Once upon a time there to be a boy called Bastian Balthazar Bux (Barrett Oliver) who was having actually a turbulent go of things. His mother had recently pass away, and also his dad (Gerald McRaney) couldn"t relate come his sensitive and also still grieving young son. One day, after acquiring thrown into a dumpster by a trio the bullies, Bastian find sanctuary in a bookstore. The owner Mr. Coreander (Thomas Hill) is reading a special book he claims isn"t safe for youngsters — so naturally, Bastian steals the book and also holes increase in the attic at institution to review it. As he does, he realizes the he can be closer come the story than he ever before imagined. 

Adapted native the book by Michael Ende, The NeverEnding Story got to cinemas in 1984 together the most expensive German film production in history, an invest that payment dividends together the film did well in cinemas and continues to be beloved by adults and kids alike. Useful special effects and puppetry have aged the movie beautifully, even under the unforgiving glare of high definition. This wonder tale around the power of storytelling and also faith has actually so plenty of messages that, prefer The NeverEnding Story itself, are timeless. Let"s hop ~ above Falkor and also explore. This is the ending of The NeverEnding Story, lastly explained.

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The NeverEnding Story twists the tried and true formula of the hero"s trip by relying top top a young young to shot and save the day. Atreyu (Noah Hathaway) is tasked through finding a cure for the Childlike Empress (Tami Stronach), who deathly illness threatens the cloth of Fantasia if a dark force referred to as the nothing eats whatever in that is path. Native the ivory Tower to the Swamps that Sadness, the southerly Oracle, and the end of Fantasia itself, Atreyu searches because that a cure at great personal loss. He loser his horse and best friend Artax, which endangers the courage and also resolve that obtained him on this journey in the very first place, yet he provides a new friend in happy dragon Falkor, that helps him get ago on track. 

At the very first gate that the southern Oracle, Atreyu faces an additional test: this time that must confront his very own self-esteem and self-worth, prove he believes in himself. The then has to challenge the vision the his true me in a mousy little boy called Bastian that is analysis a book far, far away. Component of Atreyu"s journey is finish when that learns the Childlike Empress needs a new name, and only a human being child deserve to bestow it. Yet Atreyu faces an ext setbacks when he loser Falkor and also his wonder talisman Auryn, and is forced to confront the Nothing"s minion Gmork v nothing however his very own wits and strength.


Bastian has actually his own component to pat in The Neverending Story; at first, it requires simply reading and also witnessing the occasions unfolding for Atreyu and Fantasia. His father is constantly telling that to get his head out of the clouds, and Bastian can"t assist but respond by going higher up. He"s grieving the lose of a mom who seemed to support her son"s sensitivity and daydreaming. Escaping right into flights of fancy like doodling unicorns in math class or a special book that"s unlike all others is in reality a healthy and healing coping technique in the short term. As soon as Atreyu loses Artax, Bastian weeps together with him, relating to such a great loss at such a young age. Just being witness come another"s story can likewise be a heroic act. 

Bastian starts out as an armchair hero, watching from a distance, yet as The NeverEnding Story unfolds, the realizes that he might be the most necessary hero of them all. And to respect his cherished mother and her memory, he even gives her surname — Moon child — come the Childlike Empress, conserving her and also Fantasia. As Bastian renders his wishes, that ensures that all the friendships made prior to the Nothing"s rampage stayed intact. He renders sure to reclaim Fantasia come the glory he might only imagine — and also ultimately gets to endure firsthand on a ride with Falkor. Bastian even has the chance to offer his bullies a taste of their own damaging medicine. 


As the nothing sweeps throughout Fantasia, a ragtag bunch meets in the Howling woodland on their means to the ivory Tower. The rock Biter, the Night Hob (Tilo Prückner) and also his Stupid Bat, as well as Teeny Weeny (Deep Roy) and also his gyeongju Snail are all members of different Fantasian groups with the exact same mission: Beseech the Childlike Empress for assist restoring your lands. This unlikely group conveniently becomes friends together they realize exactly how each can assist the others. The Night Hob is maybe to paris to the height of the ivory Tower and also hear the news. The absent Biter uses all the tiny ones protection. And also the racing Snail is here to shatter preconceived notions of what particular kinds of creatures have the right to do. 

What bonds castle is the mutual dispossession of their genealogical lands v the strength of dark forces, pass a emigration theme right into The NeverEnding Story"s mix. It"s a grim moment indeed when the naught snatches the rock Biter"s friends right from under him. "They look prefer big, good, strong hands," he says as he gives up hope and allows the naught to take him. Thankfully, because of Bastian"s clever wishes, the absent Biter and his comrades are at some point reunited and continue their common friendship through the collective trauma they every survived. 


If it seems silly that a new name could save someone"s life then you haven"t thought about the power of what we speak to things or the strength in indigenous themselves. Bastian is called devastating names through the school bullies, and this absolutely affects just how he feels and also sees himself. Through the arrival of the Nothing, the Childlike Empress likewise loses an element of it s her that have to be reinvented, and one way to attain this is by adopting a brand-new moniker. This brand-new name would be a new start for not simply the Empress, yet for her totality world. Not to mention the name Bastian chooses for the Empress — Moon son — perfectly suits her, as well as being a beautiful tribute to his dead mother. 

