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Die unendliche Geschichte
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Reviews & Ratings for
The NeverEnding Story More at IMDbPro »Die unendliche Geschichte (original title)

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167 out of 209 people found the following review useful:

My life changed that autumn afternoon...

Author: JohYowza from Denmark
23 June 2001

The Neverending story is by far the best "Fantasy" film ever made and I doubt that it will ever be topped. I saw this movie with my dad one cold autumn afternoon, and my life changed forever that day. This movie taught me that fantastic places and wonderful creatures really do exist. You only have to want them to. Even today, aged 23, working in the computer industry, I find myself slipping in the Neverending Story soundtrack in my CD player and dreaming away to Fantasia...

This movie the most beautiful and touching movies ever created. It's an example of a timeless story, told with wonderful creatures and dazzling vistas of the land of Fantasia. The amazing and perfect soundtrack help capture your heart and won't let go until the end credits fill the screen. At which time you notice that you've been crying for the last ½ hour. I consider myself extremely lucky that this wonderful movie was shown to me at such a young age, telling me that the world is what you make of it.

And luckily, this September I can watch it all on DVD!!

This is a masterpiece, nothing less

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142 out of 167 people found the following review useful:

This is such a BEAUTIFUL film, with a message that will never die.

Author: Megan (Moon Child) from Fantasia
3 March 2001

Although I was only a year old when the Neverending Story first came out, I remember watching it over and over as a little girl. My grandma got it for me when I was little and I remember making her watch it with me almost every day--sometimes two or three times in the same day. Then somehow I lost the tape, and although I still remembered and loved the movie, I forgot just how magical it really was. Then finally, (after years of "I wonder what happened to...") I found it. I realize now that in finding it I not only rediscovered a part of myself, but a beautiful world I forgot existed.

I admit that I am still waiting for a luck dragon to come and take me home to Fantasia. I belong there. A part of me lives there and so does a part of everyone, although they may not be aware of it. This is without a doubt the most beautiful movie ever made (although Legend comes close) and its message will never die as long as people hold on to their dreams. Barret Oliver's performance as Bastian still makes me cry. He speaks to that part of all of us that is not afraid to "do what we dream." Noah Hathaway was perfect for the part of Atreyu. He is one of the most beautiful and realistic heroes ever depicted. And Tami Stronach as the Childlike Empress (Moon Child) remains one of the most beautiful characters ever to grace the screen. The acting is wonderful, and the background scenery is breathtaking.

But the Neverending Story is more than just a movie. It speaks to that part in all of us that will never let go of our dreams. It is a story that will never end as long as there are people to appreciate its message. Everyone should see this movie and remember: Fantasia IS real. And "Fantasia can arise in you."

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117 out of 156 people found the following review useful:

A classic with flaws

7/10
Author: kylopod (kylopod@aol.com) from Baltimore, MD
15 October 2005

This film was a favorite of mine as a kid, but even back then I recognized that the book by Michael Ende was superior. Overall, it's a wonderful children's film marred by an inconsistent tone and an unsatisfying ending.

No fantasy film I've seen has tapped more successfully into the kinds of philosophical thoughts that kids have. Think of Rockbiter's speech describing the Nothing: "A hole would be something. Nah, this was nothing. And it got bigger, and bigger, and bigger...." This is the type of film that greatly appeals to introspective kids who think about things like infinity and the end of the universe. Do children really think about such things? I did. People who find that surprising have forgotten how profound children can sometimes be.

The whole of Fantasia, indeed, seems to be built out of children's dreams and fears. Some of it is about exhilaration, as when Atreyu rides Falkor. Others reflect anxiety, as in Atreyu's trek through the Swamps of Sadness. What appealed to me most as a kid was how an imaginative but passive child, sort of a young Walter Mitty, opens up a book in which an older, braver version of himself goes on adventures. But "Neverending Story" isn't so much escapism as it is about escapism. It's essentially a fable about the destruction of a child's fantasy world as he grows older and adapts to the modern world.

