Annal: 1993 Saturn Award for Best Fantasy Film

Results of the Saturn Award in the year 1993.

Film:Aladdin

Aladdin

John Musker, Ron Clements

Disney’s 1992 animated feature is a triumph of wit and skill. The high-tech artwork and graphics look great, the characters are strong, the familiar story is nicely augmented with an interesting villain (Jafar, voiced by Jonathan Freeman), and there’s an incredible hook atop the whole thing: Robin Williams’s frantically hilarious vocal performance as Aladdin’s genie. Even if one isn’t particularly moved by the love story between the title character (Scott Weinger) and his girlfriend Jasmine (Linda Larkin), you can easily get lost in Williams’s improvisational…

Film:The Addams Family

The Addams Family

Barry Sonnenfeld

Director Barry Sonnenfeld (Men in Black) brings his distinctly cartoonish sensibility to this feature film version of the old Charles Addams comic strip. Anjelica Huston was born to play Morticia Addams, matriarch of the ghoulish Addams clan, while the late Raul Julia is a very agreeable, lusty Gomez. But it’s Christina Ricci who arguably steals the show as their stone-faced daughter, Wednesday. As is often the problem with adaptations of comics or television shows, somehow an original story has to be implemented that doesn’t clutter things up. But clutter…

Film:Batman Returns

Batman Returns

Tim Burton

The first Batman sequel takes a wicked turn with the villainous exploits of the freakish and mean-spirited Penguin (Danny DeVito), whose criminal collaboration with evil tycoon Max Shreck (Christopher Walken) threatens to drain Gotham City of its energy supply. As if that weren’t enough, Batman (Michael Keaton) has his hands full with the vengeful Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer), who turns out to be a lot more dangerous than a kitten with a whip. As with the first Batman feature, director Tim Burton brings his distinct visual style to the frantic…

Film:Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast

Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise

The film that officially signaled Disney’s animation renaissance (following The Little Mermaid) and the only animated feature to receive a Best Picture Oscar nomination, Beauty and the Beast remains the yardstick by which all other animated films should be measured. It relates the story of Belle, a bookworm with a dotty inventor for a father; when he inadvertently offends the Beast (a prince whose heart is too hard to love anyone besides himself), Belle boldly takes her father’s place, imprisoned in the Beast’s gloomy mansion. Naturally, Belle…

Film:Death Becomes Her

Death Becomes Her

Robert Zemeckis

If Robert Zemeckis’s mega-hit Forrest Gump was too sweet for your taste, you may enjoy the undiluted bitterness of his previous movie, a cynical black comedy that was ahead of its time. Death Becomes Her, an outlandish parable about America’s obsession with youth and vanity, exposes the corrosive side of Zemeckis’s comic sensibility, the sort of scathing satirical edge he gleefully flourished in his overlooked 1980 Used Cars, which has developed a cult following. Meryl Streep has a ball as the deliciously vicious Madeline Ashton, a…

Film:Hook

Hook

Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg’s deeply flawed but sporadically fun and moving update of the Peter Pan legend stars Robin Williams as the grown-up Pan, a corporate-takeover type who must embrace his old identity in order to save his kids from Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman). The stars put on a good show, including Hoffman’s read of Hook’s hysterical personality, Julia Roberts mini-turn as a tiny Tinker Bell, and Maggie Smith’s touching performance as the aged Wendy. The visual contrast between the adult Pan’s bustling outside world and the insulated fantasy of Neverland is…

Film:Toys

Toys

Barry Levinson

Enter a spectacular world of whimsy, fun and fantasy in this acclaimed visual extravaganza directed by Barry Levinson. Robin Williams stars as Leslie Zevo, a fun-loving adult who must save his late father’s toy factory from his evil uncle (Michael Gambon), a war-loving general who builds weapons disguised as toys. Aided by his sister (Joan Cusack) and girlfriend (Robin Wright), Leslie sets out to thwart his uncle and restore joy and innocence to their special world.

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