The Neverending Story Movie Poster

Trivia for The Neverending Story

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  • The makeup team on the movie tried to paint Noah Hathaway green, just as Atreyu is in the book. "It wasn't believable. I looked like fungi!" Hathaway said.
  • Author Michael Ende decided that he was unhappy with the film's version of his story, and refused to have his name placed in the opening credits. A small credit appears at the end with his name. He also asked if the movie title would be changed or cancelled. After the studio declined both options, he filed a lawsuit and ultimately lost.
  • The theme song was sung by Limahl, who was the lead singer of the pop band Kajagoogoo. When a show plays the music video, depending on their fame in that country, the performance credit goes to either Limahl or Kajagoogoo.
  • Most of the film was shot in Germany in the summer of 1983. It was Germany's hottest summer in 25 years.
  • In the English translation of the original novel, the mystical land was Fantastica. The original German name, Phantásien, translates more accurately as Fantasia.
  • The Night Hob says a profanity in the opening scene where the Rockbiter appears running down all in its path. This profanity is often dubbed over by the grumble of the Rockbiter's scooter, so that it can be shown as a children's film.
  • The original Auryn for this film now hangs in an enclosed glass display in Steven Spielberg's office.
  • "The Childlike Empress" was just child-"like". She has existed for as long as there have been stories to tell. She was portrayed by Iranian born Israeli-American dancer Tami Stronach who was only 11 years old when the production started.
  • According to the book, the Childlike Empress' new name that Bastian screams into the night is "Moonchild."
  • Noah Hathaway almost lost an eye during the fight-scene versus Gmork. One of the claws on his giant paws poked him in the face. The robot was also so heavy that he lost his breath as well when he was hit to the ground by it. They only made one shot due to the risk that he would get seriously wounded.
  • Falkor is actually a 43-foot long motorized creature with 6,000 plastic scales and pink feather-fur. His head is three feet tall and long and has a long tongue in the mouth.
  • You can "ride" on Falcor's back on location at the Bavaria Filmplatz Munich, Germany.
  • Was the most expensive film ever produced in Germany at the time it was made.
  • During filming in Germany, because it was an unusually hot summer one of the statues of the Ivory Tower actually melted. On other days, the crew were forced to shut down production because the blue backgrounds for the matte work refused to operate properly.
  • The movie only covers the first half of the original novel by Michael Ende. Therefore, the point at which the movie ends is only the halfway point of the book.
  • Noah Hathaway was hurt twice during the making of the movie. While learning to ride a horse, his horse threw him off, then stepped on him. While shooting the drowning sequence in the "swamp of sadness," his leg got caught on the elevator and he was pulled under water. He was unconscious by the time he was brought to the surface.
  • Tami Stronach was attending theatre classes in San Francisco when she got the audition to be The Childlike Empress. Her acting teacher was friends with the production executive and talent scout Anna Gross. Tami initially believed she was auditioning for a little play and had no idea it was to be for a major motion picture.
  • Noah Hathaway was due to appear in the Broadway show "Chaplin" alongside Gene Kelly and Ann-Margret, but opted to do "The Neverending Story" instead. He had been cast in the film, then the original director was fired, and when Wolfgang Petersen was hired, Noah was immediately re-hired.
  • The scenes set in the real world (Bastian's home, the city, the school, etc.) were shot not at Bavaria Studios in Munich, Germany, but in Vancouver, Canada.
  • Noah Hathaway now owns and operates a tattoo parlor in Los Angeles, California with his wife.
  • Tami Stronach lost both front teeth shortly before filming. She wore fake teeth, which caused her to lisp until she got used to them.
  • Two scenes from the book were written in the script but ultimately scrapped due to special effects limitations. The first was the initial appearance of Falcor, where Atreyu rescues him from Ygramul the Many, a swarm of poisonous wasps taking the form of a giant spider. This is where Bastian's scream being heard by the characters in the book was to have taken place, and also explained why Atreyu and Falcor are later seen being given medicine by the Gnomes. The second cut scene involved Atreyu and Falcor encountering the Wind Giants, giant creatures made of clouds, and being caught in a fight between them. This was re-edited into their close encounter with the Nothing before Atreyu falls into the sea.
  • Deep Roy's voice was dubbed in this movie.
  • According to an article released by Der Spiegel in 1984, writer Michael Ende had hoped for this film to be directed either by Andrzej Wajda or Akira Kurosawa.
  • Contrary to Internet rumor, the horse did not really die during the filming of the Swamp of Sadness scene. As confirmed by German magazine interview with Noah Hathaway shortly after the movie, and in the years since at conventions, the horse was given to Noah at the end of filming but due to the cost of transportation, need for quarantine, and sterilization, the horse was left behind in Germany.
  • Author Michael Ende felt that the movie did not follow closely to the book that he urged that production be shut down or the title of the movie be changed. Because the producers refused to do either, Ende filed a lawsuit against the producers. He ended up losing the case.
  • At the time of its release it was the most expensive film produced outside the United States and the Soviet Union.
  • Almost five million Germans watched the film during its initial release, a rare feat for a German production.
  • The German version does not feature the theme song, nor the techno-pop elements composed by Giorgio Moroder. It only features the orchestral score composed by Klaus Doldinger.
  • In the Anthony Horowitz novel Oblivion, one of the characters reads his life story in a library, much like Bastian in the film.
  • According to the filmmakers, the rolling storm clouds were not meant to actually be The Nothing, but rather an indication of its presence, as The Nothing is an invisible force.
  • When Warner Bros. passed on releasing Supergirl (1984), which was originally designed to be their tent pole release that year, they hurried the release of "Die unendliche Geschichte" (The Neverending Story) for summer audiences.
  • Atreyu is an ancient word which means "Bold Guardian".
  • Two more sequels of this film were later made, one of them with late Jonathan Brandis (best known as Lucas Wolenczak,a wizz-kid on SeaQuest) as Bastian in The NeverEnding Story II(1991).
  • Gerald McRaney who played a role of Bastian's father is best known for his title role on a popular sitcom TV series "Major Dad".
  • The metalcore band Atreyu took their name from the film.
  • One of poet/writer J.R. Gabriel's favorite childhood movies. After leaving Upstate New York to live in Arizona, the movie provided inspiration towards Gabriel becoming a professional writer.
  • The title song by Limahl initially did poorly in the US. The song only became a hit in the US following the movie's Home Video release and Cable TV airings a year after the film's theatrical release.
  • In the novel, the bullies are after Bastian because, in the novel, he is fat.
  • Based on the 1979 German fantasy novel, Die unendliche Geschichte (The NeverEnding Story), by Michael Ende.


  • The roles of Bastian, Atreyu and the Child-like Empress were recast for The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter (1990) due to the ages of Barret Oliver, Noah Hathaway and Tami Stronach whom were all in their late teens in 1989. Jonathan Brandis, Kenny Morrison and Alexandra Johnes assumed the roles. Jesse James Richter and Julie Cox took over the roles of Bastian and the Empress in The NeverEnding Story III (1994). But, Atreyu did not return for the 3rd film.
  • Bully skip, is portrayed by Jack Black in The Never Ending Story III
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