Tearjerker / The NeverEnding Story

The average viewer's reaction to Artax's death.

The book

  • The scenes where Bastian discovers the truth about the lion Grograman, and sits with him so he won't be alone.
  • Artax's death. And he knows he'll die, but he can't find it in his heart to resist. So he tells Atreyu to let go and stop trying to save him so he won't drown too, then gently tells him to look away so he won't have to see him go under. Atreyu does, crying the entire time.
  • The ending, in which Atreyu and Falkor make up and part with Bastian and set out to tie up the story's loose ends.

The film

  • "ARTAX!" Every last second of that scene, as Artax sinks to his death, with Atreyu crying and begging him to move. The fade out following is absolutely heartwrenching.
    • It's an in-universe example as well, since Bastian has to stop reading the book to wipe away his tears at this point.
  • The "Good, strong hands" sequence.
    • A meta-example: how the rock biter's character was changed in the third movie, compared with above scene.
  • In the second movie, the scene showing Bastian's last memory with his dying mother.
    • The extra heartbreak is that we see this memory because Bastian made a wish.
    • Bastian wants to revive Atreyu (who he accidentally killed during a fight), but he only has two memories left at that point: his mother and his father. To save his friend, he has to sacrifice one of the memories and the implication is that he gets to choose which one to give up.
      Atreyu: Your mother would've been proud.
      Bastian: Who?
  • "Bastian, please...save us!" Whatever else can be said about the acting abilities of the child actors, Tami Stronach's delivery of this line is heart-wrenching.
  • After Bastian reads about how Atreyu and Falkor begin searching for a human child to name the Childlike Empress.
    "I wish they'd ask me. My mother had a beautiful name."