A starship, starcraft or interstellar spacecraft is a theoretical spacecraft designed for traveling between planetary systems, as opposed to an aerospace-vehicle designed for orbital spaceflight or interplanetary travel. The term is found in science fiction, because such craft is not known to have been constructed. Reference to a "star-ship" appears as early as 1882 in Oahspe: A New Bible. Whilst the Voyager and Pioneer probes have travelled into local interstellar space, the purpose of these uncrewed craft was interplanetary and they are not predicted to reach another star system Several preliminary designs for starships have been undertaken through exploratory engineering, using feasibility studies with modern technology or technology thought to be available in the near future. In April 2016, scientists announced Breakthrough Starshot, a Breakthrough Initiatives program, to develop a proof-of-concept fleet of small centimeter-sized light sail spacecraft, named StarChip, capable of making the journey to Alpha Centauri, the nearest extrasolar star system, at speeds of 20% and 15% of the speed of light, taking between 20 and 30 years to reach the star system and about 4 years to notify Earth of a successful arrival.
On November 8, 2018, Elon Musk announced that SpaceX was renaming the Big Falcon Rocket, a reusable launch vehicle and spacecraft system, to Starship. Though the spacecraft will not possess any reasonable interstellar capability, Musk defended the name by claiming that "later versions will." To travel between stars in a reasonable time using rocket-like technology requires high effective exhaust velocity jet, enormous energy to power this, such as might be provided by fusion power or antimatter. There are few scientific studies that investigate the issues in building a starship; some examples of this include: Project Orion manned interplanetary spacecraft Project Daedalus, unmanned interstellar probe Project Longshot, unmanned interstellar probe Project Icarus, unmanned interstellar probe Hundred-Year Starship, manned interstellar craft See interstellar probes, interstellar travelThe Bussard ramjet is an idea to use nuclear fusion of interstellar gas to provide propulsion. Examined in an October 1973 issue of Analog, the Enzmann Starship proposed using a 12,000 ton ball of frozen deuterium to power thermonuclear powered pulse propulsion units.
Twice as long as the Empire State Building and assembled in-orbit, the proposed spacecraft would be part of a larger project preceded by interstellar probes and telescopic observation of target star systems. The NASA Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Program, was a professional scientific study examining advanced spacecraft propulsion systems. A common literary device is to posit a faster-than-light propulsion system or travel through hyperspace, although some starships may be outfitted for centuries-long journeys of slower-than-light travel. Other designs posit a way to boost the ship to near-lightspeed, allowing "quick" travel to nearer stars; this results in a general categorization of the kinds of starships: Sleeper, which put their passengers into stasis during a long trip. This includes Cryonics-based systems. Generation, where the destination will be reached by descendants of the original passengers. Relativistic, taking advantage of time dilation at close-to-light-speeds, so long trips will seem much shorter.
Faster-than-light, which can move between places quickly. Certain common elements are found in most fiction. Fiction that discusses slower-than-light starships is rare, since the time scales are so long. Instead of describing the interaction with the outside world, those fictions tend to focus on setting the whole story within the world of the starship during its long travels. Sometimes the starship is a world, in reality. Travel at velocities greater than the speed of light is impossible according to the known laws of physics, although apparent FTL is not excluded by general relativity; the Alcubierre drive provides a theoretical way of achieving FTL, although it requires negative mass, which has not yet been discovered. Harold G. White at NASA has designed the White–Juday warp-field interferometer to detect a microscopic instance of a warping of space-time according to the Alcubierre drive; the following is a listing of some of the most known vessels in various science fiction franchises. The most prominent cultural use and one of the earliest common uses of the term starship was in Star Trek: The Original Series.
