I'm a big fan of Michael Ende's Neverending Story, but I've never seen the movie. This will change, now. My only preparation: vague ambient knowledge of how Falkor looks, and The Song.

Also, the author's opinion, which finally convinced me that I need this in my life.

Apparently it's "NeverEnding" because reasons

I'm also too busy admiring the kitchen and the haircuts to pay attention to the talk

Bullies and trash cans as genre staples. Nerdy kid good.

"Your books are safe, real books change you" is a good take, actually

Standing outside the classroom door, being late and not wanting to go in is peak relatable tbh, kinda heartbreaking

btw I'm very much not here to dunk on the movie or point out differences to the book, I just want to get in on the shared ambient cultural knowledge, and maybe enjoy some 80s kitsch

"Hold my book, we're going in"

Fantastic creatures and where to find them, 80s edition? Kinda charming looking, really, reminds me of Labyrinth. Also hey, Deep Roy!

Nothingness eats Phantasia, but surely the empress will save everybody. Cute so far, would let kids watch.

First flying scene! The special effects are adorkable, except for the Ivory Tower. Peak Kitsch, both the tower and the music.

The big stone face people are a nice touch re: fantastic creature diversity.

Anywho, Atreyu is our chosen saviour because the empress is busy dying.


Atreyu is fabulous and I love him. "Look I'll be happy to go back, save the world yourself then??"

"You must leave all your weapons behind. It will be very dangerous" yes duh?!

Love seeing Bastian enjoying the book, tbh, that's pretty 1:1 how I read it at the time.

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The montage of Atreyu riding: yes, peak Kitsch, again. But good Kitsch, I love it.

hahaha oh god bad writing meets bad acting (sorry Atreyu, Bastian is a 100% better actor here)

"You have to try! You have to care! For me! … Stupid horse!" lool

(I understand this is childhood trauma for some people, but uhm.)

Atreyu loses the horse, tries to ride a giant turtle, but falls off, then gets sneezed off a tree repeatedly for comedic effect

Bastian randomly decides to yell despite being in hiding
very bad opsec

Morla is basically a round Ent

Bastian, in an extremely relatable move, decides to stay after school is over because he cannot take one move bad pep talk from his dad.

Atreyu is getting rescued by Falkor (called Fuchur in German btw, and good call in changing the name), and questionable special effects ensue.

Atreyu, don't take advice from strange scientists please. But hey, Urgl is the first onscreen female character in this movie! Might be the last one apart from the empress, too?

Laser-eyed sphinxes that randomly shoot people sound more like a LessWrong thought experiment tbh

Bastian remains extremely relatable, switching from slumped-over reading to lying on his stomach.

Atreyu finds out he needs a human child for a sacrifi–ehm, to give the empress a new name. Extremely stylish and nightmare-ish scene tbh, this is good.

Okay, this is followed by a montage of badly-greenscreened Atreyu flying with Falkor over NatGeo footage or something, to the most dedicated cheesy music I've heard in my life. 🤣🤣

I see why Michael Ende reacted the way he did, it's harder to find hilarious when it's your baby.

Atreyu finds ancient illustrations of his story, finds out he is just an op to get Bastian to care about Phantasia.


Then he meets the vicious moralising wolf, just like in the stories.

People watch too much telly, so human imagination is dying, "people who have no hope are easy to control". Atreyu hates moralising as much as I do and kills the wolf.

Draco ex machina saves Atreyu again, but phantasia dies regardless, while Bastian noms an apple.

We finally get to see the serene pixie dream empress (oh god the make-up why), and Atreyu confronts her about making him into an op

everybody's pretty upset, fourth wall cracks

Moralising intensifies, and Bastian finally gives in to his delusions instead of checking the last pages in the book.

As delusional people do, he gets to play god and create a new world. Cue more flying montages, revenge on bullies and a pretty sudden ending???

uhm okay, that's … an ending

Not a bad adventure movie for kids, pretty comparable to Labyrinth actually. That was fun.

The book is a completely different beast, of course: The movie only covers the first half, and the second one is more interesting, more important, deeper in many ways, and has defined my perception of the world in some ways. I can write a bit about that if there's any interest.

@rixx Nooooo, I’ve been properly traumatized by that as a kid 😭.

@Sylvhem I acknowledge that this is a shared cultural experience that I don't get.

@rixx I believe we have similar editions. Is that the edition where writing is in two colors depending on wether it's Bastian reading the book?

@tokudan "the edition" – that's the case in all versions (though with different colours in later editions), because it's a load-bearing feature of the text.

@rixx @tokudan but I wonder if today's editions also have that wonderful crimson textile cover with woven letters and the ouroboros.

@rixx this was fun, thanks for sharing! I've seen the movie multiple times back then, read the book multiple times back then, and I know it's pretty hyped up in more... esoteric circles. Perhaps I should read it again, but I fear my toe nails would fall off bc of gender roles and probably implicit racism, iirc.

@TQ I have Thoughts re: gender roles.

As noted in my thread, there are little-to-no women in the book, and the women there are (comedic sidekick, gender-transcending girl-empress, mother figure, evil sorceress, dead mum) slot neatly into types, and not particularly interesting ones.

But also: It's a book about a boy in a pretty shitty situation and what he's wishing for. You could legitimately integrate femininity there, but you can also legitimately do it without.

@TQ I like this "honest" omission and focus on Bastian + Atreju more than the (later) customary token girl. Same reason I used to prefer ??? over TKKG.

@rixx yes, I agree. It's totally the reason I read ??? and not TKKG, which was excruciating in its repetition of stereotypes. I know how to genderbend in my head, but it is tiring to have to do it each and every time.
And as time has passed, I see that putting effort into accurate depictions of marginalized groups as indicator of quality. As I'm one whose identities are often omitted or objectified in many works of literature and art, I choose to seek out the better works.

@TQ @rixx it's an interesting point, but I guess now that I think about it that I prefer "no representation" to "terrible representation", and Gabi was one of the worst in that regard (lemme mention "Die Ferienbande" as a persiflage here).
I've come to notice this again with children books for our little ones. Most that we now own at least contain humans with non-white skin, but any family besides 👪 is still rare to non existent...

I loved this movie when I was a child. Read the book years later.

@daniel_bohrer Try to pronounce it and you'll notice the reason 🤣

@rixx oh right, I remember that Englishpeople don't like the uvular fricative, even in words like "loch" they often butcher it as /k/ and… well, then "Fuchur" would indeed not be a very good name to pronounce.

@rixx hey, it's been bluescreen at that time (green backgrounds took another 10 years or so), and in 1982, it's been the latest technology!
Probably the same trap many 00 films have fallen into: Use the latest tech (the computer animations look crappy today)

@rixx Ich kann mich noch erinnern, wie ich damals mit meinem Vater im Kino saß und geheult habe. Dabei hat mein Vater mich wohlweislich schon vorher auf diese Szene vorbereitet...

@blabber Ja, klar, auf Kinder macht das nen völlig anderen Eindruck. Ich werd aus ähnlichen Gründen sicherlich den Ronja-Räubertochter-Film nicht noch mal gucken, der bleibt mir gefälligst in Erinnerung, wie er damals war.

@dwardoric Der würde heute wegen der Nacktszenen ("Waschtag! Raus mit euch!") aber harte Kritik einfahren :)

@rixx oh yes, when I read the book as a kid, a flashlight inner the blanket was definitely always involved. and the next mornings were always hard…

@daniel_bohrer That book changed my life in some ways, and watching the movie is basically prep for writing a thread about that

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