The NeverEnding Story (film)

1984 film directed by Wolfgang Petersen

The NeverEnding Story [German: Die Unendliche Geschichte] is a 1984 film about a boy who reads a magical book that tells a story of a young warrior whose task is to stop a dark storm called the Nothing from engulfing a fantasy world.

The more wishes you make, the more magnificent Fantasia will become.
Directed by Wolfgang Petersen. Written by Wolfgang Petersen and Herman Weigel, based on the novel by Michael Ende.
A boy who needs a friend finds a world that needs a hero in a land beyond imagination!


Never give up, and good luck will find you.
  • No, not again. No, not again!


  • Never give up, and good luck will find you.


People have begun to lose their hopes and forget their dreams. So the Nothing grows stronger
The sphinx's eyes stay closed, until someone who does not feel his own worth tries to pass by.
If you want to save our world, you must hurry! We don't know how much longer we can withstand the Nothing.
How many wishes do I get?
Bastian: I had another dream, Dad. About Mom.
Bastian's Father: I understand, son. But we have to get on with things, right? [Bastian doesn't reply] Bastian, we each have responsibilities. We can't let Mom's death be an excuse for not getting the old job done, right?
Bastian: Yeah.
Bastian's Father: Son, I think it's time you and I had a little talk. I got a call from your math teacher yesterday. She says that you were drawing horses in your math book.
Bastian: [crossing his fingers] Unicorns. They were unicorns.
Bastian's Father: What?
Bastian: Nothing.
Bastian's Father: She also says that you haven't been turning in your homework on time. And I'm very disappointed that you didn't even try out for the swimming team. As to those riding lessons you wanted, you say you love horses and yet you seem to be afraid to get on a real one. Now Bastian, you're old enough to get your head down out of the clouds and start keeping both feet on the ground, right?
Bastian: Okay.
Bastian's Father: [smiles] Stop daydreaming. Start facing your problems, okay?
Bastian: Okay.

Mr. Koreander: Are you still here? Didn't you hear what I said, boy?
Bastian: Um, I was...
Mr. Koreander: You're hiding, aren't you?
Bastian: No I was...
Mr. Koreander: The video arcade is down the street. Here we just sell small rectangular objects. They're called books. They require a little effort on your part, and make no bee-beep-beeps. On your way please.
Bastian: I know books! I have 186 of them at home.
Mr. Koreander: Aah, comic books.
Bastian: No, I've read Treasure Island, Last of the Mohicans, The Wizard of Oz, Lord of the Rings, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Tarzan,...
Mr. Koreander: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa...Who were you running away from?
Bastian: Just some kids from school.
Mr. Koreander: Why?
Bastian: They wanna throw me in the garbage.
Mr. Koreander: Well why don't you give em' a good punch in the nose, hmm?
Bastian: Well, I don't know... [notices the book that Mr. Koreander was reading] What's that book about?
Mr. Koreander: Oh, this is something special.
Bastian: Well, what is it?
Mr. Koreander: Look, your books are safe. While you're reading them you get to become Tarzan, or Robinson Crusoe.
Bastian: But that's what I like about 'em.
Mr. Koreander: Ah, but afterwards you get to be a little boy again.
Bastian: What do you mean?
Mr. Koreander: Listen. Have you ever been Captain Nemo, trapped inside your submarine, while the giant squid is attacking you?
Bastian: ...Yes.
Mr. Koreander: Weren't you afraid you couldn't escape?
Bastian: But it's only a story.
Mr. Koreander: That's what I'm talking about. The ones you read are safe.
Bastian: And that one isn't?
Mr. Koreander: Don't worry about it.
Bastian: But you just said it was...
[The phone rings]
Mr. Koreander: [closes the book] Forget about it. This book is not for you.

