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Film / The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter

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Coreander: Put it back! That book asks too much of you.
Bastian Bux: But it's The NeverEnding Story. I've already read it.
Coreander: Ahh, but have you ever read a book twice? Books change each time you read them.

The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter (usually referred to as just The NeverEnding Story II) is a 1990 film that is a sequel to The NeverEnding Story. While the first film adapts the first half of the original book, the second film is (more loosely) based on the second half.

Bastian (Jonathan Brandis) is struggling to do well on the swimming team because of his fears. When he goes to the library to find information on how to gain courage, he comes across Carl Coreander and his NeverEnding Story book again. Thanks to a cry of distress from the Childlike Empress, he learns that Fantasia is under the threat of a new foe known as The Emptiness. Therefore, he sets out, with the help from Atreyu, to stop The Emptiness from ending Fantasia. Things get only more complicated when Bastian's dad finds out his son his missing, leading to a journey of his own.

This film was followed up by one more installment titled The NeverEnding Story III: Escape from Fantasia, released in 1994.

The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter contains examples of:

  • Big Bad: Xayide, who is actually the personification of The Emptiness.
  • The Blank: Xayide, which leads to a terrifying appearance.
  • Death of Personality: 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 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. In the book, Xayide's will was able to control anything empty (hence the hollow giants), but it wasn't a force comparable to the Nothing.
    • 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 that 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 An Aesop 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.
  • Fan Disservice: Bastian's swimming class, where half of his friends are wearing speedos. Bear in mind that most of them are at best thirteen years old.
  • Heel–Face Brainwashing: Of a sort Bastian's last wish is for Xayide to "have a heart". She immediately starts shedding Tears of Remorse and magically undoes all the evil things she's done.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • Nimbly helps Bastian find Xayide within the last few minutes of the movie. However, he's unwilling to help him stop Xayide and flies away.
    • Xayide goes through a forceful one via a wish from Bastian. This causes her to realize what she's done and is destroyed... somehow.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Xayide, who is the human embodiment of emptiness.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • Bastian seems to be clutching the idiot ball for dear life, if for no other reason is how easily he's manipulated by 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 to act like Atreyu is some kind of idiot when he insists the Xayide shouldn't be trusted.
    • Bastian is also 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.
    • Going the other way, Bastian idly wishes for another way into Xayide's castle, which causes a series of handholds to come out of the wall. However, these stop about half way up and Bastian decides he needs to wish for additional handholds individually (which of course unbeknownst to him speeds up his loss of memories).
  • Informed Ability: Atreyu, despite being described as a great warrior in the first film and even killing G'mork with a stone dagger, is easily murdered by Bastian here.
  • Magic Librarian: Mr. Coreander is depicted this way.
  • Memory Jar: Bastian is slowly losing his memories, which Xayide is keeping in what appear to be glass orbs.
  • Swiss-Army Tears: How Xayide meets her defeat.
    Bastian: I wish you had a heart.
  • Villainous BSoD: 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: Bastian defeats the villainess by "wishing she had a heart" which, since she personifies emptiness, causes her to go poof and her living crab-armor minions to explode.
  • You Would Do the Same for Me: "...Yeah, sure."

Alternative Title(s): The Neverending Story II