Several Recommendations: Fantasy TV & Movies

Slow day, so I just whipped up a little something with some prior recommendations of mine. Yeah. Sorry.

Bit of a busy day in real life, which means it’s a slow day in Realmgard, so here’s me managing to do something for today by re-posting some of my previous recommendations.

Yeah, yeah. I know.

I’m disappointed in me, too.

Starring Tom Holland and Chris Pratt as Tom Holland and Chris Pratt as a pair of Elf brothers, Onward has earned itself a special place in my heart. I’m still undecided on whether it’s a good movie. But it’s at least a fantastic idea.

Fundamentally, Onward is a pretty smart concept with execution that never quite realises the promises of that concept. Basically, it’s everyday, modern life in a typically Dungeons & Dragons-esque Fantasy world that, rather than being stuck in a vaguely Medieval period, has progressed to what is essentially the present day with a few Fantastic touches.

Onward will probably go down as one of the lesser Pixar movies, thanks in large part to releasing right as COVID was locking things down in Spring 2020 and getting shunted onto Disney Plus. But it speaks to the studio’s track record that even one of their lesser movies is worth watching at least once.

I absolutely love the premise of a modern-day Fantasy world and the movie uses that premise to make a lot of pretty clever gags, though it never quite feels like it’s using the premise to its fullest.

Still, it’s a memorable premise and a pretty solid example of an adequate movie being elevated by a brilliant premise.

My full review is here:

Willow is not necessarily a good movie, but watching it for the first time, I couldn’t help but feel it was a very endearing one. To be fair, it’s not even a bad movie, either. Mostly, it’s a very outlandish Fantasy movie that doesn’t quite manage to live up to its own ambitions.

Basically, Willow is Star Wars if you replaced “space” with “Fantasy world” and “Death Star plans” with “magic baby”. The overarching story’s not very original, but it’s at least entirely adequate and a lot of the particulars of the world-building, set design, and art direction are all pretty unique and well-done.

Willow is actually getting a Disney Plus TV series this winter. At this point, there’s not a whole lot of information other than it’s coming and a trailer that was mostly a series of cool images over any substantial information. Still, I’m honestly looking forward to it and hoping that it’s going to be weird in the same way the original movie is weird.

Willow isn’t a perfect movie (and might not even be a good one), but it’s weird enough to be memorable and endearingly sincere.

My full recommendation is here:

On the most fundamental level Mysticons is a fairly typical Fantasy world: there’s Elves and Dwarves and magic and monarchic government. But in terms of the characters’ day-to-day life, the world the magical equivalent of 21st century North America: they have computers and cell phones and video games and Instagram and public transit and pizza joints, but also, to remind you that this is a Fantasy world, they also have teleportation and astrology and speeder bikes and sky-boats.

Much like Onward, Mysticons is set in a modern (and actually rather futuristic) Fantasy world and gets some good mileage out of that premise and manages to set itself apart from other transforming hero team works via the novelty of that premise.

Also, it’s CanCon.

My full recommendation is here:

Speaking of CanCon, have I reminded you lately that there was a 90s Conan cartoon that was CanCon. It’s, uh, it’s exactly as bemusing as it sounds.

And it sounds a little something like this:

Now, much like our favourite Cimmerian when faced with some eldritch thing that has crawled out of the stygian void beyond the stars, my mind cannot comprehend what I’m seeing here.

And most bizarrely of all, it’s a shockingly faithful adaptation of the source material — probably more so than any other adaptation of Conan we’ve got.

Also, it’s viewable legally and for free online.

I’ve talked about Rune Soldier enough before that I don’t think I really need to hype it up again, but I think it is worth making note of it again given that it’s a major influence on the next Realmgard story, and especially because it fits with the theme of this list of recommendations.

The full recommendation is here:

One of the Professors at the magic school is a fish wearing a wizard hat. So, basically, Little Witch Academia is better than the things you like.

It’s a shame that the most famous Magic School story is Harry Potter, because now any attempt at a Magic School story will inevitably be viewed as a rip-off of Harry Potter, even when said story is better than Harry Potter, as is the case of Little Witch Academia.

Now, for what it’s worth, most of my contempt for Harry Potter is affected for, uh, dramatic effect. I do dislike it, but I don’t actually hate it.

But I’m not lying when I saw that Little Witch Academia is better when judged by any and every possible metric.

My full recommendation is here:

I put up new recommendations pretty regularly, right here —

Dunstana Darkstone, grinning and giving a thumbs up.

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