This list is not exhaustive. Andromeda Ascendant Battlestar Galactica Heart of Gold High Charity Hyperion Jupiter 2 Long Shot Moya NSEA Protector SDF-1 Macross SSV Normandy UNSC Infinity USG Ishimura USS Sulaco Yamato White Star Star Trek starships USS Defiant USS Enterprise USS Voyager Stargate starships Star Wars starships Millennium Falcon Star Destroyers Starship Dimensions (to-scale size comparison
Drama is the specific mode of fiction represented in performance: a play, mime, etc, performed in a theatre, or on radio or television. Considered as a genre of poetry in general, the dramatic mode has been contrasted with the epic and the lyrical modes since Aristotle's Poetics —the earliest work of dramatic theory; the term "drama" comes from a Greek word meaning "action", derived from "I do". The two masks associated with drama represent the traditional generic division between comedy and tragedy. In English, the word "play" or "game" was the standard term used to describe drama until William Shakespeare's time—just as its creator was a "play-maker" rather than a "dramatist" and the building was a "play-house" rather than a "theatre"; the use of "drama" in a more narrow sense to designate a specific type of play dates from the modern era. "Drama" in this sense refers to a play, neither a comedy nor a tragedy—for example, Zola's Thérèse Raquin or Chekhov's Ivanov. It is this narrower sense that the film and television industries, along with film studies, adopted to describe "drama" as a genre within their respective media.
"Radio drama" has been used in both senses—originally transmitted in a live performance, it has been used to describe the more high-brow and serious end of the dramatic output of radio. The enactment of drama in theatre, performed by actors on a stage before an audience, presupposes collaborative modes of production and a collective form of reception; the structure of dramatic texts, unlike other forms of literature, is directly influenced by this collaborative production and collective reception. Mime is a form of drama. Drama can be combined with music: the dramatic text in opera is sung throughout. Musicals include songs. Closet drama describes a form, intended to be read, rather than performed. In improvisation, the drama does not pre-exist the moment of performance. Western drama originates in classical Greece; the theatrical culture of the city-state of Athens produced three genres of drama: tragedy and the satyr play. Their origins remain obscure, though by the 5th century BC they were institutionalised in competitions held as part of festivities celebrating the god Dionysus.
Historians know the names of many ancient Greek dramatists, not least Thespis, credited with the innovation of an actor who speaks and impersonates a character, while interacting with the chorus and its leader, who were a traditional part of the performance of non-dramatic poetry. Only a small fraction of the work of five dramatists, has survived to this day: we have a small number of complete texts by the tragedians Aeschylus and Euripides, the comic writers Aristophanes and, from the late 4th century, Menander. Aeschylus' historical tragedy The Persians is the oldest surviving drama, although when it won first prize at the City Dionysia competition in 472 BC, he had been writing plays for more than 25 years; the competition for tragedies may have begun as early as 534 BC. Tragic dramatists were required to present a tetralogy of plays, which consisted of three tragedies and one satyr play. Comedy was recognized with a prize in the competition from 487 to 486 BC. Five comic dramatists competed at the City Dionysia.
Ancient Greek comedy is traditionally divided between "old comedy", "middle comedy" and "new comedy". Following the expansion of the Roman Republic into several Greek territories between 270–240 BC, Rome encountered Greek drama. From the years of the republic and by means of the Roman Empire, theatre spread west across Europe, around the Mediterranean and reached England. While Greek drama continued to be performed throughout the Roman period, the year 240 BC marks the beginning of regular Roman drama. From the beginning of the empire, interest in full-length drama declined in favour of a broader variety of theatrical entertainments; the first important works of Roman literature were the tragedies and comedies that Livius Andronicus wrote from 240 BC. Five years Gnaeus Naevius began to write drama. No plays from either writer have survived. While both dramatists composed in both genres, Andronicus was most appreciated for his tragedies and Naevius for his comedies. By the beginning of the 2nd century BC, drama was established in Rome and a guild of writers had been formed.
The Roman comedies that have survived are all fabula palliata (comedies b
A serial, film serial, movie serial or chapter play, is a motion picture form popular during the first half of the 20th century, consisting of a series of short subjects exhibited in consecutive order at one theater advancing weekly, until the series is completed. Each serial involves a single set of characters and antagonistic, involved in a single story, edited into chapters after the fashion of serial fiction and the episodes cannot be shown out of order or as a single or a random collection of short subjects; each chapter was screened at a movie theater for one week, ended with a cliffhanger, in which characters found themselves in perilous situations with little apparent chance of escape. Viewers had to return each week to follow the continuing story. Movie serials were popular with children, for many youths in the first half of the 20th century a typical Saturday matinee at the movies included at least one chapter of a serial, along with animated cartoons and two feature films. Many serials were Westerns.
