->''A hole would be something. No, it was [[NothingIsScarier NOTHING]]. ''
-->-- '''Rock Biter'''

An ostracized young boy named Bastian who loves to read steals a magical book which claims to have {{no ending}}. In it is the story of an otherworldly MagicalNativeAmerican boy named Atreyu on a quest to save a MagicalLand from vanishing. As Bastian reads more and more of the story, he finds that the book seems to be aware of him. Eventually, it is revealed that the magical land within the book is actually another dimension encompassing all of human imagination, and only a human with creative ideas can save it. Needless to say, this film doesn't so much break the FourthWall, as it never really has one to begin with; and that itself is a large part of the point.

Creator/MichaelEnde's novel ''Literature/TheNeverendingStory'' spawned three movies. The first one was very well received (except by, among others, Ende himself, who sued unsuccessfully to have the name changed because he disliked it so much and had his name taken out of the writing credits), the second less so, and the third is deeply unpopular. The first movie was based on the first half of the book and the second (rather more loosely) on the second half, while the third was not based on it at all apart from having the Old Man of Wandering Mountain show up.

* ''The Neverending Story'' (1984)
* ''The Neverending Story II: The Next Chapter'' (1991)
* ''The Neverending Story III: Escape from Fantasia'' (1995)
!!The movies provide examples of:

%% YMMV items belong at YMMV.TheNeverendingStory, please.

[[folder: The Neverending Story]]
* ABoyAndHisX: First a boy and his horse, then a boy and his luck dragon.
* AdaptationalAttractiveness: Bastian was plain and fat in the book.
* AdaptationInducedPlotHole: Many elements in the first film make no sense or are not adequately explained because their meaning from the novel are grossly simplified or omitted completely. Some elements lost from the novel include:
** Atreyu doesn't take his weapons because he must remain neutral as a bearer of Auryn and all Fantasticans will respect him as they respect the childlike Empress.
** Atreyu learns of Morla through a vision he has in a dream about a purple buffalo.
** Atreyu gets to the Southern Oracle by an encounter with a villain whose poisonous bite gives the victim the power of instant teleportation before they die. Falcor was another victim who also used this power. While it's still a DeusExMachina to save Atreyu like in the film, it did offer a greater insight into Fantastica which the film lacks.
** The Nothing has no appearance of anything at all and thus any Fantastican who looks at it feels as though they've been struck blind. Fantasticans are then hypnotically drawn to the Nothing like moths to a flame, unlike the film version which is an enormous thunderstorm that acts like a cosmic vacuum cleaner.
** The Gmork's motivations and explanations about Fantastica and the nature of the Nothing go much deeper in the book. He reveals that he is a shapeshifter who can go from world to world and that his true motivation for wanting to aid Fantastica's destruction is envy because he has no world to call home. He also reveals that Fantasticans enter the human world through the Nothing, but emerge as lies and delusions in the minds of humans which increases the rate at which the Nothing spreads.
* AdaptationalVillainy: In the book, Gmork was helping the Nothing because he envied Fantasticans and humans for having the one thing he didn't have: a place to call home. This made him somewhat sympathetic, if still petty, due to wanting to destroy two worlds out of spite. The film version, on the other hand, is simply portrayed as a StrawNihilist who is hungry for power, and wants to control the despairing lives left in the Nothing's wake.
* {{Adorkable}}: Bastian.
* AlternativeForeignThemeSong: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEfZIAc0cJI "Natsu No Jewelry"]] was the theme song of the Japanese version.
** Technically, Limahl's "Never Ending Story" qualifies, as it was not present in the original German release, and was added to the film for its North American release.
* AwardBaitSong: Limahl's "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gf1WT8VEZxk The Never Ending Story]]".
** Christopher Hamill ("Limahl" is a SignificantAnagram) was previously the lead singer of Kajagoogoo, best known for "Too Shy".
** Now that Kajagoogoo reunited for good, they've [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3c2476XIZQg adopted the song to themselves]] (of course with Limahl still on lead vocals), with bassist Nick Beggs (who was the band's lead vocalist after they fired Limahl in 1984) now singing the second voice, and Nick and the rest of the band members now handling all the background music.
* {{Badass}}: Atreyu. He's fearless and never gives up, and the way he handles [[SavageWolf G'mork]] cements him as this.
* BadassBoast: "If we're about to die anyway, I'd rather die ''fighting!'' [[ThrowingDownTheGauntlet Come for me, G'mork!]] '''''I''''' '''''am''''' '''''Atreyu!'''''"
