The Fantasy Makers: Short film about the Christian roots of the fantasy genre

The Fantasy Makers is a very nice short film, free to view online, about the Christian men who pretty much invented the fantasy genre.

J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and George MacDonald were the pioneers of the fantasy genre and their impact is unmistakable. Their works— exploring Middle-earth, Narnia, and other tales of redemption, sacrifice, and the battle of good and evil—have become best-selling books and blockbuster movies. Contemporary fantasy writers such as J.K. Rowling grew up inspired by their works.

Enjoy! Watch out for shaggy bear Anglican priests!

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Ooh, that looks very interesting. Thanks for sharing! A literature nerd movie night sounds perfect for quarantine (not that we go out in the evenings anyway).

You’ll enjoy it. I didn’t know too much about George MacDonald before. Sounds like a colorful guy!

Yeah… his theology sounds interesting. I had read some of his stories but didn’t realize how strong the influence was until I noticed C. S. Lewis gave him a starring role in “The Great Divorce.”

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He’s my favorite author of all time. Thanks for bringing him up :).

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Thanks for sharing! Sounds like a good quarantine watch. My husband will like it!

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I thought I’d open this up because I finally got around to watching this documentary this week in preparation for the upcoming virtual Hutchmoot conference put on by the Rabbit Room (the community Andrew Peterson helped found for Christians in the arts).

I thought it was really well done. There were interviews with many writers and academics familiar with MacDonald, Lewis, and/or Tolkien and the way their Christian faith came through in their writing. I recognized Alister McGrath as one who’s written for BioLogos, and Michael Ward is the author of Planet Narnia.

I think my favorite part was the description of a particular conversation Lewis had with Tolkien and another Inkling member when he was coming close to accepting Christianity, and Tolkien challenged Lewis’s reductionist view of myth, showing how Christianity was similar to myth but different. I can’t really do it justice here, but it was well worth the watch.

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It does sound interesting. I meant to watch it in the past but never got around to it. I’ll have to put a note on my tv snd see if I can find it on YouTube or something.

I always felt like I remember reading stuff where Tolkien said his writing was not christian but when reading it there definitely seemed to be that parallel.

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The link in the OP goes to RedeemTV – we watched it for free there. But it can also be rented on Amazon for a few dollars.

I don’t have a quote from Tolkien, but if memory serves I think what he chafed at was more the idea of his stories being allegorical, at least in the more obvious ways that Lewis’s were. I don’t think he would have disputed that Christian themes were present.

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I’ll definitely look back into it at some point. I can vaguely remember it and it was from well over a decade ago that I thought I read that. I’ll probably end up just using my phone then and finding the link. I’ve still never got Amazon tv or whatever it is. To me they are still just the company I get books through. I’ll eventually burn myself out enough on horror and gardening for October and watch it xd .

thanks for re opening this. I haven’t seen it yet, but signed up for Redeem TV for it–I am really looking forward to watching it with my wife. We have read LOTR, Narnia and many of the George Macdonald novels and fairy tales together.

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I probably already posted this, but every Friday on this blog, the author gives a religious connection from LOTR:

Link is to one recent one, but you can look back to find the rest.

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I’m a big fan of the fantasy genre, and I feel as though the reason why these stories have such a large appeal to adults who should know better is that they play into the desire of the human soul for enchantment, in the post-enlightenment materialistic cosmos. I feel as though that whilst fantasy is good, traditional Christianity, and perhaps religion in general helps to fulfil this need more fully, in that it has all the advantages of good fantasy, whilst also having the added advantage of being true, and adding ‘real’ enchantment to the world.

Perhaps for this reason, my love of fantasy fiction, whilst still strong, is not as profound as it was before my conversion to Christianity.

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These types of tales seem to be popular throughout history. Just look at The Odyssey.

Let’s not forget that the Greek myth of Perseus gave us one of the best (i.e. campiest) movies of the 80’s.

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I’m pretty sure the Greeks, or at least some Greeks, saw Homer as real history.

Your life is kind of of impoverished when you miss the big stories. Even evangelicals have the flood story and the creation story. I can’t imagine not knowing about Faust or Orpheus. The great composers drew on these stories time and time again. and Taq correctly pointed out that the big stories are still with us in pop culture. Look at the MCU.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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