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4.7 out of 5 stars
The Neverending Story
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on 13 May 2009
The Neverending Story is based upon a German novel by Michael Ende, and the film (released in 1984), is directed by Wolfgang Peterson who later went on to direct such films as 'Air Force One' and 'Troy'.

The Neverending Story is a film which surrounds the life of a young boy named Bastian Bux (Barret Oliver), who, one day after being yet again tormented by bullies, escapes to, and hides in an old bookshop. The owner of the book shop (Thomas Hill), who can obviously associate and empathise with Bastian, reveals an ancient, magical looking book to him, which Bastian 'borrows', and is sucked and drawn into the mythical land of Fantasia.

Once in Fantasia, Bastian realises that Fantasia is on the brink of destruction due to an unknown force known as 'the nothing', and soon comes to realise that the future existence of Fantasia relies solely upon him, and him only.
Whilst in Fantasia, Bastian encounters wonderful characters such as Falkor - a part dragon, part dog, The Child-like Empress (Tami Stronach) - ruler of Fantasia, Atreyu (Noah Hathaway) - the fearless young warrior, the ever-lovable Rockbiter and his close band of friends; Teeny Weeny and his racing Snail, and the Nighthob and his "Stupid Bat".

I really do find the characters, sets and backdrops to this film stunning, creating the illusion that an almost entirely different world has been created.

The characters are all well-thought out and highly imaginative, and the acting (keeping in mind that most of the actors are all still young) is very good. The special effects and sets are also fantastic, which is probably why at the time of its debut, The Neverending Story was the most expensive film ever made outside of the United States.

The Neverending Story is such an innocent, enchanting film, that I would be surprised if anyone took an actual disliking to it. I haven't seen a fantasy film able to surpass The Neverending Story visually, in content or story line so far, and that's why it remains such a treasured gem to me, and I'm sure many other people.

Summary: Great family fantasy film. Definately worth a purchase.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 20 February 2010
First time i've written a review but i've just re-watched the film after quite a few years and felt compelled.

This film is more than just about book-bashing to kids. It inspires both children and adults to appreciate the magic of our own imaginations and the ability we have to take the work of somebody else and build upon its ideas to create our own. That the kid in this film likes to read is not as important as the fact that his involvement in the story within the book inspires him to explore the power of his creative mind and use it in a positive way. This is something that can happen through whatever medium, whether it be literature, film, art, or music, it doesn't matter.

Through the loss of his mother and subsequent re-naming of the Empress, Bastian finds the strength to overcome the pain he is experiencing in the real world by allowing himself to believe in his imaginary one. The film's references to Bastian's dead mum are subtle and un-sentimental and the scene with his dad at the start is completely believable. These things are what i think gives the film it's emotional kick and why i think adults should watch it as well.

