This movie’s proper title is Die Unendliche Geschichte, as it’s based on Bavarian author Michael Ende’s novel, partly filmed in Germany and directed by Wolfgang (Troy, In the Line of Fire) Petersen (his first English-language movie). It looks glossy and American though (and features a Giorgio Moroder theme song, sung by eighties British pop star Limahl), and boasts some impressive special effects, sure to impress the young kids it is aimed at.
Chased by bullies, ten-year-old Bastian (Oliver) hides in a second-hand bookshop where the owner shows him an old book that he describes as dangerous – once you enter the book’s fantasy world you can’t escape. Of course, Bastian takes no notice, ‘borrows’ the book and starts to read it in the school attic, only to discover he has soon become a part of the land (Fantasia) and the adventures of Atreyu (Hathaway), a boy charged with saving Fantasia from destruction.
While parents may be slightly concerned that the movie’s protagonist plays truant and steals in the first half hour, overall this is a well-meaning, spirited adventure packed with giant turtles, wolves, snails and the big floppy-eared Luckdragon that kids will enjoy.
Is The NeverEnding Story suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
The image of the knight, his face burnt, may be upsetting to young children, who may also find Gmork scary.