Besides Westerns, there were films covering many genres, including crime fiction, comic book or comic strip characters, science fiction, jungle adventures. Although most serials were filmed economically, some were made at significant expense; the Flash Gordon serial and its sequels, for instance, were major productions in their times. Serials were a popular form of movie entertainment dating back to Edison's What Happened to Mary of 1912. There appear to be older serials, such as the 1910 Deutsche Vitaskop 5 episode Arsene Lupin Contra Sherlock Holmes, based upon the Maurice LeBlanc novel, a possible but unconfirmed Raffles serial in 1911. Filmed with low budgets, serials were action-packed stories that involved a hero battling an evil villain and rescuing damsel in distress; the villain would continually place the hero into inescapable deathtraps, or the heroine would be placed into a deathtrap and the hero would bravely come to her rescue pulling her away from certain death only moments before she met her doom.
The hero and heroine would face one trap after another, battling countless thugs and lackeys, before defeating the villain. Many famous clichés of action-adventure movies had their origins in the serials; the popular term cliffhanger was developed as a plot device in film serials, it comes from the many times that the hero or heroine would end up hanging over a cliff as the villain gloated above and waited for them to plummet hundreds of metres to their deaths. Other popular clichés included the heroine or hero trapped in a burning building, being trampled by horses, knocked unconscious in a car as it goes over a cliff, crashing in an airplane, watching as the burning fuse of a nearby bundle of dynamite sparked and sputtered its way towards the deadly explosive; the popular Indiana Jones movies are a well-known, romantic pastiche of the serials' clichéd plot elements and devices. The silent era was the zenith of the movie serial and serial stars from this period were major stars such as Pearl White, who starred in the quintessential silent serial The Perils of Pauline, which still ranks among the best known silent films.
Ruth Roland, Marin Sais, Ann Little, Helen Holmes were early leading serial queens. Most of these serials put beautiful young women in jeopardy week after week; the serials starring women were the most popular during the silent period but in the sound era few serials had a female character in the major role. Years after their first release, serials gained new life at "Saturday Matinees", theatrical showings on Saturday mornings aimed directly at children. For that reason, serials are sometimes called "Saturday Matinee Serials" though they were shown with feature films. In the early days of television in the United States, movie serials were broadcast, one chapter a day, in the late 1970s and 1980s, they were revived on BBC television in the United Kingdom. Many have been released in home video formats. Besides the hero or heroine, some terms are used to define villains and supporting players: The saddle pal or sidekick was the helper or assistant of the hero or heroine; that person was a bumbling comic relief.
The brains heavy was the man. He wears a suit, pretends to be an upright, lawful member of the community, he had little to do until the last chapter except talk, snarl, or grimace. The action heavy is the assistant or second-in-command to the brains heavy who wore workmanlike duds, did the physical labor, had more brawn than brains, he went from one chapter to the next trying to kill the hero with fists, guns, bombs, or whatever else was handy at the time. The oldtimer was the man who owned the ranch, the father of the hero and had a short film lifespan, as well those that wore a badge of a sheriff, marshall, or ranger; the middle-aged and older performers who were judges, storeowners, owners of the local newspaper, executives, or professors. Famous American serials of the silent era include The Perils of Pauline and The Exploits of Elaine made by Pathé Frères and starring Pearl White. Another popular serial was the 119-episode The Hazards of Helen made by Kalem Studios and
Action film is a film genre in which the protagonist or protagonists are thrust into a series of challenges that include violence, extended fighting, physical feats, frantic chases. Action films tend to feature a resourceful hero struggling against incredible odds, which include life-threatening situations, a villain, or a pursuit which concludes in victory for the hero. Advancements in CGI have made it cheaper and easier to create action sequences and other visual effects that required the efforts of professional stunt crews in the past. However, reactions to action films containing significant amounts of CGI have been mixed, as films that use computer animations to create unrealistic unbelievable events are met with criticism. While action has long been a recurring component in films, the "action film" genre began to develop in the 1970s along with the increase of stunts and special effects. Common action scenes in films are but not limited to, car chases and gunplay or shootouts; this genre is associated with the thriller and adventure genres, they may contain elements of spy fiction.
