The NeverEnding Story

The NeverEnding Story

****

Reviewed by: Maria Realf

This charming movie may be over 20 years old, but it somehow manages to retain its timeless appeal.

Lonely young dreamer Bastian (Barret Oliver) is desperately trying to hide from local bullies when he stumbles into a small bookstore where he spies a mysterious novel called The NeverEnding Story. After being warned that “this book is not for you” by the elderly shopkeeper, naturally the curious child decides he wants to read it right away. The book tells the tale of Fantasia, an enchanted country filled with fascinating creatures, like the giant Rock Biter and a speedy racing snail.

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However, Fantasia is a bit like the Tinkerbell of territories and starts to disappear if children stop believing in the power of imagination. As a terrible “nothing” sweeps over the land, the boy warrior Atreyu (Noah Hathaway) goes on a quest to save the childlike empress (Tami Stronach), braving dangerous obstacles along the way. As Bastian eagerly follows these adventures, it appears he might be more involved in the story than he thinks…

Although some of the special effects look a little dated, compared to the modern wizardry seen in films such as the Harry Potter franchise, this movie has such heart and soul that it remains a true children’s classic, like the equally enjoyable Labyrinth. All three of the young leads are just cute enough, leaving you rooting for them without reaching for a bucket, though the real stars are the more mythical creatures, particularly the luck dragon Falkor, which resembles a cross between a lizard and a King Charles spaniel.

The NeverEnding Story is a sheer delight that’s sure to be enjoyed by generations to come.

Reviewed on: 22 Aug 2008
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Enchanting fantasy adventure about a magical land under threat.
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Director: Wolfgang Petersen

Writer: Wolfgang Petersen, Herman Weigel, based on themes from the novel by Michael Ende

Starring: Barret Oliver, Noah Hathaway, Tami Stronach, Moses Gunn, Alan Oppenheimer, Patricia Hayes, Gerald McRaney, Drum Garrett, Darryl Cooksey, Nicholas Gilbert, Thomas Hill, Deep Roy, Tilo Prückner

Year: 1984

Runtime: 102 minutes

BBFC: U - Universal

Country: US, West Germany

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