When my daughter is old enough to sit through a whole film with me without figiting then this will be the first one i will pull out and watch with her! Forget the sequels though, they completly miss the point.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 23 July 2010
this movie is 26 years old, and the special effects might not seem so special by todays standards. but for me it has stood the test of time, and still touches the little boy in me that used to watch the german fantasy tales that they used to show on bbc childrens tele in the sixties. They where not dubbed but narrated in english and I think this film was wolfgang Petersens homage to. It was a beautifully crafted film and I bet if you where to put this on for some 5 to 7 year olds, they'ed love it. It's not a bad transfer and you can appreciate the finer detail revealed and the DTS sountrack is impressive. i have a vhs and dvd copy's of the movie, and where dvd was a step up from vhs, so to is this blu ray release a step up from dvd. their are no extras as such, but still worth the purchase.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 25 May 2010
I bought this for my 4 year old son and was pleasantly surprised to discover him watching it entranced with his father and his two half brothers (aged 14 and 12)! They remembered watching the video when they were younger and, despite the fact that special effects and technology has moved on considerably since 1984, they all loved it. The story is magical and strong enough to keep them from the X-box 360, i-pods and older rated action films. A wet Sunday afternooon was spent happily together as a family. Both older children have said they don't mind watching it again, which is lucky as I can tell this will be an often repeated favourite of my 4 year old.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 24 September 2003
I remember watching this many years ago when I was 5. Now being 22, I still enjoy this film. A good fantasy film that captured my imagination as a child.
Some parts do look dated, like the clothes and hair styles, but the important parts of the film are timeless.
Even though this film is quite old the effects aren't too bad. Acting, even by the children, is better than some acting seen in movies today.
If you have a young child who likes fairy stories and fantasy lands then you can't go wrong with this. especially with it being so cheap.
Have fun!
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
Bastian is having a hard time dealing with his mother's death, school, and bullies. Granted, the fact that his father doesn't know what to do isn't helping matters. His only escape is the world of his imagination. One day, he hides in an old bookshop to get away from the three bullies chasing him. It's there he finds a book that isn't safe for him to read. See, the story won't end when he puts the book down. Unable to resist, Bastian borrows it and hides in his school attic to read. It's the tale of a warrior on a quest to save his country from the Nothing. But the more Bastian reads, the more he finds himself drawn into the story. Might he be called upon to save the day?
I had heard ravings about the movie since it came out. I only now got a chance to watch it. I must say even though I knew almost everything about it, I really enjoyed it. It certainly has an 80's feel to it between the costumes, music, and special effects. Looking past that, I found myself getting caught up in the story waiting for Bastian to save the day. My biggest complaint is how abruptly it ended. I felt it needed at least another few minutes to resolve some things in Bastian's life. Of course, I see that this was only half the book, which actually makes all that make sense.
Little kids could be scared by some of the things in the story, but older kids will enjoy this fantasy escape. It may be dated, but it's still fun.
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51 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on 8 February 2004
The Neverending Story was the first film I ever went to see at the cinema. I had been pestering my father to take me to see it for months as a poster of the film was pinned up in our local shop. Being only five years old, the film amazed me and in parts really frightened me. I remember having to sleep with my parents that night as I couldn't get to sleep!
Nearly twenty years on and this is still my favourite film. I must have seen it over 200 times and I still get butterflies in my stomach, laugh and cry. With an amazing storyline, loveable characters and spectacular special effects; this truly is a wonderful movie which young and old can appreciate and is one film that I will always hold dear to my heart.
Why is it called The Neverending Story? …Because as long as you have imagination and dreams, the story will never die!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 18 October 2006
Superb modern fairytale with a message that is not cloying that is a delight to adults and children alike. It will make you laugh, cry and cheer in equal measures. I have loved this for so much for so long, I have made a decision to never watch the sequels for fear of tarnishing my love of the original. If in doubt as to whether or not you should watch it - just watch it - you will not be disappointed
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
As a child of the eighties, this film holds a special place in my memories and when I watched it recently I hoped that the raft of recent modern CGI laden films wouldn't spoil this and ruin the nostalgia, I'm pleased to say that the film has not lost its magic...

...When the film starts, it's in a familiar world and we are introduced to Bastian; the lonely boy who daydreams to find happiness and escape the school bullies. After 'borrowing' a book whilst running from thugs he finds himself making the ultimate escape - to another world called Fantasia.

This becomes a fantasy adventure with giant creatures, monsters, magic, and a damsel in distress. The main hero of the film is Atreyu, and adults can understand the gasp of surprise by those relying on him to save the world when it turns out he's just a child, whereas children can identify with the young warrior. It might sound a bit formulaic, and it's certainly been done many times before, but The Neverending Story stands out not just because of visual effects or the fantastic score, but because it is emotionally engaging and draws viewers in - something I perhaps didn't appreciate when I was seven! Not only is it compelling, but it is explained that by simply watching the film, you are part of the story because you are helping to visualise it. Fantasia is the product of human creativity and it is being destroyed by mankind's lack of imagination.

The various creatures in the film look great. Although Falkor the Luck Dragon (who looks like a dog) does appears a bit ropey at times, especially when his mouth seems to lack movement and struggles to keep up with the words coming out of it! But that doesn't matter, you can see past that and it doesn't impact on the character - you still believe in him. I personally think that the giant Rock Eater couldn't look any better even if modern CGI techniques were thrown at it. This film was made with a great passion for the visuals and you can tell how much effort went into bringing Fantasia to life.

The film has never looked better than on this Blu-ray edition, and the beautiful score sounds incredible. I was worried that hi-def might expose previously unseen shoddiness but I'm very pleased to say that the film isn't destroyed by unveiling flaws and strings! Rather disappointingly though there are no additional features. The DVD of the film contains more bonus material than this and all the DVD had was the theatrical trailer and a single page of "cast and crew".

This film is as famous for the score as it is anything else. Klaus Doldinger creates a soundtrack which captures the emotional tone of the film and immerses you in every moment. The added synth-pop music adds another dimension too and ensures that the music sounds undeniably eighties, but it hasn't dated badly at all. The film begins and ends with the Lamahl classic "Neverending Story", surely one of the catchiest film theme tunes ever and yet another reason for this epic fantasy to reach cult status.

