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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Triumph of human Imagination
Sir Adam got it almost right! Good review, by the way.
This is an awesome story about the importance of the story. Yes, the moral lesson of "The Neverending Story" is the importance of the story itself (and by extension the importance of human imagination). If one has read some of Joseph Campbell's "The Power of Myth" one understands this...
Published on July 18 2004 by SystemStructure

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie, poor dvd
What to say, the Neverending story is a great story, if you read the book or if you see the movie. Just for the movie, I give 3 stars. Yes, for the new people that has not seen the movie, it looks old and the special effects are good but not so as the new ones from Episode II, but the movie and the message are beautiful. The movie runs (with a bit less creatures than the...
Published on Aug. 21 2002 by Will Martinez


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Triumph of human Imagination, July 18 2004
This review is from: The Neverending Story (Widescreen and Fullscreen) (Bilingual) (DVD)
Sir Adam got it almost right! Good review, by the way.
This is an awesome story about the importance of the story. Yes, the moral lesson of "The Neverending Story" is the importance of the story itself (and by extension the importance of human imagination). If one has read some of Joseph Campbell's "The Power of Myth" one understands this completely. It is that Native American idea of "he who does not have the stories has nothing."
The key force of destruction in this tale is "the Nothing" literally non-existence or the lack of imagination. The world in which "The Neverending Story" takes place, Fantasia, is a conglomerate universe composed of the dreams and hopes of all people. Every story ever told and every character who has ever lived exists somewhere in Fantasia. So that somewhere in Fantasia, Paul Atreides wanders a desert landscape while somewhere else in Fantasia Alice falls down the rabbit hole.
Fantasia, this conglomerate world of human dreams, is dying. The reason is that people in the real world no longer dream... of anything. It is a very modern tale about the death of the human capacity to, as John Lennon put it, IMAGINE. Without the capability to imagine anything, people become easily manipulated by forces greater than them... this is where the real villain comes in (more about that after the next paragraph).
The main protagonist, Atreyu, is the alter ego of the real life boy who is reading the story. The real life boy, therefore, is filled with imagination, brimming with it, in fact. He exists in a real world where nobody imagines anything anymore. Therefore, the alter ego (in Fantasia) of the real life boy with imagination is a young champion who is trying to save imagination itself and its conglomerate world, Fantasia.
The real villain of the story is, at least from a Christian context, Lucifer, or the Devil himself. He is the "force behind the Nothing" who is attempting the death of all imagination. This explains the creature known as the Morg. As Sir Adam mentioned in his review, this is the major adversary for Atreyu (and the real life boy who is his generator). The Morg is, in his own words, "a servant of the force behind the Nothing." The Morg is, I believe, a demon, or fallen angel servant who has somehow crossed the border into Fantasia and put on the guise of that mythical creature of destruction, the werewolf. The Wolf image is only a guise used by the demon to try to blend in with his surroundings.
Of course, we know who wins in the end. This is a very complex movie and a VERY relevant one to the times in which we are living. I see people around me who are quite literally mental cripples who are incapable of imagination. Without the stories, we are nothing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars NeverEnding Nostalgia..., June 1 2004
By 
David L. Gilbert (New York, NY USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Neverending Story (Widescreen and Fullscreen) (Bilingual) (DVD)
If there was ever a work of art that personified the imagination of childhood- all the joys, the fears, the dreams and sheer wonder of life and all its possibilities - one would need to look no further than "The NeverEnding Story."
Looking at this film through older, more cynical, world-weary eyes, it's easy to discount it and point out its many faults. YES, the acting is unbearable at times. YES, the last twenty minutes are overly preachy. And YES the narrative progresses aimlessly with no rhyme or reason. But you know what? I don't care. I even found myself getting teary-eyed at some points, something I rarely do.
