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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Neverending Story 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful story that captures the 'stuff' that childhood daydreams and fantasy are made of. Young Bastian (Barret Oliver - D.A.R.Y.L., Cocoon & Cocoon: The Return) is suffering from the lingering effects of his mother's recent death and finds escape from his real life problems in daydreams and fantasy worlds. As a result, he allows himself to become bullied around by other children, and his grades in school begin to suffer, much to the chagrin of his well-meaning father. On the way to school one morning, Bastian finds himself being chased by these zealous bullies and hides out in an antique book shop where he meets the mysterious shop owner. Bastian is drawn in by the old man and wants to know what book he is reading, to which the shop owner replies...'This book is not for you! The books you read, are safe.' When the shop owner goes to answer the phone, the ever inquisitive Bastian takes the book and hides out in the attic of his school, and begins to read. Thus begins a series of excellent adventures as he follows the plight of a young warrior named Atreyu through the magical land of Fantasia. As Bastian reads on, he finds himself personally involved, and as we approach the end of the film, we all joyously discover that we are all also just as involved. The music assembled for this film was very well done, featuring the 80s movie title hit by Limahl (Kajagoogoo), and endearing synthesized music by Giorgio Moroder & Klaus Doldinger. The cinematography and backdrops were well developed and filmed, along with exceptional acting by the young actors, and the moral value to the story make this a great movie going experience for young and old alike. I first watched this when I was myself a teen, and to this day...years later, I enjoy it just as much! A high recommend for children (of all ages)!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This story is full of fun and fascinating turns and twists. It makes you want to dream big and makes you earn for adventures of your own. After watching the movie I had to go and read the book. It is great for the whole family.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This version is alright. I still recommend you the German version, but you probably won't be able to find it in the USA, or if you do, in English. So enjoy this one! It's pretty good. If you like it - read the book!!! (Of course, it's better than all the movie versions!!!)
Jay_Godzilla_fan More than 1 year ago
I still wish I could get sucked into a buck like the kid in this movie. My imagination would run wild like this without a book. But this movie is so cool! (Part two no no)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"The Neverending Story" is a film that centers around a boy named Bastian Bux who finds refuge in using his imagination and reading fiction books having to do with quests. He ends up reading a book set in the world Fantasia and unintentionally discovers that he plays a role in the outcome of this mystical world. Somehow, the destinies of Bastian Bux and the warrior Atreyu become intertwined. Atreyu gets help in his journey from a luck dragon named Falkor. The following actors/actresses are featured in "Neverending Story": Barrett Oliver, Noah Hathaway, Tami Stronach, Alan Oppenheimer, Thomas Hill, Deep Roy, Tilo Pruckner, Moses Gunn, Sydney Bromley, Patricia Hayes, and Gerald McRaney. "The Neverending Story" is a brilliant fantasy film for audiences of all ages.
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