Many of the characters in the film are animated puppets, but the voices inject personality and you never feel as though you're watching something being manipulated behind the scenes. It's an impressive feat that you should experience genuine fondness for a fluffy flying dragon and empathise totally with a giant rock eating being who feels he failed his friends. Atreyu may be young, but Noah Hathaway shows that child actors are more than capable of portraying emotions - watching him scream at his horse as it sinks into the swamp is one of the most heart-rending scenes I've ever seen. And watching the child empress pleading directly into the camera with tears running down her face melts the coldest of hearts.

In a nutshell: The Blu-ray package might be a bit sparse, but the film is still fantastic: A family film which isn't dumbed down, it doesn't patronise younger viewers by 'protecting' them from the darker side of life. Watching this at the weekend cuddled up with my two daughters (aged 3 and 5) was a special moment for me. Seeing my children absolutely enthralled in a film which I enjoyed as a kid is something which felt magical. After the film they raved on about it and told everyone about what they'd seen, it was clear that the depth of the film had effected them just as much as the fantastical story - the first thing they mentioned wasn't the flying "dog-dragon", or the evil wolf, or even a sneezing tortoise, it was how sad it was when a boy stood in the swamp and cried hysterically as his only companion struggled to make it out of the mud. This was a favourite film of mine twenty years ago, and now it's one of theirs. If it had been a brainless action flick then it wouldn't have achieved that. You don't just watch the film, you are part of it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 14 November 2014
I Grew up watching the NEVERENDING STORY i watched it many times on VHS
and now on 30th Anniversary blu-ray i still enjoy watching it
a beautiful action/adventure fantasy film based on German author Michael Ende book
of the same name THE NEVERENDING STORY
the production of the film is 40% American/british & 60% German
the main contributors to the film are German ofcourse
Wolfgang peterson, Deiter Geissler, Herman weigel
the Executive producers Mark Damon, John Hyde are American thou
most of the behind the scenes crew that puppetered the Creatures
were a mix of German, British & American crew
the Amazing special effects all done handmade way before Digital effects
the Luck Dragon, Rock biter, Gmork & many other spectacular creatures still look incredible
i think if some of the creatures were produced Digitally i think the film's magic would be lost

for this 30th Anniversary of the film Warner bros have released a new special edition on blu-ray
with all new special features that have never been released before
a new 25mins recollection featurette RE-IMAGINING THE NEVERENDING STORY
which is brand new interviews with the German production team
Director Wolfgang peterson, Producer Deiter Geissler, screenplay writer Herman weigel
Cinematographer Jost vacano & Music composer Klaus Doldinger
they speak English for this new featurette, no subtitles
there's also new interviews with the Warner bros Executives from the film, Mark Damon & John Hyde
regarding the Actors from the film, tragically only 2 Actors have been interviewed for this blu-ray
Childlike impress-Tami Stronach & Gerald McRaney who plays Bastian's father in the film
unfortunately Barret oliver who played Bastian was not interviewed maybe he Declined who knows
and Noah Hathaway who played Atreyu is not interviewed either
Barret oliver & Noah Hathaway left the Acting business back in the 90's anyway
anyway the people interviewed give recollections of the making of the film
Definitely worth watching
there's a new RESTORATION featurette in German ofcourse with English subtitles
the person who did the blu-ray restoration for the film is interviewed for only 10mins actually
i couldn't see the point, the subtitles were annoying me

there's also 2 other Documentaries on this blu-ray that were released for the 20th Anniversary of this film
these 2 Doco's were only released on the 2 Disc DVD release in Germany only
the first one Making of the Neverending story was for German TV Goes for 20mins
2004 Interviews with most of the Production team from the film
the Director, Producer & screenplay writer
the 2nd Documentary is 55mins behind the scenes on set footage of the making of the film during 1983-1984
all in German with English subtitles
this 55mins Doco was previously only seen on
but is now officially released on this blu-ray

but that's not all Warner bros have given fans a new audio commentary by Director Wolfgang peterson
interesting commentary aswell worth listening to
a new blu-ray transfer has been given & the picture quality looks stunning, looks beautiful in 2:40:1 widescreen
so scrap the old 2010 blu-ray
get this new 30th Anniversary blu-ray, definitely worth the money you won't regret it.
i gave it 5 stars for sure
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