You may be looking back at your experience of watching The NeverEnding Story with sweet nostalgia and thinking about what a whimsical journey you took as a child when your parents sat you down in front of this film. Well, I am so sorry, but I am here to break you out of that euphoria, because The NeverEnding Story was a psychologically nightmarish film that is pretty questionable when you revisit it as an adult. I am not saying that it isn't a classic flick with some seriously redeemable qualities, but there are a few crazy things you probably forgot about The NeverEnding Story.
When you catch The NeverEnding Story as an adult, you start to wonder how you slept a wink after seeing it as a child. It is beyond heavy and depressing. Why were we all not consumed with stress about The Nothing coming to engulf our lives? That is seriously intense stuff. There are plenty of jaw-dropping moments that children just don't grasp or understand when watching this movie. And when you see them with a more mature mind, it is a much deeper story than we probably gave it credit for the first time around.
Here is a list of insane things that you probably totally forgot about from The NeverEnding Story.
1. How Mean Bastian's Dad Was
Holy hell, dude. This kid's mom just died and he is quite literally drawing unicorns to cope. Why is this such a problem? Bastian's father was very clearly an emotional lamp shade and treated his son's grieving like it was something criminal. He even makes a weird, off-color remark about how interesting it is that his son will draw horses but is scared to ride one. As the only parental figure left in this kid's world, let's just kick him when he's down. Bastian, you draw unicorns, doll!
2. Bastian's Dad Eats Raw Eggs
Excuse me, he drinks raw eggs for breakfast, and watching him do it will make you heave. He is pretty awful, come to think of it.
3. The Trauma Of Artax Dying
I can't. The look on Artax's face will haunt me until the day I die, I swear. The worst part of it all is that Artax died, because he is so devastatingly sad that he just gives up and lets The Nothing take him. Atreyu just screams and tries desperately to pull his beloved horse from the magical, death mud to safety, but it is just about 45 minutes straight of this horse perishing before our very eyes. Also, that horse looks like it was way too stressed in real life.
4. The Creepiness Of The Southern Oracle
The Southern Oracle was off-putting on a galactic level when I was a child and is still gives me the heebie jeebies when I see it now. They are just these giant statues that are glowing sparkly blue and falling to pieces. They straight up start crumbling as they speak to Atreyu in chillingly breathy voices about how The Nothing is just going to kill everyone. It is nightmare fuel of the highest order.
5. The Laser-Eyed Judgy Oracles
I think that must be what their formal name is, because their job is to shoot lasers out of their eyes and fry up anyone who passes through that isn't super psyched. They literally judge your self-worth and kill you if you are a little bummed. Atreyu even looks down as he is passing through to see the charred face of a knight that failed the test. It was one of my first times seeing something so horrifying and it has stayed with me ever since.
6. The Bummed Out Rock Biter
The Rock Biter starts out as this adorable muffin. Eventually we just see him sitting alone, looking at his hands, and lamenting the fact that The Nothing killed all of his friends and he was powerless to stop it or help them. He just keeps looking at his big rock hands and saying, "Big, good, strong hands..." and then longingly says, "I always thought that's what they were." He then tells Atreyu that he plans to just hang out and wait to be killed by The Nothing. Family fun at its finest.
7. Gmork & Atreyu's Confrontation Is Super Anticlimactic
The whole time you are waiting for Atreyu to come face-to-face with this Gmork character, and when he starts talking to him from his cave, he seems pretty terrifying. When he launched himself out of hiding and at Atreyu, you assume there will be a pretty epic tussle, right? Nope. Atreyu falls backward and happened to stick his dagger up, which stabs Gmork and he dies immediately. Lame to the extreme. We spend 45 minutes watching Artax get swallowed by sadness and we get about two minutes of Gmork biting it? Dumb.
8. The Theme Song Is Phenomenal
It is straight fire and will be stuck in your head for weeks. Also, the video is a national treasure.
9. There Is Hay In The Dumpster
I never thought it was weird until now, but the dumpster the bullies throw Bastian into is just full of hay. Why is it full of hay? Why isn't their garbage in the dumpster? Who put the hay there? Do you remember the hay? So many questions.
Nostalgia is certainly something that you will experience if you go back to Fantasia, but you might also give yourself some serious nightmare fuel at the same time. Rewatch this childhood flick at your own risk.