From Page To Screen (53) The Neverending Story

For this weeks From Page To Screen I'll be comparing the book turned film The Never Ending Story by Michael Ende.

First let's discuss the book. 
Here is a bit of back story in case some of you aren't familiar with the novel. The Neverending Story is a novel written by Author Michael Ende. The Book was originally published in German in 1979 by Thienemann Verlag . It was later translated into English by Ralph Manheim in 1983.

Let's take a look at some of the characters now, shall we.

Bastian Bux-  Bastian is a shy and bookish boy around 12 years old who is neglected by his father after his Mother's sudden death and bullied by his classmates. During a visit to an antique bookstore, he steals a book titled The Neverending Story, and upon reading it he finds himself literally drawn into the story.

Atreyu- Main character in the book that Bastian reads. Atreyu is a Greenskin Warrior summoned by the Childlike empress to embark on a great quest to find a cure for her illness thus helping save Fantastica from certain doom.

The Childlike Empress- Monarch of Fantasia, who resides in the Ivory Tower palace in the heart of the realm. Although she is the ruler of Fantasia, she does not command a political system nor does she enforce her authority. In actuality, the empress is the living embodiment of Fantasia's life force; should she die, Fantasia and all those who live in its realm would cease to exist.

Falkor- Friend of Atreyu and Bastian. Falkor is a luckdragon. He has an elongated, winged body that is covered in pink scales and hair that appear white in dull light. He is the only luckdragon to appear, although five others are mentioned in passing. Falkor helps assist Atreyu in his quest to find a cure for the Empress.

Now let's discuss the film.
In case some of you aren't familiar with the film, here is a bit of back story. The Neverending Story is a film directed by Wolfgang Petersen and was released April 6, 1984 by Warner Bros. Pictures in the U.S. (Neue Constantin Film in Germany). The Neverending Story cost roughly $25 million to make and ended up grossing over $100 million worldwide. Oddly enough while the film did well domestically upon release it wasn't until a decade later that the film gained cult classic status. It is now considered one of the most beloved Children's movies ever made.

 Main differences between the book and the film
The Southern Oracle has no physical form.The Southern Oracle is represent as two sphinx like creatures.
Atreyu meets Falkor after saving him from the Giant Spider knows as Ygramul the many.  Falkor meets Atreyu for the first time after rescuing him from drowning in the swamp.

Bastian gives The Childlike Empress the name Moonchild. No reason for this ever given.
Bastian names The Childlike Empress Moonchild because it was his mother's name.
The Nothing destroys not only Fantastica but also people who have lost faith and given up on hope.The Nothing was created from people who have no hopes or dreams.
Falkor is and looks like a Dragon. Falkor has the body of a dragon but the head and feet of a dog.

Bastian fails to name The Childlike Empress when asked so she seeks out the Old Man of the Wandering Mountain to name her.
This does not happen as Bastian succeeds in naming her.

Artax can speak.
Artax is mute..

Atreyu is a Greenskin Warrior. He has green skin and blue hair.
Atreyu looks like a Native American. He has tan skin and brown hair.
The Four Wind Giants separate Atreyu and Falkor. The Nothing separates Atreyu and Falkor.
Bastian's Father is in a deep depression after the death of his wife.Bastian is in a deep depression after his mother dies. His Father encourages Bastian to get over it already.
This does not happen.Bastian is chased by bullies before entering the bookstore.
This does not happen.

Falkor and Bastian ride through the streets of New York chasing down the bullies. 

These are the main differences I noticed when the book was taken From Page To Screen. Which however do I prefer? In all honestly I call this one a tie. While I love the book the film is a deeply ingrained part of my childhood. I still tear up every time I hear the theme song and that ending my goodness the feels (except that horribly stupid Yeah upon Falkor's back)!! I do believe the book did some things better. The Nothing is much,much scarier in the book and the whole quest to find a cure felt more dangerous as well. Also the movie only covers part of the book so it's not an entirely fair comparison I suppose. Overall though I can't recommend one over the other. You should definitely read the book and same goes for the film. Yep the film might seem "cheesy" compared to the special effects of today but it is still a damn fine film and one I encourage you to watch at least once.

Still not convinced? Check out the trailer below!

Well that about wraps up this weeks From Page To Screen. Have a recommendation for an upcoming From Page To Screen, let me know in the comments below!

Have you read the book or watched the film? 
Which did you like better? Why? 

Just for fun:
If you've seen the film, Do you still remember the theme song by heart?

Leave your answers in the comments below, I love to read your responses.


  1. Um... YES! I do remember the theme song!!! I can't tell you the number of times I watched this movie. I have never read the book because I loved the movie so much. Like you I felt like it was a part of my childhood. After reading what you had to say about the book I may actually have to go get a copy.

    1. Awesome! If you do end up reading it I really hope you enjoy it.

  2. Besides The Princess Bride, this is one of my absolute favorite movies. I've watched it a zillion times, though I've only read the book a couple of times. And I did notice that the movie only covers a fraction of the book. I've seen one of the sequels, but it's been so long -- it was terrible and never quelled any interest in me for another viewing -- and I don't remember if it picked up where the first movie left off in the book. Anyway, I'm not sure which version I prefer either...this movie was such a big part of my childhood, but I didn't pick up the book until I was an adult.


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