THE NEVERENDING STORY (DIE UNENDLICHE
D: Wolfgang Petersen
Warner Bros./Bavaria/WDR (Bernd Eichinger & Dieter
West Germany 1984
W: Wolfgang Petersen [based on the novel by Michael
DP: Jost Vacano
Ed: Jane Seitz
Mus: Klaus Doldinger & Giorgio Moroder
PD: Rolf Zehetbauer
Barret Oliver (Bastian Bux), Noah Hathaway (Atreyu), Tami
Stronach (The Childlike Empress), Sydney Bromley (Engywook), Patricia Hayes (Urgl), Gerald McRaney (Mr. Bux)
Filmed entirely in Bavaria, West Germany, The Neverending
Story is amongst the greatest fantasy films in the history of cinema. Take that Hollywood!
Based on the novel by Michael Ende, the story uses an
original approach to depict its tall tales of a fantastic kingdom. Bastian, a bullied schoolboy, hides out in a bookstore and discovers an old, dusty tome with a mystical insignia on it's
cover. He steals the book and takes shelter in the attic of his school to read it; the magical realm of Fantasia is under threat from a mysterious force known as 'the nothing', tearing
through their great lands. A young, adventurous warrior named Atreyu is given the quest to stop the force and save the princess. The twist is that 'the nothing' is fuelled by the reader of
the book's lack of imagination and that the real saviour is Bastian.
Considering this movie is over 30 years old, the visual
effects, makeup, set design and other technical aspects have held strong reasonably well and it's almost immortalised by Limahl's title song and Giorgio Moroder's electronic
Keep believing kids! And watch this movie. It's
THE NEVERENDING STORY II: THE NEXT
D: George T. Miller
Warner Bros. (Dieter Geissler)
W: Karin Howard [based on the novel by Michael
DP: Dave Connell
Ed: Peter Hollywood & Chris Blunden
Mus: Robert Folk
PD: Bob Laing & Götz Weidner
Jonathan Brandis (Bastian Bux), Kenny Morrison (Atreyu),
Clarissa Burt (Xayide), Alexandra Johnes (The Childlike Empress), Martin Umbach (Nimbly)
Though the first film was based upon the fantasy novel by
Michael Ende, it only tackled 50% of the source material, so a sequel materialised, intending to tackle what didn't make it into the first movie.
Unfortunately, what it became was this terrible mess,
assembling an inferior cast for a story which feels so far removed from the first film, it's difficult to see it as a sequel at all.
Bastian returns to Fantasia with a magical amulet which
allows him to make wishes at the expense of his memories, and along with the young warrior Atreyu and a creepy talking bird, he has to defeat an evil queen and protect the childlike
There's a strange lack of magic & fantasy, with below
standard production values & visual effects. Hugely disappointing, even for huge fans of the first film.
A third film was released in 1994, but nobody cared