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DVD Review

DVD cover

The Neverending Story


Starring: Noah Hathaway, Barret Oliver, Tami Stronach, Moses Gunn, Patricia Hayes and Thomas Hill
Warner Home Video
RRP: £9.99
Certificate: U
Available 18 August 2008

Bastian, a lonely schoolboy alienated from his father and bullied by his classmates, retreats to an attic where he becomes engrossed in a book entitled The Neverending Story. It is the tale of a magical kingdom appropriately named Fantasia, since it is a world born of human fantasies. However, as humanity loses faith in the power of imagination, the once-thriving Fantasia is being destroyed by great storms of Nothingness. Dangerously ill herself, Fantasia's youthful empress sends the young warrior Atreju on a quest to find a cure for the kingdom, and Bastian is drawn, literally, into the pages of the story...

The Neverending Story (1984) was based on the German novel Die unendliche Geschichte by Michael Ende, which was originally published in 1979. In truth though, the movie only borrows its story from the first half of the book, and even then it deviates so far from the plot of the original novel that the author unsuccessfully sued the film company when they refused to either change the name of the film or stop production.

I was a teenager when this movie first came out, and thought it was a pretty engaging adventure film for the young, and young at heart. And, 24 years later, it's still a great family movie. Sure the effects look terrible in places, and the story's about as deep as a puddle, but it's still entertaining.

The only extra on the DVD is the theatrical trailer, which is a shame because an audio commentary would have been interesting, or a feature on what the actors are all doing now. And it's not as though no material exists. There have been several different versions of the movie released on DVD across the world some of which feature music videos, documentaries and other featurettes. There's also a DTS version floating around out there, so it's a little disappointing to see that Warner have only included a stereo soundtrack here. What we seem to have here is the same DVD that was released in America back in 2001.

While not an essential purchase, The Neverending Story will still bring a smile to your face. It's just a shame that after all this time no effort has been put into giving fans a decent DTS soundtrack or any additional content.


Pete Boomer

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