The NeverEnding Story

The NeverEnding Story

Synopsis of Movie

The mid-1980’s brought a variety of attempts to translate traditional fantasy to the big screen (The Dark Crystal, Legend, The Black Cauldron), usually without much success. Surprisingly, the breakthrough entry was a West German production from director/writer Wolfgang Peterson, known in the U.S. for his 1981 U-Boat film, Das Boot.

The success of The NeverEnding Story was even more surprising in light of the fact that Michael Ende, the writer of the source novel, disowned the production as straying too far from his text. But despite the strikes against it, The NeverEnding Story won the day with impressive special effects, elaborate design and heaps of imagination.

Ten-year-old Bastian Bux isn’t the most popular boy in the neighborhood. Bullies pick on him constantly, forcing him to hide out in such unattractive places as an alley dumpster. One fateful day, Bastian hides from his tormentors in an odd book shop owned by a crusty, video-game-hating old man. The bookstore owner tells young Bastian of a particular volume, one so involving that once he starts reading, he won’t be able to escape. Intrigued, the boy “borrows” the book and hides up in his school’s attic to read.

The NeverEnding Story (as the book is called) concerns the magical kingdom of Fantasia, presided over by The Childlike Empress. Threatened with extinction from an encroaching blackness known only as “The Nothing,” the ailing Empress dispatches a hero named Atreyu to find a way to save her and the kingdom. As Bastian reads, he finds himself literally drawn into the story, becoming an essential part of Fantasia’s salvation.

Filled with rock beasts, racing snails and a doglike flying “Luck Dragon,” The NeverEnding Story transported young viewers into a fantastic new world. A modest, though fondly remembered success in the United States, the film was overwhelmingly popular in Europe. Two feature sequels followed in 1990 and 1994, with an animated series debuting in 1996.

Movie Release History

1984 - The NeverEnding Story
1990 - The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter
1994 - The NeverEnding Story III

Movie Sub Categories

live-action
sci-fi/fantasy

Movie Studio

Warner Bros., Producers Sales Organization, Neue Constantin Film, Bavaria Studios

Cast

Atreyu Noah Hathaway
Bastian Barret Oliver
The Childlike Empress Tami Stronach
Cairon Moses Gunn
Urgl Patricia Hayes
Engywook Sydney Bromley
Bastian's Father Gerald McRaney
1st Bully Drum Garrett
2nd Bully Darryl Cooksey
3rd Bully Nicholas Gilbert
Koreander Thomas Hill
Teeny Weeny Deep Roy
Night Hob Tilo Pruckner
Falkor, the Luck Dragon (voice) Alan Oppenheimer

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