The Neverending Story is a movie that I grew up loving, and I recently realized that I've never really heard any stories about the film's development. Usually when a person spends as much time online as I do, you come across all kinds of interesting facts and trivia about the movies we love, but this isn't one of them. I haven't come across much about this movie, so I thought I'd point out a few fun facts that you maybe haven't heard before. The only bit of trivia I knew about it before I looked up this stuff was the first bit of information below:
- During the first Ivory Tower scene when the group of Fantasians are gathered together, if you look very closely you will see characters such as Yoda, Mickey Mouse, Chewbacca, C3PO, The Ewoks, ET and Gumby. Here's a photo pointing them out:
- The original Auryn from the film hangs in a glass display in Steven Spielberg's office.
Noah Hathaway, they actor who played Atreyu, almost lost an eye during the scene were he fights the wolf Gmork. Apparently one of the claws on Gmork's giant paws struck him in the face by his eye. The wolf robot was also so heavy that the actor lost his breath when he was hit to the ground by it. They only did one shot of this because of the risk of being seriously injured.
- Ever wonder what name Bastian screams out the window to save fantasia? According to the book, it was "Moonchild", but of course it has often been debated over what he actually says.
- The Night Hob curses in the opening scene where the Rockbiter is running down its path. This profanity is often dubbed over by the grumble of the Rockbiter's scooter, so that it can be shown as a children's film.
- Tami Stronach, who played the Child Empress, lost both of her front teeth right before they started filming so they made her fake teeth. Those teeth caused her to lisp until she learned to compensate for them. (I thought she was the most beautiful thing in the world when I saw this movie as a kid.)
- Falkor is actually a 43-foot long motorized creature with 6,000 plastic scales and pink feather-fur. His head is three feet tall and long, and has a long tongue in the mouth. If you ever find yourself in Bavaria Filmplatz Munich, Germany you can "ride" on Falcor's back where the film was shot there.
- The author of the book Michael Ende wasn't happy with the film's version of his story, so he didn't want his name placed in the opening credits. A small credit appears at the end.
- There were two scenes from the book that were in the script but ended up being cut out due to the limitations of special effects at the time. The first was the initial appearance of Falcor, where Atreyu rescues him from Ygramul the Many, which is a swarm of poisonous wasps taking the form of a giant spider. This was at the point where Bastian's scream being heard by the characters in the book was to have taken place. It also helped explain why Atreyu and Falcor are later seen being given medicine by the Gnomes. The second scene involved Atreyu and Falcor encountering the Wind Giants, which were giant creatures made of clouds. This was re-edited into their close encounter with the Nothing before Atreyu falls into the sea. I would actually love to see this movie remade now, because the story could fully be realized with the visual effects that can now be accomplished.
- The movie was filmed in Germany during the hottest summer it had in 25 years. It was so hot one of the statues of the Ivory Tower actually melted. On other days the crew were forced to shut down production because the blue backgrounds for the matte work wouldn't work properly.