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The 8 best fantasy movies streaming on Peacock: From 'Shrek' to 'Highlander'

Ogres, hellish agents of vengeance, sparkly vampires, and more!

Shrek (2001)

Looking to escape into worlds infinitely more magical than our own? Peacock has you covered with an extensive collection of fantasy film titles guaranteed to provide you with hours of endless entertainment. From swamp-dwelling ogres, to hellish agents of vengeance, to sparkly vampires, to the always entertaining antics of Nicolas Cage, there's a little something for everyone.

Head below for our list of the eight best fantasy movies currently streaming on Peacock!

Phantasm (1979)

Looking back on the movie in 2016, IndieWire's Eric Kohn described Phantasm as an amalgam of different storytelling sensibilities. "Phantasm defies traditional genre barriers," he wrote. "It's not horror, fantasy, or science fiction, but a peculiar fusion of all three, driven as much by creepy mood as story." The bizarre cult classic centers around two teenage brothers and their friend, who confront a supernatural grave robber known simply as "The Tall Man" (played by Angus Scrimm). Among the title's cult following is none other than J.J. Abrams, who proved pivotal in its 4K restoration almost a decade ago.

Watch it here

Highlander (1986)

There can only be one! If you're strapped for time and can't binge hours upon hours of movies, then might we suggest moving Highlander to the top of your queue? This tale of immortal warriors battling to the death features original songs written and performed by Queen. Yes, that Queen.

"I was at a point in my career when I could call in a few favors," Russell Mulcahy told The Guardian in 2016. "Queen had done a great score for Flash Gordon, so we gave them a 20-minute reel of different scenes and they went: 'Wow!' We'd only expected them to do one song, but they wanted to write one each. Freddie Mercury did 'Princes of the Universe,' Brian May did 'Who Wants to Live Forever,' [and] Roger Taylor did 'It's a Kind of Magic.'"

Oh, and the cast — which features Sean Connery and Clancy Brown — isn't too shabby either.

Watch it here

The Family Man (2000)

A throwback to the Capra-esque wholesomeness of It's A Wonderful Life, The Family Man is a holiday film with real heart. Nicolas Cage stars as Jack Campbell, a successful Wall Street mogul, who wakes up one morning to find himself living an average suburban life with his college sweetheart, Kate (Téa Leoni), and their young children. At first, Jack is horrified by this Twilight Zone-y twist of fate, desperate to regain his carefree life as a wealthy bachelor. But as time goes on, he comes to realize that what he wants may not be what he needs.

"We sold The Family Man on a pitch before either of us was married or had children," the movie's co-screenwriters, David Diamond and David Weissman, tell SYFY WIRE over email. "But we understood the tension that can arise between ambition, which we had, and great love, which we did not. The movie came out before Twitter, but it's been very gratifying for us to see new audiences discover the movie each year and appreciate it — maybe even more than it was appreciated at the time it was first released."

A pre-MCU Don Cheadle rounds out the cast.

Watch it here

(Want more of the Cage? The actor has his very own section on Peacock.)

Shrek (2001)

Only shooting stars break the mold! The fifth outing from the fledgling animation arm of the newly-founded DreamWorks, Shrek was exactly the antidote for Disney fatigue.

The film's satirical treatment of fairy tale tropes and consumerism run amok set it apart from anything else being made at the time. Parents could easily key into the surprisingly mature jokes, while their kids delighted in the memorable characters and plethora of toilet humor. Holding it all together was a moral of self-acceptance via the subversion of the traditional fairy tale ending. Shrek's disdain for cliches is perfectly summed up in the opening moments when the titular ogre literally uses the pages of fairy tale book to wipe his large green posterior.

"The Disney model was still very reverential, and very aspirational, and inspirational and the musicals were composed for the movie, so you would never have this indie influence of existing songs dropped in for score, to set a mood," co-director Vicky Jensen explained to last year during an interview for the project's 20th anniversary. "So no one, as far as I know, had done that in an animated movie and relied on that to hit the key emotional moments in the movie as a live action movie would."