Rockbiter: Where I come from, in the North, we used to have exquisite gourmet rocks. Only, they're all gone.
Nighthob: I know how it happened. [chuckles]
Rockbiter: Oh, I-I swear it wasn't me!
Nighthob: Oh, heck, no!
Teeny Weeny: I think I know what it was. Tell us more.
Rockbiter: Near my home, there used to be a beautiful lake. But then...then was gone.
Teeny Weeny: Did the lake dry up?
Rockbiter: No. It just wasn't there anymore. Nothing was there anymore. Not even a dried up lake.
Teeny Weeny: A hole?
Rockbiter: A hole would be something. No, it was...nothing. And it got bigger, and bigger. First there was no lake anymore, and then rocks. [starts chewing a rock, and the pieces nearly fall onto the Nighthob]
Nighthob: If he keeps stuffing his face like that, soon there won't be any rocks here either!

Cairon: I'm sorry, but this is not the time nor place for children. I must ask you to leave.
Atreyu: If you don't want me here, you shouldn't have sent for me.
Cairon: It was not you we sent for. We wanted Atreyu.
Atreyu: I am Atreyu.
Cairon: [laughs] Not Atreyu the Child! Atreyu the Warrior.
Atreyu: I am the only Atreyu of the Plains People. But I'll be happy to go back hunting the purple buffalo. [turns to leave]
Cairon: No, wait! Come back, please. If you really are the Atreyu we sent for, you would be willing to go on a quest?
Atreyu: Yes, of course. What kind of a quest?
Cairon: To find a cure for the Empress, and to save our world. No one can give you any advice except this. You must go alone, you must leave all your weapons behind. It will be very dangerous.
Atreyu: Is there any chance of success?
Cairon: I do not know. But if you fail, the Empress will surely die, and our whole world will be utterly destroyed.
Atreyu: [takes off his bow and quiver of arrows and lays them on the ground] When do I begin?
Cairon: Now. And you must hurry, Atreyu. The Nothing grows stronger every day. Take this. [places the Auryn necklace around Atreyu's neck] He who wears the Auryn speaks for the Empress. It will guide and protect you.

[In the Swamps of Sadness, Atreyu pulls his horse along saying reassuring things the whole time]
Atreyu: That's it. You're doing fine, Artax. [suddenly Artax stops and Atreyu pulls on the reigns. Artax doesn't budge] Come on Artax, what's the matter? What's wrong? Come on, boy! I understand, it's too difficult for you. [tries pulling him in a different direction and steps into a puddle up to his waist. Suddenly he notices that Artax is sinking!] Artax! You're sinking! Come on! Turn around! You have to! NOW! COME ON! ARTAX! Fight against the Sadness, Artax! Artax, please. You're letting the sadness of the swamps get to you. You have to try. You have to care. For me. You're my friend. I love you. [Artax moves only slightly, but then sinks again, now up to his neck in swamp water. Atreyu panics] ARTAX! STUPID HORSE! YOU'VE GOT TO MOVE OR YOU'LL DIE! [Artax's head remains only a couple of inches above water] [voice Breaking] Move, please! [Artax is about to go under] I won't give up! Don't quit! ARTAX! [fades to black] PLEASE!

Atreyu: Are you Morla, the Ancient One?
Morla: [yawns] Not that it matters, but yes.
Atreyu: Please help me, Morla! Do you recognize this? [holds out the Auryn]
Morla: Well...we haven't seen the Auryn in a long time.
Atreyu: We? [looks around him] Is there someone else here too?
Morla: We haven't spoken to anyone else for thousands of years, so we started talking to ourselves. [lets out an enormous sneeze, knocking Atreyu out of the tree]
Atreyu: [climbing back up] Morla! I bring terrible news! Did you know that the Empress is very ill?
Morla: Not that it matters, but yes. Actually, we don't care.
Atreyu: If I don't save her, she'll die! There's a terrible Nothing sweeping over the land! Don't you care about that?
Morla: We don't even care...whether or not we care. [stifles a sneeze, Atreyu braces himself]
Atreyu: Do you have a cold?
Morla: No...we're youth! [sneezes again]
Atreyu: You know how I can help the Empress, don't you?
Morla: Not that it matters, but...yes.
Atreyu: If you don't tell me and the Nothing keeps coming, you'll die too! Both of you!
Morla: Die? That, at least, would be something. [starts to sneeze, Atreyu braces himself again]
Atreyu: Please help me. You said you knew the answer-
Morla: [sneezes again, knocking Atreyu out of the tree] We're tired of sneezing, go away! Nothing matters.
Atreyu: [climbing back up again] That's not true! If it didn't really matter to you, you could tell me.
Morla: [laughs] Ah ha ha! Clever boy!
Morla: We don't know, but you can ask the Southern Oracle.
Atreyu: How can I get there?
Morla: You can't. It's 10,000 miles away.
Atreyu: But that's so far.
Morla: That's right. Forget it. Give up.

