Saturday, July 15, 2017

The NeverEnding Story (1984)

Every so often, I find a movie or TV show that I watched as a kid.  I remember watching the live-action He-Man movie only to realize how much my perspective changed as an adult.  The same thing happened with the NeverEnding Story.  I remember liking it is as a kid, but it doesn’t quite stand up as much as an adult.

The story is about a kid named Bastian.  He recently lost his mother.  As you might imagine, it’s taking him a while to get over it.  The best advice his father can give is to suck it up and get over it, which doesn’t help.  Add to that three bullies with nothing better to do than harass Bastian.  You’ve got a kid in serious need of help, or at least an escape.

While hiding from the bullies in a bookstore, Bastian finds a book, which the store owner says is like no other.  Bastian takes it, promising to return it.  At school, he ends up in the attic.  He decides to read the book, only to find a very involving story of the land of Fantasia.  Fantasia is in trouble because The Nothing is taking over.  The Childlike Empress is sick and needs someone to find help.

The movie comes across like an epic children’s tale.  The story is meant for younger audiences, but the movie has a PG rating.  There is some violence, which ranges from Bastian being thrown in a dumpster up to a knight being killed by electrical bolts.  As a result, it’s kind of in between a children’s movie and an adult movie.

I’m not really sure what the target audience is supposed to be here.  Adults will probably find the story a little too simplistic.  You have The Nothing invading Fantasia.  Many of the places have simple names, too, like The Ivory Tower and The Swamp of Sadness.  I can forgive a few because it looks like at least some effort was put into the name.  (The Ivory Tower is better than just The Tower.)

At the same time, it may be a little too much for those that are really young.  Most of the imagery is safe for children.  There are a few disturbing images, though, like the knight that gets killed.  We catch a brief glimpse of his face.  I don’t think it’s going to give most people nightmares, but it is worth noting.

I think this is one of those movies where nostalgia is going to be your primary motivator in seeing it.  If you watched it as a kid and you can get it on demand, you’ll probably give it a shot.  I would advise doing this before buying it, as I’m not sure how well it will hold up for you.  I don’t think I’ll be watching the movie again any time soon.

IMDb page

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