The movie adaptation that German writer Michael Ende"s 1979 fantasy novel The Neverending Story was released during that special era in the 1980s once a PG rating almost certainly supposed nightmares for kids under the age of 10 (see: Labyrinth and also The Dark Crystal). Yet that didn"t protect against Wolfgang Petersen"s magical adventure story from becoming a bona fide cult classic.

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1. At the time of that release, The NeverEnding Story was the most expensive movie in Germany"s history.

At the moment of its release, The NeverEnding Story was the most expensive film manufacturing in the history of German cinema. Through a price tag of about $27 million, the project supplanted 1981"s Oscar-nominated Das Boot—also directed by Wolfgang Petersen—as the country"s priciest film. Luckily because that Petersen and also the studio, The NeverEnding Story controlled to rake in around $100 million worldwide.

2. The book"s author called the movie "revolting."

Despite having worked with Petersen ~ above the script, The Neverending Story author Michael Ende publicly bashed the perfect product. Complying with the film"s relax in Germany, Ende organized a push conference wherein he described the film together "the revolting movie" and also demanded that his surname not appear in the credits, claiming that "The machines of the film simply did not know the publication at all. They simply wanted to do money."

3. Michael Ende to be embarrassed through Fantasia"s "strippers."

Ende was certainly not ~ above board with the busty, laser-shooting Sphinx statues the Atreyu meet in the film. "The Sphinxes are quite one of the greatest embarrassments that the film," Ende said. "They room full-bosomed strippers who sit there in the desert."

4. Not everyone gained along on the set of The NeverEnding Story.

When asked about working through such a young actors in an interview with SciFiNow, special results director Brian Johnson said "Barret Oliver (Bastian) was an pure gem" and Tami Stronach (the Childlike Empress) "was fine ... Noah Hathaway (Atreyu) was a bit of a pains in the arse, frankly. It was very difficult for Wolfgang to obtain anything the end of him. Barret Oliver yielded all the time, the was just brilliant, for sure brilliant."

5. Wolfgang Petersen to be a perfectionist.

There space two political parties to every story, the course. And Noah Hathaway remembers points a little differently. In a 2015 interview through The News Tribune, the actor—who is now 47 years old—says the Petersen, who English to be limited, to be a perfectionist that sometimes forced up come 40 takes prior to he to be satisfied v a single scene. “A three-month movie turned into a year," Hathaway said, who noted that 2 iconic scenes—Artax"s death in the Swamp of Sadness and the arrival of the giant turtle Morla—took 2 months come shoot. "It was a lot of work."

6. It take it a while to train a equine to "drown."

There"s a reason why the Swamp of sadness scene take it so lengthy to shoot. The quick version? Most equines won’t walk into deep pools of dirt if they have a choice. That took 2 trainers seven weeks come teach the equine playing Artax to stand still on a hydraulic platform in the swamp with mud up to his chin without trying to swim or operation away.

7. Falkor is a luckdragon, not a dog—but he"s also part airplane.


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The 43-foot-long luckdragon’s challenge looks a lot prefer a dog"s, however according come the resource material, his main breed is zero percent canine. While also the special effects director described the creature as a “golden retriever/dragon,” Falkor’s appearance was merely the director’s interpretation. At least two Falkor models were constructed; the first, built by Giuseppe Tortora, used plane steel for the frames and the head alone weighed an ext than 200 pounds.

8. Bastian is a Canuck.

The real civilization does no play a major role in The NeverEnding Story, therefore the city is never clearly identified. If the bulk of the film was made at Bavaria Studios in Munich, the scenes of Bastian in ~ home, in the bookstore, and running far from the bullies down an alley were every shot in Gastown, a neighborhood in downtown Vancouver, british Columbia.

9. The story doesn"t finish with the credits (but it does have an ending).

If she the form of moviegoer who prevents sequels, you may want to rethink that plan in this case—or at least pick increase a copy the Ende’s book. Due to the fact that the film version of The NeverEnding Story end at about the halfway point of the book, audience never uncover out what happens to the lover characters. George T. Miller"s 1990 sequel, The NeverEnding Story II: The following Chapter, includes plot points from Ende’s novel, but likewise adds brand-new elements come the storyline. Over there is a third film in the collection (1994"s The NeverEnding Story III), yet it is an extended adventure that was not component of the book.

10. The movie"s theme song was a quit hit.

Written by Keith Forsey, composed by Giorgio Moroder, and also performed in French and English by popular music singer Limahl (with added vocals by Ann Calvert and also Beth Anderson), the earworm title song is no featured in the German version of the film, yet it did infect other parts that the world. The song got to the height spot top top music charts in Sweden and Norway, number 17 ~ above the U.S. Billboard hot 100, and also sold an ext than 200,000 copies in the UK.

11. 2 of the book"s best scenes were never shot.

Because that the constraints of special impacts in the 1980s, 2 scenes native the book that were written right into the script had to it is in removed. The an initial was the real advent of Falkor, during which Atreyu helps him escape indigenous a shape-shifting monster recognized as Ygramul the Many. In the film, Falkor appears out the the clouds as soon as Atreyu is near fatality in the Swamp the Sadness, and in the next scene, they are on the hill where the gnomes Engywook and also Urgl live.

The other reduced scene uncovered Falkor and also Atreyu caught in a fight in between four Wind Giants. Instead, the scene was edited to be a brush through The Nothing, where Atreyu falls off of Falkor and comes come on a beach.

12. Part lucky world have The NeverEnding Story tattoos inked by Atreyu himself.

After do a few more movies, young name Hathaway left acting behind and also tried the end several other careers, consisting of martial art trainer and tattoo artist, the latter of which forced him come revisit his NeverEnding past. “I wouldn’t do another Auryn (talisman) tattoo because I did 15 in 3 weeks,” Hathaway told The News Tribune. “It is very flattering though.”


13. Steven Spielberg owns the initial Auryn prop.

Spielberg aided Wolfgang Petersen reduced the U.S. Version of the film, i m sorry is seven minutes much shorter than the German version. The pacing needed to it is in a little quicker for U.S. Audiences, Petersen told MTV News, therefore he asked his friend Spielberg—who had actually learned his editing method from George Lucas—for help. “There were tiny snippets, bits and pieces here and also there," Petersen said. “Nothing major. Nothing that’s prefer ‘take the whole sequence out.’ it was simply a polish sort of thing. A speed thing; a few seconds here, a few things here.” together a give thanks to you because that his help, Petersen offered Spielberg the Auryn.

14. The NeverEnding Story book prop accused still exists.

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Someone claiming to have actually the initial prop has actually tried to market it ~ above eBay a pair of times, when in 2012 because that $75,000 and also again in 2015 because that $28,500. He even tracked under Noah Hathaway and also had that pose with the publication for the listing. Neither listing ended with a sale, therefore if you’re a big fan of the film, there may still it is in hope.