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Past Films

THE NEVERENDING STORY (1984)

  • Starring: Barret Oliver, Noah Hathaway, Tami Stronach, Gerald McRaney
  • Director: Wolfgang Petersen
  • Genre(s): Kids & Family, Science Fiction, Fantasy
  • Rating: PG
  • Running Time: 94 min.

These FREE screenings are part of MOXIE FLIX, a monthly series focusing on essential films for kids to see before they turn 13.

Summary: Wolfgang Petersen adapted Michael Ende’s children’s story for this charming fantasy film that spawned several sequels. Bastian (Barret Oliver) is dealing with his mother’s recent death. His father (Gerald McRaney) is an imperious sort who continually lambastes Bastian for daydreaming and falling behind in school. On top of his father’s badgering, he has to contend with a bunch of school bullies waiting for him in the schoolyard. One day he decides to play hooky and walks into a strange bookstore, where in the attic, he discovers a book called “The Neverending Story”. As Bastian reads the book, he’s enveloped in the unfolding tale. A sickly child-like empress (Tami Stronach) from a land called Fantasia is concerned about who will take over the land if she dies. She decides it is best for Fantasia if she remains alive, so she dispatches a young warrior named Atreju (Noah Hathaway) to find a cure for the empress’s malady. It turns out the land is consumed with a plague called The Nothing, generated by blighted dreams and hopeless fantasies. As Atreju continues onward to search for a cure for The Nothing, he encounters an assortment of strange creatures. Bastian is so consumed with the tale that he finds himself catapulted into the land of Fantasia himself. Atreju realizes that the only way to save the land from its blight is with the help of this strange earth boy, Bastian

A thorough, spoiler-filled Parent’s Guide can be found here

Made possible thanks to a generous grant from the Missouri Arts Council.

"A fairytale of the very best kind."
- Verina Glaessner, Time Out
"A marvelously realized flight of pure fantasy."
- Staff, Variety
"The idea of the story within a story is one of the nice touches in The NeverEnding Story. Another one is the idea of a child's faith being able to change the course of fate. Maybe not since the kids in the audience were asked to save Tinker Bell in Peter Pan has the outcome of a story been left so clearly up to a child's willingness to believe."
- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Director Wolfgang Petersen combines the elements into a charming film that is excellent for children and won't put any adults to sleep, either."
- Staff, TV Guide Magazine
"The Neverending Story, Wolfgang Petersen's sophisticated fantasy film, is so wonderfully appropriate to children that it seems to have been made by kids. But there is enough artistic merit in the tale to enchant adults equally. "
- Michael Blowen, Boston Globe
"This fairy tale is a weirdly enchanting mixture of old-fashioned whimsy and up-to-the-minute special effects. It brings back the early excitement of reading as a child, when the act of turning pages took on a magical quality. "
- Julie Salamon, Wall Street Journal

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