Fairies have long been a common motif in fantasy works, as the creatures appear in numerous mythologies under different names, sometimes malevolent and sometimes benevolent. It’s no wonder then that fairies inspired numerous movies in the history of the cinema, and some, like Tinkerbell, became a pop culture phenomenon. Due to this, we decided to bring you the 20 best movies about fairies, ranked by IMDb score as well as why you should watch them.
20. ‘The Fairy Princess & the Unicorn’ (2019)
IMDb Score: 4.8
What it’s about: In the land of Bayala, elves, and dragons coexist harmoniously until the queen of shadow elves, Ophira, steals dragon eggs and abducts Surah, a sun elf princess. Without the dragons, the land suffers, and Ophira grows stronger. Years later, Surah escapes the shadow realm with the help of her friends and gains shadow elf powers. Meanwhile, a young elf named Marween discovers a hatching dragon egg, leading to a plan for a new Dragon’s Feast.
Why you should watch it: ‘The Fairy Princess & the Unicorn’ doesn’t exactly have stellar reviews, but it’s an interesting piece of high fantasy. This movie is tailored for the fans of the existing toy line dealing with the same themes.
19. ‘In My Mother’s Skin’ (2023)
IMDb Score: 5.0
What it’s about: In the final days of World War II in the Philippines, a wealthy family is held captive in their mansion by desperate and unruly Japanese soldiers. The family’s patriarch, Aldo, leaves for help, leaving behind a rumored hidden stash of Japanese gold. As the family fears for their lives and Aldo’s absence stretches on, their young daughter Tala turns to a treacherous fairy with evil intentions.
Why you should watch it: ‘In My Mother’s Skin’ is very different from the other movies on this list. It’s a horror movie dealing with the aforementioned malevolent fairies. If you’re in for some suspense and lore behind the evil fairies, ‘In my Mother’s Skin’ is perfect.
18. ‘Strange Magic’ (2015)
IMDb Score: 5.7
What it’s about: In a magical realm divided between the Fairy Kingdom and the Dark Forest, fairy princess Marianne and the Bog King both swear off love due to past heartbreaks. Marianne’s sister, Dawn, and her friend, Sunny, venture into the Dark Forest, where Sunny finds a hidden primrose petal. Roland, seeking a love potion, convinces Sunny to retrieve it from the Bog King’s lair, where he encounters the imprisoned Sugar Plum Fairy and strikes a deal for the potion’s creation in exchange for her freedom.
Why you should watch it: ‘Strange Magic’ is a story created by George Lucas, and he described it as ‘Star Wars’ for 12-year-old girls and ‘Beauty & the Best’ where the Beast doesn’t change. You can expect solid animation and a classic good vs. evil story from this one.
17. ‘The School for Good and Evil’ (2022)
IMDb Score: 5.9
What it’s about: ‘The School for Good and Evil’ centers on Twin brothers Rhian and Rafal as they establish the School for Good and Evil to train fairy tale heroes and villains. Years later, in the village of Gavaldon, friends Sophie and Agatha discover the school and are unexpectedly transported there. Agatha is placed in the School for Good, while Sophie is sent to the School for Evil, leading them to seek a way to switch schools and prove themselves in order to fulfill their desires.
16. ‘Arthur and the Invisibles’ (2006)
IMDb Score: 6.0
What it’s about: The story of ‘Arthur and the Invisibles’ takes place in 1960. A young Arthur lives with his grandmother Daisy in a rural community in Connecticut. With his grandfather missing, Arthur hears stories of his adventures in Africa, featuring the Minimoys, a miniature civilization living in their garden. When Daisy faces eviction, Arthur embarks on a quest to find the hidden rubies and discovers the threat of Maltazard, a corrupted Minimoy war hero ruling the nearby Necropolis.
Why you should watch it: The animated movie features many big-name voice actors and has a classic, fairly linear plot with clear villains and heroes. It’s not the most exciting story in the world, but it’s a classic nonetheless.
15. ‘Godmothered’ (2020)
IMDb Score: 6.1
What it’s about: Being a fairy is a great responsibility, but what happens when your aptitude for magic doesn’t match your work? This is what ‘Godmothered’ is about. In the magical Motherland, young fairy godmother Eleanor Fay Bloomingbottom embraces her role despite her lack of skill.
When the godmothers’ school faces closure, Eleanor discovers a letter from a girl named Mackenzie Walsh and decides to help her. Eleanor ventures into the real world and finds Mackenzie as a 40-year-old single mother and decides to help her.
Why you should watch it: mythical creatures stuck in the modern world is a popular theme these days, and ‘Godmothered’ is an inspiring story on how even grown-ups can have their faith in magic rejuvenated.
