If you have already seen the Harry Potter movies many times and are looking for something similar to watch, here are 10 options:
1. The Spiderwick Chronicles: Netflix
Based on the eponymous series of books by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi, The Spiderwick Chronicles is a fun and adventurous fantasy movie involving fantastic creatures and an engaging story. It is for young adults, but just like Harry Potter, it is good enough for people of all ages. Freddy Highmore delivers a really good performance in the movie.
2. The Chronicles of Narnia: Disney+ Hotstar
Based on CS Lewis’ slim books, The Chronicles of Narnia has four siblings being transported to a fantasy world called Narnia through a closet. The Pevensies get into a conflict between a huge god-like lion called Aslan and Jadis, the White Witch, who has brought a never-ending winter to Narnia.
3. Fantastic Beasts: Amazon Prime Video
This one is a no-brainer. The Fantastic Beasts movies are the perfect antidote to Harry Potter withdrawal symptoms. A prequel series to Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts has a young-er Dumbledore who faces the greatest Dark Lord that ever lived before Voldemort, Johnny Depp’s Gellert Grindelwald. The hero of the story, though, is Eddie Redmayne’s Newt Scamander, who loves, well, fantastic beasts, and wishes to erase prejudice against them among humans, wizards and muggles.
4. The Lord of the Rings: Netflix and Amazon Prime Video
Peter Jackson’s adaptation of JRR Tolkien’s magnum opus, The Lord of the Rings trilogy is still without equal. The scale, the vision, the visual effects, the performances, the writing, the small character moments that are given as much importance as the big moments, LotR is a staggering achievement.
5. Pan’s Labyrinth: Amazon Prime Video
Guillermo del Toro loves monsters. In his movies, they are a stand-in for people and creatures that are shunned by society. In del Toro’s highly underrated Pan’s Labyrinth, a young girl meets a strange faun creature in a labyrinth Spain in 1944, five years after the country’s Civil War. The film is firmly rooted in its setting, and the context is not accidental.
6. Percy Jackson: Disney+ Hotstar
If you love Greek mythology and creatures, Percy Jackson is for you. The films are fun, though there are no overarching themes à la Harry Potter.
7. Stardust: Netflix
An adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s 1997 novel of the same name, Stardust is set in a town in England. The story is about Tristan (Charlie Cox) who enters a hidden magical world on the border of the aforementioned town to retrieve a fallen star to gift to his girlfriend so that she would marry him. The star turns out to be a woman. A faithful adaptation, Stardust captures the whimsical storytelling of Gaiman.
8. The Kid Who Would Be King: Disney+ Hotstar
This movie is about a school kid who has nothing special about him. His fortunes change, however, when he pulls King Arthur’s famous sword Excalibur from the stone it is buried in. According to the Arthur stories, only the true king could draw the sword and wield it.
9. The Hobbit
Though, nowhere near as good, as epic or as fun as The Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy can still be a compelling replacement for Harry Potter. At least, Jackson gets the basics right. The acting is pretty great, the characters are fun and frolicsome, the action scenes are superb, the cinematography is breathtaking (New Zealand again), and the music is lovely.
10. The Golden Compass: Netflix
Based on Northern Lights, the first novel in the His Dark Materials trilogy of books by Philip Pullman, The Golden Compass is set in a parallel world where a part of a human’s soul lives outside his/her body as an animal called daemon. The world is ruled by a Church-like entity called the Magisterium that restricts free speech and what people are allowed to believe. The heroine of the story is Lyra who travels to north to save her friend and other children from being experimenting upon. You should also check out the His Dark Materials series on HBO (on Disney+ Hotstar in India)
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