The NeverEnding Story

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A boy who needs a friend finds a world that needs a hero.

The NeverEnding Story is a 1984 German-made fantasy movie, directed by Wolfgang Peterson. The film stars Barret Oliver as Bastian Balthazar Bux, Noah Hathaway as Atreyu, and Tami Stronach as The Childlike Empress. It is adapted from the book of the same name by Michael Ende, who despised the film for not including the last half of the book.

Plot

After running away from some bullies by hiding in a bookshop, Bastian Balthazar Bux borrows a book called The NeverEnding Story, where he reads about a world called Fantasia, which is slowly being eaten away by the Nothing. In Fantasia, a boy named Atreyu must find a cure for the Childlike Empress to save the land and stop the Nothing.

Why It Rocks

  1. The half of the book it adapts translates well into the film medium.
    • What was kept from the book was expanded upon and sometimes made better in the film.
  2. The animatronics/practical effects work very well.
  3. The child acting is more than passable.
  4. Noah Hathaway did most of his own stunts with his portrayal of Atreyu, which is rare for a child actor. This is because director Wolfgang Petersen is known for having actors do their own stunts instead of relying on stunt doubles even though Hathaway got injured twice and almost lost an eye during the fight scene against Gmork.
  5. It provides challenging themes for children and can being entertaining for them, as well as adults.
  6. All of the characters are likeable.
  7. The scene where Bastian gives the Empress her name is intense.
  8. Fantastic and unforgettable soundtrack.

Bad Qualities

  1. The scene where Artax the horse sinks in the Swamps of Sadness can be upsetting for children.
  2. Some moments of the film do not fit the PG rating.
    • Atreyu is shown after he stabbed Gmork, it shows Gmork bleeding.
    • The burnt corpse of the knight after getting shot by lasers by the first gate.
    • Insanely frightening scene inside the library at night, as well as skeletons.
  3. Some of the special effects have not aged well.
  4. Unlikeable characters like Bastian's 3 bullies, as they chased and then put Bastian into the dumpster.
    • They do get there comeuppance at the end when Bastian and Falkor scared them.
  5. The second half of the book, which included Bastian losing his memories, going mad with power, and starting a war, was left out. This made the original author upset. The second half was adapted in the sequel though, despite not being well received by fans.

Reception

The movie got a 7.4/10 on IMDB.

Box Office

The film performed very well at the box office, grossing US$100 million worldwide against a production budget of DM 60 million ($25–27 million in US)