Retro Family Movie Night: The NeverEnding Story

Movie: The NeverEnding Story

Debut: 1984

Rating: PG

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!

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12 thoughts on “Retro Family Movie Night: The NeverEnding Story

  1. I love reading your reviews and then I share them with Dave. I’m with Charlie. I loved, loved, loved the Never Ending Story. I even threw Bastian into the baby names for Sam but Dave was not going for it. My sister and I quote it as well. Not only do I wonder what happened to the male lead characters but what about the princess at the end. She was gorgeous so you think Hollywood would have snapped her up. My kids find this movie somewhat amusing but never really pick this when movie time rolls around.

  2. My cousin stayed with me last summer and I showed her all my favorites, this included, and it totally bummed me out that she didn’t love it as much as I did when I was a kid…she also didn’t cry during Annie so maybe she’s a robot.
    PS Noah Hathaway went on to do Battlestar Gallactica, that’s all I know…

  3. We tried to watch this on Thanksgiving day, but neither of my kids seemed very interested. Javi would’ve watched it if Bella hadn’t started ping-ponging across the room with distracted energy. They both settled down to watch the Wizard of Oz instead.

    • We have many a movie-watching evenings with someone or another bouncing off the walls. The Wizard of Oz is an all-time classic though! I’d include it here except my kids have seen it already!

    • Yes, it’s a solid kid-friendly movie, if a bit strange. Watch it together! I’d be curious what you think of it without the nostalgia hazing your view!

  4. I mostly love watching the “old” movies so that when I say stuff like, “…and no one cares about me and my stupid bat…” or “It’s my scientific speciality” or “We don’t even care, whether or not we care” I don’t get quite as many odd looks from the family! It’s pretty hard to fit “Bastian! Call my name!” or “Artex, No!” into everyday life, but I try…

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