“The Neverending Story” is the fantasy film that could have been so much more. It has a lot of elements I really like, but after it is over in a swift 90 minutes, I felt very unsatisfied. The fantasy elements of this film seemed to simply exist as visual effects, instead of really immersing us in an original world, or an involving story.
The plot involves a boy who gets deeply involved in a fantasy book he is reading. The book is about a young hero named Atreyu, who is given the task of saving the mythical land of Fantasia from the dreaded Nothing. The Nothing is the one of the most interesting elements of the film. It is a force that is turing everything in to nothing. But, alas, the notion is never fully explored. It is given a rather cheesy explanation in the end, solidifying this as a film for little children.
During the brief time this movie exists, we are given many wonderful images, including a giant rock character, an island that turns out to be something else entirely and truly original castle design. But there is nothing really underneath. The story is pretty flimsy. The characters are pretty one dimensional. If anything I would not mind a remake of this with a more serious view of these story elements.