The Neverending Story II: The Next Chapter (1990)

Adventure, Drama, Family
Jonathan Brandis, Kenny Morrison, Clarissa Burt, John Wesley Shipp
A young boy with a distant father enters a world of make-believe and magic through a portal within an antique book.
  • Warner Home Video Company:
  • PG Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 08 Feb 1991 Released:
  • 04 Sep 2001 DVD Release:
  • N/A Box office:
  • Karin Howard (screenplay), Michael Ende (based on Writer:
  • George Miller Director:
  • N/A Website:

Trailer:

Not the greatest, but not the worst.5/10

The Never Ending Story 2 did not seem to be as good as its predecessor, however this movie wasn't all that bad. Sure it would of been nice if it had ALL of the original actors from the first one in it and that could be a reason why this film didn't do as well. I bet we would of all enjoyed this movie much better if it did have the original actors in it. I am a big fan of the novel (greatest novel I have ever read) and that could be why I happen to like this movie. This is actually the last half of the book when Bastian visits "Fantastica" and meets Atreyu and all the others. However one downfall was this film seemed a bit distant to the original making it seem like they are two totally different stories when in fact they are one. It just didn't seem to capture all the magic of the book. But all in all this was a pretty good movie and it wouldn't hurt to get an idea of what the second half of the story is all about. But the first film is the greatest and will put its spell over your entire family!!!!!!! I give The Never Ending Story 2; 7.5/10.
Better than it's given credit for.7/10
I'm a bit surprised at the heavy criticism this film received. It doesn't take a scientist to figure out that this sequel didn't live up to its predecessor. However, it's not nearly as bad as it's made out to be.

Before I continue, I should note that I have not yet read Micheal Ende's novel, so I can only judge this film as just that, a film. Not as an adaptation.

Many have complained that the personality of the characters from the original movie were contradicted and the film had little continuity. I disagree. In this film, Bastian is older and wiser, yet still has a lot to learn. That is not a flaw. He is *supposed* to be this way. As for his father, we didn't get to know him well enough in the first film to understand his personality, so the audience needs to give him the benefit of the doubt as well. Kenny Morrison was a fine Atreyu replacement for Noah Hathaway and Xayade is a villain that you'll love to hate.

This film goes the "Temple of Doom" route by offering a darker tale than before. In fact, some of the scenes might be a bit frightening for anyone at pre-school age or younger. I know that those giants used to scare me when I first saw this film at the age of eight. There are some humorous moments regarding the clash of cultures as Bastian and Atreyu often find it difficult to understand each other's vocabulary. A few thrilling moments, a dramatic twist mid-way through, and some nice visual effects round out a solid film.

On the negative side, some of the humor seemed a bit forced at times. *Cough* Spray can. *Cough* And while the dialogue was passable, it often sounded too plain without any real motivation behind it.

On a final note, and this is overlooked by the earlier reviews, Robert Folk's musical score is spectacular. It's a shame that it'll probably never be released in the mainstream ever again. The score alone makes the film worth watching.

All in all, this is an underrated film that needs to be viewed with an open mind instead of a quest to find as many flaws as possible. It's no fun using the latter way. It may not be the best sequel one could hope for, but it certainly could have been a lot worse. Just watch Neverending Story III to find out how.
This movie completely destroys the magic of the 1st one!!!!1/10
The 1st "Neverending Story" was one of my favorite movies as a child so naturally, I couldn't wait for the sequel. I was completely horrified at the transformation of my favorite characters!! Although this one was made in English and the first one German, at the very least they could have done was get actors that resembled the original ones. I thought Bastien in both movies was very annoying, but I was heartbroken that characters were changed significantly. The magic and the fantasy of the first film was ruined because the 2nd looked like a "Power Rangers" episode. It was completely awful and I was disappointed in so many ways. LONG LIVE THE ORIGINAL!! Do not waste your time with the sequels, they don't have the emotion, fantasy or anything compared to the original.
What was this?5/10

I am a fan of The Neverending Story the book. This movie did not live up to my expectations at all (when I saw it again recently)

The movie covers part of the book's story, with Bastian meeting Xayide. Although part of it is followed closely, Nimbly did NOT work for Xayide, there was no Memory ball thing (AURYN made Bastian lose his memories on its own) and the end was a cheesy replacement for the Fountain of Life.

In the original story, there was much more substance.

And the thing that annoys me most: If Bastian met the Childlike Empress in the last movie, why did she appear to him in this one? If they had only researched the story better, they would have discovered that you can only meet the Empress ONCE. No matter how many times you meet her, she wil have no memory of you ever meeting her previously.
A shadow of the original and a mockery of the book2/10

Michael Ende's lovely book is in two parts; Petersen's 1984 film is really just the story of Part I. It's very good all the same. Admittedly it would have been nicer if Petersen had made a four-hour film covering the entire book, but Part I's story is complete enough and works on the screen. Besides, there's always the possibility of a sequel.

Which makes it all the odder that the sequel, when it came, did NOT continue the story in the way that Ende had. Oh, Miller and his writers mine what's left of the novel for ideas; what emerges is a gross caricature of Ende's work, a hideous, twisted, traducement. Making the witch Xayide into too big a villain is the central mistake. In the book Bastian's problem is a deep one: wishes take away his memories not because of the contrived plotting of some super-villain, but because of the very nature of the world Bastian finds himself in; because of the nature of wishing, really. Xayide EXPLOITS this fact; she does not create it. (Note that in Petersen's film the central villain also exploits rather than creates strife.) Quite apart from this Xayide is much more chilling in the book. In the film she's a cackling, cretinous vamp who wears ludicrous bird-of-paradise gowns. She's a stage villain of the flattest kind.

One small change is more damaging than you might at first think: in Ende's book, Bastian doesn't leave Fantasia ("Fantastica" in the translation I read) until the very end. This makes more credible his chances of being trapped there. Bringing him back to our world for the start of the next film is enough to make the entire subsequent story silly and enervating. It feels as if we have entered a sitcom: at the start of the next episode, everything is as it was before. In today's episode Bastian must learn a Valuable Lesson About Life - coincidentally, the same one he learned yesterday (and will probably have to learn again in the next sequel, the dullard). The first scenes of Part II are almost unbelievably bad. I almost admire Miller's willingness to ADVERTISE how bad his film will be. We open with one of the cheesiest sequence of allegedly humorous pratfalls I think I've ever seen; in a matter of MINUTES, I lost faith in the film, as had everyone I was watching it with.

And so much of the original talent is missing as to make the whole exercise pointless. The crew is almost entirely different; the cast - apart from Thomas Hill as Cornelius, who puts in an appearance even though he now has no role to play in the story - is different and vastly inferior, and all the beauty and fantasy that infused Petersen's production design is missing. It's not that the special effects are TECHNICALLY deficient, although they may be. It's just that there's no vision to give them life. When I see the turrets and drawbridges I find myself think of garage roll-a-doors and hydraulic lifts, for that is what they look like here. The script is full of such clunkers you'll be unable to avoid wincing ... unless you treat it all as a joke, which, luckily, is my siblings and I decided to do. Treat it as a kind of "Plan 9" experience and it may be worth watching.