We recently shared Mark Bishop’s video list of 10 lesser-known facts about The Neverending Story, directed by Wolfgang Petersen and released in 1984 (link below). It was a fascinating retrospective that revealed many interesting bits of trivia. Most fascinating to me, personally, was the revelation that there was both a cartoon and a live-action TV series based on the film.
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I missed them both, most likely because I was in college in the 1990s (and too distracted by sex, drugs, and homework to watch TV); still I can’t be the only one who never knew these shows existed. The cartoon, The Neverending Story: The Animated Adventures of Bastian Balthazar Bux, was produced in Canada and ran on HBO for 26 episodes between 1995 and 1996. Check out the trailer and synopsis below.
Official Synopsis: Young boy Bastian helps yet again the Childlike Empress and her people of Fantasia, an imagination land that can be accessed and influenced through a magic never ending book called The NeverEnding Story because the horrifying Nothing and other villains still threaten it. In the process, Bastian learns valuable lessons and gains many magical friends.
Tales from the Neverending Story was also produced in Canada and ran on HBO as 4 two-hour had-for-TV movies released between 2002 and 2004. Check out some footage below.
Official Synopsis: Twelve-year-old Bastian Balthazar Bux had lost the wonderful imagination he had as a child somewhere between growing older, watching TV, going to school and playing with his Gameboy. But when his mother dies suddenly, Bastian’s limitless imagination is reborn. Bastian comes across a magical book, “The Neverending Story”, in a curious little bookstore. Inspired by the book, Bastian creates an enchanted world called Fantasia, inhabited by dragons, dark knights and assorted heroes and villains. The adventure of a lifetime begins when Bastian projects his Fantasian alter ego, Atreyu, into a battle against the sinister force of The Nothing. This terrible force threatens to destroy Fantasia and its ruler, the Childlike Empress. Only Atreyu, a 14-year-old Woodland boy and unlikely hero, can save her and find a cure for The Nothing. Bastian’s experiences in the real world; such as his mourning, his new, sometimes tumultuous life with his dad, his problems with a school bully and his terror of a new, sadistic substitute teacher, are mirrored by Atreyu’s experiences in Fantasia. Along with Atreyu, Bastian overcomes obstacles, learns important life lessons, and gains insights that help him adjust to the sudden death of his mom.
Are you a fan of The Neverending Story? Did you know about the cartoon and TV series? Sound off in the Comments section! And, for kicks, check out the trailer and synopsis for the original Neverending Story below. Enjoy!
Official Synopsis: On his way to school, Bastian (Barret Oliver) ducks into a bookstore to avoid bullies. Sneaking away with a book called “The Neverending Story,” Bastian begins reading it in the school attic. The novel is about Fantasia, a fantasy land threatened by “The Nothing,” a darkness that destroys everything it touches. The kingdom needs the help of a human child to survive. When Bastian reads a description of himself in the book, he begins to wonder if Fantasia is real and needs him to survive.
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