10 Forgotten Fantasy Films of the 1990s, Ranked

10 Forgotten Fantasy Films of the 1990s, Ranked
Image credit: Legion-Media, globallookpress, MGM, PFE, Warner Bros.

Criminally underrated films that brought magic to our screens back in the '90s.

We're not talking about Edward Scissorhands or Hocus Pocus here: these fantasy movies of the '90s era are way lesser-known, although no less entertaining.

10. The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue (1998)

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Rotten Tomatoes score: -/25%

In this sequel to the beloved original, Timmy Brisby, the youngest son of Jonathan Brisby, strives to live up to his father's heroic legacy. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has cast a long shadow over the Brisby family, and Timmy's older brother Martin has been captured by the wicked scientists. Determined to prove his mettle, Timmy sets off on a daring mission to rescue Martin and other animals subjected to NIMH's nefarious experiments.

9. The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter (1990)

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Rotten Tomatoes score: 14/40%

Still reeling from the loss of his mother, Bastian finds solace in the pages of that mystical book, which again zips him into the magical land under threat. This time, Bastian gains the ability to wish things into existence, but at the price of his memories. He teams up with old friends like the luckdragon Falkor and new ones like the bird-like creature Nimbly. As they journey through the Silver Mountains and the ominous Castle of Ghosts, Bastian must confront the emptiness and find a way to save Fantasia from the clutches of the evil sorceress Xayide, who's got a heart as cold as her intentions.

8. A Troll in Central Park (1994)

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Rotten Tomatoes score: 14/46%

Imagine a world where trolls exist, but not all of them are your typical grumpy garden dwellers. Stanley is the green-thumbed, kind-hearted troll who's got a magic touch for growing lush gardens in a snap. But flowers are forbidden in the troll world by the mean-spirited Queen Gnorga. Exiled for his blooming misdemeanors, Stanley finds himself in Central Park, New York. Here, he befriends two young kids, Gus and his baby sister Rosie. The Queen's not having it and swoops in to turn the park into a wasteland. It's up to Stanley to use his green fingers to save the day, with a little help from his human pals.

7. Warriors of Virtue (1997)

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Rotten Tomatoes score: 18/47%

In Warriors of Virtue, young Ryan Jeffers, who walks with the help of a brace, finds himself sucked into a mystical book and lands in Tao, a realm that looks like it was cooked up in a fantasy fan's wildest dreams. There, he meets the titular Warriors, each embodying a different virtue like wisdom, courage, and kindness. Ryan, who's always felt powerless in his life, finds new meaning in this world where he becomes pivotal in the clash between good and evil. He must muster the courage he's learned from his heroes, the Warriors, to bring peace to Tao and find his way back home.

6. The Pagemaster (1994)

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Rotten Tomatoes score: 21/49%

Richard Tyler is the poster boy for caution, whose life motto might as well be "better safe than sorry". During a storm, he takes refuge in a library to dodge a thunderbolt but ends up taking a plunge into a cartoon reality where books come alive. The Pagemaster, a wizard-like librarian, sends him on an incredible journey through literary landscapes. With the help of three anthropomorphic books – Adventure, Fantasy, and Horror – Richard faces classic villains and storylines plucked from the pages of history's most beloved tales.

5. Magic in the Water (1995)

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Rotten Tomatoes score: 21/59%

Ashley Black is convinced her summer's going to be a snooze fest at her dad's lakeside cabin. But things take a turn for the mysterious when local legends of a sea monster named Orky start to seem less like tall tales and more like reality. Ashley and her brother Joshua start noticing strange happenings, like cookies disappearing and their dad acting, well, not quite like himself. They suspect Orky's got something to do with it. Diving into an underwater adventure, the siblings uncover that Orky's real, and the lake is more magical than they ever imagined.

4. Kull the Conqueror (1997)

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Rotten Tomatoes score: 25/24%

After a twist of fate and a swift swing of his sword, Kull finds himself seated on the throne of Valusia, a kingdom filled with sorcery and swords clashing in the name of power. But as Kull soon learns, wearing the crown is no easy task, especially when an ancient evil sorceress, Akivasha, has awoken with a plan to turn the world into her fiery domain. With the help of the feisty and formidable Zareta and her brother, Ascalante, Kull must battle ice demons, navigate seductive enchantresses, and confront his own doubts about what kind of king he wants to be.

3. Quest for Camelot (1998)

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Rotten Tomatoes score: 43/59%

The plucky and ambitious Kayley dreams of following in her father's footsteps to become a knight of the Round Table. When the vile Sir Ruber, a former knight turned traitor, steals Excalibur, King Arthur's legendary sword, it's up to Kayley to save the day. She embarks on a quest that would put the most seasoned knights to the test, joined by the blind hermit Garrett and a comical two-headed dragon called Devon and Cornwall.

2. The Borrowers (1997)

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Rotten Tomatoes score: 75/49%

Pint-sized members of the Clock family make a life by "borrowing" from the "beans" (human beings). It's all about survival for Pod, Homily, and their spirited daughter Arrietty, until their existence is threatened by the dastardly lawyer Ocious P. Potter who wants to demolish their home to build condos. After the family is discovered by the kind-hearted boy Pete, they're in for a gigantic adventure.

1. The Secret of Roan Inish (1995)

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Rotten Tomatoes score: 96/87%

Young Fiona is sent to live with her grandparents near the island of Roan Inish, where selkies – seals who can shed their skin to become human – are part of the local lore. Fiona learns about her family's mysterious connection to these creatures and becomes convinced that her little brother, who was lost at sea as an infant, is being cared for by them. With the help of her cousin Eamon, she sets out to uncover the secrets of her ancestry and find her lost sibling.