Falkor: Leaving so soon? Hmm?
Atreyu: Uh, I was just going to - I-I-I have to...I was trying to-
Falkor: Sneak away?
Atreyu: Yeah... [Falkor chuckles] I mean no, no!
Falkor: I like children.
Atreyu: For breakfast?
Falkor: [laughs] Never! I'm a luckdragon. My name is Falkor.
Atreyu: And my name is-
Falkor: Atreyu. And you're on a quest.
Atreyu: How'd you know that?
Falkor: You were unconscious, and you talked in your sleep. [winks]
Atreyu: Wha-?
Falkor: [wiggles his right ear, and strains to reach it with his short leg] Could you...get round and scratch behind my right ear? [Atreyu giggles] I can never quite reach it!
Atreyu: [approaches him and starts scratching] Here?
Falkor: Oh...Yeah! [chuckles] That's so good. Thank you. So, little fella - you're on your way to the Southern Oracle?
Atreyu: Yes. But it's hopeless. It's too far away!
Falkor: Oh, I wouldn't necessarily say that.
Atreyu: know how to get there?
Falkor: Why, sure. It's right around the corner.
Atreyu: How'd all this happen?!
Falkor: [chuckles] With luck! [winks again]
Atreyu: You've already brought me the entire 10,000 miles?
Falkor: No, only 9,891. As the dragon flies.
Atreyu: You're amazing!
Falkor: [chuckles] Having a luckdragon with you is the only way to go on a quest. Things will work out fine, Atreyu. Never give up, and good luck will find you.

Engywook: Get out of my light wench!! You're disturbing my scientific work!!!
Urgl: You and your SCIENTIFIC WORK!!!! What the boy needs one of my potions!!
Engywook: The Boy will need my scientific advice much more!
Atreyu: Ahem...
Engywook: Ahhhhhh!!! He's Well!!! Now it's my turn with him!
Urgl: Oh no! It's your turn when I say it's your turn...Well little man...still in pain??
Atreyu: A little...but it's alright.
Urgl: I like that!!! The patient telling the doctor it's alright?? It has to hurt if it's to heal! [hands Atreyu cup] Drink that...that's my batwing broth!! There's eye of newt in there, old tree mold...lizard brains...scales from a rancid sea serpent!
Engywook: Just where did you and your dragon come from? What are you on to? Anything of interest in the, uh, scientific community?
Atreyu: My name's Atreyu. I came here to find the Southern Oracle.
Engywook: Oh!!
Urgl: Here we go again!
Engywook: You've come to the right place, my boy! I am somewhat of an expert on the Southern Oracle.
Urgl: It is my scientific specialty.
Engywook: It's my scientific specialty!
Urgl: Why don't you sit down and be quiet for once?!
Engywook: You keep quiet, wench!
Urgl: Ooh!!
Engywook: It's now my turn. [to Atreyu] My name is Engywook. She's Urgl. Ever heard of me?
Atreyu: I don't think so.
Engywook: You don't move in scientific circles. [Atreyu shakes his head] I am the expert on the Southern Oracle. Oh, you've come to the right place, my boy!
Urgl: There's no fool like an old fool.
Engywook: Wait! Stay here! The observatory. To the winch, wench!

Atreyu: Is that the Southern Oracle?
Engwwook: Oh, no. It's the first of the two gates you must pass through, before you reach the Southern Oracle, and get me the final information for my book. Of course, most people never get that far.
Atreyu: Why?
Engywook: The sphinxes' eyes stay closed, until someone who does not feel his own worth tries to pass by.

