It's a safe bet that we could all use some escapism. What better way to take a break from the trials and travails of 2020 than to explore a comforting fantasy world for an hour or two (or even eight)?
Because we all need a break, we're celebrating feel-good fantasy to watch on Netflix right now. These 15 films and movies are available to binge today – so prepare to take a voyage away from your troubles, and into extraordinary realms.
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The Good Place
Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell) wakes up in a bland waiting room only to discover she’s died and gone to an afterlife paradise reserved for only the best people. The problem? They have the wrong Eleanor, and this anti-social hot mess is in the wrong afterlife.
The Good Place is tightly written, razor-sharp comedy with a brilliant cast. The show, which aired its series finale in January 2020, was one of the best shows on TV. Avoid spoilers like the plague.
This 1991 classic movie starring Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman, and Julia Roberts imagines a grown-up Peter Pan (Williams) forced to return to a Neverland he’s long forgotten to rescue his children from a vengeful Captain Hook (a scenery-chewing, over-the-top Hoffman).
Robin Williams makes this one better than it has any right to be.
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Based on the Archie Horror comic of the same name, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is a delightfully dark reimagining of Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
While this series arguably stretches the boundaries of feel-good, its kitschy sense of humor and retro stylings add an infectious air of whimsy to a series that thankfully doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Groundhog Day is in the running for Bill Murray’s best film. A cantankerous weatherman named Phil (Murray) is sent to the annual appearance of Punxsutawney Phil—much to the reporter's chagrin.
When a freak snowstorm strands Phil and the crew in the small Pennsylvania town, Phil is forced to relive the same day over and over and over again.
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A Series of Unfortunate Events (2017)
This series adaptation of the classic children’s books features an all-star cast—including Neil Patrick Harris clearly having a blast as Count Olaf. This Netflix Original captures the wit and sardonic whimsy that made the books a hit with kids and parents alike.
When the Baudelaire children lose their parents in a terrible fire, they embark on a series of misadventures as they attempt to unravel the mystery at the center of their family's demise.
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Mary Poppins Returns
Mary Poppins Returns sees the titular nanny (now played by Emily Blunt) return to London to help the now-adult Banks children get their lives in order.
It’s a charming follow-up film to the beloved original, and the addition of Lin Manuel-Miranda as a lamplighter certainly doesn’t hurt. Keep an eye for a cameo appearance by a shockingly spry Dick Van Dyke.
While this tongue-in-cheek musical fantasy didn’t quite catch on when it aired on ABC back in 2015, it wasn’t for a lack of trying.
Like a musical version of The Princess Bride, Galavant centers around the titular knight (Joshua Sasse) on a quest to save a fair lady who may not be that interested in being saved.
Mary and the Witch's Flower
This charming fantasy centers around Mary, a young girl who discovers a rare flower and an old broomstick and is whisked away to the mysterious Endor College—a school of magic situated in the clouds.
Mary is soon caught up in a unexpected plot and must set things right while finding her way in this new magical world.
This lighthearted, coming-of-age retelling of Arthurian legend centers around a young Merlin (Colin Morgan) finding his footing in a Camelot where magic has been banned by a tyrannical ruler.
While the first season is a bit uneven, the series really finds its footing from season two onward as the friendship between Merlin and Arthur (Bradley James) takes center stage.
The Little Prince
This 2015 film adaptation of the beloved children’s story does a great job capturing the profound charm and emotional core of the original text.
Lifted by a smart framing narrative, some gorgeous stop-motion animation, and a great voice cast, this one is definitely worth escaping into for a couple of hours.
She-Ra and the Princess of Power
This reboot/reimagining of the 1985 He-Man spinoff hits all the right notes. The plot centers around Adora, a naïve soldier in the villainous Horde.
When Adora discovers a magical sword and witnesses the atrocities of the Horde first-hand, she becomes the legendary warrior She-Ra and joins the rebellion. It’s a witty, empowering, and inclusive fantasy series that’s a guaranteed crowd pleaser.
This clever time travel romance movie comes from writer-director Richard Curtis (Love Actually, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill).
When Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) turns 21, he discovers from his father that the men in his family can travel back along their own timeline by stepping into a closet and concentrating on a memory. Tim uses the power to woo the girl of his dreams, however a series of unintended consequences leaves him scrambling to set things right.
Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia
Created for Netflix by Guillermo del Toro and based on del Toro’s children’s book of the same name, the series centers around Jim, an average teen who stumbles across an amulet and finds himself caught up in a secret world of trolls and magical creatures.
When Jim becomes the first human Trollhunter, tasked with protecting the world from all manner of supernatural dangers, his world is turned upside down.
This zombie show is more funny than frightening. Following an unexpected disaster on a party boat, Liz Moore (Rose McIver)—a medical student in her first year of residency—wakes up with suddenly pale skin and a hunger for brains.
Much to her surprise, she is now a zombie requiring a steady diet of brains to maintain her humanity. Fortunately, her new job as a medical examiner for the Seattle PD provides plenty of snacks. And the fact that she temporarily takes on the personality traits and memories of the person whose brain she consumes just happens to make her a talented amateur sleuth.
This soapy melodrama is just pure escapism. The series centers around a trio of sisters who discover an ancient tome in their attic revealing they have each have supernatural powers.
Obviously, hijinks, mischief, and romance ensue. With eight seasons, there’s plenty to get lost in.
Featured still from "Hook" via TriStar