The story of Fantasy Island began with Disney, the toy company and movie producer, as the only idea from its line of properties. It was, as the story goes, to be a sequel to the popular (and best selling) Peter Pan television series. With this story, a new way of storytelling was invented, thus making the franchise better known and more in demand.
The story is told in a novel, then a book and finally a movie. It starts when Peter, a washed up and lost child is put on an island called Fantasy Island. This is where he was separated from his parents after being kidnapped by the evil Captain Hook. Here, he has to survive with his mamma and his three magical friends, all of whom carry two of his wishes.
In Fantasy Island, the cast is vast. However, it also calls for a larger budget. It's not surprising that, like the television series, the film's popularity is such that it has become something of a classic, not only among children but even among adults. Its popularity also extends to the sequels which were made. Several subsequent movies are also part of the franchise.
In spite of its name brand appeal, it has never been quite as successful in the U.S. Because of its star-studded cast, the production costs there were quite high. When considering the franchise, this is understandable. In addition, as mentioned above, the soundtrack was also produced separately for the movies, which is a problem for distribution since the series was not as popular in the U.S.
The movies did have their advantages. For instance, it was at first quite cheaper to make the movies, especially the studio version as opposed to the theatrical release. As a result, the films became more popular in the U.S. and more people knew about them, thereby improving the franchise.
As time went by, the name Fantasy Island and its place in children's hearts stayed strong. The movies were very popular in Europe too as a sequel to Peter Pan. In fact, the producer of the original series wanted to create a movie sequel to Peter Pan for years. As a result, interest in the series increased as well as the franchise.
Because of the continued interest, the producers of the Fantasy Island movies decided to market them as they will always be part of the franchise. They are considered as important parts of the whole series.
In order to watch the films, one can always visit the online store and go through it one by one. The series as a whole will also be available here and they offer a catalog of films that have been made from the beginning. One can also listen to the soundtrack, view pictures of the cast, view the props and even take part in trivia contests for the winners.