The Neverending Story/The Neverending Story II: The Next Chapter (2 Discs) product details page

The Neverending Story/The Neverending Story II: The Next Chapter (2 Discs)

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An epic fantasy that combines live action, puppetry, and animatronics, The Neverending Story delivers the goods as a mythical journey for kids. While failing to address a lot of material in the source novel of the same name by Michael Ende, the film version still manages a tense, dangerous adventure story filled with wonder. As the first English-language film for Wolfgang Petersen (director of Das Boot and In the Line of Fire), there seems to be both a sense of typical Spielberg suburban morality as well as deeper explorations into darker themes. The narrative structure makes no attempt to hide the underlying literacy message, as the bookend device of having Bastian (Barret Oliver) read the ancient story line certainly is a positive endorsement for getting kids to read more books and use their imagination. The synth-heavy soundtrack and quality of the special effects sticks this old-fashioned tale firmly in the '80s, making for a good nostalgia piece. The Neverending Story would be followed by two lesser sequels lacking the skilled direction of Wolfgang Petersen. Andrea LeVasseur, All Movie Guide