CUTENESS LIFE LESSONS LEARNED FROM: THE NEVERENDING STORY Shannon Woodward

Trying to write an introduction to The Never Ending Story would be a little bit like trying to explain to a 92 year old scientist that you had a buddy that was a constantly LOL-ing luck dragon named Falcor. It would be long, arduous, and misunderstood (and that’s before you even attempt to address the concept of internet vernacular). But, introduction aside, this movie is pretty much the jam. Atreyu was hands down one of the top five dreamboats lining my teenage bedroom wall somewhere up there next to JTT (4ever!). And, I’m still begging for forgiveness for stealing nearly every single necklace my mother owned in order to wear an Empress-like crown to school (it never quite looked right. I still want one).

Never ending headgear envy.

But, I’m not gonna lie. This movie used to trip my little baby brain right the flip out. And, upon re-watching, I’m inclined to understand why. It was a lot more preachilicious than I remember it being. Don’t get me wrong. I love this movie. I love this movie almost more than I love cheese. And, I love cheese in a manner that even Steve Urkel himself would find revolting. I digress. Personally, I think the real heavy hitting moral of this story is that children possess an incredible ability: imagination! This power is constantly underestimated by us grown up types. It’s a strength that we’re born with. We spend the rest of our lives trying to think outside the box, but those darn kids are doing it from the minute they start yapping. As a youngster, I found that pretty empowering. Chew on that while you read the (hopefully) slightly more entertaining tid-bits I snagged from NES.

  • Let’s do ourselves a favor and take a moment to marvel at the modes of transportation utilized in Fantasia:

    Rockbiter rolls via rock bike. Naturally.

    This gentleman prefers hang-gliding bat.

    Racing snail?

    Somewhat trusty steed.

    FALCOR.

    All I’m saying is: unprecedented/very, very hip ways to reduce oil dependency.

  • A wise pointy-headed fellow asks Atreyu to go on his quest. Atreyu then proceeds to  straight up drop his tribal gear on the ground and say he’s in it to win it. Game on. Note to self: dropping your s&%* on the ground and accepting the quest at hand is a bold way to say you’re a badass who ain’t scared of nothin’. I tried this a minute ago when someone asked if they could use my bathroom. I dropped my laptop on the ground and said “GO FOR IT!” I now need a new laptop. But I looked awesome. You’re welcome.

    Wise pointy-headed fellow.

    Throwing down weapons to display intention of commitment!

  • In the Swamp of Sadness, Atreyu’s awesome horse Artex gets a little down on himself and subsequently starts to sink in the quicksand. It’s a rough area. Happy thoughts are literally vital. Kind of like Shepard’s pie day at school. You will absolutely have to survive lunch and its impending meat pie attack in order to get to the end of the day. But, it’s gonna take some seriously Spock-like mind melding capabilities to succeed. It didn’t work really out for Artex. I know a few kids that didn’t make it through Shepard’s pie day in one piece, either. But, whenever I see a swampy sand ridden area, I genuinely think happy thoughts . You may think that’s just plain ridiculous, but I’d like to present valuable evidence: I haven’t sunk yet. So… consider yourself advised.

    Artex! No! Think about oats! Or hay! Or... grass?

    Shepard's pie day.

  • Luck dragons do not take well to the post coital sneak away tactic. As seen here, Atreyu wakes to find himself spooning with a half dragon, half Cocker Spaniel type creature. Awkward. He tries the trusty ‘sneak away.’ Bad call.

    ....What happened last night?

  • Fantasia might be the only place I’ve ever heard of that will apparently annihilate you with laser beams for having crappy self-esteem. I guess it’s not a bad tactic. If that’s what gives you the swift kick in the pants to believe in yourself, then, good on ya. Or, you could run like a bat out of hell like Atreyu does here when they try to off him for doubting his worth. Also, please note the vulgarity of these murderous statues? What gives?

    *Ahem*

    Run from the fiery laser beams of self-doubt!

  • Let’s get down to the most important information I garnered from this film. Atreyu was in fact the one who invented “planking.” Proof:

    Atreyu's planking photo.

