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The Neverending Story: A retrospective movie review

By Sparkie · Dec 31, 2011 · ·
  1. I recently screened this movie for the first time in a very long time, and I was surprised at some of the things I observed.

    First, I can understand why there's been some talk of a remake. What is now accomplished by way of CG and motion capture is done the old-fashioned way in this flick. Puppetry and superimposition abound. The score isn't "Ladyhawke" bad, but it's dangerously close to it at times. These and a few other things make the film seem dated.

    Still, there's still some entertainment to be had in this movie, particularly in the strong sense of place that is created. Fantasia seems real, due to strong writing, set design, contrast with the real world and a few other factors. The tale is cliche, but in a good way.

    One thing that didn't strike me until after the credits had rolled was how much this film has in common with "The Princess Bride," another fantasy movie of the same era. Both have rather jarring cuts back and forth between 'fantasy' and 'real' worlds, both are presented as storybook tales, both feature older, benevolent figures who present a sense of unpredictablility (the grandfather in Princess Bride, the bookseller in Neverending Story), and both failed to produce at the box office before hitting it big in the medium of home video.

    Overall, I enjoyed the nostalgic value of "The Neverending Story," but I feel that this movie has nearly run out of shelf-life, if it hasn't already.

    What do you think? Are there points I missed? What would you add?


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  1. Caged Maiden
    You can watch Dark Crystal for free on netflix on-demand if you have it.
  2. Reaver
    I think that The Princess Bride is a much better movie in every aspect: Plot, characters, setting, everything. In fact, I'll go as far saying that I freakin' hate the Neverending Story. The following sums up the entire story and my favorite version of that lame movie:

    In my opinion, if you want to watch a really great "old-school" fantasy adventure movie, check out The Dark Crystal. That movie is awesome. I bet you'll love it.
  3. Sparkie

    I'm sorry to say that I haven't read the book, but I have heard some good things about it.

    If you don't mind my asking, what parts of the plot and message of the book make it hard to transpose to a visual medium?
  4. Amanita
    I haven't watched the movie but I did read the book and I believe it's very hard to turn this book in a good film. Neither the plot nor the message are really suitable for this and many things are better left to the readers own imagination.
    I can definitely recommend the book, even though it has a very unusual approach and might not be to everyones taste.