Engywook: He made it! Atreyu! He made it through the Sphinx Gate! I always said he could do it!
Urgl: Oh, good! But that's no reason for you to fall out of the basket again!
Engywook: Ooh!
Falkor: I knew he would be safe.
Engywook: Nonsense! You don't understand anything! The worst one is coming up, next is the Magic Mirror Gate. Atreyu has to look his true self!
Falkor: So what? That won't be to hard for him.
Engywook: Oh, that's what everyone thinks! But kind people find that they are cruel. Brave men discover that they are really cowards! Confronted with their true selves, most men run away, screaming!

Southern Oracle: Do not be afraid. We will not harm you. We have been waiting for you a long time, Atreyu.
Atreyu: Are you the Southern Oracle?
Southern Oracle: Yes, we are.
Atreyu: Then you must know what can save Fantasia!
Southern Oracle: Yes, we do.
Atreyu: Well? What is it? I have to know!
Southern Oracle: The Empress needs a new name.
Atreyu: A new name? That's all? But that's easy! I can give her any name she wants!
Southern Oracle: No one from Fantasia can do it. Only a human child can give her this new name.
Atreyu: A human child? Where can I find one?
Southern Oracle: You can only find one beyond the boundaries of Fantasia. [begins to crumble] If you want to save our world, you must hurry! We don't know how much longer we can withstand the Nothing.

Rockbiter: [holding up his hands] They look like big, good, strong hands, don't they? I always thought that's what they were. Oh, my little friends...the little man with his racing snail, the Nighthob, even the stupid bat. I couldn't hold onto them. The Nothing pulled them right out of my hands. I failed.
Atreyu: No, you didn't fail. I'm the one who failed. I'm the one who was chosen to stop the Nothing. But I lost the Auryn, I can't find my luckdragon, so I won't be able to get beyond the boundaries of Fantasia!
[A crash is heard]
Rockbiter: Listen. The Nothing will be here any minute. I will just sit here, and let it take me away too. [holds up his hands again] They look like good, strong hands, don't they?
[Atreyu nods sadly]

G'mork: If you come any closer, I will rip you to shreds.
Atreyu: Who are you?
G'mork: I am G'mork. And you, whoever you are, can have the honor of being my last victim.
Atreyu: I will not die easily. I am a warrior.
G'mork: Ha! Brave warrior. Then fight the Nothing.
Atreyu: But I can't! I can't get beyond the boundaries of Fantasia! [G'mork laughs mockingly] What's so funny about that?
G'mork: Fantasia has no boundaries.
[The ruins start to shake. Some rocks fall]
Atreyu: That's not true. You're lying!
G'mork: Foolish boy. Don't you know anything about Fantasia? It's the world of human fantasy. Every part, every creature of it, is a piece of the dreams and hopes of mankind. Therefore, it has no boundaries.
[A crash. More rocks fall]
Atreyu: But why is Fantasia dying, then?
G'mork: Because people have begun to lose their hopes and forget their dreams. So the Nothing grows stronger.
Atreyu: What is the Nothing?
G'mork: It's the emptiness that's left. It is like a despair, destroying this world. And I have been trying to help it.
Atreyu: But why?!
G'mork: Because people who have no hopes are easy to control. And whoever has the control has the Power.
[A large crash shakes the ground]
Atreyu: [briefly loses his balance, but regains it and turns towards G'mork with a cold look] Who are you really?
G'mork: [last words] I am the servant of the Power behind the Nothing. I was sent to kill the only one who could have stopped the Nothing. I lost him in the Swamps of Sadness. His name was Atreyu.
[The ground shakes again]
Atreyu: [falls, but grabs a sharp piece of stone and stands up] If we're about to die anyway, I'd rather die fighting! Come for me, G'mork! I AM ATREYU!
[With a snarling roar, G'mork lunges at Atreyu, but is impaled on his knife and dies]

