Sunday, 10 July 2016

The NeverEnding Story (1984)

"To the winch, wench!"

This isn't a film I have any great nostalgia for- it didn't seem to connect with me the one and only time I saw it on video in the mid-'80s. But I'm happy to say o thoroughly enjoyed this fantastical pawn to storytelling, imagination and puppetry.

It's odd to see this very German tale awkwardly transported to the USA- "Bastian" is not a very American name- but all that vanishes once we arrive safely in Fantasia for a wonderful picaresque tale of no stars but many wonders which knock modern CGI into a cocked hat. Books are dangerous things!

We get a dreamlike quest narrative, with the child hero Atreyu obviously mirroring Bastian, who is reading this in a book. We get Alan Oppenheimer, the voice of Skeletor. And we get Falkor the luck dragon, dangerously close to a kids' show cute puppet but who works. Why doesn't he take Atreyu all the way to the Empress's tower, though? 

A film that has dated in the best possible way, The NeverEnding Story is well worth a rewatch.

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