Neverending Story

Neverending Story

4.4 16
Director: Wolfgang Petersen

Cast: Noah Hathaway, Barret Oliver, Tami Stronach


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Wolfgang Petersen adapted Michael Ende's children's story for this charming fantasy film that spawned several sequels. Bastian (Barret Oliver) is dealing with his mother's recent death. His father (Gerald McRaney) is an imperious sort who continually lambastes Bastian for…  See more details below


Wolfgang Petersen adapted Michael Ende's children's story for this charming fantasy film that spawned several sequels. Bastian (Barret Oliver) is dealing with his mother's recent death. His father (Gerald McRaney) is an imperious sort who continually lambastes Bastian for daydreaming and falling behind in school. On top of his father's badgering, he has to contend with a bunch of school bullies waiting for him in the schoolyard. One day he decides to play hooky and walks into a strange bookstore, where in the attic, he discovers a book called "The Neverending Story." As Bastian reads the book, he's enveloped in the unfolding tale. A sickly child-like empress (Tami Stronach) from a land called Fantasia is concerned about who will take over the land if she dies. She decides it is best for Fantasia if she remains alive, so she dispatches a young warrior named Atreju (Noah Hathaway) to find a cure for the empress's malady. It turns out the land is consumed with a plague called The Nothing, generated by blighted dreams and hopeless fantasies. As Atreju continues onward to search for a cure for The Nothing, he encounters an assortment of strange creatures. Bastian is so consumed with the tale that he finds himself catapulted into the land of Fantasia himself. Atreju realizes that the only way to save the land from its blight is with the help of this strange earth boy, Bastian.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Jennifer McCreery
In 1984, German director Wolfgang Petersen, fresh off his international hit Das Boot, made the leap to English-language features with this fantasy adventure that redefined the genre for the rest of the decade. The Neverending Story, based on Michael Ende's classic novel, appeals to children and adults alike, especially those who believe in dreaming, or dream of believing. Imaginative child hero Bastian (Barret Oliver) can barely keep his feet on the ground in the concrete world of bullies and math tests. One day, he stumbles across a mysterious storybook that literally sucks him in: Within the book's magical land of Fantasia, Bastian takes flight, assuming the role of the young warrior Atreyu (Noah Hathaway) and fighting to save the child empress (Tami Stronach) from an ominous "nothing" that destroys all that is good. Bringing Fantasia's world to life may seem an impossible dream, but Petersen and character designer Count Ul De Rico make movie magic with sumptuous design and fantastic predigital special effects -- from the doglike dragon Falcor to immense racing snails and rock-eating monsters. The world of Fantasia is dynamically presented against landscapes that range from the lotus-shaped Ivory Tower to the murky Swamps of Sadness. A positive allegory, The Neverending Story urges children of all ages to overcome the "nothingness" of banal reality and hold true to the magic of the mind.
All Movie Guide - Andrea LeVasseur
An epic fantasy that combines live action, puppetry, and animatronics, The Neverending Story delivers the goods as a mythical journey for kids. While failing to address a lot of material in the source novel of the same name by Michael Ende, the film version still manages a tense, dangerous adventure story filled with wonder. As the first English-language film for Wolfgang Petersen (director of Das Boot and In the Line of Fire), there seems to be both a sense of typical Spielberg suburban morality as well as deeper explorations into darker themes. The narrative structure makes no attempt to hide the underlying literacy message, as the bookend device of having Bastian (Barret Oliver) read the ancient story line certainly is a positive endorsement for getting kids to read more books and use their imagination. The synth-heavy soundtrack and quality of the special effects sticks this old-fashioned tale firmly in the '80s, making for a good nostalgia piece. The Neverending Story would be followed by two lesser sequels lacking the skilled direction of Wolfgang Petersen.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Home Video

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Noah Hathaway Atreyu
Barret Oliver Bastian
Tami Stronach Childlike empress
Moses Gunn Cairon
Patricia Hayes Urgl
Sydney Bromley Engywook
Gerald McRaney Bastian's Father
Deep Roy Teeny Weeny
Thomas Hill Koreander
Tilo Prückner Night Hob
Alan Oppenheimer Falkor
Drum Garrett Bully
Darryl Cooksey Bully
Nicholas Gilbert Bully

Technical Credits
Wolfgang Petersen Director,Screenwriter
Steve Archer Animator
Colin Arthur Makeup
Milan Bor Musical Direction/Supervision,Sound/Sound Designer
Mark Damon Executive Producer
Klaus Doldinger Score Composer
Robert Gordon Edwards Executive Producer
Bernd Eichinger Producer
Keith Forsey Songwriter
Don French Asst. Director
Dieter Geissler Producer
John W. Hyde Executive Producer
Brian Johnson Special Effects
Klaus Kahler Associate Producer
Giorgio Moroder Score Composer
Harry Nap Production Manager
Chris Price Sound Mixer
Diemut Remy Costumes/Costume Designer
Günter Rohrbach Producer
Jane Seitz Editor
Tony Smart Stunts
Herbert Strabel Art Director
Jost Vacano Cinematographer
Götz Weidner Art Director
Herman Weigel Cinematographer,Screenwriter
Rolf Zehetbauer Production Designer,Set Decoration/Design

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