The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter
|The NeverEnding Story II:
The Next Chapter
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
John Wesley Shipp
Alaïs Angélique Adell
|Music by||Robert Folk
|Editing by||Chris Blunden
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|Running time||90 minutes|
|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.
Upon its American theatrical release in 1991, the Bugs Bunny animated short "Box-Office Bunny" was shown before the movie. 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, 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) and meets a new character, an anthropomorphic talking bird named Nimbly (Martin Umbach). Characters from the previous film, such as Falkor (voiced by Donald Arthur) and Rock Biter, have minor roles in this film. Bastian now faces "the Emptiness", and he is soon manipulated by the evil sorceress Xayide (Clarissa Burt) and her magical army of mechanical giants. The sorceress has a sinister plan for Fantasia and the Childlike Empress, but much of the film involves her persuading Bastian to forget about his mission and instead make a series of silly wishes. Each wish that Bastian makes causes him to lose a memory, and when he loses all memories he will not remember Fantasia and the Emptiness will take over.
Meanwhile, Barney is out looking for his son, finding little help from the police or the bookstore owner, Mr. Koreander (Thomas Hill). He finds the NeverEnding Story book and is surprised to see his son's exploits unfolded on the 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. He returns to Xayide, only to find 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. He eventually catches 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 though the underworld 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.
- Jonathan Brandis - Bastian Bux
- Kenny Morrison - Atreyu
- Clarissa Burt - Xayide
- John Wesley Shipp - Barney Bux
- Alexandra Johnes - Childlike Empress
- Thomas Hill - Mr. Koreander
- Anaïs Anaïs - Little Princess Olgamar
- Donald Arthur - Falkor (voice)
- Faye Adell - Little Prince Olgamar
- Martin Umbach - Nimbly
- Jerry M. Haney, Jr. - Young Bastian
Reviews for the film were generally negative. The film currently holds a rare 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
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".
However, the film received a mixed response from viewers, as it currently holds a 4.8 on IMDb.
- The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter at the Internet Movie Database
- The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter at allmovie
- The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter at Rotten Tomatoes