"The NeverEnding Story" Movie Review
The Premise of "The NeverEnding Story"
Bastian, a young boy who gets bullied at school and has a father who wants him to grow up, hides out in a bookstore to escape bullies coming after him. While there he comes across a mysterious bookseller reading a book he warns would change Bastian's life forever if he read it. He steals the book and reads it despite the warning. The book then draws him in as he reads and discovers the book contains a fantasy world with a heroic lead character: Atreyu. Bastian could only wish to be like Atreyu and is amazed by the character's journey out of admiration for Atreyu's bravery and because the book seems to come alive as he reads.
Director: Wolfgang Peterson
Bastian: Barret Oliver ("Frankenweenie")
Atreyu: Noah Hathaway ('Troll")
Falkor/Rockbiter/Narrator: Alan Oppenheimer ("9")
Childlike Empress: Tami Stronach
Book Shop Owner: Thomas Hill
My Review of "The NeverEnding Story"
The first time I saw "The NeverEnding Story" I was potentially seven years old. I can't remember anything from the film except that we had rented it and seen it one time. My family owned a VHS tape of the third "NeverEnding Story" which to put it simply: stunk up any screen it was viewed on.
After deciding to try out a trial of Amazon Prime on Amazon.com I came across "The NeverEnding Story" listed under family films. As my daughter and I were baking some bread together I decided to put it on while the bread baked. My daughter is almost two so I wasn't really too concerned about her paying too close attention. She likes looking at animals, fantasy creatures, and listening to the soundtrack music when she watches movies though and I assumed "The NeverEnding Story" would have some good soundtrack and fantasy creatures. I did remember the luck dragon and that seemed like a good creature for her to see. I won't give away the plot, I'll just say that I was a little disturbed by some scenes as being considered "family friendly". I mean everything fits into PG rating but a few creatures were very scary and a few scenes were quite sad. The scene that was especially sad even made my not even two year old very sad.
If you have very small children under the age of four or five, I'd say you may want to wait to show this film to them until they are a bit older. It's a great fantasy escapism film so I wouldn't say you should never show your kids this movie, just be aware there are sad and frightening scenes.
The first movie really puts the sequels to shame. I mean seriously, it's far better in every way even though it was made in the early eighties! Whoever produced those junkie sequels should hang their head in shame! The imagination, the creativity in characters, the awesome song: "The NeverEnding Story" that gets stuck in your head for hours after hearing it, are all factors in why "The NeverEnding Story" will be a classic fantasy movie for years to come. I could honestly see it being remade to be closer to the book and to upgrade the special effects, however I think the '84 movie is beautifully done and will still hold it's own even if the movie was every remade. Falkor is one of my favorite characters from movies I saw as a little kid. I used to have a fluffy white Samoyed dog that looked almost exactly like Falkor (except without scales!). When I see Falkor I fondly am reminded of my fluffy childhood pet. I also admire the character Atreyu for being brave despite impossible odds. He's this kid, but he's also a tough warrior that always is undermined. Even so he doesn't falter and jumps up and proclaims his name and his title. He isn't ashamed of being a kid, but he dislikes people judging him based on his age. As for Bastian; he isn't exactly as tough as Atreyu at first. But that's still why Bastian is a great character. He isn't super confident at the start and you see how he's struggling with bullying and the loss of his mother. He does grow to be braver throughout the story. As for the villain: I'll just saw it's probably one of the most creepy kid's movie villain. I'd put the villain in "The NeverEnding Story" in the same villain level as: the other mother in "Coraline", the white witch in "The Narnia Chronicles", the childcatcher in "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang", and Frollo from "The Hunchback of Notre Dame".
Similar Movies to "The NeverEnding Story"
- "The Dark Crystal"
- "Peter Pan"
- "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory"
- "The Black Cauldron"
- "The Sword in the Stone"