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When the CBS network airs The American Film Institute’s “Top Ten” movies for every genre, one of the more interesting and popular choices will be for the “Fantasy” category. The ballot is a
As the AFI says it, Fantasy is a genre “where live-action characters inhabit imagined settings and/or experience situations that transcend the rules of the natural world.
By presenting dreamlike realms where fairies flourish, witches scheme and pigs fly, fantasy demands that audiences believe in magic and hope for wishes to come true.”
The first fantasy film I ever saw on the big screen was 1977’s “Star Wars,” later titled “Star Wars: A New Hope.” I’d seen “The Wizard of Oz” before but it was old (1939) and on the small screen. I loved “E.T., The Extra Terrestrial” (1982) though I pretended not to because it wasn’t a guy flick. I loved “2001: A Space Odyssey” (1969) because I couldn’t understand it and felt important somehow by that. I loved Michel Keaton, Jack Nicholson, and Kim Basinger in “Batman” (1989) because it was so cool to see a guy who had no natural powers—and a lot of personal pain—portrayed as a superhero. And I was part of the throng who loved the “Lord of the Rings” series.


I credit “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” (2005) for its bibliosity, “Big” (1988) for exploring every young boy’s fantasy, “Field of Dreams” (1989) for its unwavering commitment to dream fulfillment, “Ghost” (1990) as a love story guys could relate to, and “Groundhog Day” (1993) for the message about making every day count.
But most inspiring of all to me—and this one won’t win, trust me—was “Heaven Can Wait” (1978), which inspired me to never let the obstacles prevail against me, and helped me trust that there was a greater purpose to life than what I could see through my self-centered view.
“It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946), is the most timeless and inspiring film of all time and I wish they’d honor it that way. That said…
Most Inspiring to Me: “Heaven Can Wait”
What Should Win: “It’s a Wonderful Life”
What Will Win: “The Wizard of Oz”
What movie do you wish would win?

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