The NeverEnding Story is a movie about a bullied boy who recently lost his mother and who finds a magic book. It’s also about the adventures of the boy-warrior in the book as he tries to save his world from destruction by the Nothing.
The look of The NeverEnding Story is spectacular, with lots of makeups and gorgeous scenery. There’s the Ivory Tower, a glowing needle-like spire topped with a stone flower of a castle, surrounded by a hollow mountain. There’s the Swamps of Sadness and and a river with man-sized crystals growing beside it, the gigantic sphinxes of the Southern Oracle, and spectacular cloudscapes. There’s all the creatures in the movie too—a giant Rock Biter and ra acing snail, gnomes, the creepy wolf-like Gmork, and the beautiful Luck Dragon Falkor. Atreyu looks just like a normal human boy though, presumably to increase audience identification. The music is pretty awesome too.
The plot starts with Bastian, who runs into a bookstore while fleeing bullies who want to put him in a garbage dumpster. The bookstore owner teases Bastian about the book he (the bookstore owner) is reading, saying it’s too dangerous for a boy like Bastian. When the bookstore owner gets a call, Bastian takes the book, leaving a note promising to return in. When Bastian gets late to school, he sees there’s a math test going on in his class and decides to hide out in the school’s attic instead and read his new ill-gotten book.
Meanwhile, in the world of the story, Fantasia, the Childlike Empress is sick and her world is crumbling, being eaten by a mysterious force called the Nothing. The warrior Atreyu is sent for, and turns out to be a kid. Nevertheless, he’s sent on a mission to find a cure for the Childlike Empress and to stop the Nothing. He unknowingly draws Bastian along on his adventures, and sometimes the book reflects what’s happening with Bastian in the real world.
3—How the NeverEnding Story Has Held Up
I first watched the NeverEnding Story as a child and loved it. As an adult, I still like it. It’s still just as beautiful a movie as I remember, with the camera giving appropriate scope and grandeur to all the magnificent things. The performances are still good, especially for such young actors on which the movie rests. And with the exception of Falkor’s facial movements, the special effects, makeups, and puppets are all top-notch.
The NeverEnding Story is still fun to watch.