In actual life, parents pick their children"s names come have an interpretation and power in the long term. Occasionally when world get married they adjust their surname to denote this new union. Part immigrants may also change their names in order come assimilate v the bulk culture. In the transgender community, choosing a new name is the possibility for a whole brand-new start at existing in a life-affirming way that fits their gender. Names have power, and also a new name is a new beginning.


Arguably among the most satisfying things about a fairy tale like The NeverEnding Story is how much into damage we travel before the civilization is restored to rights. The nothing destroys all but one serial of Fantasian sand before Bastian heals the Childlike Empress v her brand-new name. Yes, the forces of darkness to be defeated, but there is still occupational to carry out to properly restore every that"s been damaged. As soon as the Childlike Empress grants Bastian every the desire he needs to recreate Fantasia, it"s a victory versus hopelessness. Bastian has a huge job front of him now that he"s no longer simply an armchair hero and witness to Fantasia and its stories. Once we view Fantasia rebuilt in a new form of glory that reminds us that maintaining hope in also the bleakest of circumstances is a life-affirming plot — and also one we must strive to cultivate together Bastian does. 

"Never give up hope and an excellent luck will find you," Falkor tells Atreyu after acquisition him come the southerly Oracle. This sweet happy dragon is quickly one of the many beloved characters in The NeverEnding Story. Between his hearty chuckle and his cracked wink, Falkor is a reminder that us must constantly fight against the type of hopelessness embodied by the Nothing. While many times happy is actually a product of an excellent circumstances, timing, and also privilege, the happy symbolized by Falkor is about the faith that quality — and great people — will ultimately prevail. While Fantasians think about the ivory Tower your beacon of hope, people watching The NeverEnding Story are drawn to Falkor and also his joyful presence. Also when Atreyu is encouraged that he failed to discover the human child who might give the Empress a brand-new name, Falkor comforts him and reminds him that he go his really best. Falkor reminds united state that sometimes, even if we fail, we still deserve credit transaction for our efforts. 

In a scene that has been traumatizing children and adults alike because that decades, Atreyu loser his lovely companion Artax in the Swamps of Sadness. Even today, civilization who have actually seen The NeverEnding Story a hundred times will cry or leave the room throughout this many brutal the scenes. Looking in ~ the large picture, though, the destructive events in the Swamps that Sadness space a perfect metaphor for grief, loss, and also trauma, and also in particular childhood trauma. This is most likely why adults still have actually a visceral reaction to the incident also years later, since we remember being Atreyu"s age and also having to navigate our very own losses in different ways. What ends up gift beautiful about this painful scene is how it reflects us that even a warrior isn"t immune come grief, sadness, and also heartbreak. His stamin is in his vulnerability, also though it is considerably tested ~ his horse dies. 

For Bastian, the moment enables him not simply to grieve along with Atreyu, but additionally to procedure his own trauma in the ns of his loving mother. Once Atreyu will the southern Oracle, the gnome witch Urgyl (Patricia Hayes) says, "It has to hurt if it"s come heal." Avoidance doesn"t make wounds walk away. And pain has actually the power to remind us we space still alive and also healing. 

Sometimes, the older civilization get, the more cynical they become. They"ve watched your childhood dreams fizzle into nothing. Lock get recorded up in work, the duty next of family, and this can conveniently turn right into bitterness and also resentment — simply as that does with Bastian"s father, who is all business and can"t know why his kid can"t relocate on indigenous his mother"s death as quickly. That sees Bastian"s sensitivity as weakness that demands to be corrected. 

In the holy place at the end of Fantasia, Gmork says to Atreyu, "Fantasia is the dreams and also hopes of mankind. Human being have started to shed their hopes and also forget your dreams.... Since people who have actually no hope are basic to control. And also whoever has actually control, has the power." This is a scarily true declare in our own human being world, whereby every day, civilization lose hope and turn to every kinds of means not come care around others.

Gmork also calls the nothing "a kind of despair," one that"s been in Fantasia much much longer than it seems. Morla the ancient One has actually been living in a state of apathy for thousands of years. Her catchphrases space "Not the it matters," "We don"t even care whether or no we care," and ultimately, "Nothing matters." Atreyu and Bastian both refuse to accept these supposedly grown-up truths. The NeverEnding Story reminds us to never stop believing. 

One that The NeverEnding Story"s most essential messages is having confidence in the competence the children. Just because someone is young doesn"t do them i can not qualify of an excellent feats. Around Bastian, the Childlike Empress says, "He simply cannot imagine one little boy could be so important." Sadly, Bastian has been bullied because that the traits that make that the ideal child to aid save Fantasia, for this reason he has actually no idea exactly how much power he hold in his heart and also imagination. Once he to learn his own strength, it"s a lesson he"ll hopefully never ever forget. 

