The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter

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The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter
Neverending story two poster.jpg
International theatrical release poster by Renato Casaro
Directed byGeorge T. Miller
Produced byDieter Geissler
Screenplay byKarin Howard
Based onThe Neverending Story
by Michael Ende
Starring
Music byRobert Folk
CinematographyDavid Connell
Edited by
  • Chris Blunden
  • Peter Hollywood
Production
company
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • October 25, 1990 (1990-10-25) (Germany)
  • February 8, 1991 (1991-02-08) (United States)
Running time
89 minutes[1]
CountryWest Germany
LanguageEnglish
Box office$17.4 million[2]

The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter is a 1990 English-language German fantasy film and a sequel to The NeverEnding Story. It was directed by George T. Miller and stars 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 Carl Conrad Coreander. The 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.

Plot[edit]

Bastian Balthazar Bux seeks to join his school's swimming team, but his ability to jump off a diving board is marred by his acrophobia. He revisits Carl Conrad Coreander's antiquarian bookstore to seek advice on courage, where he rediscovers the Neverending Story and hears the Childlike Empress call out to him for aid. Bastian takes the book home while the Auryn amulet magically comes off the book cover which Bastian takes and is summoned to Fantasia, where he meets a bird-like creature named Nimbly and is reunited with Atreyu. After the group encounters and escapes from giants, Bastian comes to understand that a force called "Emptiness" is spreading across Fantasia. This force has been brought about by the evil sorceress Xayide, who seeks to seize power over Fantasia. To hinder Bastian's quest, Xayide's inventor develops an apparatus that strips Bastian of a memory each time he uses the Auryn amulet to make a wish. Nimbly was sent as a spy to persuade Bastian to make wishes until he is unable to remember why he came to Fantasia.

Bastian and Atreyu seek out and capture Xayide. She seems to abandon her quest for power and agrees to lead the two to the Childlike Empress. During the travel to the Empress's castle, Xayide tricks Bastian into believing that his friends will turn against him and manages to get him to wish for a series of ridiculous wishes. It also becomes obvious to Atreyu that they are being led aimlessly. Meanwhile, Bastian's father Barney has noticed his son's disappearance. He finds the Neverending Story in Bastian's room and sees a sticker on the front cover listing the bookstore's address. Barney rushes to confront Mr. Coreander, who simply tells him that he will find the answers to his son's whereabouts inside the book. Returning later with a police officer, Barney is shocked to see the bookstore abandoned. Eventually, Barney reads the book and is surprised to see his son's exploits in Fantasia being written by the book itself and that he is mentioned within.

Atreyu determines what Xayide is planning, while Bastian is fully persuaded that Atreyu has turned on him. In a struggle between the two, Atreyu is knocked over a cliff and falls to his death. Returning to Xayide, Bastian discovers the apparatus for himself and learns that he only has two memories left, consisting of his mother and father. Bastian uses his penultimate memory of his mother to wish Atreyu back to life. Xayide tries to force Bastian to use his last wish to return home. Bastian agrees to do so, but wishes for the sorceress "to have a heart" instead. This fills Xayide with emotion, negating the Emptiness within her and which she controls. Overcome with compassion, Xayide explodes in a blast of light, and Fantasia is restored. Having been freed, the Childlike Empress thanks Bastian for his help while Bastian gives her the Auryn amulet and shows him the way home: a cliff overlooking a waterfall to help Bastian overcome his fear of heights. Encouraged by Barney and Atreyu, Bastian jumps off and returns home safely while the Auryn amulet magically goes back onto the book cover.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Producer Dieter Geissler [de] declared he always intended to make a trilogy out of Michael Ende's The Neverending Story, finding the book "just too rich to leave at one film". However, his plans to follow the original film, which only covers half of the novel, had to be postponed as Ende sued Geissler and the production company, insisting that he have a say in any future film treatments of his work. As soon as the legal problems were solved, Geissler started a year-long pre-production working with conceptual artist Ludwig Angerer, to ensure the film's design and technical ambitions would fit into a lower budget, along with averting the problems the first film faced with its effects. Geissler also hired screenwriter Karin Howard, who contributed 14 drafts until the final screenplay, which draws inspiration from most chapters in the second half of Ende's novel. Geissler opted to invite a director only when the development was finished, as he considered effects-heavy productions "burn a director out real fast when they're in on a picture from the earliest pre-production stages. What I wanted was for the director to come in fresh and not already worn out and to be able to put his ideas on an already solid structure". He eventually brought in the American George T. Miller, who was a fan of the original film. Over 600 children were auditioned, given the original actors were too old for their roles. In contrast to The NeverEnding Story relying on blue screen and scale model creatures, The Next Chapter would have more life-sized model work and matte paintings. Principal photography begun in early 1990 at Bavaria Film near Munich. The original plan was to build three separate stages, having first and second unit shooting simultaneously on the first two-stage and have the effects done on the third. But the studio decided not to build the third stage at the last minute, forcing production to shoot first and second unit on the same stage at the same time. As labour rules regarding child actors limited their working schedules, Miller decided to only rehearse scenes once before filming, and maximized the time with the children on set by shooting with as many as three cameras on every scene. This created a problem as Miller's fear of falling late wound up making the film so ahead of schedule the effects team had not completed the necessary work for later scenes.[3]

