The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter

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The NeverEnding Story II:
The Next Chapter
Neverending story two poster.jpg
US theatrical release poster
Directed by George T. Miller
Produced by Dieter Geissler
Screenplay by Karin Howard
Based on The Neverending Story 
by Michael Ende
Starring Jonathan Brandis
Kenny Morrison
Clarissa Burt
John Wesley Shipp
Alaïs Angélique Adell
Alexandra Johnes
Thomas Hill
Music by Robert Folk
Theme Song:
Giorgio Moroder
Cinematography David Connell
Edited by Chris Blunden
Peter Hollywood
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release dates
  • October 25, 1990 (1990-10-25) (Germany)
  • February 8, 1991 (1991-02-08) (United States)
Running time 90 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $36 milion
Box office $17,373,527 (USA)

The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter is a 1990 German/American fantasy film and sequel to The NeverEnding Story. It was directed by George T. Miller and starred Jonathan Brandis as Bastian Bux, Kenny Morrison as Atreyu, and Alexandra Johnes as the Childlike Empress. The only actor to return from the first film was Thomas Hill as Mr. Koreander.

This film used plot elements from Michael Ende's novel The NeverEnding Story (primarily the second half), but introduced a new storyline.

Upon its American theatrical release in 1991, the Bugs Bunny animated short "Box-Office Bunny" was shown before the film. This short was also included on the VHS and Laserdisc release later that year.


Bastian Bux (Jonathan Brandis) is having troubles at home: his father Barney (John Wesley Shipp), cannot relate to him—his busy workload is keeping him from spending time with his son and Bastian's fear of heights is hurting him on the swim team. Bastian flees from his problems to an old bookstore when after picking up the NeverEnding Story book and picking up the AURYN wishing symbol on the front cover, he hears the Childlike Empress (Alexandra Johnes) tell him that he is needed to save Fantasia.

Upon landing in Fantasia he reunites with Atreyu (Kenny Morrison) Falkor (voiced by Donald Arthur) Rock Biter and meets a new character, a talking bird-like creature named Nimbly (Martin Umbach). Bastian now faces "the Emptiness", created by the evil sorceress Xayide (Clarissa Burt) and her magical army of mechanical giants. The sorceress plans to overthrow the Childlike Empress as ruler of Fantasia, wanting to bring order to dreams and stories which she considers as forms of chaos. Knowing Bastian is more than capable of stopping her, she has a machine constructed in which each time he makes a wish from AURYN, it will strip him of a memory until he has forgotten his purpose in Fantasia as well as where he came from. After Bastian and Atreyu confront Xayide at her castle, she feigns surrender and begins to manipulate Bastian into making a series of ridiculous wishes soon after.

Meanwhile Barney is out looking for his son finding little help from the police or the bookstore owner, Mr. Koreander (Thomas Hill). Upon reading the NeverEnding Story, he is surprised to see his son's exploits unfolded on each page. As he follows Bastian's journey through the book, Atreyu conveys his concerns to Falkor and realizes he must stop Bastian before Xayide's hold over him becomes too strong to break. This leads to a fight between the two boys ending with Bastian accidentally sending Atreyu over the side of a small cliff.

As Atreyu's lifeless body lies at the bottom of the cliff Bastian is momentarily shaken by the events, but then shouts to Atreyu that he brought his death on himself. Returning to Xayide, he finds the machine that has been collecting the orbs containing his memories and finally realizing the sorceress' evil intentions. Bastian then sees Falkor flying away with Atreyu's body and tries to use Atreyu's horse Artax to catch up to them, but is nearly killed by an attack by Xayide. Having worked for the sorceress, Nimbly has a change of heart and helps Bastian find the location of the two. Eventually catching up to them and after expressing regret for inadvertently killing his friend, he sacrifices his memory of his beloved mother to wish Atreyu back to life. Meanwhile, Xayide and her army travel under Fantasia's surface to reach Bastian.

Now Bastian has only one wish (and only one memory - his father) left. Xayide appears and urges him to use his final wish to return home, but instead he turns the tables on Xayide by wishing for her to have a heart. The overwhelming sense of suddenly being able to feel emotion proves to be too much for Xayide and the evil sorceress explodes in a blast of light and with her destruction, Fantasia is restored in all its glory. After being thanked by the Childlike Empress and with the verbal encouragement of his father Atreyu and Falkor Bastian is able to face his fear of heights by jumping off a high cliff, thus returning home safely. Before the end credits, AURYN reappears on the front cover of the Neverending Story book.



The film was panned by the critics.

Richard Harrington's review for the Washington Post was typical of the largely negative reaction to the film, "Unlike its predecessor, there are few effects in 'II' worthy of being called special, and events unfold with uniform flatness. Silver City feels like Diet Oz, the sorceress's castle is more hinted at than realized and several new creatures are right out of late-night comedy sketches".[1]

Chris Hicks, writing for the Deseret Morning News, was more kind in his review, noting that it would be enjoyable to children, whereas the first film was enjoyable to the entire family.[2]


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