The Childlike Empress: Atreyu, why do you look so sad?
Atreyu: I have failed you, Empress.
The Childlike Empress: No, you haven't. You brought him with you.
Atreyu: Who?
The Childlike Empress: The earthling child. The one who can save us all.
Atreyu: You knew about the earthling child?
The Childlike Empress: Of course. I knew everything.
Atreyu: My horse died! I nearly drowned, I just barely got away from the Nothing! For what?! To find out what you already knew?!
The Childlike Empress: It was the only way to get in touch with an earthling.
Atreyu: But I didn't get in touch with an earthling!
The Childlike Empress: Yes, you did. He has suffered with you. He went through everything you went through, and now he has come here with you. He is very close, listening to every word, we say.
Bastian: [confused] What?!
Atreyu: Where is he?! If he's so close, why doesn't he arrive?!
The Childlike Empress: He doesn't realize he's already a part of The NeverEnding Story.
Atreyu: "The NeverEnding Story"?! What's that?!
The Childlike Empress: Just as he is sharing all your adventures, others are sharing his. They were with him when he hid from the boys in the bookstore.
Bastian: [cannot believe it] But that's impossible!
The Childlike Empress: They were with him when he took the book with the Auryn symbol on the cover, in which he's reading his own story, right now.
Bastian: [runs off and catches himself] I can't believe it! They can't be talking about me. [goes back to the book]
Atreyu: What will happen when he doesn't appear?!
The Childlike Empress: [in a grave tone] Then our world will disappear and so will I.
Atreyu: How could he let that happen?!
The Childlike Empress: He doesn't understand that he's the one who has the power to stop it. He simply can't imagine that one little boy could be that important.
Bastian: Is is really me? How could i make any difference?
The Childlike Empress: He has to give me a new name.
The Childlike Empress: He's already chosen it. He just has to call it out.
Atreyu: [now desperate and hysterical] WHERE IS HE?!?!?!? WHY ISN'T HE HERE?!?!?!
The Childlike Empress: He still does not have the confidence.
Bastian: It's only a story. It's not real, it's only a story! [the Nothing continues to consume the tower and another quake from the Nothing kills Atreyu] ATREYU NOOOO!!!
The Childlike Empress: [seeing Atreyu's death] ATREYU!
[Back in the attic, a frightened Bastian cowers as the Windows are blown open by the storm as one of them is shattered by a fallen tree branch. Meanwhile, The Ivory Tower is moments away from being entirely consumed by the Nothing]
The Childlike Empress: [to Bastian] Don't you have the courage to save us, Bastian?
Bastian: [now scared and terrified] I WISH I COULD!!
The Childlike Empress: Why don't you do what you dream, Bastian?
Basitan: [on the verge of tears] BUT I CAN'T! I HAVE TO KEEP MY FEET ON THE GROUND!!
The Childlike Empress: [as the Ivory Tower is seconds away from being consumed by the nothing] Call my name! Please, call my name! BASTIAN, PLEASE!!! SAVE US!!!
Bastian: [finally giving in] ALL RIGHT! I'LL DO IT! I WILL SAVE YOU!! I'LL DO WHAT I DREAM!!! [climbs up to the window and yells at the storm] MOONCHILD!!!!!!
[Suddenly, everything went black as the Nothing stops]

Bastian: Why is it so dark?
The Childlike Empress: In the beginning, it is always dark.
Bastian: What is that?
The Childlike Empress: One grain of sand. It is all that remains of my vast empire.
Bastian: Fantasia has totally disappeared?
The Childlike Empress: Yes.
Bastian: Then...everything's been in vain.
The Childlike Empress: No, it hasn't. Fantasia can rise anew. From your dreams and wishes, Bastian.
Bastian: How?
The Childlike Empress: Open your hand. [places the grain in the palm of his hand] What are you going to wish for?
Bastian: I don't know...
The Childlike Empress: Then there will be no Fantasia anymore.
Bastian: How many wishes do I get?
The Childlike Empress: As many as you want. And the more wishes you make, the more magnificent Fantasia will become.
Bastian: Really?
The Childlike Empress: Try it.
Bastian: [starting to smile] Then my first wish is...
[The Empress looks up and smiles too, and Bastian is shown riding on Falkor through the sky over a reviving Fantasia]
Bastian: YEAH! Falkor, it's even more beautiful than I thought!
Falkor: Like it?
Bastian: Falkor, it's wonderful! Falkor, it's like the Nothing never was!

Narrator: [last lines] Bastian made many other wishes, and had many other amazing adventures - before he finally returned to the real world. But that's...another story.