  • Basically the movie ends with a weird narrator long-windedly saying, “READ!” So, ya know. Do that. If not for your own enjoyment, do it for the Empress of Fantasia (Moonchild!?)!

    "Knowledge is power!"

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  1. Another great part is after he goes through the confidence test, he sees himself in the mirror for what he really is. I am at this stage of my life. It is scary, but also freeing.
    This story was written in East Germany, a story of escape. I started reading the book in Berlin. It was so good. I never got to finish it. Ironic.

  2. hilarious! I love this movie…

  3. JTT!!!!! I use to write him letters all the time. And I drew a fabulous picture of him once and sent it to my sisters via snail mail. I use to kiss a magazine photo of him every night. (4ever)

  4. this was amazing! and i would like to add that i also did the necklace crown thing and that i was absolutely terrified of the giant tortoise in the swamp lol. watching the movie now as an adult the swamp of sadness moment when artex doesn’t make it…makes me cry like a blithering idiot!

  5. Has anybody else other than myself read the book?
    Was sitting reading it on the bus and a random person was like “wow they turned the film into a book”. I was very tempted to turn around and explain to them that the idea for the film was taken from the first part of the novel. RAGE!
    So yeah read the book! Just as awesome as the film but you learn more about the characters, and how the story raps up. And also why it is called the never ending story.

  6. You so know this is where Nicole Richie got the idea for her House of Harlow headdresses. Also- why is there a picture of Captain Planet at the end???

  7. Do Life Lessons Learned from Harry Potter!!

  8. to this day, I often say “Have confidence, Atreyu!” usually eliciting sidelong looks from the people around me who have clearly never had the joy of watching TNS.

  9. I watched this movie probably everyday over some top ramen!! Loved this movie to death!!!

  10. OMG I was totally obsessed with this movie as a kid…. ok ok, I still am. And I thought I was the only one that was in love with Atreyu! *swoon* And don’t even get me started on Artex :( Such a great movie, and book for that matter!

  11. to post a comment

  12. This was my FAVORITE movie. I think I rented it enough times to pay for a few of them. I cry every time Artex sinks and I often looked for the actual Neverending Story book, like the one Bastion had??? I really want to get this on DVD… this, and The Last Unicorn were my favorites.

  13. you have to do Captain Planet or Power Rangers or Mortal Kombat or TMNT or Hocus Pocus next! mmmm 90′s classics.

  14. Hysterical, absolutely hysterical! And right on!! I loved the movie as a child and had totally forgotten about it, thank you for the trip down memory lane!!

  15. I was literally terrified of this movie when I was a child. I think I watched it an an outdoor cinema in Fiji at the age of six, and don’t remember anything about it other than quicksand and being a snotty mess of tears and fear … although, it is entirely possible that it wasn’t even the Neverending Story that they made me watch.

    I would love to read your take on an episode of Full House or Fresh Prince, on the other hand!

  16. You have no idea how much of my childhood was shaped by this movie. While my husband was being forced to play Indiana and the Temple of Doom with his big brother, I was forcing (*encouraging) my siblings to play various characters from The Never Ending Story. When I was pregnant with our first child I was adamant that if it was a boy he would be named Atreyu. We never did have a boy and for that I am sure my husband is grateful.

  17. I love yelling “YOU LET THE SADNESS OF THE SWAMP GET TO YOU, YOU’VE GOT TO TRY!” I seem it helps with most situations.

  18. Hahaha. I never looked at the movie like that. I love this movie. It’s my favorite childhood movie. Falcor was my hero (oh, how I often wanted that animal my pet and knowing full well that was impossible) and I thought the Queen was such a pretty girl. I was envious of her. Somehow, I think my love for the name Sebastian comes from this movie. I feel a rewatch coming up – and to notice the pervyness that I apparently missed when I was younger – much younger. Gosh, the childhood memories and my little squeal when I saw this pop up here. *sigh*

  19. “Call my name, Bastian” – Extreme sexual undertones, srsly.

  20. Laughed out loud! I haven’t seen the movie since it came out, actually. :/ Well now I know what to do with my summer.

    Marianna | 7/13/2011 02:07 pm