From tales of leprechauns to channelling the luck of the Irish, there are plenty of great movies inspired by Irish mythology.
Natural storytellers, it is no surprise Irish mythology has inspired so many folktales and modern stories, and even some of the best Irish stories for kids. Thus, we are giving a rundown of the best movies inspired by Irish mythology.
From Ireland’s leprechauns synonymous with their hidden gold at the end of the rainbow to the famous myth of the selkie, Irish mythology has proved timeless.
So, whether you’re looking for a lighthearted film to stick on for the little ones on a rainy day or want to take a deep dive into Irish myth and legend, read on.
- From tales of leprechauns to channelling the luck of the Irish, there are plenty of great movies inspired by Irish mythology.
- Meanwhile in Ireland’s fun facts about Irish mythology:
- 10. Finian’s Rainbow (1968) – a musical tale of an Irish immigrant
- 9. The Luck of the Irish (2001) – one for Disney fans
- 8. Darby O’Gill and the Little People (1959) – the land of the leprechauns
- 7. A Shine of Rainbows (2009) – a heartwarming tale
- 6. The Secret of Roan Inish (1994) – discovering her family’s past
- 5. The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns (1999) – an unexpected holiday
- 4. The Luck of the Irish (1948) – making friends with Ireland’s little people
- 3. The Secret of Kells (2009) – inspired by the historic Book of Kells
- 2. Song of the Sea (2014) – a family favourite
- 1. Ondine (2009) – a story of a fisherman
- Your questions answered about the best movies inspired by Irish mythology
Meanwhile in Ireland’s fun facts about Irish mythology:
- Some of the key figures you’ll recognise from Irish mythology include Tír na nÓg, Fionn mac Cumhaill, Cú Chulainn, and the Morrigan, to name a few.
- Banshees, selkies, fairies, and more are also referenced throughout Celtic mythology.
- The Tuatha Dé Danann is a mystical super-race of supernatural beings that are often referred to as the “People of the Goddess Danu” in Irish mythology.
- There are many locations across Ireland that have strong ties to mythology, like the Giant’s Causeway in County Antrim, Newgrange, County Meath, and Ben Bulben in County Sligo, to name a few.
10. Finian’s Rainbow (1968) – a musical tale of an Irish immigrant
This 1968 musical fantasy film stars Hollywood greats, Fred Astaire and Petula Clark.
Finian’s Rainbow, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, tells the story of an Irish immigrant who moves with his daughter to a town in the southern states of America.
They bring with them a magical piece of gold that will change the lives of those around them.
9. The Luck of the Irish (2001) – one for Disney fans
If you’re a fan of early 2000s movies set in American high schools, then The Luck of the Irish could be one of the best movies inspired by Irish mythology for you.
This 2001 Disney Channel Original tells the story of teenager Kyle, who relied on a gold coin to bring him luck.
8. Darby O’Gill and the Little People (1959) – the land of the leprechauns
Disney’s Darby O’Gill and the Little People stars Albert Sharpe as a recently-fired dad who slips through a portal into the ‘land of the little people’.
7. A Shine of Rainbows (2009) – a heartwarming tale
A Shine of Rainbows is adapted from Lillian Beckwith’s novel of the same name.
The movie tells the story of a grieving orphan whose life is transformed when he meets a woman who teaches him to discover the magic within nature and himself.
6. The Secret of Roan Inish (1994) – discovering her family’s past
Adapted from the book by Rosalie K. Fry titled, The Secret of Ron Mor Skerry, The Secret of Roan Inish tells the story of young Irish girl Fiona.
Fiona goes to see her grandparents on the west coast of Ireland. There, she discovers the unusual story of her family history.
5. The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns (1999) – an unexpected holiday
The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns is undoubtedly one of the best movies inspired by Irish mythology.
This 1999 film tells a fantastical tale of Americans on holiday in Ireland. Starring Randy Quaid, Whoopi Goldberg, Roger Daltrey, and Colm Meaney.
4. The Luck of the Irish (1948) – making friends with Ireland’s little people
No, we haven’t listed the same movie twice. The 1948 film The Luck of the Irish stars Tyrone Power, Anne Baxter, Lee J. Cobb, and Cecil Kellaway.
It tells the story of a New York reporter travelling in Ireland who befriends a leprechaun.
3. The Secret of Kells (2009) – inspired by the historic Book of Kells
This animated fantasy film is a must-watch if you’re looking for a great movie inspired by Irish mythology.
The Book of Kells is today one of Dublin’s must-visit attractions. The Secret of Kells gives a fantasy twist to history.
In the year of its release, it was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature but narrowly lost out to Pixar’s Up.
2. Song of the Sea (2014) – a family favourite
This feel-good family film brings the myth of the selkie to life on screen. If you’re a fan of the famous Disney hit The Little Mermaid, then you might just love Song of the Sea. The animated film tells the story of an Irish child, David.
He discovers his mute sister is a selkie who must find her voice to free the mythical creatures.
1. Ondine (2009) – a story of a fisherman
Topping our list of the best movies inspired by Irish mythology is the 2009 epic Ondine.
Ondine stars Colin Farrell as a recovering alcoholic fisherman named Syracuse. It tells a fantastic tale of when a beautiful and mythical girl gets caught in his net.
Your questions answered about the best movies inspired by Irish mythology
You may have some outstanding questions regarding this topic after reading our article, but that’s okay! For in this section, we have put together some of the most frequently asked questions on this topic to us and from online.
Who is Ireland’s greatest mythical hero?
Cú Chulainn is a demigod and warrior hero in the Ulster Cycle of Irish mythology. He is widely known as being the strongest and most fierce mythical hero in Celtic mythology.
What are the Celtic Warrior movies?
The Celtic Warrior trilogy was made between 2002 and 2006 and consists of Winter Warrior, Bone Hunter and Axe Raiders.
Is Irish mythology Celtic mythology?
Irish mythology is a branch of Celtic mythology that details the warriors, deities, and events of ancient Ireland. Other branches include Scottish and Welsh mythology, but Irish mythology has the most written myths.