Some historians consider The Great Train Robbery to be the first action film. During the 1920s and 1930s, action-based films were "swashbuckling" adventure films in which actors, such as Douglas Fairbanks, wielded swords in period pieces or Westerns. Indian action films in this era were known as stunt films; the 1940s and 1950s saw "action" in a new form through cowboy movies. Alfred Hitchcock ushered in the spy-adventure genre while establishing the use of action-oriented "set pieces" like the famous crop-duster scene and the Mount Rushmore finale in North by Northwest; the film, along with a war-adventure called The Guns of Navarone, inspired producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman to invest in their own spy-adventure, based on the novels of Ian Fleming; the long-running success of the James Bond films or series introduced a staple of the modern-day action film: the resourceful hero. Such larger-than-life characters were a veritable "one-man army"; such heroes are ready with one-liners and dry quips.
The Bond films used fast cutting, car chases, fist fights, a variety of weapons and gadgets, elaborate action sequences. Producer-Director John Sturges' 1963 film The Great Escape, featuring Allied prisoners of war attempting to escape a German POW camp during World War II, featuring future icons of the action genre including Steve McQueen and Charles Bronson, is an example of an action film prototype. During the 1970s, gritty detective stories and urban crime dramas began to evolve and fuse themselves with the new "action" style, leading to a string of maverick police officer films, such as Bullitt, The French Connection and The Seven-Ups. Dirty Harry lifted its star, Clint Eastwood, out of his cowboy typecasting, framed him as the archetypal hero of the urban action film. In many countries, restrictions on language, adult content, violence had loosened up, these elements became more widespread. In the 1970s, martial-arts films from Hong Kong became popular with Western audiences and inspired big budget films such as Bruce Lee's Enter the Dragon.
Chuck Norris blended martial arts with'cops and robbers' in films such as Good Guys Wear Black and A Force of One. From Japan, Sonny Chiba starred in his first martial arts movie in 1973 called the Karate Kiba, his breakthrough international hit was The Street Fighter series, which established him as the reigning Japanese martial arts actor in international cinema. He played the role of Mas Oyama in Champion of Death, Karate Bearfighter, Karate for Life. Chiba's action films were not only bounded by martial arts, but action thriller and science fiction. In the 1980s, Hollywood produced many big budget action blockbusters with actors such as Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lorenzo Lamas, Michael Dudikoff, Charles Bronson and Bruce Willis. Steven Spielberg and George Lucas paid their homage to the Bond-inspired style with Raiders of the Lost Ark. In 1982, veteran actor Nick Nolte and rising comedian Eddie Murphy broke box office records with the action-comedy 48 Hrs. credited as the first "buddy-cop" movie.
That same year, Sylvester Stallone starred in First Blood, the first installment in the Rambo film series which made the character John Rambo a pop culture icon. 1984 saw the beginning of the Terminator franchise starring Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger. This story provides one of the grittiest roles for a woman in action and Hamilton was required to put in extensive effort to develop a strong physique.1987's Lethal Weapon starring Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Darlene Love was another significant action film hit of the decade, another "buddy-cop" genre classic, launching a franchise that spawned 3 sequels. The 1988 film, Die Hard, was influential on the development of the action genre. In the film, Bruce Willis plays a New York police detective who inadvertently becomes embroiled in a terrorist take-over of a Los Angeles office building high-rise; the use of a maverick, resourceful lone hero has always been a common thread from James Bond to John Rambo, but John McClane in Die Hard is much more of an'everyday' person whom circumstance turns into a reluctant hero
A superhero film, superhero movie, or superhero motion picture is a film, focused on the actions of one or more superheroes: individuals who possess superhuman abilities relative to a normal person and are dedicated to protecting the public. These films feature action, fantasy or science fiction elements, with the first film of a particular character including a focus on the origin of their special powers and their first confrontation with their most famous supervillain or archenemy. Most superhero films are based on superhero comics. By contrast, several films such as the RoboCop series, The Meteor Man, Unbreakable film series, The Incredibles and They Call Me Jeeg are original for the screen, while The Green Hornet is based on the original radio series and its 1960s television adaptation, both Underdog and The Powerpuff Girls are based on animated television series, Japanese tokusatsu and anime superhero films are based on manga and television shows. After a long series of flops, since the 2000s the film genre reversed its fortunes and grew to become a dominant mainstream film genre worldwide.
