The Neverending Story (1984) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Neverending Story (1984)



Critic Consensus: A magical journey about the power of a young boy's imagination to save a dying fantasy land, The NeverEnding Story remains a much-loved kids adventure.

Movie Info

Wolfgang Petersen adapted Michael Ende's children's story for this charming fantasy film that spawned several sequels. Bastian (Barret Oliver) is dealing with his mother's recent death. His father (Gerald McRaney) is an imperious sort who continually lambastes Bastian for daydreaming and falling behind in school. On top of his father's badgering, he has to contend with a bunch of school bullies waiting for him in the schoolyard. One day he decides to play hooky and walks into a strange bookstore, where in the attic, he discovers a book called "The Neverending Story". As Bastian reads the book, he's enveloped in the unfolding tale. A sickly child-like empress (Tami Stronach) from a land called Fantasia is concerned about who will take over the land if she dies. She decides it is best for Fantasia if she remains alive, so she dispatches a young warrior named Atreju (Noah Hathaway) to find a cure for the empress's malady. It turns out the land is consumed with a plague called The Nothing, generated by blighted dreams and hopeless fantasies. As Atreju continues onward to search for a cure for The Nothing, he encounters an assortment of strange creatures. Bastian is so consumed with the tale that he finds himself catapulted into the land of Fantasia himself. Atreju realizes that the only way to save the land from its blight is with the help of this strange earth boy, Bastian. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovimore
Rating: PG (violence)
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Kids & Family
Directed By:
Written By: Herman Weigel, Wolfgang Petersen
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 3, 2001
Warner Home Video


Tami Stronach
as The Childlike Empres...
Gerald McRaney
as Bastian's Father
Moses Gunn
as Cairon
Drum Garrett
as First Bully
Darryl Cooksey
as Second Bully
Nicholas Gilbert
as Third Bully
Thomas Hill
as Koreander
Deep Roy
as Teeny Weeny
Tilo Prückner
as Night Hob
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Neverending Story

Critic Reviews for The Neverending Story

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (5)

A marvelously realized flight of pure fantasy.

Full Review… | November 26, 2012
Top Critic

Despite the sophistication of the source material, the film isn't particularly successful.

Full Review… | November 26, 2012
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

A fairytale of the very best kind.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

The world of this movie looks like a very particular place, and the art direction involved a lot of imagination.

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

The Neverending Story may have cost a mint to produce, but the result is bargain-basement.

Full Review… | August 30, 2004
New York Times
Top Critic

This utterly enchanting, family treat of a film should leave you and yours wide-eyed with wonder.

Full Review… | November 16, 2014

Audience Reviews for The Neverending Story

Nope, I didn't enjoy it. Perhaps in 1984 it was entertaining, but neither the acting nor the special effects were satisfactory. I gave it 2 out of 5 as the story has possibilities.

Red Lats

Super Reviewer

this film is strange but clever and for the 80s the effects are fantastic to look at, the rockbiter at the beginning is amazing to watch and i still wonder how they do it. This film isn't the best film in the fantasy genre but when you compare it to the second film with the swapped cast and plot holes this film is God

michael e.
Michael Edwards

Super Reviewer


The title says it all.
I saw it years ago and didn't think much of it. Gave it another try and it is still mostly a bore.
It's like SId & Marty Kroft meets Jim Henson without all the fun.

Robert C

Super Reviewer

The Neverending Story Quotes

– Submitted by ethan t (3 years ago)
– Submitted by ethan t (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Dann M (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Adrian G (4 years ago)

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