The NeverEnding Story
I’ve had insomnia for a few days, so my head feels like it’s too far underwater, and the pressure is hurting my ears.
I just finished re-watching The NeverEnding Story, which I watched when I was so young that it might as well have been the first time. All I can remember from that first viewing is that I liked and appreciated on a subliminal level that Atreyu is so androgynous that I, a self-proclaimed tomboy, was able to identify with him in a way that isn’t possible with Bastian. I think small things like that are what adds up to make girls feel underserved in media— because either there are no girls, or their personalities are not personalities at all, just shallow puddles of person projected through the lens of a person in a complimentary and complex position.
I think what I liked most about The NeverEnding Story was its self-awareness. I think that is a trait that was super present in the 80s, but has faded away. I think that’s one reason that the movies from that era are considered so timeless: because there is no sarcasm or cynicism in them at all. I can’t think of a counter example of a movie with sarcasm as a theme, but that’s okay because we won’t be tested on any of this at any point in the future.
I really appreciate the way that The NeverEnding Story has such a clear motive and message that is not overtly social commentary. In comparison to Earnest and Celestine, whose message of racial acceptance, or just differences acceptance, was a little heavy handed and a little too small-picutre, maybe, The NeverEnding Story has loftier goals. It wants to inspire people to do what can sometimes feel like the hardest thing, which is just to imagine and dream in the boundless territory of Fantasia.