APRIL MOVIE THON DAY 26: The NeverEnding Story (1984)

Die Unendliche Geschichte — based on the 1979 novel The Neverending Story by Michael Ende — was, at the time of its production, was the most expensive film produced outside the United States or the Soviet Union.

Ende was happy about his book being turned into a film and worked with director Wolfgang Petersen as a script advisor. He was paid $50,000 for the rights to his book and at the end of the day, he was upset that Petersen rewrote the script without consulting him and he demand that the production either be stopped or the film’s title be changed. He sued and list and called the movie “gigantic melodrama of kitsch, commerce, plush and plastic.”

Guess all those 80s kids were idiots, huh?

Bastian Bux is me at ten. He doesn’t want anything to do with anyone, he’s bullied and all he cares about books. One day, while hiding inside a book store, he’s warned about The Neverending Story by the owner, Carl Conrad Coreander. It’s not a safe book. Yet he steals it and runs.

Inside the book, Fantasia is being eaten alive by “The Nothing” while The Childlike Empress (Tami Stronach) grows ill. Atreyu (Noah Hathaway) is trying to cure her, using the Auryn medal to protect himself from the forces of evil. Well, those forces cause his horse Artax to be lost in the swamp in a scene that scars children for the rest of their lives.

Luckily, he’s saved by the Falkor, a furry dragon of sorts and Atreyu learns from the Southern Oracle that there’s one way to save the Empress: find a human child who lives beyond the boundaries of Fantasia to give her a new name. Someone like Bastian.

And, it turns out, the viewers, who are all part of The NeverEnding Story itself. Also, seeing as how Bastian names The Childish Empress Moonchild at the end, is this also an Aleister Crowley-related movie?

Petersen also directed Das BootEnemy MineIn the Line of FireAir Force One, The Perfect Storm, Troy and Poseidon. That’s what we call a solid career.

In Germany, this movie sounds a lot different as it has an orchestral score by Klaus Doldinger of the German jazz group Passport. However, the English language version has a theme song composed by Giorgio Moroder, with lyrics by Keith Forsey and a performance by Christopher “Limahl” Hamill, a former lead singer of Kajagoogoo, and Beth Anderson. It was a big deal — it peaked at No. 17 on the Billboard Hot 100. But along with the techno-pop additions to the soundtrack, none of this plays in the German version.

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