The special effects are good for their day. Although they look phony at a few points, the film's distinct visual look, from the shimmering Ivory Tower to the assortment of weird creatures, holds up well today. What makes the film work especially well is that the two child stars--Barret Oliver and Noah Hathaway--prove themselves capable actors. I use the word "capable" because almost everyone in the film overacts in an annoying way, which I blame primarily on the director. But there's a wonderful cameo by Gerald McRaney as Bastian's father. He has the perfect tone for the scene, appearing loving but distant, unable to fathom Bastian's mind. I wish the film had followed through by returning to their relationship at the end and exploring how Bastian changes as a result of his experiences in Fantasia.

The reason the ending doesn't work is obvious to anyone who's read the book. Simply put, the movie shows only the first half of the book! While this isn't the movie's fault entirely--there was no way the entire story could have fit into one movie--this could have been handled better. "The Wizard of Oz" faced the same problem yet managed not only to become one of the greatest fantasy movies of all time but to surpass its source material in some ways. "The Neverending Story" doesn't accomplish that feat. The story feels unresolved at the end while at the same time failing to clearly set up for a sequel. It attempts to wrap everything up with a sequence in which Bastian takes revenge on his old bullies. I enjoyed this scene when I was a kid, but in retrospect it creates a clash between the real world and the fantasy world. Bastian never grows as a character, he never learns to put his feet on the ground, something the early scenes suggest will happen.

There's one other problem, and that's that Wolfgang Petersen never really figured out the proper tone for a children's movie. He must not have had a clear idea what age he was shooting for. Some of the scenes are quite scary and violent, making this film inappropriate for younger children. Yet the muppet-like characters are presented in an annoyingly condescending way that I doubt older kids (not to mention teens and adults) would appreciate. For example, the first scene in Fantasia plays like a revival of Sesame Street, with Rockbiter filling the Cookie Monster role. By the time I was old enough to appreciate the deeper aspects of the story, I cringed at the film's cutesy moments. Petersen didn't have to direct the film this way. Had he shot for a wider age group, the result would have been fresher and more authentic for everyone.

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67 out of 77 people found the following review useful:

1 of the best movies EVER!

10/10
Author: (Kristycoolbeans@comcast.net) from United States
25 January 2005

This is a movie you'll enjoy no matter how old you are; it's not just for kids. It's got a message to keep fantasy alive, for good reasons, that every watcher will agree with! Bastian (Barett Oliver) is having a hard time getting over his mother's death & spends most of his time in dreamland. His teachers & father want him to get serious, & he's a constant target for bullies. Hiding out from them 1 morning in an old bookshop, he meets Coreander (Thomas Hill), the reclusive owner who piques his curiosity about the book he's reading, but warns it's not "safe". Since Bastian loves reading, he "borrows" the book, The Neverending Story. Reading it in hiding, he glimpses Fantasia, an incredible world of rock-biters, night hobs, gnomes, a Child-like Empress who's dying of a mysterious illness. The quest to find a cure is appointed to Atreyu (Noah Hathaway), a young warrior who goes through amazing journeys. Bastian becomes more wrapped up in this book than any other he's read, sharing Atreyu's sadness & horror. What he doesn't realize is that he himself is in the plot of the book - he must choose a new name for the Empress. As Bastian tries to follow the characters' adventures & to choose whether he can do his task, you'll become entranced w/the characters and touching plot. The movie shows fantasy is a big part of reality, & it's important! Watch for yourself, & BELIEVE!

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56 out of 66 people found the following review useful:

Dark, if not surreal fantasy delivers a good message.

10/10
Author: BansheeCreature from The World Of Movies
23 May 2005

Finally, the truth about stories. The fact is, nothing ever really ends, and thusly, someone had to say so. That's what this movie does, and it does it ever so elegantly. A young boy, who knows so much about the "Lord Of The Rings", and "Beowulf" is about to find out something more real as he borrows a mystical book he finds enchanting. the even more powerful fact, is that once the book is opened, it will never close. Just as life never really ends on this earth, neither to stories. The book, titled "The Never Ending Story", is about Fantasia, a world that is dying, and an unbelievably horrifying substance known as "The Nothing", is enclosing it. A young warrior must face the danger of finding a cure. On earth, or in the book, life is intertwined to reach the ultimate answer to a young boys fears, and a young warriors quest. Film is full of some really lovable characters such as Falkor, the luck dragon, and the Rock Biter. Then, there is the Gmorg, whom I believe, is the most wretched creature in cinema. That thing is scary! In any case, film starts out as colorful and mystical, and grows dark and nightmarish with every scene, leading to a wonderful message about the substance that keeps Fantasia , and every other world out there, alive. Beautiful, just beautiful. A classic.

