Turn off the Lights

Top Ten Most Endearing Film Franchises Of All Time

One of the cool things about the notion of a film series, especially if any number of its entries are any good, is that when a new film is released, it's much more than just going to see the latest film in your favorite series. It's a full on event complete with any costumes or regalia that makes it clear to the world that yes, you are a fan. Such a time is upon us now as we prepare for the final installment in The Hangover series and a new addition to The Fast and the Furious series. In celebration of those two franchises, we've complied a list of some of the most endearing film series of all time! Let's go!

The Toy Story Crew

10. The Toy Story Series 

1995. It was the year Mortal Kombat was no longer a game as it took to the silver screen for the first time. It was also the year James Bond returned after a long six year absence with the film GoldenEye. Oscar winners Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro faced off for the first time in Heat and the Brady Bunch stepped right out of the 70's and into the 90's in The Brady Bunch Movie. 

1995 also happened to be the year when toys came to life for real. The game changing film Toy Story, was the first computer generated feature length film ever and the beginning of Pixar's run of an unprecedented string of hit films. What makes the Toy Story movies so touching is the human element given to these plastic toys. All three films are not only a great deal of fun, but also carry the weight and depth of a heartfelt story about the nature of friendship, the power of love and the need for companionship. Woody and Andy's relationship remain the glue that holds this treasure of a trilogy together.

9. The Rocky Series

Each film encompasses the classic story of the underdog who struggles and ultimately triumphs against insurmountable odds. All of the films may not have been as stellar as the first entry, but it was still exciting to see how The Italian Stallion might come back to the top from the bottom.

8. The Planet of the Apes Series

When this unique science-fiction film series hit the scene in 1968, it was a huge hit. It became so popular that it spawned four sequels, a remake, a TV-show, and a number of comic book spin-offs. The series deals with a planet overrun by a race of hyper-intelligent apelike beings and a small number of humans who opposed them. If you enjoyed the 2011 reboot starring James Franco, you might check out the earlier films to see where it all started.

Back to the Future

7. The Back to the Future Series

"Hello, anybody home? Think McFly, think!" Think back. Remember the self lacing Nike shoes. The Hoverboard. And of course a certain time machine. This series has fun with the notion of time travel by placing Michael J. Fox's Marty McFly in interesting situations, but it also asks serious ethical and moral questions about the nature of time-travel. The storytelling is tight, and the acting is great! Michael J. Fox makes this series. If you watch these movies for nothing else, watch it for him and for of course, the DeLorean time machine.

6. The Indiana Jones Series

With this series, George Lucas proves that he's got more tricks up his sleeve than Jedi knights, protocol droids, and Death Stars. Lucas and longtime friend and fellow filmmaker, Steven Spielberg teamed up to create another fan favorite with Indiana Jones. Any film series with Sean Connery in it deserves a look.

5. The Batman/Dark Knight Series

We all know that Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy is as epic as it gets. Nolan single-handedly brought the Bat-franchise back to life. However, in order to appreciate just how awesome his series really is, one has to begin from where it all started with 1989's solid Batman, directed by Tim Burton, and move from there. When you finish Joel Schumacher's entries, you should fully be able to understand why Christopher Nolan was needed.

4. The James Bond Series

One of the longest running film franchises in history with 23 (official) films and counting, Bond still seems to be going strong and is showing no signs of slowing down. Again, any series with Sean Connery deserves a look and any Bond film with an actor like Daniel Craig, who has given new life to the character still synonymous with Connery deserves a look.

3. The Lord of the Rings Series

Right up there with some of the greatest epics in cinematic history like, 1959's Ben Hur, 1939's Gone with the Wind, and 1956's The Ten Commandments, Peter Jackson's groundbreaking trilogy about one hobbit's quest to destroy The One Ring is also a cinematic masterpiece. Based on the high fantasy master J.R.R. Tolkien's books, Jackson offers a fully realized Middle-Earth, with layered characters and fantastic battles that you might just have to watch again.

C3PO, Obi-Wan and Luke

2. The Star Wars Series

While many have mixed feelings about the prequel trilogy, which chronicles the early life and eventual fall of Anakin Skywalker, few can debate the special place the original trilogy holds in their hearts. With excitement building for yet another Star Wars trilogy for a new generation, it just might be time to go back to a galaxy far, far away.

1. The Harry Potter Series

The ultimate coming of age tale, the Harry Potter films are truly something special. Filled to the brim with some of Great Britain's most talented thespians supporting the young leads, the series is always on solid footing. That said, the real treat of the series is watching Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint grow up with the characters they play from cute kids to hormonal teenagers to battle-scarred young adults.

What do you guys think out there? Good list? I'm sure there are a few series that should be on here. Let us know!


Meet the Author

About / Bio
Steven Armstrong is an editor and staff writer for Entertainment Fuse's Movie Department. He also is a creative writer of fiction and poetry, an occasional filmmaker and electronic musician who enjoys reading, writing, video games, movies and any good story.

Should you be curious, he can also be found talking about movies for the Center 4 Cinephiles (C4C) on YouTube.

Follow Us