6 Classic Fantasy Cartoons to Remember

Creator of The Smurfs

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Cartoons successfully created fantasy worlds before special effects became readily available in movies. These fantasy cartoons represent the best of magical stories told in animated TV.

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'The Last Unicorn'

The Last Unicorn captures a feeling of tragic loss. Amalthea, the alleged last unicorn, embarks on a journey to find out if there are others of her kind. She is lonely, without family or ties to the world in which she lives, and she is in danger. The story works for children and adults. The Last Unicorn boasts superb voice talent, including Mia Farrow, Alan Arkin, Jeff Bridges, Christopher Lee, and Angela Lansbury.

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'The Hobbit'

Though the animated version cannot compare to the grounded and masterful Lord of the Rings films from Peter Jackson, it still projects the suspense and magic of the books. The storytelling is fluid and enjoyable. The Hobbit and its animated sequels also exude an innocence associated with the '70s.

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The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Before Tilda Swinton froze the screen as the White Witch in Disney's Chronicles of Narnia, the animated version of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe enchanted me. This '70s version of C.S. Lewis' magical story still casts a spell.

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'Dungeons and Dragons'

Believe it or not, Dungeons and Dragons lasted three years on TV. Based on the popular, yet ridiculed, a game of dice and spellcasting, the cartoon followed kids that took a ride on a roller coaster that landed them in the magical world of, well, dungeons and dragons. They are given new identities and weapons to help them survive in this new world. Dungeons and Dragons are meant for children, so adults might yawn a bit. But there is no limit to the magic woven in the stories.

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The Smurfs tells magical stories of little blue creatures who live in mushroom houses. Papa Smurf works very powerful magic. Gargamel, his wizard nemesis, isn't very successful with his magic. There is also a slew of other magical characters that pop up, including fairies, gnomes, and other wizards.

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'Heavy Metal'

Heavy Metal is more of a science fiction story than a magical one, but every plot revolves around a magical green sphere. There's a lot of sex depicted in this cartoon, so keep the kids away while you're watching it. The stories and art are taken from a magazine of the same name. The overarching story is just a convention used to tie together disparate stories, but the style lends itself to the imaginative and surreal stories. Heavy Metal is the cartoon parodies in the South Park episode "Major Boobage."