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46 out of 56 people found the following review useful:

Great fantasy film!

9/10
Author: Thomas Jolliffe (supertom-3) from Marlow, England
8 July 2004

One of the best kids fantasy films of the 80's. This is a great films about troubled young boy Bastien who escapes some pursuing bullies in an old book shop finding a story. As he reads this story alone, in hiding, he becomes enraptured in it and soon begins to feel more than a reader but involved in the story and is sucked into the world of Fantasia.

Now, does the film have the important elements of a fantasy yarn? Yep it sure does. It looks great it has strange creatures and wonderful landscapes and it's fair share of adventure. The book bastien read centres around Artreyu a young warrior who is the only hope of saving Fantasia from the evil that is "the Nothing" which is what it's name suggest and will turn Fantasia into nothing.

I had never watched this until recently when purely by chance it was on TV and had a good write up (ah the power of movie critics!) so I thought that as a lover of fantasy, I would watch it. Glad I did people, glad I did. It takes you back to feelings of childhood and captures the imagination. Wolfgang Peterson, who didn't particularly impress me in recent flop Troy, directs preceedings with class and control. There are some good young actors too. ****

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45 out of 58 people found the following review useful:

Who didn't want to ride a luck Dragon?

Author: shadowmonkey from Manchester, England
1 June 2004

‘Turn around, tell me what you seeeee', flying through the clouds as the titles roll. It is on every Christmas, I own it and I simply love it. The Neverending Story is one of the least offensive and nicest family films out there. It has numerous sequels, but it is the first one directed by Wolfgang Peterson that is the best of the three.

Bastian, a young boy lives in a dream world, his father wants him to grow up his school would like him to get his head out of the clouds and is tormented by bullies. On his way into school while trying get away from the bullies he runs into an old book shop. While hiding inside the owner shows him ‘The Neverending Story' a huge volume decorated with the Orin the symbol of the child like emprise of the Land Fantasia. When the owner isn't look Bastian takes the book.

This is a beautiful film; it enthralled me as a child and still does as an adult. I have watched over and over again, never tiring of it and always enjoying it. If you have young children or are an old child it doesn't matter this is pure a adventure fantasy for all ages, with colourful characters.

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37 out of 46 people found the following review useful:

"The NeverEnding Story" is magical

10/10
Author: Atreyu_II from The world of artists
28 June 2007

This is something special. "The NeverEnding Story" is a truly remarkable movie experience. A stunning and unique movie with this fantastic feeling and the feeling of being something "out-of-this-world". The finest fantasy movie of all time. A timeless and nostalgic classic.

The rich production is notorious in so many ways: the gorgeous settings and landscapes/sceneries; the amazing special effects, visual effects and blue-screen effects; the magic; the spectacular combination of sounds, which impress even more if heard loud; the music...

Another major strength is the wonderful soundtrack, work of Giorgio Moroder and Klaus Doldinger, with that genial synthpop orientation. It's so 80's and I very much welcome that. The songs are all beautiful. Another great song is Limahl's "Never Ending Story", as well as the two lovely Tami Stronach's singles "Fairy Queen" and "Riding on a Rainbow". It's impressing how she sings so well.

The movie is thrilling, very involving, exciting, great fun, contains lots of adventure, danger, strong suspense, darkness, drama, strong emotions, fantastic and strange creatures, interesting and well developed characters and a great cast.

There are strange and fantastic creatures such as the Racing Snail, the creepy Gmork, Morla the ancient one, the friendly Rockbiter (a gentle giant), the Sleepy Bat and Falkor the luckdragon. I like Falkor very much: he's so big, so cool, so fluffy, so cute and so friendly. He also has a great sense of humor and his dog-like appearance makes him irresistible.

Other interesting characters are the somewhat rude Nighthob, Teeny Weeny, the hilariously typically grumpy old man Mr. Koreander, the eccentric and amusing gnomes Engywook and Urgl, Cairon and especially Atreyu (and his horse Artax), Bastian and the Childlike Empress. Atreyu, Bastian and the Childlike Empress are all terrific kids. Atreyu is a different kind of hero: a true hero child, which is unusual and amazing. Bastian himself is another hero child.

