The Harry Potter franchise has touched the hearts of fans all over the world. Not only are the Harry Potter movies great coming-of-age stories but they also have expansive worlds that fans could enjoy for years after. The Harry Potter series is unlike most other franchises because it has rich lore and engaging characters. Each of the eight movies provides a magical adventure that maintains a consistent quality throughout. In light of the Harry Potter cast reunion airing on New Year’s Day, we have created a list of the 10 best movies like the Harry Potter franchise.
When looking for movies like Harry Potter, it doesn’t get much better than an actual spinoff from the Harry Potter film series. The Fantastic Beasts franchise is a prequel to the events with Harry Potter. The franchise is based on a fictional textbook that was required reading for first-year students at Hogwarts called Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which is also the title of the first Fantastic Beasts movie. The prequel follows the adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school. With similar in-depth lore and magical stories, the Fantastic Beasts movies are sure to please any Harry Potter fan.
Similar to Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean is a franchise with many movies centering around magical adventure. The Caribbean movies are full of action, humor, and engaging characters that you’ll easily root for. The series starts off strong with The Curse of the Black pearl, which follows Jack Sparrow who teams up with Will Turner to save the governor’s daughter from pirates. The franchise may not be as consistent as Harry Potter but it’s a whole lot of fun.
For those who love magical adventures, Stardust is a great movie to watch. The charming magical fantasy is delightful and well-acted. Starring Charlie Cox, Henry Cavill, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Claire Danes, Stardust follows a young man who makes a promise to his beloved that he’ll retrieve a fallen star by venturing into the magical realm. The world was inspired by The Princess Bride but the magic and fantastical adventure are reminiscent of the Harry Potter franchise.
Part of what makes the Harry Potter movies so great is that they center around a group of teens as they mature. The franchise follows a group of adolescents as they grow into wizards. Comparable to Harry Potter, The Hunger Games is a story that follows Katniss Everdeen, a teenager, as she grows into a symbol for the rebellion. The Hunger Games isn’t magical, fun, or fantastical. Rather it’s intense and at times very dark. The world that the franchise builds is an appealing dystopia that will completely immerse you.
The rich lore in Harry Potter sticks with audiences more than the story or the characters. If you’re looking for more movies with lore, Dune has one of the most expansive worlds in sci-fi history. The sci-fi follows the son of a noble family who is entrusted with the protection of the most valuable asset and most vital element in the galaxy. Denis Villeneuve recently adapted Frank Herbert’s Dune novel into two films. Part one was released earlier this year and proved to be an engrossing spectacle with a star-studded cast, breathtaking visuals, and a beautiful score created by Hans Zimmer. Part two is set to be released in 2023 and is already looking to be one of the most anticipated movies of the year.
The Chronicles of Narnia trilogy has many similarities to Harry Potter. They take place in a magical land with witches, prophecies, and young heroes. Also, the trilogy works as a coming-of-age series, tracking the journey of 4 teenage siblings that mature into heroes. The franchise begins with The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the witch, and the wardrobe, which is about four kids who travel through a wardrobe to the land of Narnia and learn of their destiny to free it with the guidance of a mystical lion. The Narnia trilogy has the medieval adventure of Lord of the Rings and the child-like wonder of Harry Potter.
Lovers of magical fantasy enjoy immersing themselves into captivating new worlds. Studio Ghibli is a studio that has created many well-loved anime movies with imaginative settings. Princess Mononoke is a Studio Ghibli classic that provides a truly immersive experience that is both tragic and heartwarming. The anime is about a young man named Ashitaka, who gets caught up in the middle of a war between forest gods and a mining colony while looking for a cure for his curse. The story is complex and has a relevant message about protecting the environment.
Spirited Away is the poster child of magical anime fantasies. The Studio Ghibli anime, created by Hayao Miyazaki, actually won an Oscar for Best Animated Feature in 2003 and is one of the most unique movies you’ll ever watch. Spirited Away centers around a 10-year-old girl who, after being discouraged by her family’s move to the suburbs, discovers an alternate reality of gods and demons that change humans into beasts. The movie is a blend of youth, love, and magic that will keep you hooked until the end.
Not a movie but Avatar: The Last Airbender is a series that has one of the most compelling worlds ever created. The world is original and completely unique with beautiful cultures and riveting characters. The series follows siblings Katara and Sokka who wake a young child from a long hibernation and learn that he’s the Avatar, the only hope to defeat the evil Fire Nation. The Avatar: The Last Airbender is a great alternative to Harry Potter with complex characters and poignant messages about war.
The Lord of the Rings trilogy is one of the most popular franchises of all time. With an expansive world and awe-inspiring action sequences, the fantasy franchise has enchanted audiences for over 50 years. The movies follow a meek Hobbit and eight companions who set out on a journey to destroy a ring that has the power to destroy Middle-earth. The Lord of the Rings is arguably one of the best alternatives to Harry Potter. The movies were responsible for iconic characters such as Gollum and Gandalf. And, even though the ambitious fantasy epic was created in 2001, the visual effects were incredibly detailed and have stood the test of time. All of these reasons and more puts Lord of the Rings at the top of our list.
Movies can work as an escape from life and there is no better escape than a fantasy with an imaginative story. Movies like Harry Potter can transport you to another world through their intriguing mythology, enchanting characters, and captivating story. You’ll want to have a similar journey after finishing the Harry Potter film series, and these 10 films are some of the best choices for you.
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