The NeverEnding Story

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Released 1984

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Movie Summary

Director:
Wolfgang Petersen
Released:
1984
Rating:
PG
The NeverEnding Story is a fantasy film based off of the 1979 novel of the same name. Although the main character, Bastian Bux (Barret Oliver) is a typical kid living in a modern world, the majority of the film takes place in the fantastical world of Fantasia. The movie opens with Bastian stealing a book, "The Neverending Story," from a store and hiding out in his schools' attic to spend the day reading. The stolen book tells the story of Fantasia, a world where all kinds of creatures and humanoids live in peace. Fantasia is being destroyed by something called the Nothing, which sucks up everything in its path and leaves behind only darkness. A young warrior, Atreyu (Noah Hathaway), has been hired by The Childlike Empress (Tami Stronach) to stop the Nothing. However, as Bastian's book continues, it becomes clear that Atreyu will not be able to do this task alone. The book begins to interact with Bastian, and Bastian realizes that the characters seem to be aware that he is listening in on their story. Fantasia represents the hopes and dreams of Bastian's society, while the Nothing represents apathy and a lack of imagination. Will Bastian be able to summon up enough imagination to help Atreyu save Fantasia from the evil Nothing, or will this beautiful world disappear into darkness forever?moreless

Metacritic Score

  • 90

    Variety

    Wolfgang Petersen's The NeverEnding Story is a marvelously realized flight of pure fantasy.

  • 75

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    The idea of the story within a story is one of the nice touches in The NeverEnding Story. Another one is the idea of a child's faith being able to change the course of fate. Maybe ...

  • 10

    The New York Times Vincent Canby

    The Neverending Story is a graceless, humorless fantasy for children, combining live actors and animated creatures in mostly imaginary settings.

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Themes

Pre-Teens, Tweens, Fairy Tales & Fables