The movie is promising since the very beginning, with those stunning, dazzling and colorful clouds, which bring it a magical touch. The beauty of the Ivory Tower palace, the golden of the Sphinxes and the blue of the Southern Oracle are also magical details about this movie, among many others. On the other hand, the storm called "The Nothing" is spectacular but slightly creepy. Nevertheless, it is another precious help to give magic and beauty to the film. Not to mention details like the sky full of stars and no clouds and when the sky has clouds...

It's amazing how one gets involved into the story. While watching the movie, one can feel deeply involved in the story as much as Bastian does. It's impossible to ignore it because it captures one's attention and heart. Also, one can't help but get deeply involved in Atreyu's quest and everything he confronts to save Fantasia, including his emotions and despair.

The actors are all wonderful. Barret Oliver is amazing as the shy and imaginative Bastian, Noah Hathaway is awesome in the role of the young warrior Atreyu and Tami Stronach is terrific as the Childlike Empress. Her role is minor but very relevant and significant. She really looked like a little princess by portraying the Childlike Empress. It's kinda surprising that this was her only movie role ever. Noah Hathaway... that long hair really fitted very well on him and his character Atreyu resembles an Indian, but only a little bit.

"The NeverEnding Story" is more than one of the greatest movies from the 80's. It is one of the best, most beautiful, magical and distinguish movies ever. A fine movie with a very good message as well. I can positively say that Mr. Wolfgang Petersen knew what he was doing. This is his masterpiece.

The movie is a German production filmed in English with mostly American and English actors. The majority of the film takes place in Germany. And it was officially launched under its original title, "Die Unendliche Geschichte", despite being filmed in English. By the way, I was born in 1984 and I'm very proud that this movie is from that year. After all, it's a movie that I love.

This should definitely be on Top 250.

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37 out of 50 people found the following review useful:

A Must See! Great Fantasy Film!!!

9/10
Author: LebowskiT1000 from Escondido, California, USA
23 August 2002

I think most people that have seen this will agree that this is one of the best fantasy films ever made! I think I may have to agree with them!

This film has a special place in my heart, cause I grew up with this film. I've probably seen this film more times than any other movie (although, it may be too close to call with "Labyrinth", "The Wizard of Oz" and "The Dark Crystal" in the running)! Isn't it funny how when you were young you could watch the same movie over and over and over and over and never get sick of it...not that a whole lot has changed since then, but it cracks me up how well I remember this film ever time I see it. I remember just about ever line, every scene, every nuance, every single little miniscule detail about this movie! Ok...I'm sounding a bit obsessed aren't I.

Well, what I'm trying to say here is that this is a great film and with an excellent story. The acting, directing, special effects, and everything else is just excellent in this film! Wolfgang Petersen really out-did himself with this film! I would definitely recommend this film to anyone that likes fantasy films...what am I saying, I would (and do) recommend this film to EVERYONE! What are you reading this review for? Go see this movie!!! Thanks for reading,

-Chris

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10 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Life without Fantasia

7/10
Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
8 December 2012

The boy Bastian (Barret Oliver) misses his mother, who has died, and is bullied at school by three bullies. One day, he is running away from the three boys and hides in a bookstore, where the owner shows him a book that he has never read called "The Neverending Story".

Bastian does not resist and shoplifts the book, leaving a note telling that he will return the book after he reads it. He goes to the school attic and anxiously reads the book that tells the story of the magic kingdom of Fantasia that is doomed to destruction, unless the boy Atreyu (Noah Hathaway) can save it. But he needs the help of an Earthling boy to avoid that The Nothing destroys his world.

The first times that I saw "Die Unendliche Geschichte", a.k.a. "The Neverending Story", I was younger and younger and I simply loved it. Twenty-eight years later, I have just bought the Blu-Ray and after watching it again, I liked but less that I remember.

The state of art especial effects in 1984 is now dated and the acting is only reasonable. But the story of the coming of age by force of a boy that sees his innocence lost due to the death of his mother and bullying at school has a beautiful message in the end and is still worthwhile watching it. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "A História Sem Fim" ("The Neverending Story")

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