Metascore
46

Mixed or average reviews - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 10
  2. Negative: 3 out of 10
  1. 30
    Despite the sophistication of the source material, this 1984 film isn't particularly successful: Petersen insists on forcing the superficial moral lessons, and the half hour removed from the film by its American distributors leaves it with a harsh, choppy rhythm.
  2. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    20
    A lot of it's real pretty, the colors and creatures and all, but these days, you know, every movie is pretty pretty. I guess the only thing that kept me glued to my seat was the gum somebody'd stuck on the upholstery. [16 July 1984, p.71]
  3. The Neverending Story is a graceless, humorless fantasy for children, combining live actors and animated creatures in mostly imaginary settings.
User Score
6.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 39 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Jan 31, 2013
    10
    THE NEVERENDING STORY is a feat in fantasy filmmaking, truly one of the most incredible fantasy adventures ever made. The imaginativeTHE NEVERENDING STORY is a feat in fantasy filmmaking, truly one of the most incredible fantasy adventures ever made. The imaginative character designs and enchanting environments bring the world of Fantasia to life in amazing detail. Director Wolfgang Petersen employs an astonishing array of special effects, from life-like puppets to matte paintings and miniatures that meld together to give the film an epic look unlike any other. Although it is based in childhood fantasy, the film touches on many darker tones and twisted villains that, along with its haunting score, often make for a frightening viewing experience for younger audiences. A series of meaningful and memorable characters are introduced to fight the forces of darkness, characters who personify the values of courage (found in the brave warrior Atreyu), wisdom (shown by the ancient one, Morla), and valor (as seen in the self-sacrifice made by The Rockbiter and others). In the face of such heroism, the corruptive creature that is attempting to destroy this whimsical world fares no chance. On top of the High Fantasy elements the film possesses, it also delivers a powerful message against the death of imagination at the hands of apathetic parents and their disenchanted children. By frequently breaking the fourth wall, THE NEVERENDING STORY engages young Bastian as well as the viewing audience to enter the world of Fantasia and participate in the events as they unfold on screen right beside Atreyu and his companions, thereby saving all who live within this realm. THE NEVERENDING STORY holds a special place beside other timeless classics like THE WIZARD OF OZ, THE DARK CRYSTAL, and LABYRINTH. Full Review »
  2. Jul 20, 2013
    10
    Amazingly deep actually. A wondrous fantasy that the children in my family got remarkably into. A beautiful and timeless classic as far as weAmazingly deep actually. A wondrous fantasy that the children in my family got remarkably into. A beautiful and timeless classic as far as we are concerned. Fully recommended! Full Review »
  3. Mar 24, 2013
    9
    Enchanting, wondrous and creative for a film during the mid 1980's where technology was somewhat limited. The story line is a bit long,Enchanting, wondrous and creative for a film during the mid 1980's where technology was somewhat limited. The story line is a bit long, containing some scary images not suited for children, one being a close up of the 'bad guy' of the film, known as the "Gmork." Full Review »