Wolfgang Petersen adapted Michael Ende's children's story for this charming fantasy film that spawned several sequels. Bastian (Barret Oliver) is dealing with his mother's recent death. His father (Gerald McRaney) is an imperious sort who continually lambastes Bastian for daydreaming and falling behind in school. On top of his father's badgering, ...Read MoreWolfgang Petersen adapted Michael Ende's children's story for this charming fantasy film that spawned several sequels. Bastian (Barret Oliver) is dealing with his mother's recent death. His father (Gerald McRaney) is an imperious sort who continually lambastes Bastian for daydreaming and falling behind in school. On top of his father's badgering, he has to contend with a bunch of school bullies waiting for him in the schoolyard. One day he decides to play hooky and walks into a strange bookstore, where in the attic, he discovers a book called "The Neverending Story". As Bastian reads the book, he's enveloped in the unfolding tale. A sickly child-like empress (Tami Stronach) from a land called Fantasia is concerned about who will take over the land if she dies. She decides it is best for Fantasia if she remains alive, so she dispatches a young warrior named Atreju (Noah Hathaway) to find a cure for the empress's malady. It turns out the land is consumed with a plague called The Nothing, generated by blighted dreams and hopeless fantasies. As Atreju continues onward to search for a cure for The Nothing, he encounters an assortment of strange creatures. Bastian is so consumed with the tale that he finds himself catapulted into the land of Fantasia himself. Atreju realizes that the only way to save the land from its blight is with the help of this strange earth boy, Bastian. Paul Brenner, RoviRead Less
TITLE: The Neverending Story
GENRE: Children's Fantasy
CAST: Noah Hathaway, Barret Oliver, Tami Stronach, Alan Oppenheimer, Thomas Hill and Gerald McRaney
PLOT: If no one is paying attention to the story, the world, held substantial by a magical tome, will disappear into the Nothing. Fantasia's hero (untold) is sent on a quest to find a human who is reading the book. If someone believes in the story, all is saved.
RETURN ON INVESTMENT: 8.5 of 10; The fantasy characters are well imagined and executed through costumes, make-up and prosthetics and the completely created creatures are extremely well generated (I enjoyed the giant heads in the palace court, myself). The musical background is techno-pop.
DVD BONUS: descriptions of the Fantasia creatures (You don't know what they are, so finding out helps a little (This may be what holds the whole film from excelling, the lack of character identification during the film).
ADDED NOTES: If I tell you more and you decide to go get this movie, then it won't be my story anymore, so goodbye.