Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Research: The NeverEnding Story

The NeverEnding Story is a fantasy novel written by Michael Ende which was first published in 1979 in Germany and four years following it's first publication, in 1983, an english translation of the novel by Ralph Manheim was published.

As a brief summary, the novel is set in a parallel world called Fantastica which is slowly becoming a victim of the Nothing. In Fantastica, the Nothing is a representation of the lack of imagination in the real world. The story follows two protagonists: the first is a young warrior by the name of Atreyu who sets off to find a way to stop the Nothing to save his land. The second is another young boy called Bastian, a boy from the real world who finds himself becoming a part of a book by the same name as the film.  

Since the english publication of The NeverEnding Story, multiple film adaptions have been made. 

The first, The NeverEnding Story, was made in 1984 and was directed by Wolfgang Petersen. It covers only the first half of the novel, up until the point when Bastian himself arrives in Fantastica (Fantasia in the films) after reading the book. However the film has been considered to have been made untrue to the original novel with many aspects changed.

The second, The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter, was made in 1990 and was directed by George T. Miller. This film, although directed by someone else, is a 'continuation' from the first, covering the second half of the novel. However, the plot of the film does not mirror the novel entirely and explores a slightly different story.

The third film produced, The NeverEnding Story III, was made in 1994 and was directed by Peter Macdonald. The film uses the same characters as in the original novel by Ende, however it follows a completely new plot line.

Having watched the trailers to the films it is clear that many of the environments incorporated in them look very much like a typical fantasy world with areas made almost entirely of crystals, looming mountains, murky swamps and enchanted forests. It's almost like the ideas have been drawn out a child's mind looking at the fantasy of what a world of magical creatures and places would appear as to them. 

I think it will be ideal to explore a variety of places that actually look similar to the places shown and described in both the novel and the film adaptions that actually exist.

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