How The Neverending Story Almost Ruined Neverything Never

Movies are a great resource for educational, professional, and personal development, and allow the viewer to gain a lot of insight and perspective on a wide range of topics. And if you are watching the Wes Anderson collection, you can also learn a lot through repetition.

1. Mildly tragic event allows family to come together, 2. Funny situations, 3. Real tragedy, 4. Personal Growth.

However, when you’re a kid, movies are less a vehicle for education than they are law.  Until you realize that traveling 88mph will not drop you into the 1955, or that your appliances will not journey across the country to reconnect with you, it’s assumed that’s just what happens in life. Honestly, the fact that most people turn out “normal” following a childhood filled with such blatant lies and manipulations is shocking.

And this bring us to today’s topic: How exactly did this generation survive The Neverending Story? Re-watching the movie last night opened my eyes. Before you start slobbering over another “classic” from the 80s, let me bring that dental high-speed suction device up to you mouth, and gently dab your lips with the cotton balls of truth: TNES is a cavity, and it’s got to go. Here are a few reasons to pull it off the Netflix queue.

1. Bastian Bux: Worst hero Never.

Congrats, you barely beat out Johnny Depp in Public Enemies.

Bastian, our daydreaming, math-failing young friend, is quite simply a loser.  He’s weak, unsympathetic, and unable to deal with reality. Question: how would you respond to getting thrown in a dumpster by a couple of 10-year-old toughs? Well, Bastian decides to run into an old book store. Personally, I’m attempting to land a crotch punch or something, but Bastian decides that he can find refuge in the world of imagination.  This is a BIG issue I have with this movie: no establishment of a traditional heroic character. He isn’t worth caring about – he’s just a boring kid, and a dirty little book thief to boot.

2. Supporting characters: Less fleshed out than an Amish housewife.

Come on Deep Roy, you're better than this. Stick it out for more of those Oompa-Loompa roles.

If these characters are subject to Bastian’s creativity, then maybe Fantasia really is in trouble. A small guy in a top hat that rides a snail, a rock monster, and a dog-like dragon make up the most memorable supporting characters.  Let me repeat that: a man, a snail, a rock, and a dog. Jesus, is there a better argument for keeping the arts funded in public schools or what? We can blame Bastian again, for having a truly pathetic imagination, but I’d prefer to blame the writers. If you’re going to introduce any characters in a 90 minute movie, PLEASE give them some purpose.

3. The Childlike Empress: Brought to you by Chris Hansen.

That just ain't right.

Let’s say you want a character to appeal to children, and you want her to embody innocence, beauty, virtue, and importance. Well, that’s great, until you decide to make that character a child. Honestly, I felt like I turned on an episode of Toddlers & Tiaras. I don’t even want to google Childlike Empress without having a decent explanation for the feds … and no, blogging doesn’t seem like one of them. Dressing a 10-year-old up in bridal attire? Perhaps the only reason I thought it had any connection to Roman Polanski. C’mon, MPAA, you definitely fell asleep on this one.

4. Atreyu: F this guy.

How come his parents got him a pony?

Speak with any girl that watched remembers wiki’d The Neverending Story, and you’ll inevitably get an unsoliciated “I had such a huuuuge crush on Atreyu!”. My birth certificate does not say Atreyu, so this kind of pisses me off.  I get jealous pretty easily. Yes, I have some anger built up towards this guy. He got to kill a wolf, fly on the back of a luck dragon, and ride the white horse. Who wouldn’t be jealous? It’s cool, though, because if he’s stuck in Fantasia, he’s probably still only 11 or 12, while I’m blessed with student loans and a rapidly fading physique. Yea, looks like I came out the winner in the end!

5.  The Nothing: ???

Artist rendering.

Actually I don’t have much to say about it. I guess it’s a good metaphor for my interest in the story. The Nothing keeps his shit tight, for the most part. He definitely isn’t bitchmade like Bastian, and there is something a little scary about him. Don’t think we’d be best buds or anything, but I would definitely give him the nod if I passed him in the hallway.

Looks like we’ve got this movie wrapped up. I’m thinking about putting an Ellio’s Cheese Pizza in the microwave, abusing some prescription diaper rash ointment and putting TNES 2 on my queue. I’ll let you know how things go. And if they go REALLY well, I won’t. At worst, you can expect another awesome review. Hey, it’s better than Nothing.

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One Response to How The Neverending Story Almost Ruined Neverything Never

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