The Character: Ignore the obvious crotch-ety nature of the character and there's no doubt that Goblin King Jareth is one of the coolest characters ever created.

Not only can he hold a damn fine tune (thanks, Davie Bowie), he's also one of the biggest fantasy divas ever. Examples? He knows how to make an entrance and he isn't half a drama queen.

Fantastic Dialogue: "You remind me of the babe…"

Pan The Faun - Pan's Labyrinth (2006)

The Character : Move over Mr Tumnus, there's another goat-footed good guy in town.

Though he's formidable in appearance, Pan the Faun (Doug Jones) is actually an ally to Ofelia (Ivana Baquero), the 10-year-old Spanish girl who dreams that she's the reincarnation of a fairy princess.

Fantastic Dialogue: "And it is said that the Princess returned to her father's kingdom. That she reigned there with justice and a kind heart for many centuries.

"That she was loved by her people. And that she left behind small traces of her time on Earth, visible only to those who know where to look."

Madmartigan - Willow (1988)

The Character: A rogue like no other, Madmartigan (Val Kilmer) is discovered swinging in a gibbet, left there to rot by the roadside.

When he's released by Willow, he becomes a begrudging protector of baby Elora and - eventually - transforms into a true hero (with a blinged-up gold suit of armour, no less).

Fantastic Dialogue: "'I love you Sorsha?' I don't love her, she kicked me in the face! I hate her... Don't I?"

Aughra - The Dark Crystal (1982)

The Character: A wizened old astronomer with horns in her hair, Aughra isn't exactly the prettiest of the creatures in Jim Henson's beautifully-dark fantasy, but she's definitely one of the smartest.

Looking into the heavens for clues about the future, she predicts the coming of the Great Conjunction, which could spell doom for hero Jen. Oh, and she's able to remove her one eye…

Fantastic Dialogue:
"Mouldy mildew, mother of mouthmuck, dangle and strangle and death."

Lord Of Darkness - Legend (1985)

The Character: Basically, the devil himself. A horned, red-skinned nightmare that towers above young hero Jack (Tom Cruise), he's a miserable old demon-thing who wants to bring about a night of cold darkness so he can escape his isolation.

Scariest bit? He wants to kill a unicorn. Yes, he's that evil.

Fantastic Dialogue:
"Every wolf suffers fleas. 'Tis easy enough to scratch!"

The Grand High Witch - The Witches (1990)

The Character: Giving a whole new meaning to the term 'face lift', the Grand High Witch (Anjelica Huston) is the scab-ridden leader of the world's witches, hiding her crusty face behind a removable flesh-mask.

She hates children so much she can barely even say the word without wanting to vomit.

Fantastic Dialogue: "A foolish witch without a brain, must sizzle into fire and flame! A witch who dares to say I'm wrong, will not be with us... VERY LONG!"