The NeverEnding Story (Blu-ray)


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Rating: PG

Barret Oliver as Bastian
Gerald McRaney as Bastian’s Father
Drum Garrett as 1st Bully
Darryl Cooksey as 2nd Bully
Nicholas Gilbert as 3rd Bully – wearing red baseball hat
Thomas Hill as Carl Conrad Koreander – The Librarian
Deep Roy as Teeny Weeny
Tilo Pr├╝ckner as Night Hob
Moses Gunn as Cairon – Emperess’ Servant
Noah Hathaway as Atreyu
Alan Oppenheimer as Rockbiter / Falkor / G’mork / Narrator (voice)
Sydney Bromley as Engywook
Patricia Hayes as Urgl
Tami Stronach as Moonchild – The Childlike Empress / Southern Oracle (voice)

Special Features:

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1)
French Language
French and Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 102 Minutes

The Details:
The following is the official description of the film:

“When young Bastian borrows a mysterious ornately-bound book, he never dreamed turning a page would draw him into a shimmering fantasy world of racing snails, hang-glider bats, soaring luckdragons, puckish elves, a Childlike Empress, the brave warrior Atreyu and a slab-faced walking quarry called a Rock Biter.

Follow ‘The NeverEnding Story’ to the limits of the imagination, thanks to director/co-writer Wolfgang Petersen (‘The Perfect Storm’) and a superstar team of technical tinkerers and magicians (with credits including ‘2001: A Space Odyssey,’ ‘Alien’ and ‘The Empire Strikes Back’) who bring to life the most delightful characters ever. You’ll cherish this wide-eyed adventure and discover ‘The NeverEnding Story’ is your story.”

“The NeverEnding Story” is rated PG.

I think it has been about 20 years since I last saw “The NeverEnding Story.” We had it on VHS while living overseas in the ’80s and we watched it again and again and again. I know this movie by heart. So when it arrived on Blu-ray, I was excited to introduce my kids to it. I was also curious to see how it holds up 26 years after its initial release.

Surprisingly, the movie holds up pretty well. I think the fact that many of the sets and creatures were practical effects went a long way towards making it look so good even today. The Rockbiter still looks massive and imposing when riding through the forest. The giant turtle in the swamp looks as good as anything they could try and do in CGI. The castle, the Oracle, and all the other fantastic locations are impressively designed. Overall the production design and effects still stand up to anything done today.

The story is also engaging, even to kids today. My children were drawn in as they saw Bastian chased by the bullies, thrown in the garbage, and then hiding in the school attic. They were sad when the horse sank in the swamp and scared when Atreyu faced off with the G’mork. Then, of course, in the somewhat cheesy moment when Falkor and Bastian return to chase the bullies, they laughed along with our hero. So this movie definitely still does what they originally intended it to do. It entertains kids.

If you’re into fantasy or if you have kids that enjoyed Harry Potter or Percy Jackson, then I think this is a movie they’ll want to check out. They’ll be humming the theme song before you know it. I also wonder if this will be one of the many movies from the ’80s that are being remade. It certainly is a strong foundation for a new movie to be built upon.

Unfortunately there’s not a single bonus feature included on this Blu-ray. I wish there was a retrospective, interviews with the grown up child actors, or even an audio commentary included.