In actual life, we have numerous examples the trailblazing children. Greta Thunburg is a 15-year-old eco-friendly activist who is do the efforts to cure the earth for future children. Mari Copeny, a.k.a. Tiny Miss Flint, is a 12-year-old society justice activist bringing fist to the reality that Flint, Michigan still doesn"t have clean water. Malala Yusufsai was simply 15 once she was shot by the Taliban because that advocating girls to go to school. The students indigenous Parkland have readjusted the entire discussion around gun regulate in America through their ongoing advocacy. Youngsters really are the future, and also The NeverEnding Story encourages us to take them seriously.

The NeverEnding Story is packed full of necessary themes and also messages. Another of that most basic is around the dangers of bullying, consisting of the parents treat your children. The bullying that Bastian encounters from his classmates is awful and humiliating, to the allude where his health and wellness is also put in peril from being thrown into a filthy dumpster.

But the quiet bullying he endures from his father is far more insidious. Bastian"s dad shames him because that being interested in points for only a brief amount that time and also then moving on. Bastian"s father doesn"t it seems ~ to recognize that this is specifically how children develop and also figure out what castle like, that they are, and also what skills they could have come develop. Bastian"s father likewise softly berates him for his crawl imagination, daydreaming, and drawing doodles of unicorns in class. To an extent, these are all healthy and balanced coping mechanisms for a child grieving the recent loss that his mother. If Bastian"s father was really so concerned about his son"s behavior, the should have taken him to a boy psychologist to gain checked out. This is one of the an ext painful facets of the film, and also explains why Bastian wouldn"t want to come ago to earth so conveniently once he finally visits Fantasia.

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Many children who are sensitive and imaginative find sanctuary in books and stories on a an excellent day. But on a negative day, favor after Bastian it s okay bullied by his father and the consistent trio of college bullies, a book is an even much more valuable device of escape. Bastian merely cannot resolve the real human being when he hides out in the school"s attic, and also the just thing that provides sense to him is a book he"s never ever read before. He finds an almost spiritual kind of sanctuary in books, and also in details Mr. Coreander"s The NeverEnding Story.

And speaking of bookstore owner Mr. Coreander, that makes terrific point about the various kinds of books that exist: A for sure book allows you to go back to yourself unscathed by the end. But a dangerous book will readjust you, and fundamentally readjust how you see and also experience the world. 

The NeverEnding Story additionally introduces young audience to the notion of metatextuality, stories within stories. Together the Empress claims to Atreyu, "Just as he"s sharing your adventures, others room sharing his." This narrative cheat is a wonderful method to attract readers and viewers into a story also deeper, by making us a part of the ourselves. It"s a substantial reason why The NeverEnding Story still resonates through audiences years later. 

The NeverEnding Story adaptation focuses on the first half the Michael Ende"s beautiful book, about how a little boy conserves the civilization through reading. The NeverEnding Story II: The next Chapter was released in 1990 v an entirely new cast except for cutting board Hill, who reprises his function as grouchy bookstore owner Carl Conrad Coreander. In this sequel, Bastian is trying out for the diving team, but cannot seem to get over his are afraid of heights and also take the leap. As soon as the Auryn calls come him, he returns to Fantasia wherein a new evil, the Emptiness, is being sustained by a sorceress called Xayide (Clarissa Burt). Xayide tip Bastian right into making wishes, every the while stealing his storage of Earth and also home. 

1994"s The Neverending Story III diverges fully from Ende"s book and also returns v yet another new cast. This time Bastian battles the Nasty, and also reunites with many personalities from the original film, like Ergyl and Engybook. 

The NeverEnding Story has actually been a resource of motivation for so countless who have actually seen it and in certain those who thrived up v it. Stranger Things creators the Duffer brothers had a wonderful homage come the title track in the show"s third season, a sequence the serves as a beautiful and lighthearted counterpoint to the darkness of the narrative. The Childlike Empress herself, actor Tami Stronach, loved the tribute. 

The movie"s legacy has carried over into music as well as film and also television. Metal band Atreyu called themselves ~ the young warrior native the Fantasia plains. The Aquabats composed "Luck Dragon Lady" influenced by the film, together did fall Out Boy with "Champion." D.U.M. Superimposed your lead singer"s face over Bastian"s together he rides Falkor in your music video for "On & On." Korn"s album exploring depression, The Nothing, is straight inspired by The Neverending Story

When Atreyu get the borders of Fantasia, he find a temple in ruins with intricate paintings. He"s shocked to check out the paintings are the him and also everything he survived. The NeverEnding Story argues that Atreyu"s journey has actually happened numerous times before, and will probably occur again. This bicycle of life and also destruction and also life arising again is a neverending story. But much more than that, the neverending story is also the fight against apathy and also hopelessness, and also replacing them through hope and faith. Like the symbol of Auryn through two line entwined eating their very own tales, not only does the story in ~ The NeverEnding Story pat on a type of loop, yet the crucial themes indigenous the story continue to be pertinent in the person world. The reality that after ~ so plenty of decades people still watch, communicate with, and also adore The NeverEnding Story is merely a testimony to the everlasting strength of this triumphant tale.