30 of 31 Fantasy Films in 31 Days: Labyrinth (1986) - Teenaged Sarah resents being forced to babysit her brother Toby while her father and stepmother are out, and so she – naturally – wishes that the Goblin King would come and take him away. But when Jareth does just that, Sarah realizes her mistake and sets out to solve the Labyrinth and reach the King’s castle before the clock strikes thirteen – or else Toby will become a goblin forever.

GOD DAMN WHAT  DAMN GOOD CHILDHOODLERY RIGHT HERE. David Bowie (and his Magical Sparkly Codpiece) as Jareth the Goblin King? INSPIRED. There’s Muppets designed by Brian Froud – who also lent the use of his infant son Toby as the brother in peril – and a baby-faced Jennifer Connelly, music and dance numbers from Bowie, madcap sets and special effects, SPARKLES EVERY FUCKING WHERE because this was the 80s and you couldn’t do 80s fantasy without sparkles coating everything like month-old dust, and it just all adds up to one of the best Hades/Persephone stories ever; hello May/December trope kink! God, I just love this movie and everything it chooses to be and I sincerely pity anyone who didn’t see this during their formative years. How sad and unfulfilled you all must be.

17 of 31 Fantasy Films in 31 Days: Beauty and the Beast (1991) - Brainy, bookish Belle doesn’t feel like she belongs in her small French village. When her hapless father incites the ire of a prince who was transformed into a monster by an enchantress, she makes a deal with the Beast: she will be his prisoner so long as her father goes free. And while the Beast has a terrible temper, the two work past their rocky first encounter and come to care for one another. Will Belle’s love be able to break the spell before the last rose petal falls?

It’s my favourite fairy tale of ALL the fairy tales, so of course I’m biased: but this story just means so damn much to me. I’ve always felt a connection with Belle, an outsider more comfortable with her nose in a book and her head in the clouds. In fact, it’s the outsider commentary that makes this film so poignant: Howard Ashman, who helped pen the film’s incredible songs, was a gay man dying of AIDS when this film was being completed, and he meant for Gaston to represent the uncaring and judgmental society he faced daily while Belle and the Beast both embodied the perpetual outsider attacked at all sides. And then there’s the beautiful animation and a great cast of supporting characters; Jerry Orbach will always have a large piece of my heart thanks to his work as Lumiere. One of Disney’s best outings, and one of the best takes on the classic fairy tale.