I had never seen Labyrinth until recently. Unfortunately upon my first viewing I could feel little in the realm of excitement, wonder or joy. There was too much singing- and although David Bowie in tight pants can be fun, I still found myself longing for the imaginative world of The NeverEnding Story. This made me think about two things. For one, it got me started on my remakes aren't so bad kick. If I wasn't affected by a movie that I never saw as a child or growing up, imagine how unaffected most kids today are when seeing the original movies that are being remade. If you do not have a nostalgic remembrance for a movie that isn't necessarily a great movie to begin with, then I think you have a pretty tough time forming any sort of bond or even liking for it. All I'm saying is, that I'm pretty sure The NeverEnding Story isn't a 10/10 kind of movie--yet I'm unhealthily obsessed with it because I grew up with it.
Now this may or may not have to do with the fact that I never saw Labyrinth growing up, but the second thing I thought of after my first viewing was that The NeverEnding Story fucking rules. I expected so much more imagination and cool creatures and scary moments from Labyrinth-- especially when Jim Henson is involved---but I mostly just felt like I was walking down a dark alley on Sesame Street. No offense of course to Labyrinth fans but I'm pretty sure The NeverEnding story is the gold medal winner. Due to this- I saw fit to take you on a pictorial journey of The Neverending Story. Lets relive some brighter moments down memory lane.
We begin with a nightmare. Because let us not forget that "In the beginning, it is always dark". Bastian walks up in his wood paneled bedroom and glances over at what I assume is his mother's picture hanging on the wall.
Upon closer inspection, Bastian also has a lovely portrait of a Native American hanging on the wall. Random? Maybe. But it just might have something to do with the impending introduction of Atreyu. OR if you think about what Bastian's mother's name actually is, it does make sense that she would have a bit of Native American heritage. Meaning of course, that Bastian descends from the "plains people"---thus bridging the gap between himself and Atreyu. Man, I think about things too much.
Does anyone else usually throw up a little bit in their mouth when they watch Bastian's Dad make and drink his orange juice and raw egg breakfast drink?
Speaking of assholes.....who tells an 8 year old that he's too old to be daydreaming and having an imagination. THEY WERE UNICORNS DAD, NOT HORSES. Jeesh. I didn't stop having an imagination till I was like 14.
Thanks to Bastian's incessant daydreaming and love of books, he gets bullied by some true ruffians. Time for a dumpster dive! What the hell people were throwing out in that dumpster anyways? Pencil shavings? Stale noodles? Someone enlighten me.
Never fear, a hop, skip and a jump away from the dumpster, lands you right inside the bookstore of Sean Connery.
The sad part is, I really thought that was Sean Connery up until about oh, 5 years ago. Whoops!
Thanks to not Sean Connery guy, and some savvy book selling skills- Bastian pockets the book but leaves a cute scribbly note behind instead because he's just a good kid.
By the way this book makes number 187 in Bastian's collection....that's a lot of fucking books!
After rushing the book to school, breaking into the attic and skipping a math test, we find ourselves in Fantasia.
Hey...isn't that a Tim Burton Oompa Loompa? Well he hasn't aged a bit!
Well I take that back...he DOES appear to have some wrinkles..
The Child-like empress is sick! I know because this guy told us so.
This brings me to one of my favorite parts of The NeverEnding Story, all those crazy, wacky people that apparently reside in Fantasia!
Enter the girl-like Atreyu
And wear your Auryn proudly.
WARNING! WARNING! THE NEXT PART IS TOO SAD TO DISCUSS SO WE WILL SKIP IT. JUST KNOW THAT IT WAS SAD.
Remember when Atreyu makes it through the swamp of sadness and finds Morla?
Who is really just a cute old turtle thing, but for some reason Bastian flips a shit and screams really loudly?
What's the deal with that? I've still never quite understood this part. Why does he scream this loudly when Morla comes out, and not loudly when Gmork emerges from the forest? In fact I'm getting a little tired of Bastian always screaming and acting crazy.
Oh well, enter every one's favorite Luck Dragon Falkor--who by the way I still think looks like a dog but whatever.
Thanks to Falkor's luck and his protection, Atreyu wakes up just where he needs to be. At the gates to the Southern Oracle. The first of these gates happens to be two sphinxes with huge boobs. Thanks to Atreyu's confidence, he passes through. But first take note of these two sphinxes will you?
Now check out the Southern Oracle...
Clearly someone in the art department got lazy because it's the same exact thing only blue and with some glitter. I'd recognize those boobs anywhere. Laaaazy! Despite laziness, the Southern Oracle holds the key to saving Fantasia from The Nothing. The Child-like Empress needs a new name. But the catch is-the person who gives her that name has to be a human child! Anyone know any human children?
And now a brief word from our Sponsor....
They look like big, strong, good hands don't they?
Meanwhile, back in the land of going nowhere fast, Atreyu stumbles upon some kind of strange artwork that shows the timeline of Atreyu's journey--only I don't remember that weird guy handing Atreyu a mask...
Anyways, everything else seems to check out because I remember this
and I DEFINITELY remember this, only I half blocked it out.
When is this?
....HOW ABOUT RIGHT NOW?!
If you come any closer, I will rip you to shreds.
Sadly, what could have been the greatest battle scene in the history of Fantasia, the battle between good and evil, The Nothing and Fantasia, Gmork (who made up that name a 5 year old?) and Atreyu...fizzles out into 2 seconds of blood and bad puppetry.
Ah yes well...afterwards, Fantasia is overcome by The Nothing and luckily--the Ivory Tower still stands. Here Atreyu find the Child-Like Empress in all her child-like glory.
We now find that although Atreyu's horse did die--he in fact accomplished what he set out to do. He has brought the earthling child with him. Just as Atreyu suffered, so has this boy. And that boy is of course....Bastian!! Now all he has to do is call out a new name for the empress. He has already picked the name- he's just afraid to call it out because he still doesn't believe this is all real. I will now reenact the greatest scene of all time.
Bastian! Why don't you do what you dream Bastian?
But I can't! I have to keep my feet on the ground!
Call my name!
ALRIGHT! I'LL DO IT! I'LL SAVE YOU! I WILL DO WHAT I DREAM!
Why is it so dark?
In the beginning, it is always dark.
Annnnd as we know, Bastian gets an endless supply of wishes so that he can recreate Fantasia and make it better than ever. And what is his first wish? Just as it was Jesus's wish, Bastian wishes to take a jolly ride on Falkor!
And there you have it. Fantasia has returned, Bastian learns that an imagination and having dreams is a vital part of everyday life (suck it Dad) and the bullies get chased down a busy city street by Falkor. Plus all the adults see Falkor. Isn't that breaking some kind of Fantasia boundary or rule?
Oooh right Gmork said that Fantasia HAS no boundaries. Fascinating!
Ah well, stay tuned for the next A Trip Down Memory Lane segment- The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter. RIP Jonathan Brandis.