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The NeverEnding Story / The NeverEnding Story II

Action & Adventure and Kids & Family movie directed by George Miller and Wolfgang Petersen

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A More Complete Picture

  • Aug 14, 2007
This DVD has THE NEVERENDING STORY on one side and the other side of the disc has THE NEVERENDING STORY II.

In THE NEVERENDING STORY, Bastian Bux (Barret Oliver) is an average student who finds himself repeatedly being abused by bullies who like to steal his money and throw him into dumpsters. Bastian's mother is dead and both he and his father are still trying to cope with the loss. However, Bastian's father is a realist and thinks that Bastian spends too much time drawing pictures, reading books, and daydreaming. He wants his son to buckle down and get serious about school and life. He means well, but his advice doesn't do much to improve Bastian's condition. Eventually Bastian ends up meeting a strange bookstore owner that leaves a book, "The Neverending Story", where Bastian is able to borrow it. Bastian sneaks away to the attic of his school, locks himself in, and begins reading. The story is a fascinating tale about a place called Fantasia, a seeming endless world filled with countless creatures of every shape and size. Fantasia is under attack by an unknown force known as the Nothing that destroys everything in its path. The Childlike Empress (Tami Stronach) selects the mighty warrior from the plains people, Atreyu (Noah Hathaway) to go on a journey and find the one person who can save Fantasia from total annihilation. Atreyu sets forth on a long, difficult journey, traveling all over Fantasia, but no one seems capable of helping him. As Atreyu journeys, Bastian secretly accompanies him and shares in all of his adventures. The book reads like none other that Bastian has ever read and it seems that he is a part of the story. As the Nothing grows stronger, Bastian has to decide if he will give into reality of what he sees around him or allow his imagination take control.

In THE NEVERENDING STORY II Bastian (Jonathan Brandis) is once again transported to Fantasia. Bastian is no longer threatened by bullies, but is instead taunted by his classmates when he joins the dive team. His father (John Wesley Shipp) misguidedly prods Bastian into overcoming his fears. Frustrated, Bastian returns to Mr. Koreander's bookstore and though he is warned that the story in "The Neverending Story" doesn't remain the same, Bastian borrows the book and ends up returning to Fantasia. Upon entering Fantasia, Bastian finds that he has the symbol of the childlike Empress, Auryn, around his neck. He is informed by the giant bird Nimbly (Martin Umbach) that anytime he makes a wish, the power in Auryn will make the wish come true. However, there is a dark secret to Auryn. To save Fantasia, Bastian must find out Auryn's secret, defeat the evil witch Xayide, and stop the Emptiness from consuming Fantasia.

Of the two movies, THE NEVERENDING STORY is a far superior film that its sequel.

The DVD doesn't offer many extras. On THE NEVERENDING STORY side of the disc, there are some notes about the book and characters and a trailer for the film. THE NEVERENDING STORY II side has a trailer, cast & crew list, and a word scramble game called "Bastian's Challenge." Also, both movies are shown in full screen and not widescreen.

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Filled with a few imaginative moments and a child actor who looks like a miniaturized Sharon Stone,IIisn't as neverending as the third headache in the series, but it's not on par with the original. Versions of Atreyu, the brave warrior, Rockbiter, and Falcor, that flying, pink, poodle-dragon, return to travel across the storybook world of Fantasia. This time our protagonist and reader, Bastian, is actually in the story the entire time instead of looking on from outside the pages. The interaction doesn't help, as it's the same crisis and the same story line (well, okay, heisreading the same book), but at least the film is not as unrelentingly melancholy as the first one either. Children may be frightened by the "giants," large dung beetles on two legs, that threaten our heroes.--Keith Simanton
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DVD Release Date: January 31, 2006
Runtime: 181 minutes
Studio: Warner Home Video
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