I read the book years later, and I couldn't help picturing the characters and storyline from the movie. I always read the book BEFORE seeing the movie, but being ten at the time - seeing the movie was better. It was right in front of me.
In the movie, we're first introduced to Bastian Bux, a quiet boy who loves to read, is bullied on his way to school. Bastian hides in a bookstore, where he finds a special book called, The Neverending Story, and races back to school. He hides in the school's attic and starts to read.
Then the story follows Atreyu, another boy from the parallel world of Fantastica - a world being destroyed by the Nothing, which represents people's lack of imagination in the real world. Atreyu is a young warrior. He is asked by the Steward of The Empress of Fantastica, to find a way to stop The Nothing. While this is happening, we understand that Bastian from the real world, is reading the story which gradually becomes more and more realistic to him.
As Atreyu sets off on his quest, The Nothing summons Gmork, a vicious wolf-like beast, to kill him. Atreyu heads to the deadly Swamps of Sadness. I hated this part because his horse dies. I cried and cried. But I still wanted to watch the rest. While this is happening in the real world, the school bell rings and the school quickly empties, but Bastian remains in the attic reading.
Atreyu continues on his quest and nearly dies. This is when we meet my favorite character, Falkor, a luckdragon. The dragon saves him. But when Atreyu faces the Magic Mirror Gate, the image reveals a boy that matches Bastian's description. In the real world, Bastian throws the book in disbelief. But after a while, starts to read it again.
As the story continues, we learn that Fantasia is destroyed. Atreyu and Falkor fly to reach the Empress. She tells that a human child must give her a new name. By then, we understand how the "real" boy and book are connected. Bastien becomes a very important part to the story. He eventually understands that "he" is this human child, and must give her a new name.
This is a wonderful story that any one at any age will enjoy. And who can forget the movie theme song! It's magical! And the 80's hair! Come on, you know you love it too! Click it!