Starring: Barret Oliver (whatever happened to that kid?), Noah Hathaway
Directed by: Wolfgang Petersen
What we fondly remember: I have to be honest: I don’t fondly remember anything. I was seven years old when this movie came out, and I lasted all of twenty minutes in the theater before forcing my mom to leave with me. I was frightened from the beginning, but when the horse sank into the quicksand, I freaked. the hell. out. I was just that kind of kid. I don’t think I watched a movie beginning to end until the 6th grade. Charlie, however, adored this movie. He quotes it regularly, and couldn’t have been happier about this pick.
What we had forgotten: The NeverEnding Story’s special effects might have been awe-inspiring in 1984, but 2010’s audience expects a little more bang for their multimillion dollar blockbuster buck. It didn’t bother me (I’m not easily wowed by that stuff), but the obvious backdrops induced a few giggles from the kids.
What was refreshing: Not a single swear word, not a single sexual situation, not a single act of (remotely realistic) violence. No need for the fast-forward button, yo!
Kids’ Review: In their words as the credits rolled, “Weird, but good.” After all, the storyline is a bit odd (and disjointed at times), and the various creatures are strange to say the least. Nate (11) and Calvin (9) really enjoyed it beginning to end. Toby (5), however, freaked. the hell. out, leaving the living room even before the benchmark I had set 20+ years ago. All the people and creatures in Fantasia scared him, the school attic where Bastian reads scared him, the Nothing scared him, and the wolf practically undid him…yeah, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. So if you have a sensitive kid, you might want to wait a few years, but older kids will get a kick out of this one.
Want more after the credits roll? Catch up on past reviews here!