I agree with the other reviewers. If you didn't see and love this film as a kid, you won't enjoy it now. I watched the DVD with my (now ex) girlfriend, who yawned and groaned and rolled her eyes throughout the whole thing. A shame, really. I felt like she missed the boat. If this movie captured you as a kid, you owe it to yourself to let it capture you again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good!, Dec 21 2011
This review is from: The Neverending Story (Widescreen and Fullscreen) (Bilingual) (DVD)
I received it really fast, many days before the due date! However, the case is a little broken. Good seller!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie, March 13 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is a great movie for children of all ages (including adults like me). I watched this on DVD when my kids were young about 25 years ago, and have owned the DVD for several years. I decided to "move up" to the Blu-ray version and was not disappointed. Both the picture and sound are considerably bigger. Eric
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4.0 out of 5 stars Best fantasy of the 80s, July 6 2004
By 
Classis Genre Film Fanatic (Howell, Michigan United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Neverending Story (Widescreen and Fullscreen) (Bilingual) (DVD)
I grew up on this movie, but I hadn't seen it in years until I bought this DVD. I view it with and adult's perception now, so it's not as good for me as it was when I was a kid. However, because I can see that kids would love it, I think it still holds up well. Heck, I still like it.
I wish this DVD had more special features, but alas it does not. What really bothered me was that it didn't have a subtitle for when Bastian shouts out a name for the Child-like Empress. I was so looking forward to finally finding out what the heck he shouts out for her name, and I get nothing. But I researched it on the net, and apparently it's "Moon Child." It does sound like that's what he's shouting. But I'm baffled that that was his mother's name (unless he changed his mind further into the film and decided to give the Empress a random name rather than his mother's).
So overall, the movie's good and the DVD is so-so. Great picture and sound quality, but no special features and no subtitle for when he shouts out the Empress' new name. But it's the only one in the series worth buying I think. Well, maybe the second one was ok.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Old film but memorized very much., March 27 2004
By 
This review is from: The Neverending Story (Widescreen and Fullscreen) (Bilingual) (DVD)
In Japan NeverEnding Story was roadshowed at that time. Because I was 8 years old, couldn't understand the movies that had difficult story. On the other hand, as the age was young, had the eyes that could feel fantasy stories purely, that is, had the pure mind that could feel what bravery or challenging etc was wonderful thing.
When I was a adult now, having such a thinking is difficult, that is, when think about [bravery or challenging], in mind needless thinkings are added, resignation, fear, uneasy etc..
I was happy that can watch this film when was child.
Recently I watched the film on TV aggain after an interval of twenty years. But even if I am a adult, the moving mind remained, I was moved very much again as I was a boy. For instance when the horse sinked into a marsh, I that was child cried, and when I watched the scene again on TV, I have the emotion of the sorrow.
when we get to be adults, in many meaning we lose the mind that we had in children age, for instance, passion, trial, tenderness etc. Because we are followed by time, money, benefit etc, tend to forget such important things.
But by watching the movies, I feel that got such mind again in addition to have remembered the scenery of my child age.
Thank you for reading poor English.
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2.0 out of 5 stars If you don't already have the magic..., Feb. 3 2004
This review is from: The Neverending Story (Widescreen and Fullscreen) (Bilingual) (DVD)
The Neverending Story (Wolfgang Petersen, 1984)
All we in America knew of Wolfgang Petersen in 1984 was Das Boot. How were we to know that it was completely out of character? His followup, The Neverending Story (and a smattering of films since, e.g. In the Line of Fire) have shown that Petersen has a far more absurd air than the brilliant, but relentlessly depressing, Das Boot would have us believe.
The Neverending Story takes that sense of the absurd to its logical conclusion. Thankfully, Petersen had snapped back to something resembling reality by the time he made the film after this, 1985's Enemy Mine. But for The Neverending Story, Petersen pretty much cut himself loose from anything anchoring him to the earth and took off in a flight of fantasy that is, at the very least, a little disturbing.
