Photo Credit: Disney
With the end of the decade approaching, the year-end roundups are starting to come fast and furious. Yesterday, the Associated Press film writer David Germain summed up the decade in films like so:
In an era that brought harsh reality home with the war on terror and an economy gone bust, Hollywood became more of a dream factory than ever, embracing fantastic escapism at a time when audiences needed it most.
His point is that, ever since the tragedy of September 11th, audiences have been embracing fantasy films in a big way. We think he's absolutely correct. Here's how we'd break down the top fantasy films of the decade:
The fantasy franchises: Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Twilight, The Chronicles of Narnia and Pirates of the Caribbean all made cultural waves -- and are still going strong with more movies in the till.
The nostalgic fantasies: Indiana Jones and Star Trek got makeovers, while Transformers and G.I. Joe brought us back to childhood.
The superhero revival: Batman, Spider-man, The Fantastic Four, X-Men, Iron Man, The Incredibles -- some are dark and some are just fun, but all involve men in tights who save the day.
The new animation: It's not a coincidence that the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature premiered in 2001; advances in CG and 3D technology have made cartoons like Up, WALL-E, Shrek, Happy Feet and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs into big business.
The return of the musical: 2001's Moulin Rouge! and 2002's Chicago brought the movie musical back in full force, bringing Dreamgirls, Hairspray, Nine -- and, of course, High School Musical.
The dark side: Fantasies can be dark, and along with musicals and superheroes came the rise of "torture porn" -- the Hostel and Saw movies joined gorier remakes of vintage splatter films like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
We don't know what movie trends the next decade will bring, but we're sure that audiences' thirst for fantasy hasn't ended yet. Maybe when the economy gets better (fingers crossed), we'll lose our taste for pirates and superheroes. In the meantime, we'll take some animated singing vampires, thank you very much.
What was your favorite movie of the decade? Chime in below!