The story also states that Shakespeare went to Fantastica. Near the end, Mr. Coreander says that there are more ways than one to Fantastica; it's possible that Tolkien, with his interest in old epics and mythology, was able to go to Fantastica himself, which inspired him to write his Legendarium.
Funny you should say that, because he did the same for me for The Neverending Story 3. After all his lamenting about how out-of-character the characters were, I began to think, and I came to realise: They are so out of character for a reason! At the point where Bastian comes across Falkor, the Nastys already have a hold of the book and are messing around with the story. Considering the fact that they are probably barely literate, and most definitely don't read, all their ideas of characters would be pretty much retarded. Take the Rockbiter and family, for instance: They are essentially a fantastic sitcom, because HEY, this was the nineties, so the Nastys probably watch almost nothing but sitcoms. He sings a stupid rock song because HEY, rock songs are cool! let's have him sing one while on his awesome hog! - The Real CJ
Same with getting all the characters back in 3, and the wishes-cost-memories machine in 2. If he just wishes for everything, there's no story. Fantasia is literally a storybook fantasyland, and with no story to revolve around, it all falls to ruin. Like how Alan Wake had to stay true to the story's internal logic or it would have had a The Bad Guy WinsDowner Ending, instead of the Bittersweet Ending it did have. A copout ending is incredibly bad news. - dvorak
I always got a somewhat more cynical impression of why everyone is an idiot in the sequels. Because Bastian is one. At the end of the first film, Fantasia is basically destroyed, but is recreated by Bastian through his wishes. And as his behavior in the 2nd movie shows, he's just not that creative/clever, and even has a streak of jerkass in him. So while his wishes were able to rebuild Fantasia, it's his version, and just plain not as wondrous as it once was. -Elan
A lot of people expressed confusion at the scene in the first film where Artax drowns in the Swamp of Sadness. However, horses are very good at sensing human emotions, which is one reason why they're used as therapy animals. That's probably why Artax couldn't stop the sadness from getting to him.
That, and as the book clearly states, the Swamp amplifies a person's sorrow just by being in it, followed by drowning. Atreyu only didn't sink because he had the AURYN.
The G'Mork is trying to help the Nothing consume all of Fantasia, so he can control humans once their imaginations are killed... except doesn't "all of Fantasia" include him?
Note this is only movie-only. In the book, G'Mork tells Atreyu that, as a Werewolf, he is neither of Fantasia nor of Earth. Rather, he's one of many creatures who have no world to call home. As a result, he is able to traverse the worlds freely and assume any form he pleases. His rationale for helping the Nothing is out of his bitterness for not having a world to call home.
Some of his lines in the film suggest that he's been driven mad by the knowledge that he's a character in a storybook and his destiny is always to be killed by Atreyu at the end, meaning that none of his actions matter and his entire existence is pointless. One could speculate that the real reason he helps the Nothing is because he desperately wants to end his own suffering by erasing himself from existence.
G'Mork was tasked with killing Atreyu and very nearly succeed in the Swamps. And yet he doesn't recognize Atreyu at the end? Granted he wasn't covered in mud this time around, but still shouldn't he have known what Atreyu looked like?
He only saw Atreyu from behind in the Swamp. Also I think it was supposed to be implied (albeit not shown well) that it was night at the time. There was certainly a lot of mist hampering vision.
If Atreyu hadn't found that sharp stone fragment, Gmork would have easily killed him in their confrontation. Lucky thing, too, because he was ordered not to bring his weapons on the journey because... uh, why was that, exactly?
Very likely so Atreyu wouldn't kill himself when traversing the Swamps; or kill others in a homicidal angst due to corruption by the effects of The Nothing.