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4.7 out of 5 stars
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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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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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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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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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on 7 August 2008
You should know that this release is a straight copy of the American region 1 disc.

The sound mix is Dolby 2.0 only, it is the American cut of the film (shorter than the German original) and there are very little in the way of extras. There is a German version that has both cuts of the film available (although it is now out of print so getting hold of one might prove difficult) unfortunately it has no English audio for the original cut and the sound mix is 2.0 only. There is also a Holland release of the American version but with a DTS soundtrack.

Considering next year will be the 25th anniversay of the film I find it incredible that Warner decided to release this travesty of a DVD now.

Five stars for the film, One star for the DVD. Shame on you Warner!
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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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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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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 22 December 2014
A fantasy film of a young bullied schoolboy who immerses himself in a mysterious book. As he reads he begins to realise that he is influencing the story as it unfolds.

The film flicks between the fantasy world story and Bastian, the schoolboy, as he reads the book in a dusty old attic room.

It hasn't aged quite as well as films like The Dark crystal or Labyrinth, but it is enjoyable nonetheless. Some of the special effects are a little flat by todays standards, but remarkable when you consider what was available when the film was produced.

The transition to Blu-ray is very good with clear sharp images. Audio was perfectly clear through my TV speakers. I used to have the DVD version and I can say that this is definitely the better of the two.
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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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on 18 November 2001
Full of mystery magic and excitement which is felt when watched as a child and in no way fades when watched as an adult. Very original idea that the lead hero is just a child, building the idea that exterior appearances, age and experience do not necessarily determine the outcome against great odds, but true strength comes from within. I watch it every year to remind me of this and to keep imagination alive amongst the boring hum-drum of adult life.
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