The NeverEnding Story (Die Unendliche Geschichte) is a 1984 fantasy film co-written and directed by Wolfgang Petersen in his first English-language film, and based on the 1979 novel by Michael Ende. It stars Noah Hathaway, Barret Oliver, Tami Stronach, Patricia Hayes, Sydney Bromley, Gerald McRaney and Moses Gunn. The film follows a boy who happens upon a magical book that tells of a young warrior who is given the task of stopping the Nothing, a dark force, from engulfing the wonderland world of Fantasia.
At the time of its release, it was the most expensive film produced outside the United States or the Soviet Union. The film adapts only the first half of the book. The second half was subsequently used as a rough basis for the second film, The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter (1990).
The film performed very well at the box office, grossing US$100 million worldwide against a production budget of approximately $25–27 million. Almost 5 million people went to see it in Germany, a number rarely achieved by German productions, resulting in a gross of about $20 million domestically. It also grossed a similar amount in the United States.
The film has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 80%: The site’s critical consensus reads: “A magical journey about the power of a young boy’s imagination to save a dying fantasy land, The NeverEnding Story remains a much-loved kids’ adventure.”