The most notable and successful superhero films since the year 2000 are Fox Studio's X-Men franchise, Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy, Pixar's The Incredibles series, Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Trilogy, the films set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe starting with Iron Man and the films set in the DC Extended Universe starting with Man of Steel. This commercial dominance has been accompanied by enthusiastic critical support for many of these films, which includes major Academy Awards. Reflecting the fantasy subgenre's noted narrative flexibility in its original comic book publishing format, the film subgenre has been commercially successful in a wide variety of genres such as action, fantasy, comedy etc. After superheroes rose to prominence in comic books, they were adapted into Saturday film serials aimed at children, starting with Mandrake The Magician. Serials such as Adventures of Captain Marvel, The Phantom, Captain America, Superman followed. In the following decades, the decline of Saturday serials and turmoil in the comic book industry put an end to superhero motion pictures, with the exception of Superman and the Mole Men, starring George Reeves, a trial balloon for the television series Adventures of Superman, compilations of episodes of that same series released theatrically, Batman a big-screen extension of the Batman television series starring Adam West.
In 1957 Japan, Shintoho produced the first film serial featuring the tokusatsu superhero character Super Giant, signaling a shift in Japanese popular culture towards tokusatsu masked superheroes over kaiju giant monsters. Along with Astro Boy, the Super Giant film serials had a profound effect on the Japanese tokusatsu superhero genre. Another early superhero film was Ōgon Bat, a Japanese film starring Sonny Chiba based on the 1930 Kamishibai superhero Ōgon Bat. Original superhero characters emerged in other, more comedy oriented films such as the French political satire film Mr. Freedom and the American B movies Rat Pfink a Boo Boo and The Wild World of Batwoman. Riding a wave of a new interest in fantasy and science fiction films with the success of Star Wars, Richard Donner's Superman, the first major big-budget superhero feature film, proved a critical and commercial success. Other successful entries emerged throughout the 1980s, from Richard Lester's Superman II and Paul Verhoeven's Robocop to Tim Burton's Batman.
Other films were released during the 1980s and 1990s including Flash Gordon, Swamp Thing, Superman III, The Toxic Avenger, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, Bollywood's Mr. India, The Punisher, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and two sequels, Sgt. Kabukiman N. Y. P. D; the Rocketeer, Batman Returns, the animated Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, The Shadow, Batman Forever, Tank Girl, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie on Sky Movies and a sequel, The Phantom and Mystery Men. Marvel Comics' Captain America did not have a theatrical release and Roger Corman's The Fantastic Four was released neither theatrically nor on home video. Alex Proyas' The Crow became the first independent comics superhero film that established a franchise; as Joel Schumacher's Batman & Robin was critically panned for being too jokey and tongue-in-cheek, The Crow brought in a new realm of violence absent in previous popular superhero films targeted at younger audiences and bridging a gap to the more modern action film. The success of The Crow catalyzed the release of a film version of Spawn, Image Comics' leading character.
The success of the "darker" Image Comics characters shifted the direction of comic book movies. Marvel soon released their films to become Men in Black and Blade. After Marvel bought Malibu Comics and Columbia Pictures released the Men in Black film and comics in 1997; the film became the first Marvel property to win an Oscar and the highest-grossing comic book adaptation until the release of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man in 2002. Blade was a mix of a more traditional action film as well as darker superhero film with the title character having vampire powers as well as carrying an arsenal of weaponry; the success of Blade began Marvel's film success and set the stage for further comic book film adaptations. After the comic book boom and the success of several comic book adaptation films (includin
The film industry or motion picture industry, comprises the technological and commercial institutions of filmmaking, i.e. film production companies, film studios, animation, film production, pre-production, post production, film festivals and actors, film directors and other film crew personnel. Though the expense involved in making films immediately led film production to concentrate under the auspices of standing production companies, advances in affordable film making equipment, expansion of opportunities to acquire investment capital from outside the film industry itself, have allowed independent film production to evolve; as of 2018, the global box office is worth $41.7 billion. When including box office and home entertainment revenue, the global film industry is worth $136 billion as of 2018. Hollywood is the world's oldest national film industry, remains the largest in terms of box office gross revenue. Indian cinema is the largest national film industry in terms of the number of films produced and the number of tickets sold, with 3.5 billion tickets sold worldwide annually and 1,986 feature films produced annually.