* BigDamnHeroes: Falkor's rescue of Atreyu from the Swamps of Sadness, his literal DespairEventHorizon, and the wolf, G'mork. Bastian even lampshades this with his huge exclamation of relief and collapse after the scene ends in the movie.
* BigWhat: Bastian when he realizes that ''he's'' the one the Empress is talking about.
* BlindAlley: Bastian escapes his bullies by hiding in a bookstore, while his chasers rush by. The following encounter with the bookstore owner sets off the story.
* BreakingTheFourthWall: Near the end of the film, [[spoiler:the Childlike Empress tells Atreyu that as he was adventuring through Fantasia, the Earth-child Bastian was sharing his adventures by reading the story, then mentions that others are sharing Bastian's adventure, referencing the viewers. The last part she does whilst looking directly at the camera]].
* BringIt: Atreyu to G'mork, followed by IAmYourOpponent.
* BullyHunter: Bastian and Falcor at the end.
* TheCallKnowsWhereYouLive: Even if you're reading a book.
* CaptainObvious: Played for drama: "Artax, you're sinking!"
* CatapultNightmare: Bastian wakes up this way in the opening scene.
* TheChessmaster: Unlike the book version, where Bastion steals the book and the store owner doesn't even remember it at the end of the novel, Mr. Koreander ''tricks'' him into taking it in this version, clearly intending for him to read it and use its power.
* CompressedAdaptation: The film ''literally'' cut out ''half of the book''. Thanks to AdaptationDisplacement, most people don't even ''know'' anything was removed. The sequel, fortunately, picks up elements from the second half of the book, although it was still not quite there.
* CoolHorse: Artax doesn't last long, but he still qualifies.
* CurbStompBattle: Atreyu kills G'mork in [[OneHitKill one hit]] with his stone knife.
* TheDarknessGazesBack: At the end of the film, Atreyu stares into a dark corner to find his nemesis, G'mork, eyeing him back.
* DeathGlare: Atreyu gives G'mork one when he says, "Who are you, ''really?''"
* DespairEventHorizon: Coupled with DrivenToSuicide (via allowing the Nothing to overtake him) with the Rockbiter at the end of the first film.
--> '''Rockbiter''': They look like good, ''strong'' hands, don't they?
** The Swamps of Sadness are also capable of causing this in people, which causes you to sink. This happens to Artax, Atreyu does cross the DespairEventHorizon but is saved by Falkor before he sinks.
* {{Determinator}}: Atreyu is this personified. He never gives up on his quest, no matter how hopeless things get.
* {{Disneyfication}}:
** The death of G'mork in the film by Atreyu's hands. In the novel, G'mork is chained up and dying already, and takes on the role of MrExposition before dying of starvation and exhaustion. The film abandons this in favor of an ultimate showdown between the hero and the only tangible villain, likely to make Atreyu look more heroic.
** Bastian riding Falcor in the human world at the end of the film. Firstly, this ignores the novel's insistence that Fantasticans cannot exist in the human world as themselves. Secondly, it's a ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve resolution of Bastian's problems with the other kids bullying him, where in the novel it's his journey of self-discovery that helps him find the strength to deal with his problems without expecting fantasy and wishful thinking to make his problems magically disappear.
* TheDragon: Multiplied by two. G'mork is The Nothing's dragon, and The Nothing is one for the power behind human apathy.
* DramaticThunder: Near the end of the movie...
** PlotBasedVoiceCancellation: ...leading Bastian's [[SayMyName name for the Child Empress]] ("MOONCHILD!") to be hard to discern.
** Even the subtitles on the DVD can't understand what Bastian says.
* DroppedABridgeOnHim: An extremely rare example of this happening to the protagonist. Atreyu has been put through the wringer on a long and perilous quest, and is suddenly killed by ''falling debris.'' [[ResetButton He gets better]].
* EtherealChoir: The angelic Auryn theme.
* TheFilmOfTheBook: See CompressedAdaptation.
* FiveSecondForeshadowing: At the end of the first one, Atreyu sees a number of murals that show various events that have already happened to him. He then sees a mural showing a growling wolf in some rubble, he which definitely hasn't encountered. He then hears some growling, spins around and sees the wolf.
* FramingDevice: The film starts off looking like this trope is in effect. Until you realise that Fantasia is another dimension and not just a story being read by Bastian.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: The Sphinx have very prominent bare breasts. Said breasts also come with fairly notable [[NippleAndDimed nipples]]. The scene involve shows them a lot. The mood takes away from that, however.