14. ‘Ella Enchanted’ (2004)
IMDb Score: 6.3
What it’s about: Ella’s life has been complicated by fairies since the day she was born. Ella is cursed by Lucinda Perriweather, a fairy godmother, with the “gift” of obedience. Ella’s stepfamily mistreats her, and she decides to seek out Lucinda to undo the curse. Along her journey, Ella befriends an elf named Slannen and is joined by Prince Charmont, who seeks justice for his father’s death and learns about the injustices elves and giants face under his uncle’s rule.
Why you should watch it: ‘Ella Enchanted’ is, at times, a silly movie featuring all the classic fairy tale creatures & villains. Still, it’s an excellent movie appropriate for all ages and warrants almost two hours of fun.
13. ‘Legend’ (1985)
IMDb Score: 6.3
What it’s about: The Lord of Darkness sends goblin Blix to kill the unicorns, believing their horns will cast the world into eternal night. Blix and his companions target Princess Lili, whom they see as Innocence, and follow her to the forest, where she meets Jack in the Green. When Lili unwittingly aids in poisoning a unicorn, winter descends, and Lili flees, leaving Jack trapped beneath the frozen pond.
Why you should watch it: ‘Legend’ sees Tom Cruise in the main role, and it’s a more serious movie than most on this list. Even though the story was criticized as being “bland,” the scenery is spectacular, just as you expect it to be from high-fantasy movies.
12. ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ (1999), (2016)
IMDb Score: 6.4 / 6.5
What it’s about: In the 1890s, Monte Athena, young lovers Lysander and Hermia plan to flee to the forest to escape their arranged marriage. However, their escape is complicated when Demetrius, who Helena pursues, learns of their plan and follows them. Once in the forest, the fairy rulers Oberon and Titania and their mischievous servant Puck create further chaos among the lovers using a magical potion.
Why you should watch it: A classic retelling of one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays. Many movies have been released inspired by the play’s plot, but we decided to bring you the version from 1999 and the BBC version from 2016. Both versions are solid and simply enchanting.
11. ‘FairyTale: A True Story’ (1997)
IMDb Score: 6.5
What it’s about: Set in early 20th-century Europe during World War I. Frances Griffiths arrives in rural Yorkshire to stay with her cousin Elsie Wright, whose mother mourns the loss of her talented son Joseph. Frances and Elsie share a fascination with fairies and embark on magical encounters by a nearby brook, using Elsie’s father’s camera.
Why you should watch it: Believe it or not, this movie is actually based on a true story, a case of ‘Cottingley Fairies’, and it’s one of the most popular hoaxes in modern history. Two girls played with a camera and managed to stage fairly convincing “fairy” photographs captured in their backyard. The hoax was so clever that even the author of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, was fooled and heavily reported on the subject near the end of his life.
10. ‘The Spiderwick Chronicles’ (2008)
IMDb Score: 6.5
What it’s about: In 1928, Arthur Spiderwick writes a field guide about fairies but hides it to keep it away from the evil ogre Mulgarath. Eighty years later, Helen Grace and her children move into the Spiderwick estate, where Jared discovers the hidden study and the Field Guide. When Jared shares his findings with his family, they initially don’t believe him, but soon Jared encounters a brownie named Thimbletack, who gives him a stone that reveals the invisible faeries.
Why you should watch it: Like several movies on this list, ‘Spiderwick Chronicles’ was based on the book as well. The movie delivers entertaining children’s fantasy with gorgeous otherworld beings brought to life in a modest way.
9. ‘Tinker Bell and the Pirate Fairy’ (2014)
IMDb Score: 6.5
What it’s about: When a dust-keeper fairy named Zarina allies with pirates and steals Pixie Hollow’s Blue Pixie Dust, Tinker Bell and her friends embark on a journey to retrieve it. Along the way, they discover their talents have been switched and must race against time to restore order and save Pixie Hollow.
Why you should watch it: This movie features the most popular fairy of all time, Tinker Bell, and it’s part of a larger film series revolving around her. It’s an entertaining fantasy featuring pirates and a stellar cast of voice actors, including Christina Hendric and Tom Hiddleston.
8. ‘Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure’ (2009)
IMDb Score: 6.6
What it’s about: When Tinker Bell accidentally breaks Pixie Hollow’s magical moonstone, she must find an enchanted mirror and accept help from a persistent pixie to restore it. In her quest, Tinker Bell learns valuable lessons and works to repair the moonstone for the well-being of Pixie Hollow.
Why you should watch it: One more installment in the Tinker Bell series, ‘Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure’ was rated the highest on Rotten Tomatoes, so expect solid animation and entertaining children’s story.
