The Never Ending Story ( 1984)
Last up, Wolfgang Petersen’s adaptation of the classic German kids’ book. Hark, is that the sound of Limahl? Yes, it’s the cockatoo- mulleted pop- imp from Kajagoogoo, warbling on about “the mirror of your dreams” as we soar through the clouds. It could only be more ’ 80s if Mr T was breakdancing on the bonnet of KITT. Nick: I think the song is better remembered than the film. Jordan: Nah, the film’s still a cult favourite. V: This song doesn’t feel right for a fantasy movie somehow. It’s like the remake of The Great Gatsby when they start playing Cameo. In a bookshop, an old man tells a boy “This book is not for you.” Nick: Yes, kid, forget you ever heard the words “the Marquis de Sade”… The kid shoplifts the forbidden book and takes it to the school attic for a read. His world is rocked as he discovers he’s just a cute framing device in a movie. We’re now in the realm of Fantasia, where another kid is riding a horse through the Swamp of Sadness. Nick: We are, in a very real sense, in a swamp of sadness this evening. Tragedy! The horse sinks! V: This needs a mental health trigger warning. Ian: Warning: contains suicidal horse. Harrowing. Cut to the kid bawling his little eyes out. Ian: It’s like a flashcard to the audience. Time to cry, you heartless bastards! Enter Falkor, the pinkest, cuddliest dragon you ever did see. Frankly he makes George from Rainbow look like Jason Statham leading a borstal riot. Soon boy and dragon are flying through the skies, powered by the tireless flap of fluffy ears. Jordan: That puppet’s awesome. Rich: I don’t get how this dragon works. How are those ears generating uplift? V: Sure, it starts off novel, but riding a dragon would be like flying in a plane. Two hours in and you’d be like “This is boring…” Jordan: Does it have a built- in oxygen mask? V: It doesn’t even have a seatbelt. Nick: At least the emergency exits are everywhere. Breaking news: Fantasia has exploded. We blame a build- up of tweeness at the planet’s core. Only someone with hope and imagination can bring it back. The Couch crew’s mouldy old snark just won’t cut it. Nick: The NeverEnding Story… Has someone just ripped out the last page? Ian: There’s still time for another horse suicide. I’m going to make that film. One Hundred Horse Suicides. Black and white. It’ll be like Ingmar Bergman. Wait! It’s the horse! It lives! And it’s riding through the fields! We have tears! Imagination and hope are back in the room! Ian: What they don’t show you is that it’s going to gallop straight off a cliff… Let’s end it there, people. It’s beginning to drag on. Oh, please yourselves.
The horse spa trialled its latest treatment.
Falkor: adorable puppy nightmare dragon.
“Can I please get a moist towelette?”
Forget the ear physics. What if he falls off?