15 January 2003 | Victor Field
Just as well this isn't literally neverending.
This animated continuation of "The Neverending Story" and the adventures of Bastian Balthasar Bux in and out of Fantasia lacked the magic and the point of Michael Ende's compelling book and Wolfgang Petersen's wonderful movie - the plot of every episode was jury-rigged to serve as the solution to a problem facing Bastian in the real world, which rankled more than a little (keep doing that and it ends up becoming formula), and what was a captivating journey wound up as little more than a standard adventure cartoon. In spite of the title, it may as well have been "Little Wizards" for all the spirit it kept of the original.
That said, "The Neverending Story" (the cartoon) is still better than "The Neverending Story" (the sequels), which must have horrified the late Mr. Ende if he ever saw them - which I like to think he didn't, given the low opinion he had of the first movie. But that's another story, to be told another time.