* GoMadFromTheRevelation: What happens when someone looks into the Magic Mirror Gate.
-->'''Engywook:''' Atreyu has to face his true self.\\
'''Falcor:''' So what? That won't be too hard for him.\\
'''Engywook:''' Oh, that's what everyone thinks! But kind people find out that they are cruel. Brave men discover that they are really cowards! Confronted by their true selves, most men run away screaming!
* GreaterScopeVillain: Gmork states that human apathy and lack of imagination is his true master:
-->'''Gmork:''' I am the servant of the force behind the nothing.
* GutturalGrowler: Gmork again. That fact that he's a wolf probably helps.
* TheHeartless: The Nothing is described as an EldritchAbomination who works in these terms.
-->'''Atreyu:''' What is the Nothing?\\
'''Gmork:''' It's the emptiness that's left. It's like a despair, destroying this world. And I have been trying to help it.\\
'''Atreyu:''' But why?\\
'''Gmork:''' Because people who have no hopes are easy to control. And whoever has control has the power.
* TheHeavy: Gmork fills this role. The Nothing is probably the actual BigBad, but Atreyu has to fight him. Gmork even says something to this effect:
-->'''Atreyu:''' Who are you, really?
-->'''G'mork:''' I am the servant of the power behind the Nothing.
* HeroicBSOD: Rock Biter.
** Atreyu goes into one when Morla tells him he can't reach the Southern Oracle, to the point that he actually starts to sink to his death. Fortunately, Falcor shows up just in time. He also goes into one near the end, and ironically, [[TheHeavy G'mork]] unwittingly gives him some information that snaps him out of it.
* ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice: G'mork, courtesy of Atreyu.
* KarmicDeath: G'mork, whose mission is to kill Atreyu and thereby doom Fantasia, is killed ''by'' Atreyu.
* LaserGuidedKarma: Bastian and Falcor dish this out to the bullies at the end.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfRoles: Oppenheimer is not only Falkor, but also Gmork, Rockbiter and the narrator.
* MagicalLand: Fantasia.
* MissingMom: Early on Sebastian tells his father that he dreamed of his mum. We never learn what happened to her, but she is clearly a missing from his life.
* MyNameIsInigoMontoya: Atreyu does this to G'mork, overlapping with BringIt.
* {{Narrator}}: The film suddenly sprouts a narrator only at the very, very end. It would be all too easy to construct a lofty critical reason for this, such as, "It's to emphasize thematically that the real story is only beginning etc..." but in all likelihood it was just because of earlier scenes being cut or a sloppy mistake in the film's writing or editing.
* NearVillainVictory: Unbelievably near. By the end, all that remains of Fantasia is the Childlike Empress and ''a single grain of sand''.
* NervesOfSteel: Atreyu when he confronts G'mork.
* NiceJobFixingItVillain: By opting to give Atreyu a big lecture rather than just attack him, G'mork unwittingly gives him some pretty valuable information, such as the fact that he's the only one capable of stopping the Nothing. Atreyu had actually hit the DespairEventHorizon before hearing that. And his attempts to kill Atreyu only cause Bastian to empathize more with Atreyu and his quest.
* NoFourthWall: The Childlike Empress explicitly tells that others have been following Bastian through his experiences, like he had been following Atreyu.
* NothingIsScarier: ''Literally''.
* OhCrap: G'mork has an ''epic'' one when Atreyu reveals his identity and challenges him to fight.
** Atreyu also has this expression in the Swamps of Sadness when Artax stops moving.
* OnlyTheWorthyMayPass: DoubleSubversion - Atreyu isn't worthy to make it past the sphinxes, but makes it through anyway.
* PalsWithJesus: Bastian gets to ride Falcor in the real world to chase some bullies.
* ThePowerOfFriendship: Atreyu invokes this when he's trying to save Artax from the swamp. [[spoiler: It doesn't work.]]
* PreAssKickingOneLiner: "Then my first wish is..." Followed by Bastian bringing back all of Fantasia and getting revenge on the bullies with Falcor's help.
** "Come for me, G'mork! ''I am Atreyu!''"
* QuicksandSucks: The Swamp of Sadness, the manifestation of despair.
* ReadingIsCoolAesop: Reading literally saves all of Fantasia.
* ResetButton: Of the SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong variety by Bastian.
* SayMyName: "ARTAX!"
