The NeverEnding Story (film)

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The NeverEnding Story
Year Released: 1984
MPAA Rating (USA): PG
Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Starring: Noah Hathaway

Barret Oliver

The NeverEnding Story (German: Die unendliche Geschichte) is a 1984 West German (English language) epic fantasy film based on the novel of the same name by Michael Ende, about a boy who reads a magical book that tells a story of a young warrior whose task is to stop a dark storm called the Nothing from engulfing a fantasy world. The film was produced by Bernd Eichinger and Dieter Giessler and directed and co-written by Wolfgang Petersen (his first English-language film) and starred Barret Oliver, Noah Hathaway, Tami Stronach, Moses Gunn, Thomas Hill; and Alan Oppenheimer as the voices of both Falkor and Gmork. At the time of its release, it was the most expensive film produced outside the USA or the USSR. The film was later followed by two sequels.[1]

This film is a classic and a must see for all boylovers.


Bastian Balthazar Bux (Barret Oliver) is a shy and friendless bibliophile teenager, teased by bullies from school. During one trip to school, he hides from the bullies in a bookstore, interrupting the grumpy bookseller, Mr. Coreander (Thomas Hill). Bastian asks about one of the books he sees, but Mr. Coreander advises against it. His curiosity piqued, Bastian seizes the book, leaving a note promising to return it, and hides in the school's attic to read. The book describes the world of Fantasia slowly being devoured by a force called "The Nothing". Fantasia's ruler, the Childlike Empress (Tami Stronach), has fallen ill, and Atreyu (Noah Hathaway) is tasked to discover the cure, believing that once the Empress is well, the Nothing will no longer be a threat. Atreyu is given a medallion named the AURYN that can guide and protect him in the quest. As Atreyu sets out, the Nothing summons Gmork (voiced by Alan Oppenheimer), a werewolf, to kill Atreyu.

Atreyu's quest directs him to the advisor Morla the Ancient One in the Swamps of Sadness. Though the AURYN protects Atreyu, his beloved horse Artax is lost to the swamp, and he continues alone. Later, Atreyu is surprised by the sudden appearance of Morla, a giant tortoise. Bastian, reading, is also surprised and lets out a scream, which Atreyu and Morla appear to hear. Morla does not have the answers Atreyu seeks, but directs him to the Southern Oracle, ten thousand miles distant. Atreyu succumbs to exhaustion trying to escape the Swamps but is saved by the luckdragon Falkor (voiced by Alan Oppenheimer). Falkor takes him to the home of two gnomes that live near the entrance to the Oracle. The gnomes explain that Atreyu will face various trials before reaching the Oracle. Atreyu proceeds to enter the Oracle, and is perplexed when one second trial, a mirror that shows the viewer's true self, reveals a boy which Bastian recognizes as himself. Bastian throws the book aside, but after catching his breath, continues to read. Atreyu eventually meets the Oracle who tells him the only way to save the Princess is to find a human child to give her a new name, beyond the boundaries of Fantasia.

Atreyu and Falkor flee before the Nothing consumes the Oracle. In flight, Atreyu is knocked from Falkor's back into the Sea of Possibilities, losing the AURYN in the process. He wakes on the shore of an abandoned town, and finds a series of paintings depicting his quest. Gmork reveals himself, having being laying in wait and explains that Fantasia represents humanity's imagination, and that the Nothing represents adult apathy and cynicism against it. Atreyu fends off and kills Gmork as the Nothing begins to consume the town. Falkor, who had managed to locate the AURYN, rescues Atreyu in time. The two find themselves in a void with only small fragments of Fantasia remaining, and fear they have failed when they spot the Empress's Ivory Tower among the fragment. Inside, Atreyu apologizes for failing the Empress, but she asserts he has succeed in bringing a human child to her who has been following his quest. As the Nothing begins to consume the Tower, the Empress pleas directly to Bastian to call our her new name. Bastian calls out the name he had selected: "Moon Child", and loses consciousness.

When he wakes, he finds himself in blackness with the Empress, with only a grain of sand the last bit of Fantasia remaining. The Empress tells Bastian that he has the power to bring Fantasia back with his imagination with the power of the AURYN. Bastian re-creates Fantasia, and as he flies on Falkor's back, sees the land and its inhabitants restored, and that Atreyu has been reunited with Artax. When Falkor tells him he can wish for anything, Bastian then brings Falkor back to the real world to chase down the bullies from before. The film ends with the narration that Bastian had many more wishes and adventures, and adds: but that's another story".


  • Barret Oliver as Bastian Balthazar Bux.
  • Noah Hathaway as Atreyu.
  • Tami Stronach as The Childlike Empress, to whom Bastian gives the new name of "Moon Child".
  • Alan Oppenheimer as the voices of Falkor, Gmork, Rock Biter, and the Narrator.
  • Thomas Hill Thomas Hill as Mr. Coreander.
  • Deep Roy]] as Teeny Weeny, a messenger riding on a racing snail.
  • Tilo Prückner as Nighthob, a messenger riding a narcoleptic bat.
  • Moses Gunn]] as Cairon, a servant of the Empress.
  • Sydney Bromley as Engywook, a gnomish scientist.
  • Patricia Hayes as Urgl, Engywook's wife and a healer.
  • Gerald McRaney as Mr. Bux, Bastian's widowed, workaholic father.
  • Darryl Cooksey, Drum Garrett, and Nicholas Gilbert as Ethan, Todd, and Lucas, who torment Bastian.


  1. Variety staff. "The Neverending Story Review", Variety, 1984-01-01. Retrieved on 2008-07-13. 

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