Writer: Wolfgang Petersen, Herman Weigel (Screenplay) Michael Ende (Novel)
Starring: Barrett Oliver, Noah Hathaway, Alan Oppenheimer, Sydeny Bromley, Tami Stronach
Plot: A troubled boy dives into a wondrous fantasy world through the pages of a mysterious book.
Tagline – A boy who needs a friend finds a world that needs a hero in a land beyond imagination!
Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Wonderful Fantasy Film
Story: The Never-Ending Story starts as we meet avid reader and bullied young boy Bastian (Oliver) who starts reading his latest book, ‘The Neverending Story’ while avoiding attending school. The book shows the adventure of the creatures living under an Empresses that it sick, which is causing the ‘Nothing’ taking over the land.
Atreyu (Hathaway) is the only one that can save the kingdom, but his adventure is full of challenge and heartache, even though Bastian seems to be able to interact with what happens in the fantasy land. Can Atreyu save the Empresses before it is too late?
Thoughts on The Never-Ending Story
Characters – Bastian is a lonely child, his mother has recently died, and he is struggling through school, with bullies constantly hounding him, he hides in books and now he gets his hands on this new adventure book where we follow him reading the book. Atreyu is the only one that save Fantasia and even after losing his best friend, he must find a way to save them. We have a whole host of colourful characters in this world that help Atreyu along the way of his mission.
Performances – We have three child actors in the main roles here, Noah Hathaway is Atreyu is great showing the strength in his innocence to be the hero of the story. Barrett Oliver as the trouble young boy is good and often becomes the narrator of the story.
Story – The story follows a troubled young boy that finds hope in a book which takes him on an adventure that he can control where the world needs saving. This story gives our character an escape from the world that he desperately needed after everything that has and is happening to him. The adventure itself throws us into a world of wonderful creatures and isn’t afraid to make us get excited or sad along the way as the world is facing destruction unless our hero can save the day. For a family adventure film this is a fun story to follow and one that can be enjoyed by all.
Adventure/Family/Fantasy – The adventure takes us across the world to see the different creatures facing the same reality of destruction. The family can enjoy this even if there are dark moments in the film, while the fantasy side of the film is wonderful to experience for an 80s film.
Settings – Each setting shows the different levels of peril that Atreyu must go through to try and save the world he is a part of, some are dark others are bright.
Special Effects – The effects have dated in places, but the practical creature creations are a delight to see through the film.
Final Thoughts – This is a delightful fantasy adventure film for everyone to enjoy, it may well be over 30 years old but is one you can all enjoy together.
Overall: True classic of 80s adventure cinema.