Someone wiser than I once said of such films that "if you see them when you're eight years old, they'll be great forever, but if you see them for the first time in high school or older, you just don't get it." (Thus, the continuing popularity of The Goonies has finally been explained.) I was in high school when The Neverending Story came out, so I guess my reaction wasn't much of a surprise. It was fun for what it was, though readers of Michael Ende's novel are likely to feel cheated and those with even a shred of subtlety are going to be beating themselves over the head for the movie's final twenty minutes.
Barret Oliver (D. A. R. Y. L., Frankenweenie) stars as Bastian, who spends his time getting picked on in school and listening to his father (Gerald McRaney, years away from Major Dad fame) talk about how awful it is to have an imagination. While running from the school bullies, he stumbles into a bookshop owned by a rather odd chap named Koreander (Thomas Hill, who played the president in The Nude Bomb, the Get Smart movie). He secures a book from Koreander whose plot is, in essence, the rest of the film (save the merciless moralizing at the end).
Despite said merciless moralizing, some of the things the beginning of the film imparts to the viewer are that it's okay to steal stuff from stores as long as you leave a note saying you're going to give it back, it's okay to cut school as long as you have something better to do, and that no matter how long you stay away, no one will come looking for you. (Is it a spoiler to say part of the end's moral is that these actions have no consequences?)
I'm sure those who were slightly younger when this came out have a decidedly different take on it, but take the advice of my ever-so-wise friend. If you haven't already seen it, you're going to sit there at the end wondering what all the fuss was about. **
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5.0 out of 5 stars I Remember..., Oct. 3 2003
By 
mljkb (I ain't tellin you, QE CAN) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Neverending Story (Widescreen and Fullscreen) (Bilingual) (DVD)
Watching this film since I was very young. I still have the old VHS tape that I have to have half-worn out by now, but "The Never-Ending Story" is still as entrancing and as luminous as it was when I was four years old. The film focuses on the paralell journies of of Sebastian, a shy and reclusive child in a modern-day metropolis who steals a book from a library while being chased by local bullies. Once safe in a old dingy attic, he begins reading of a fantastic land called Fantasia, a world made from the hopes and dreams of every human. In this story (Called the "Never-Ending Story") as young human boy named Atreyu is called on by the dying Empress of Fantasia to find a way to stop the Nothing. The nothing is best described as a dense, pitch-black cloud but it represents far more. It destroys anything in Fantasia it comes in contact with the broken hopes, dreams and spirits of human beings. Atreyu is sent on this mission to stop it before all of Fantasia is destroyed.
Sebastian follows his quest, as do we. And what we see are incredible visual effects, utilizing artful production design, make-up and convincing puppet-work that makes memorable and instantly connectable fairy-tale characters. For one there is the huge flying dog that Atreyu befriends, a giant being made from rock, the minature professor and his wife and especially that menacing black wolf who aids the nothing. Even though I have discovered other unnerving and disturbing movie villians over the years (Hannibal Lector, Michael Myers) that wolf, named Gemork, is still one of the most menacing and frightening characters I have ever seen put to the screen. Gemork may have only a few minutes total of time on the screen, but he is still makes an impact with a low, growly tone and an indifference to anything in Fantasia that gets destroyed.
And ample credit must be given to director Wolfgang Peterson, who until "The Never-Ending Story" was internationally known for his WWll submarine drama "Das Boot," and some people were very surprised to learn that his first english languange film was a childrens' fantasy. But Mr. Peterson knew what he was doing. That same keen sense of character, pace and story that he has brought to films like "Das boot," and "In the Line of Fire" is still very evident here. He uses the stunning visuals to full effect and fleshes out the theme-filled story well. No wonder I remember this film so well from my childhood...