The worldwide theatrical market had a box office of US$38.6 billion in 2016. The top three continents/regions by box office gross were: Asia-Pacific with US$14.9 billion, the U. S. and Canada with US$11.4 billion, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa with US$9.5 billion. As of 2016, the largest markets by box office were, in decreasing order, the United States, Japan and the United Kingdom; as of 2011, the countries with the largest number of film productions were India and the United States. In Europe, significant centers of movie production are France, Italy and the United Kingdom. Distinct from the centers are the locations; because of labor and infrastructure costs, many films are produced in countries other than the one in which the company which pays for the film is located. For example, many U. S. films are filmed in Canada, many Nigerian films are filmed in Ghana, while many Indian films are filmed in the Americas, Singapore etc. The cinema of the United States generally referred to as Hollywood, has had a profound effect on cinema across the world since the early 20th century.
The United States cinema is the oldest film industry in the world which originated more than 121 years ago and the largest film industry in terms of revenue. Hollywood is the primary nexus of the U. S. film industry with established film study facilities such as the American Film Institute, LA Film School and NYFA being established in the area. However, four of the six major film studios are owned by East Coast companies; the major film studios of Hollywood including Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures are the primary source of the most commercially successful movies in the world, such as Star Wars, Titanic. American film studios today collectively generate several hundred films every year, making the United States one of the most prolific producers of films in the world. Only The Walt Disney Company — which owns the Walt Disney Studios — is based in Southern California, and while Sony Pictures Entertainment is headquartered in Culver City, its parent company, the Sony Corporation, is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan.
Most shooting now takes place in California, New York, Louisiana and North Carolina. Hollywood is the most popular film industry with the highest number of screens, is the highest-grossing film industry in the world. Between 2009-2015, Hollywood grossed $10 billion annually. Hollywood's award ceremony, the Academy Awards known as The Oscars, is held by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences every year and a total of 2,947 Oscars have been awarded since the inception of the award; the earliest documented account of an exhibition of projected motion pictures in the United States was in June 1894 in Richmond, Indiana by Charles Francis Jenkins which makes United States cinema the earliest cinema in the whole world. Jenkins used his Phantoscope to project his film before an audience of family and reporters; the film featured a vaudeville dancer performing a Butterfly Dance. Jenkins and his new partner Thomas Armat modified the Phantoscope for exhibitions in temporary theaters at the Cotton States Exposition in the fall of 1895.
The was sold to Thomas Edison, who changed the name of the projector to Edison's Vitascope. Nestor Studios was Hollywood's first film studio, founded on 27 October 1911, it was built by David Horsley for Nestor Motion Picture Company. It was owned and operated by David Horsley and his brother, William Horsley; the first motion picture stage in Hollywood was built behind the tavern. Other East Coast studios had moved production to Los Angeles, prior to Nestor's move west; the California weather allowed for year-round filming and the ambitious studio operated three principal divisions under its Canadian-born general manager, Al Christie. Other filmmakers began opening studios in the Hollywood area; the Horsleys operated the Nestor Studios at the Sunset and Gower location until 20 May 1912, when the Universal Studios was formed, headed by Carl Laemmle. Nestor, along with several other motion picture companies, including Laemmle's Independent Moving Pictures, was merged with Universal; the Cinema of China is one of three distinct historical threads of Chinese-language cinema together with the cinema of Hong Kong and the cinema of Taiwan.