Soundtrack[edit]

The Neverending Story II - The Next Chapter: Original Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by
Released1990
GenreScore, Pop
Length45:53
LabelWEA
The Neverending Story soundtrack chronology
The NeverEnding Story: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
(1984)
The Neverending Story II - The Next Chapter: Original Soundtrack
(1990)
Music From & Inspired By The Neverending Story III: Here Come The Fantasians
(1994)
No.TitleWriter(s)Performer(s)Length
1."Searching For Fantasia"Robert FolkRobert Folk2:19
2."Dreams We Dream"Giorgio Moroder, Tom WhitlockJoe Milner4:23
3."Heaven's Just A Heartbeat"Moroder, WhitlockJoe Milner4:10
4."The Neverending Story"Moroder, Keith ForseyJoe Milner3:29
5."Dreams We Dream (Instrumental)"Moroder, WhitlockGiorgio Moroder4:27
6."Bastian's Dream"FolkRobert Folk2:05
7."Falkor's Quest"FolkRobert Folk2:33
8."Flight Of The Dragon"FolkRobert Folk3:32
9."Silver Mountains"FolkRobert Folk1:29
10."Morning In Fantasia"FolkRobert Folk1:08
11."The Childlike Empress"FolkRobert Folk2:15
12."The Giants' Attack"FolkRobert Folk2:11
13."Silver Lake"FolkRobert Folk2:54
14."Xayide's Castle"FolkRobert Folk1:26
15."Atreyu's Return To The Great Plains"FolkRobert Folk3:10
16."Bastian's Lost Memories"FolkRobert Folk1:03
17."Silver City"FolkRobert Folk2:05
18."The Neverending Story (Reprise)"Moroder, ForseyGiorgio Moroder0:54
Total length:45:53

Reception[edit]

The film has a 14% score on Rotten Tomatoes based on seven reviews; the average critics' rating is 3.7/10.[4] Richard Harrington of The Washington Post wrote, "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".[5] Chris Hicks, writing for the Deseret News, was more kind in his review, writing that it would be enjoyable to children, whereas the first film was enjoyable to the entire family.[6]

The film grossed $17,373,527 in the United States,[2] but was a bigger success in its native Germany, with 3,231,527 admissions, giving it the seventh-highest attendance of the year and making it one of the two German films to achieve domestic success in 1990, along with Werner – Beinhart![7][8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "THE NEVER ENDING STORY II - THE NEXT CHAPTER (U)". British Board of Film Classification. November 5, 1990. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "The Neverending Story II (1991)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  3. ^ Shapiro, Marc (April 1991). "NeverEnding Stories". Starlog (166).
  4. ^ "The Neverending Story II: The Next Chapter (1991)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
  5. ^ Harrington, Richard (13 February 1991). "'The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter' (G)". The Washington Post. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  6. ^ Hicks, Chris (13 February 1991). "Film review: Neverending Story II: The Next Chapter, The". Deseret News. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  7. ^ Staff, Variety (6 May 1991). "Geissler Of Munich Knows What They Want". Variety. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  8. ^ "Die erfolgreichsten Filme in Deutschland 1990". InsideKino. Retrieved 31 October 2017.

External links[edit]