7. ‘Tinker Bell’ (2008)
IMDb Score: 6.7
What it’s about: Tinker Bell, a fairy born from a baby’s laugh, discovers her talent as a tinker and is welcomed by Queen Clarion in Pixie Hollow. She befriends other fairies with different talents and learns about the fairies who visit the mainland to bring the seasons. Despite her desire to join them, Tinker Bell realizes that only nature-talent fairies can go, leading her to consider switching her talent with the help of Fairy Mary, the tinker fairy overseer.
Why you should watch it: The first installment in the series introduced the lore behind Tinker Bell and why she is so special. It’s definitely recommended to watch the first movie to understand the story better down the line.
6. ‘Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue’ (2010)
IMDb Score: 6.8
What it’s about: Tinker Bell and her friends attend a summer fairy camp on the mainland, where Tink becomes curious and visits a human house. Accidentally trapped inside by Vidia, Tink is discovered by a girl named Lizzy, who becomes fascinated with fairies and keeps Tink a secret. Tink helps Lizzy by fixing leaks in her house, unknowingly releasing a butterfly that was meant to be shown to a museum committee, leading to unexpected consequences.
Why you should watch it: ‘Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue’ is the first movie in the franchise set completely outside Pixie Hollow, so if you’re looking for a change of scenery, this is your best bet.
5. ‘Tinker Bell and the Secret of the Wings’ (2012)
IMDb Score: 7.0
What it’s about: As preparations for winter are underway, Tinker Bell accompanies her friend Fawn to the Winter Woods to help with hibernation preparations for animals.
Against warnings, Tink crosses the forbidden border, and her wings start to sparkle, leading her to discover the existence of the Keeper, the author of an incomplete book about sparkling wings. Tink encounters another fairy, Periwinkle, and they realize they are sisters born from the same laugh, sparking a heartfelt connection between the warm and winter fairies.
Why you should watch it: ‘The Secret of Wings’ features a great story about differences and sometimes polar opposites being more alike than you would have imagined.
4. ‘Mavka: The Forest Song’ (2023)
IMDb Score: 7.0
What it’s about: The movie follows Mavka, a kind and innocent forest spirit who awakens in the spring. Lukas, a musician driven by the desire to cure his uncle’s illness, ventures into the forest guided by the cruel Kylina, who seeks eternal youth from the Tree of life. As Mavka and Lukas develop feelings for each other, their path to peace and harmony is hindered by Kylina’s destructive plans and the conflict between the forest inhabitants and humans.
Why you should watch it: Upon release in Ukraine, ‘Mavka: the Forest Son’ actually managed to beat Avatar: The Way of Water for the box office record. The movie itself is based on ‘The Forest Song’ by Lesya Ukrainka, and it heavily features Slavic folklore and myths. The movie is not released in the USA yet, but you can expect it to arrive on August 15 on DVDs and digital downloads.
3. ‘Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast’ (2015)
IMDb Score: 7.1
What it’s about: While exploring the woods, Fawn encounters a large and unusual creature with a thorn in its paw. As she helps the creature named Gruff build structures around Pixie Hollow, Fawn remains unaware of the danger he poses. Scout fairy Nyx investigates Gruff’s true nature and learns that he transforms into a destructive beast every millennium, posing a threat to Pixie Hollow with a series of dangerous events leading to a deadly storm.
Why you should watch it: ‘The Legend of the NeverBeast’ is the last and the highest-rated movie in the ‘Tinker Bell’ series. Sadly, it marks the end of the journey for Tinker Bell as subsequent installments were canceled.
2. ‘Stardust’ (2007)
IMDb Score: 7.6
What it’s about: In the English village of Wall, Dunstan Thorne crosses the magical wall and encounters Una, an enslaved princess, resulting in the birth of their son, Tristan. Years later, Tristan sees a falling star and vows to retrieve it to win the hand of Victoria. He discovers the star is a woman named Yvaine and uses a magic chain to claim her and fulfill his promise to Victoria, setting off a chain of events involving the princes of Stormhold and their quest for the fallen star.
Why you should watch it: The movie ‘Stardust’ is based on the novel of the same name written by Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess, so you know you can expect a superb fantasy. The movie is often regarded as a mix of ‘The Princess Bride’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings.’
1. ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ (2006)
IMDb Score: 8.2
What it’s about: Princess Moanna loses her memory and becomes mortal before dying. Her father, the king of the underworld, builds labyrinths as portals for her spirit’s return. In 1944 Spain, young Ofelia encounters a fairy-like creature who guides her into an ancient stone labyrinth, where she meets a faun claiming she is the reincarnation of Princess Moanna. The faun tasks her with completing three challenges to regain immortality and return to her kingdom.
Why you should watch it: ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ is a horror fantasy movie directed by Guillermo del Torro and a spiritual successor to ‘The Devil’s Backbone’ released in 2001. The film received high critical acclaim, being praised for its unique approach to telling a horror story in a fantasy setting. In fact, the movie was Metacritic’s best-reviewed film of the 2000s decade.