[USER INPUT] What is Fantasy? What is Sci-Fi? Where is the line?

Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Films and Television' started by ObiWan506, Sep 11, 2006.

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  1. Panther50 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2004
    star 3
    I can't see what the problem is with including Disney movies, most of them contain some sort of fantasy element. Finding Nemo might be a stretch but last time I checked talking fish aren't real so whats wrong with thinking of it as a fantasy.
  2. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    Finding Nemo might be a good point to make, but then again we don't really think of the Tom hanks movie Splash as fantasy do we?
  3. Panther50 Jedi Knight

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    Apr 7, 2004
    star 3
    Maybe we should afterall Mermaids aren't real. I'd say its a Fantasy Comedy.
  4. ObiWan506 Former Head Admin

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    Aug 5, 2003
    star 7
    Which brings me back to my original definition in this thread:

    However, is something immune to the characterization of Fantasy just because it's a fairy tale? How do you define fairy tale? Something that can't possibly happen? A children's story? In my opinion, I do not think it matters if it's a fairy tale or not. Bottom line, does it have fantastic elements in it? Oh it does? Well then come on down to the SFF forum; we'll talk about.

    I think my only problem is, what amount of fantasy do we let in? If a film has one hint of fantasy to it (And this could be arguably any film known to mankind) do we let it in? Or does it have to meet a certain 'fantasy quota'? So with that said, I do agree with malkie's statement:

  5. Moleman1138 Manager Emeritus

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    Aug 18, 2004
    star 6
    About Finding Nemo. Fish don't talk. So does that automatically make it a fantasy movie. I would have to say yes as really anything out of the ordinary is considered fantasy.

    Superheroes
    Swords/Sorcery
    Magic etc.

    Now do stuff like movies based on mythic poems like Troy (thought of it since the poster hangs right above my computer) qualify? Troy is a myth. The poem had the Gods, but the film lacked it. It does make reference to them. Achilles superhuman swordsmanship is fantasy driven with the Achilles heel, but does that warrant a fantastical film.
  6. weezer Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2001
    star 6
    I would say that Finding Nemo would defiantly be out. Anthropomorphism is just a literary tool. Nothing fanciful about it.

    I can't hear your inter-monologue either but I don't think you can say that any book or movie where that happens could be considered fantasy. Along those lines I don't have a narrator explaining my actions or a sound track to how I move (thought that would be kick **** killer) all of those are out of the ordinary or "not real" and you would be hard pressed to find a movie where neither happen.

    I think that becomes the problem of making a "fantasy quota" either way you go with something like that there are going to be things that don't quite fit. One of my all time favorite films is Amélie its got talking clocks and all kind of crazy things. Certainly magical and fanciful but I definatly wouldn't call it Fantasy.

    Just my $.02 on Moleman's question of Troy. I'd say out on that too since the intention was to some how create some realistic true version of the myth. Much like the recent "historical" take on King Arthur would be out.
  7. malkieD2 Ex-Manager and RSA

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2002
    star 7
    Some "fish" certainly do communicate using sound - just because they don't speak english doesn't make them non-talkers ;)

    There needs to be much more to it than that to fill my personal criteria of what a fantasy movie is.
  8. weezer Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2001
    star 6
    The Bigger Fish does.
  9. ObiWan506 Former Head Admin

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    Aug 5, 2003
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    I would agree. Even though there was fantastic elements, it wouldn't be Fantasy. But let's go back to malkie's statement that I quoted in one of my last posts. Should we focus on context and themes? To be a fantasy film, maybe the fantasy needs to lay within both the context of the storyline and the theme of the storyline. What about that?
  10. Confidence Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2005
    star 4
    Finding Nemo is not fantasy. All the film does is anthropomorphise the animals allowing us to connect with the tale. That's not fantasy.
  11. malkieD2 Ex-Manager and RSA

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    Jun 7, 2002
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    works for me
  12. redxavier Force Ghost

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    Jan 23, 2003
    star 4
    Personally, I don't define fantasy as being a story with magical elements or outlandish concepts. Such a definition I find to be too wide. When I think of fantasy, I think of LOTR, Conan etc. stories set in pre-fire arms settings featuring mythological beings (gods, heroes and monsters).

    Sci-Fi on the other hand is technologically-based. Whilst fantasy usually involves past worlds, science fiction involves the future.

    If we were to concentrate on thematic relevance, this would blur the line more since most films, being fictional, could qualify as fantasy in one way or another. In short, there's a crucial distinction between the fantasy genre and the fantastical.
  13. ObiWan506 Former Head Admin

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    Where would your definition put the Harry Potter series? If I read it right, according to your definition, Harry Potter isn't Fantasy.
  14. redxavier Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 23, 2003
    star 4
    You're correct, I wouldn't place Harry Potter in the fantasy genre since it takes place in a contemporary world just like ours. It's perhaps more of a 'magical adventure' like a Disney film.

    It's a personal interpretation that ultimately stems from a desire to avoid confusion between clearly fictional premises (the fantastical) and 'High Fantasy' LOTR type stories. After all, if Harry Potter is fantasy, so therefore are films like Ghost, Hocus Pocus and Death Becomes Her.
  15. ObiWan506 Former Head Admin

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    Aug 5, 2003
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    Not if we use the 'context & themes' rule. Harry Potter has both fantastic elements in the context of the storyline and in the theme of the storyline. Films like Ghost aren't fantasy because there isn't fantastical elements in the context and theme of the movie.
  16. ObiWan506 Former Head Admin

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    Aug 5, 2003
    star 7
    So are we all done here? Is it of popular opinion that the definition of Fantasy in this forum is a film that contains fantastic elements in both the context and theme of the movie?

    Quick question, what's a good, clear, definition for both context and theme?
  17. Drac39 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 2002
    star 6

    I really don't think theme has anything to do with it. A fantasy film contains things that are beyond belief.
  18. ObiWan506 Former Head Admin

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    Aug 5, 2003
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    Well then that would be the theme now, wouldn't it? :p
  19. Darth_Daver Jedi Grand Master

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    Jan 23, 2005
    star 5
    Going back a bit, I'd say Armageddon is sci-fi. As is Deep Impact. They're 'what-if?' stories that feature science heavily. So they meet the 'sci' and 'fi' parts.
    If time-travel and advanced Artificial Intelligence were discovered to be very real, feasible concepts, would we say Terminator wouldn't then be sci-fi?
    War Games would be another example. To me, it's sci-fi. Yes, it's possible to hack into military computers using reasonably advanced computers that aren't out of reach of the public, but when it results in a story that makes the end of the world imminent it requires a degree of suspension of disbelief that means it's gone beyond being just a thriller.
    Added to this is the fact that often films such as these push the boundaries of real science to the limit and beyond.
  20. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    Scifi stops being scifi when we aquire a technology that was only presnt in a scifi story. Star Trek communicators are still scifi since their 'cell phones' work way better than ours, and until we develope warpdrive, phasers and all the other Trek Scifi gadgets it will remian scifi. I could agree that Wargames is scifi because A.I. is at the heart of the story, but Deep Impact and Armageddon are really still just thrillers. Space travel is not science fiction unless it is space travel done far better and further reaching than we could reasonably accomplish.
    I could understand Armageddon being called scifi, but certainly not Deep Impact. Deep Impact is closer to being a disaster movie than anything else.
  21. ObiWan506 Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Aug 5, 2003
    star 7
    I agree with VadersLaMent on his classification.
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