Classic Movie Reviews

The Neverending Story

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    A very imaginative and engrossing fantasy that charms both children and parents. The film is based on the first half of a novel by Michael Ende, who was unhappy about ways the movie deviates from the story as he wrote it. The story line begins with a young boy (Barret Oliver) who is hassled by bullies on his way to school. He takes refuge in a quaint bookstore where he is powerfully drawn to a particular book. The storekeeper warns him that the book is "not safe" but he borrows it, leaving a note that he will return it. At school, he goes into the attic to read and is quickly caught up in the story, about a fantasy world called Fantasia, which is being threatened by a force called The Nothing. The child empress of Fantasia (Tami Stromach) sends a boy warrior named Atreyu (Noah Hathaway) on a quest to defeat The Nothing and save Fantasia. After several Atreyu adventures, the schoolboy realizes the empress is calling out to him to save her world with his imagination, by making wishes to keep it alive. As Fantasia has been reduced to a single grain of sand, the boy wishes for it to be restored and it is. He goes on to make other wishes, including one that lets him teach the bullies what it is like to be afraid. The young actors are delightfully photogenic and talented. At the time of its release, The Neverending Story was the most expensive movie ever made outside the U.S. or U.S.S.R. Two sequels were later produced.


1984, Directed by Wolfgang Petersen

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