When I was a kid, one of my favorite genre’s was Fantasy. Some of these movies that I really did enjoy quite a bit from way back then was stuff like E.T. The Extraterrestrial (1982) with Drew Barrymore (Charlie’s Angels) and Henry Thomas (Murder One) The Philadelphia Experiment (1984) with Nancy Allen (Carrie) and Michael Paré (Street’s Of Fire) to Willow (1988) with Val Kilmer (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) and Warwick Davis (The Leprechaun series).
One of these movies, that I really liked when I was a kid (and still do) is a now little known gem called The NeverEnding Story (1984).
Now I am sure for the people that remember the piece when they were kids, that you must be wondering, The NeverEnding Story? Really? Isn’t that a Child’s movie?
Well first let me answer you with, yes, it is definitely a movie that children do enjoy (I did) but I happen to watch this movie here recently with my wife, and I gotta say that as an adult I thought this movie was still a lot of fun!
Written by: Herman Weigel (We Children from Bahnhof Zoo) and also written and directed by Wolfgang Petersen (Das Boot) and starring Noah Hathaway (Troll) Barrett Oliver (Cocoon) and Tami Stronach (Fredy a Zlatovláska)
The NeverEnding Story tells the story of Bastian (Oliver) Bastian is a troubled boy who recently lost his mother, and is trying to cope with that loss and start fresh with his father (Played by: Gerald McRaney).
One day while Bastian is trying to escape from some bullies that have been picking on him he runs in to an old book store to hide. In this book store is the creepy old shop keep who has in his hands a rare book!
Now the Shop Keep during this time persuades Bastian (with out actually talking about it) to ‘borrow’ the book, which Bastian does, leaving a note stating that he would return it. When Bastian finally does make it to school, he comes to discover that class has already started and so decides to sneak up in to the attic of the school and read the book that he had taken from the book store called, ‘The NeverEnding Story.’
Here is when the story really begins to take shape. The story has to do with a place called Fantasia… Fantasia is a mythical land (really another dimension) that has been created through the imaginations of other humans…
Fantasia is dying though you see, people and whole places seem to be disappearing at random, and nobody seems to know why exactly! So representatives from all over Fantasia are going to see the Empress (Stronach) to see if there is anything that she can do to arrest the problems that seem to be surrounding Fantasia.
When the delegations have arrived, it turns out that not only has the Empress figured out at least the initial faze of what it going on and how to stop it, but has already sent for a warrionr child by the name of Atreyu (Hathaway).
Now it is up to Atreyu and Bastian to set right, what had gone wrong, before Fantasia disappears all together!
What still makes this such an awesome b movie? There are a couple of things:
1. First off, I gotta say that the story line is utterly brilliant, I mean a child being able to save even a mythical land through the power of his imagination is simply brilliant!
2. The next thing that I wanted to say about the story is that being able to walk down memory lane like that, and remember what it was like watching that when I was a kid, was incredibly fun, and in my opinion truly demonstrates the power that movies can have for a person.
3. The next thing I gotta say about this movie, is that I really liked the special effects in this movie, I mean for the most part by todays standards they maybe a little dated, but for back then the special effects really were top drawer, and I gotta say that for the most part watching them in this movie recently was purely awesome!
4. I also gotta say that the acting in this film is simply and utterly brilliant, I mean Mr. Petersen really did a great job in placing these kids in this movie in such a way that demonstrates just how a child really can be more then just some one that needs to be taken care of!
5. Lastly what I thought that I would mention is Mr. Petersen himself. I mean obviously everything connected has made this movie the brilliant timeless piece that is, but one thing that I have forgotten to mention is Wolfgang Petersen himself, and with out his vision this movie guaranteed would not have been the film that it ended up being!
If you saw this when you were a kid, and are in the mood for a fun trip down memory lane, then I highly recommend checking this out, I think you might find out how timeless this movie really is. Also if your checking this out for the first time… Good call… I think you might end up really liking it!