** And at the end, the Empress tells Bastian to call out the new name he's chosen for her.
* SavageWolf: Gmork is a hitman sent by "the force behind the Nothing" to kill Atreyu and thereby doom the world.
* SerpentOfImmortality: This is the visual motif behind [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fb/AURYN_72.JPG AURYN]], the amulet representing the power of the immortal Childlike Empress.
* ShakyPOVCam: Gmork was shot in this style.
* ShoutOut: ''Literature/TwentyThousandLeaguesUnderTheSea'' gets one in the form of Mr. Koreander using the SignatureScene, or the battle with the first giant squid, to show the overwhelming power of great stories. Bastian's also read several other adventure stories...including ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings''.
* StaringDownCthulhu: Atreyu gives G'mork a long stare before asking him to confirm who he is.
* StuffedIntoATrashcan: Dumpsters are trashcans too.
* ThatsNoMoon: Morla is originally perceived by Atreyu as a hill of some sort.
* TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou: Inverted: G'mork claims that Atreyu is the only one capable of defeating ''him''. Atreyu is happy to oblige.
* TheseHandsHaveKilled: Inverted with Rockbiter, see DespairEventHorizon above.
* ThisCannotBe: Bastian tends to react this way whenever he realizes that the Fantasian characters are aware of him.
* UnderestimatingBadassery: Atreyu flat-out tells G'mork the dangers of doing this: "I will not die easily. I am a warrior."
* UrbanLegends: The "Swamp of Sadness" scene was evidently a troubled production site. Depending on who you ask, the horse that played Artax got caught in the elevator and died (Which scarred Atreyu's actor for life) or Atreyu's actor got caught in the elevator and almost drowned. Not to mention, he was thrown off a horse during training and stepped on, which certainly wouldn't have helped...
* WeAllLiveInAmerica: At least the original German versions of the movies (let alone the books) base the story in Germany. How come Bastian's hometown does nothing to not look like a US city then?
** StargateCity: It's not a US city; the movies were filmed in Vancouver.
* WhoNamesTheirKidDude: When Bastian reads that the Childlike Empress needs a new name, he remarks to himself that his mother had a beautiful name, which he'd like to give to the Empress if it were up to him. When it turns out at the end of the film that it ''is'' up to him, the name that he shouts is obscured by DramaticThunder but seems to be the same as the new name that he gives her in the book: "Moon Child."
** The live action series ''Tales from the Neverending Story'' goes with the "Moon Child was inspired by Bastian's mother's name" idea from the movie (despite being yet another AlternateContinuity), but clarifies that his mom's actual name was Selene (after the Greek moon goddess).
* WorldHealingWave: Bastian restoring all of Fantasia at the end.
* YourMindMakesItReal


[[folder: The Neverending Story II: The Next Chapter]]
* TheBlank: [[BigBad Xayide]].
* DeathOfPersonality: [[spoiler: The Emptiness]] slowly does this to Bastian by erasing his memories every time he makes a wish.
* {{Disneyfication}}: The second film removes many of the deeper themes and messages of the second half of the novel and replaces them with a more generic hero vs villain story.
** Xayide's elevation to primary antagonist responsible for Bastian losing his memories. In the book, the memory loss is a [[EquivalentExchange natural function of a human using Auryn to grant wishes]].
** Xayide causing the "emptiness" to spread throughout Fantasia (which is just a rehash of the Nothing from the first film) is fabricated to make her a credible primary villain, when the latter half of the novel on which the film is based was about Bastian nearly becoming the villain and losing himself.
** The manipulation of Bastian by Xayide in the film is used as the primary cause of Bastian's slow downfall, unlike the novel. While Xayide is in the novel and does manipulate him, she is not the main antagonist and is not responsible for his memory loss. The novel is about Bastian's slow descent into becoming the primary villain through his own self-loathing and desire to be loved, leading to some very bad choices which also cause the loss of memories of his former self. Likewise, his final repentance and search for his true self and desires are completely omitted from the film and replaced by AnAesop about facing one's fears. This aesop was in fact a part of Bastian's journey through the original novel, but it was a part of the bigger picture of Bastian slowly discovering who he is and what he truly wants.
* HumanoidAbomination: Xayide, who is the human embodiment of emptiness.
* IdiotBall: Bastian seems to be clutching the idiot ball for dear life, in for no other reason is how easily he's manipulated by [[BigBad Xayide]]. You'd think he'd be less inclined to make wishes, particularly for such reasons, when the self-professed villain and her bird-boy lackey (who he should be able to notice is working for her) both keep insisting he make wishes. Not only that, he accepts magical (possibly boobytrapped) gifts from her and despite knowing and having far more reason to trust Atreyu than her, for some reason continues act like Atreyu is some kind of idiot when he insists the Xayide shouldn't be trusted.
