Box art for The Neverending Story

The Neverending Story

children & family

A dreamy young boy discovers an exraordinary storybook-and the fantastical world within its pages.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 8
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
0 out of 5
Educational value
2 out of 5
0 out of 5
Positive messages
3 out of 5
Positive role models
3 out of 5
Sexy Stuff
0 out of 5
Violence & scariness
3 out of 5

Boy bibliophile becomes part of fantasy tale.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that while the overall message of this movie, which encourages children to become lovers of books, is a positive one, the scary adventures that take place in the film will scare very young children. The faceless "Nothing" sets out to destroy the land of Fantasia, and while the hero of the film has no weapons (at least until the story's end), he does engage in a bloody clash with one of the Nothing's emissaries. Other potentially upsetting incidents involve a steamrolling monster, bullies throwing a child into a dumpster, and a beloved horse being sucked into a swamp.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about whether a fantasy tale can be compelling without being scary.
  • Families can also discuss the value of reading books, and how they can almost transport someone into another world. In the movie, that fantasy becomes a reality -- a distinction parents may wish to point out.
  • They may also discuss a lesson from Bastian's father, who warns the young boy not to become overly caught up with his imagination. Are there times when kids' heads should indeed be in the clouds?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews


- Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fresh: An enjoyable departure from both Das Boot and Kajagoogoo.

- Gregory Weinkauf, New Times, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fresh: ...has enough charm, delight, and wonder going for it to entertain most youngsters, and that's all that matters.

- John J. Puccio,, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Audience Reviews

2 stars

While it is defintelty full of nostalgia and larger than life adventure, it is still a bit unfocused and all over the place. Where this film succeeds is occassionally innovative visuals and cleverly designed characters. The Never Ending Story is definetly mixed bag. Screnplay is by far the most cliched element here and does not live up it's expectations. Considering the fact that this was made in 1984, it is still wonderful to look at. But as with all the Petersen's films this is no exeption. It is definetly a film more about style over substance.

- emilkakko, Saturday, August 6, 2011

1 star

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.

- RCCLBC, Monday, April 4, 2011

3 stars

Let me start off by saying that I've never read the source material, and that I never had seen this before. That's right, this was not some film I have a nostalgic attachment to. As a result, I must say that while I can appreciate some of this, it didn't really win me over all that much. I know it's a fantasy film, but even then, it just seems a little silly, and kind of like the filmmakers automatically assumed you'd have an emotional investment from the start. A good example of this is the swamo scene with Artax. I don't have ice in my veins, but it was hard for me to care about things. It felt shallow and I wasn't really all that moved by what happens. I like the fact that this is a film made when animatronics and puppetry were king, though. Practical just almost always seems better to me. The film does look good, and the direction is nice, but some of the performances are a little iffy for me, mostly because these aren't exactly the best child actors. They're not terrible though. Hate me if you want, but I can't help it that this didn't win me over as being some kind of masterpiece. I'm glad I finally saw it, but it's just not really my thing.

- cosmo313, Thursday, March 31, 2011