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4.0 out of 5 stars Memorable movie, July 25 2003
By 
A. Vegan (Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Neverending Story, the (VHS Tape)
Chased by school bullies, reprimanded by his father for daydreaming too much Bastian is lost in his own world. He escapes from the school bullies one day by hiding in an old used book store. After explaining his predicament to an old clerk, Bastian notices a large book with a symbol of two snakes intertwined into an emblem. The clerk warns Bastian that this book is not for him. Bastian disregards the old clerk and sneaks away with the book. Taking refuge in the attic of his school Bastian opens the book and the story begins. The land is being consumed by the Nothingness and the Empress is dying. A warrior named Atreyu is chosen to save Fantasia from the Nothingness. As Bastian reads the adventures, he is drawn into the story, identifying with Atreyu. Soon, he learns what the storekeeper meant about the book when he finds that the characters in the book seem to be aware of him. All seems hopeless as the Nothingness is consuming Fantasia. Although I haven't seen this movie in atleast 15 years, I can still recall it vividly, especially the part about the white horse. This is a fantastic movie for all ages.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgia for children of the 80's, March 23 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Neverending Story (Widescreen and Fullscreen) (Bilingual) (DVD)
Let's face it. Most of us who rate this movie highly do so because it invokes all those rosy-hued memories of our childhood decade. One only has to bring it up to another Gen-Y-er, or whistle a few bars of the opening theme song, to see eyes light up with recognition amid wistful sighs for a more innocent time.
It is the characters and rich settings that pull this film off.
Leads Barret Oliver and Noah Hathaway are both on the verge of being too beautiful to be boys. They display a rare depth for young actors, Oliver's over-dramatic portrayal being unbelievable only for those who are never around play-acting children. Hathaway's subtle facial expressions are riveting, and he deserves respect if for no other reason than for nearly carrying the entire movie. The breathtaking Tami Stromach as the Childlike Empress was every young girl's dream character before the era of the Disney Princess, and she played her enigmatic role with suitable poise and mystery. Who of this generation did NOT, sometime in their childhood, convene with schoolyard cronies to "play Neverending Story" and then argue about who would "be" the Empress, Atreyu, or Bastian? Obviously these characters strike a chord with kids.
The story bears a somewhat faint resemblance to the book on which it is based, though the original author was so dissapointed with the result that he did not want his name associated with the film in any way. I have read the book, and found it to be rich in imagination, depth, and dare I say it, moral psychology, much of which contrives to be muddy and confusing to very young readers. The film simplifies it rather starkly, but in a way I think is satisfying. Classic themes of identity, of an underdog's triumph, of imagination empowering reality, are clearly emphasized. Complaints that the movie ends halfway through the book are valid, but the truth is that the book almost becomes two stories, with the second half diverging wildly from the pacing and characterization of the first, and to try and fit it all into a two-hour film would have done neither film nor book proper justice.
Special effects were groundbreaking for the time, some more successful than others. I didn't realize until several years ago that Engywook and Urgle were supposed to be tiny gnome-like creatures! I always assumed, even as a child, that they were exactly what they are - normal sized people shot in skewed perspective with Atreyu. It wasn't until noticing that they used different sized props between them and Atreyu that I realized the perspective was actually deliberately forced! Ah well...it was a long way to Lord of the Rings.
A few complaints: some sets seem cramped. The scene in which the "ambassadors" from all over Fantasia approach the Ivory Tower sets it up as an enormous landmark where masses of representatives from every one of the no-doubt vast peoples are to convene, yet when we are given an internal view of the structure, we see a claustrophobic ballroom in which a handful of creatures loiter, and in spite of their various weird and fantastic appearances, we are given no more than a brief glimpse of a few. Costumes of the leads are simple and convincing, though.
Altogether, an enjoyable movie, and one I will definitely show my own children. There are some dark moments for kids not yet jaded by too much modern special-effects violence, so use caution. And please, please, spare anyone else from the appalling sequels...part II had little merit and was vaguely eerie, and part III was not only frankly awful as a film but downright blasphemous from the literary perspective.
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