Cinema was introduced in China in 1896 and the first Chinese film, Dingjun Mountain, was made in 1905, with the film industry being cent
Fantasy films are films that belong to the fantasy genre with fantastic themes magic, supernatural events, folklore, or exotic fantasy worlds. The genre is considered a form of speculative fiction alongside science fiction films and horror films, although the genres do overlap. Fantasy films have an element of magic, wonder and the extraordinary. Several sub-categories of fantasy films can be identified, although the delineations between these subgenres, much as in fantasy literature, are somewhat fluid; the most common fantasy subgenres depicted in movies are Sword and Sorcery. Both categories employ quasi-medieval settings, magical creatures and other elements associated with fantasy stories. High Fantasy films tend to feature a more richly developed fantasy world, may be more character-oriented or thematically complex, they feature a hero of humble origins and a clear distinction between good and evil set against each other in an epic struggle. Many scholars cite J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings novel as the prototypical modern example of High Fantasy in literature, the recent Peter Jackson film adaptation of the books is a good example of the High Fantasy subgenre on the silver screen.
Sword and Sorcery movies tend to be more plot-driven than high fantasy and focus on action sequences pitting a physically powerful but unsophisticated warrior against an evil wizard or other supernaturally endowed enemy. Although Sword and Sorcery films sometimes describe an epic battle between good and evil similar to those found in many High Fantasy movies, they may alternately present the hero as having more immediate motivations, such as the need to protect a vulnerable maiden or village, or being driven by the desire for vengeance; the 1982 film adaptation of Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian, for example, is a personal story concerning the hero's quest for revenge and his efforts to thwart a single megalomaniac—while saving a beautiful princess in the process; some critics refer to such films by the term Sword and Sandal rather than Sword and Sorcery, although others would maintain that the Sword and Sandal label should be reserved only for the subset of fantasy films set in ancient times on the planet Earth, still others would broaden the term to encompass films that have no fantastic elements whatsoever.
To some, the term Sword and Sandal has pejorative connotations, designating a film with a low-quality script, bad acting, poor production values. Another important subgenre of fantasy films that has become more popular in recent years is contemporary fantasy; such films feature magical effects or supernatural occurrences happening in the "real" world of today. Films with live action and animation such as Disney's Mary Poppins, Pete's Dragon and the Robert Zemeckis film Who Framed Roger Rabbit are fantasy films although are more referred to as Live action/animation hybrids. Fantasy films set in the afterlife, called Bangsian Fantasy, are less common, although films such as the 1991 Albert Brooks comedy Defending Your Life would qualify. Other uncommon subgenres include Historical Fantasy and Romantic Fantasy, although 2003's Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl incorporated elements of both; as noted above, superhero movies and fairy tale films might each be considered subgenres of fantasy films, although most would classify them as altogether separate movie genres.
As a cinematic genre, fantasy has traditionally not been regarded as as the related genre of science fiction film. Undoubtedly, the fact that until fantasy films suffered from the "Sword and Sandal" afflictions of inferior production values, over-the-top acting, decidedly poor special effects was a significant factor in fantasy film's low regard. Since the early 2000s, the genre has gained new respectability in a way, driven principally by the successful adaptations of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings and J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy is notable due to its ambitious scope, serious tone, thematic complexity; these pictures achieved phenomenal commercial and critical success, the third installment of the trilogy became the first fantasy film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. The Harry Potter series has been a tremendous financial success, has achieved critical acclaim for its design, thematic sophistication and emotional depth, grittier realism and darkness, narrative complexity, characterization, boasts an enormous and loyal fanbase.
Following the success of these ventures, Hollywood studios have greenlighted additional big-budget productions in the genre. These have included adaptations of the first and third books in C. S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia series and the teen novel Eragon, as well as adaptations of Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising, Cornelia Funke's Inkheart, Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass, Holly Black's The Spiderwick Chronicles, Nickelodeon's TV show Avatar: The Last Airbender, the Fantasia segment The Sorcerer's Apprentice Fantasy movies in recent years, such as The Lord of the Rings films, the first and third Narnia adaptations, the first, second and seventh Harry Potter adaptations have most been released in November and December; this is in contrast to science fiction films, which are released during the northern hemisphere summer. All three installments of the Pirates of the Caribbean fantasy films, were released in July 2003, July 2006, May 2007 and the latest releases in the Harry Potter se