The boyfriend and I started off our nostalgia movie collection with this movie. I have never seen it before so it was quite interesting to watch a children’s movie for the first time as an adult. Here are my thoughts.
Title: The Never Ending Story
Director: Wolfgang Petersen (Germany)
Writer: Wolfgang Petersen (Germany)
Cinematographer: Jost Vacano (Germany)
Starring: Barret Oliver (USA); Noah Hathaway (USA)
Year Released: 1984
Synopsis: “A troubled boy dives into a wonderous fantasy world through the pages of a mysterious book.”
The Never Ending Story is definitely a movie for kids. It’s a movie of fantasy, dreaming big, and characters that captivate. However, there’s nothing better than re-capturing the joys of youth by watching a children’s movie as an adult.
Based off of German author, Michael Ende‘s 1979 novel of the same title, The Never Ending Story is a fast-paced, adventure film. I can see why kids would love it: it gets straight to the point, has a range of interesting characters, and is packed with action and fantasy. However, with a few scenes and characters which may frighten, I can also see how some children could be scared by the movie.
A creepy – with quotes such as, “I like kids” and “Oh, that’s good” – yet cute dragon-d0g, a child warrior, an allergic turtle, and a big bad wolf are just some of the intriguing characters throughout the movie. Yes, I must admit that the acting is way too over dramatic, however, what children’s movie does not have its characters saying their thoughts out-loud? The costumes of the characters are semi-believable – a two-headed couple, a troll sort of thing, and a tiny witch and a scientist – but for kids, the characters are nothing but believable, and maybe even a bit too realistic.
It’s amazing to see just how far special effects has come. Compare this movie with Avatar and of course there will be major differences. However, for the mid-eighties, the special effects aren’t so bad. Yes, the green screen shots are more than noticeable, and yes, we can clearly see that the boy is just sitting on a stuffed animal with wind blowing in his face when he’s supposed to be flying the dragon, however, like I said before, for kids it is believable.
And like with every children’s movie, there has to be a point which makes you cry, or at least sniffle. In The Never Ending Story that point came when, without going into too much detail, the child warrior’s beloved horse sank. Yes, he sank, and it was quite sad. Also, like I mentioned above, there were scenes that were quite scary, which also usually always appears in children’s movies. For example, the dark scenes with the wolf could be quite frightening; at least I would be scared during those scenes if I were a nine year old girl.
It was my first time seeing this movie, and as an adult, there were parts which I found cheesy and silly. However, I still fully enjoyed it, and if I were a child, I could only imagine how much I would love it. The best part of the movie for me was the ultimate lesson: to never stop dreaming or wishing. This is something I hold dear to my heart since still, at the age of 21, I have a huge imagination which never quits.
If you are a fan of fantasy and adventure, and love movies with quirky characters and cute stories, then I definitely recommend watching The Never Ending Story. Whether you are a kid, teenager, adult or elder, this fast-paced movie will keep you entertained and will bring back the memories of childhood.
*Note: The review above is written by me. ©Kalie Lyn 2011*