If you love The Lord of the Rings trilogy, see Princess Mononoke
The favorite: Peter Jackson's epic treatment of J.R.R. Tolkien's novels swept up the fantasy-averse and Silmarillion-memorizing nerds alike. Every detail -- the Elvish jargon, the breastplate metalwork, each clanging note in the score -- enamored audiences and carried the final installment, Return of the King, to a record-setting Oscar bounty. With hundreds of extras, large-scale storytelling, and digital special effects that should stand the test of time, Lord of the Rings became a Lawrence of Arabia for the modern age, easily beloved by millions.
The alternative: Hayao Miyazaki is the Walt Disney of Japanese animation, and an unknown to most mainstream moviegoers. Lord of the Rings fans owe it to themselves to explore his filmography, from the sky-bound Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind; My Neighbor Totoro, a imaginative take on postwar youth; and the Oscar-winning Spirited Away, an indescribable coming-of-age story. For a movie that shares DNA with Lord of the Rings, then one-ups it in design and ferocious action, check out Princess Mononoke, an environmental parable where demons, giant wolves, and gun-toting humans duke it out for control over the paradise of Earth.