Bastian's dream to get a sibling becomes true when his father re-marries, but soon he has trouble with his new stepsister Nicole and with a gang of school bullies, the Nasties. Hiding in the school library, Bastian finds his favorite book of THE NEVERENDING STORY, where it is later found by Slip, the gang leader. The latter recognizes the power of the book and begins to form Fantasia after his bad intentions. When the chaos becomes worse the Child-like Empress requests Bastian to move back to the real world, get the book back and save Fantasia. Accidentally some Fantasia characters travel with him to reality, but get lost in different places. Meanwhile Slip and the other Nasties spread anarchy. Finally, Bastian gets support from Nicole, who begins to believe in the power of Fantasia.
Directed by: Peter MacDonald
. Starring: Jason James Richter
, Melody Kay
, Jack Black
, Carole Finn
, Ryan Bollman
, Freddie Jones
, Julie Cox
, Moya Brady
, Tony Robinson
, Thomas Petruo
, Tracey Ellis
, Kevin McNulty
, Nicole Parker
. Music by: Péter Wolf
Anyone who grew up watching the original (1984) and then watched the sequel 6 years later probably had a few things to say. But at least they stuck with the main storyline so you can relate. It was tolerable enough that I watched it to the end.
Although the Empress in the first movie explained very clearly that Fantasia is made up of wishes and dreams, so the more wishes the better. Then they decided no, wishes are going to eat away at his memories. Hey producers! These movies are supposed to inspire kids to imagine and dream. There was a hidden meaning in the whole "wish" thing. Instead you make it so the next generation of kids think twice about wishing, dreaming, imagining. Besides, they stole the creatures from Krull.
Now here comes #3. This one on the other hand actually angered me it was so bad.
1) The father-son relationship was well done in the 2nd movie, now suddenly dad is clueless and married to an airhead? Since dad discovered the secrets of the book from movie #2, it would've been nice if they built on that. But no, he completely forgets everything that happened and is now in LaLa Land.
2) Originally the fantasy-reality connection that allowed Bastian to appear in the story was simply a child's active imagination mixed with a few unexplained coincidences in the real world. But he never actually left the attic. Now Bastian can simply talk to the book and teleport like Star Trek? Seriously?
3) Engywook and Urgl shrunk even more! Before they were about 3 feet tall, now they're not even 12 inches?
4) Falkor #3 no longer tucks his legs in when flying, making for quite a sloppy looking show. It doesn't even look like Falkor. He has a Col. Sanders goatee now. He's supposed to be a "Luck Dragon" not a "Luck Flying Dog". I know he's a dragon that looks like a dog, but he's still a dragon, and should fly like one. At least Falkor #2 looked like #1 and flew like it too. #3 looks and flies more like Falkor's cousin from the trailer park sipping moonshine in between flights.
5) The whole Rock Biter (now Rock Chewer apparently) scene should've been cut and burned and buried. This whole sequence by far doesn't even mesh with the rest of the film. If there was any seriousness in the film, this sequence takes it all away and turns it into a kid's Saturday morning TV show. You know those stories of people getting too drunk and waking up with a mysterious tattoo? This is what happens when the Director gets drunk. The kid's watching a cartoon in the wall? They have a Flintstone ATV? Singing "Born to be Wild"? I need a drink.
6) To play the now-grown-up Empress they hired a UK actress who insists on pronouncing Fantasia (fan-tay-shuh) the UK way with an extra syllable (fan-tay-zee-ah). Now don't misunderstand me, I'm all UK myself and am proud of it. But I'm more proud of my theatrical experience and knowledge. And I know that if a significant word in the script (especially a name important to the plot) is pronounced a significant way by everyone involved, you DO NOT go on saying it your way just because you believe it's "proper English". That is, if you have any interest in having a lengthy acting career. You can tell by the way she puts emphasis on it several times at her first appearance that she does not care. These mistakes and her arrogance make the character seem like an unintelligent demanding snob. What happened to the sweet and compassionate Empress?
7) The Bark Troll sees a tree being cut down and says "talk about a chainsaw massacre". This movie is intended for a very young audience. Yet they use a reference to a very graphic adult horror film. Obviously the Director doesn't know how children think. They will wonder "what does that mean?" if they don't already know, and ask around or look it up. And I'm sure half of those will be curious enough to want to watch it at such a young age. Even in 1994 it was easy enough to do some research, talk to the older kids, find out it's the name of a horror film, rent the movie albeit under-age (via naive parents or naive rental clerks), and then have nightmares for weeks.
If there is one good thing to say about this movie, it's that Jack Black (early in his career) was very funny from beginning to end. But that is the ONLY thing. The rest of it is a film student's nightmare.
Review by warthogcc
from the Internet Movie Database.