The NeverEnding Story (1984)
Bastian Bux (Barret Oliver), a quiet boy who loves to read, is accosted by bullies on his way to school. He hides in a bookstore, interrupting the grumpy bookseller, Mr. Koreander (Thomas Hill). Bastian asks about one of the books he sees, but Mr. Koreander warns him it is “not safe.” Nevertheless, Bastian borrows the book, leaving a note promising to return it, and races towards school. He then hides in the school’s attic to begin reading “The Neverending Story.”
The book describes the fantasy world of Fantasia which is being threatened by a force called “The Nothing,” a void of darkness that consumes everything. The creatures of Fantasia have gathered to plead for help from the Childlike Empress of Fantasia, but her attendant (Moses Gunn) reveals to the assembled crowd that she has fallen deathly ill due to The Nothing. She has summoned Atreyu (Noah Hathaway), a warrior from the Plains People and a boy about Bastian’s age, to help put an end to The Nothing. He is given a magical medallion called the Auryn to use as a guide. As Atreyu sets off on his quest, The Nothing summons Gmork (voiced by Alan Oppenheimer), a vicious wolf-like beast, to kill Atreyu.
Atreyu heads to the deadly Swamps of Sadness to see the ancient Morla, the wisest being in all of Fantasia. His horse, Artax, is overcome by the sadness of the swamps and sinks into the mud, forcing Atreyu to continue on foot. Morla cannot help Atreyu, but directs him to the Southern Oracle, which is 10,000 miles away. In the real world, the school bell rings and the school quickly empties, but Bastian remains in the attic and continues to read.
Starring: Noah Hathaway, Barret Oliver, Tami Stronach, Moses Gunn, Thomas Hill, Alan Oppenheimer.
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