Watch it here

Shrek 2 (2004)

The perfect sequel doesn't ex... oh wait, yes it does. It's called Shrek 2, a paragon of how to pull off a second movie in a budding franchise. Picking up after Shrek and Fiona's honeymoon, the film whisks the audience off to the kingdom of Far Far Away to meet Fiona's royal parents. They're not too thrilled over the fact that their daughter married a swamp-dwelling monster, but eventually come to accept their new son-in-law with open arms. In addition to further exploring the themes of what society deems to be "normal," the animated follow-up also introduced viewers to brand-new characters like Puss in Boots, whose second standalone movie opens this fall.

"We didn't want to rest on our laurels," explained co-director Andrew Adamson. "We wanted to take the story to another level, create new characters and new themes. We also wanted it to be just as entertaining for the parents as the kids. The new film is about dealing with the in-laws, so it hits on a lot of levels. We all deal with alienation, bigotry, and love."

Watch it here

13 Going on 30 (2004)

A fantasy-comedy molded in the vein of 1988's Big starring Tom Hanks, 13 Going on 30 represents the wish all of us have at some point or another in our youths: to be an adult and to have the freedom to do whatever we want.

Of course, getting older isn't all it's cracked up to be, which comes as quite the shock for Jenna Rink (Christa B. Allen), who wakes up the morning after her thirteenth birthday to find that 17 years of her life have flown by in the span of a single night. She's now a grown-up (played by Jennifer Garner) and a big shot in the world of fashion. A dream come true, right? Well, it turns out navigating adulthood with the mind of a teenage isn't exactly the easiest thing in the world.

"I have no idea what it's like to be a 13-year-old girl," director Gary Winick (who sadly passed away in 2011) states in a behind-the-scenes documentary on the making of the film. "But what I can get is wishing and wanting to be something and getting that wish and realizing, 'Oh my God!' You climb up the ladder to try to get ahead and you're like, 'Oh my God...I'm on the wrong ladder!' And now, you've gotta get off the ladder and go up the other ladder."

Judy Greer, Mark Ruffalo, and Andy Serkis co-star.

Watch it here

Twilight (2008)

It's kind of hard to understate the cultural influence Twilight enjoyed in the pre-2010s. Like Harry Potter before it, the vampiric romance novels penned by Stephenie Meyer dominated the entire fantasy conversation among young readers. So when Hollywood announced its plan to adapt the bestselling books for the big screen, excitement was riding high.

"When I read the book, I thought Meyers had really captured the moments of first love," director Catherine Hardwick said in 2018 while speaking to The Hollywood Reporter. "And I thought how fun it was that she did it and drew millions of people to the book. It seemed like a big, cool challenge for me to create those feelings on film. Two challenges I had were the visuals and the gorgeous environment that I got to work in, the Pacific Northwest where we filmed, and these feelings of ecstasy that Meyer created."

Watch it here

Drive Angry (2011)

If we had a nickel for every time Nicolas Cage accepted a role where he was asked to play a hellish agent of vengeance, we'd have two nickels. Which isn't a lot, but it's weird that it happened twice, right? Cage steps into the damned shoes of John Milton (a nice little tip of the horns to Paradise Lost), a man who literally breaks out of Hell to rescue his granddaughter from a dangerous cult. Satan isn't exactly happy about this turn of events and sends his best man... er… demon (William Fichtner), to escort Milton to the Underworld by force.

"There's so many different sides to this one because it is a car movie but it also has the action of an old Charles Bronson movie and then you add the supernatural component to it and on top of that you have 3D, so it's not like anything else that I've done before or really seen before," Cage explained to Collider during an on-set interview in 2010. "I'm very excited about what can emerge from this. I'm trying to mess with the format — meaning like what can I do with 3D as a film actor. How can I move differently or I was talking about sticking my tongue out and seeing if it would go into the fourth row of the audience and if there's anything I can do to play with the format."

Watch it here

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