** Bastian also is given opportunities to make wishes with the Auryn, (Unknown to him that making wishes will cause his memories to be removed from his mind) but most of the time he doesn't even make the wishes. A good example would be when Xayide sends her minions after Bastian, Nimbly tells him to make a wish but he doesn't and Nimbly has to save him.
* InformedAbility: In a serious case of BadassDecay, Atreyu, despite being described as a great warrior in the first film and even killing [[TheHeavy G'mork]] with a stone dagger, is easily murdered by Bastian here.
* MagicLibrarian: Mr. Coreander is depicted this way.
* SwissArmyTears: How Xayide meets her defeat.
-->'''Bastian''': I wish you had a ''heart.''
* TookALevelInJerkass: Bastian, and how!
* VillainousBSOD: See above. Xayide meets her demise when Bastian wishes she had a heart. Considering all the destruction and pain she'd caused, it's little wonder this did her in.
* {{Wishplosion}}: The end of the movie.
* YouWouldDoTheSameForMe
** "[[{{Jerkass}} ...Yeah, sure]]."


[[folder: The Neverending Story III: Escape from Fantasia]]
* ArbitraryEquipmentRestriction: A rare non-video game example: What's the Childlike Empress' answer as to why Bastian can't wish the Fantasians back into Fantasia before just wishing the book away from the Nasties and restoring their world? A simple scolding "No Bastian!" ...and that's all the excuse we and him need to hear apparently. It becomes totally pointless in the end as Barky, the tree person, uses the Auryn like a ResetButton to reverse the damage that's been done to Fantasia.
* AsYouKnow: Bastian does this to himself. [[WebVideo/NostalgiaCritic Kinda weird that he read all the things that he already knew happened to himself.]]
* BatmanInMyBasement: Bastian has to keep Rock Biter Jr. in his house.
* BrokenBird: Attempted with Bastian's stepsister -- she doesn't [[PokeThePoodle want one of his crystals]].
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: Atreyu is nowhere to be seen, though given the quality of the movie, that can only be a good thing.
* DenserAndWackier: Helped by [[OvertookTheManga being an original plot as the previous two adapted the book]]. The characters were used more for comedy than drama, pop cultural references abound, and there was intense VillainDecay (from an EldritchAbomination and a dangerous sorceress to... a school bully!).
* {{Flanderization}}: This film takes any minor aspects of the returning characters and exaggerated them to a psychotic degree.
* IdiotBall: Again, Bastian. He clutches it even harder here, where he barely does ''anything'' but be a coward.
* InformedFlaw: While the school is TotallyRadical, the movie treats Bastian's gel-spiked hair as an affront against humanity, when that 'do in the mid-90's was commonplace. And, in fact, other characters have it.
* JerkJock: Slip (played by Creator/JackBlack).
* JustEatGilligan: Bastian asks a perfectly reasonable question, "Why can't I just ''wish'' the problem was solved?" the empress says no, because the characters lost would not be returned. Bastian then asks "Why can't I just wish them back?" the empress simply responds with "No." Bastian has to go through the entire movie premise just because the empress just didn't feel like it.
** ItsTheJourneyThatCounts: The reason Bastian can't take shortcuts.
* LargeHam / HamAndCheese: Jack Black provides this as the movie's only real saving grace. What's written as a one-dimensional bully antagonist Jack Black plays as a ''diabolical mastermind'', hell-bent on getting Bastian with a determination [[Literature/MobyDick Captain Ahab]] would be proud of.
* ShesAllGrownup: The Childlike Empress isn't so childlike [[http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/02/69/8e/02698e044014f8bbd1c1b839110aa13d.jpg anymore.]]
* TookALevelInDumbass:
** Falkor, who is supposed to be a very ''smart'' character. He is a smart character in the first film and still somewhat smart in the second. In this film, however, he becomes a downright moron.
** Not to mention the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVV3MDJp5Xo Rock Biter...]]
* TotallyRadical: Nicole saying that Bastian's hairstyle is so "Un".
* WhatTheHellIsThatAccent: The Rockbiter's wife speaks in a weird mix of Jamaican and Irish, while the Rockbiter baby literally sounds like Pikachu, saying, "Pika-pee! Pika-pee!"