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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Keep trying. Don't give up. Stories are important.
Positive Role Models
Young Bastian is afraid to jump from the high diving board and humiliated by his fear, yet when faced with danger on his quest to save the childlike Empress and the beautiful land of Fantasia, he summons great reserves of bravery. Xayide is a scheming and power-hungry villain who tricks Bastian into helping her reign supreme. Distraught at Bastian's disappearance, his previously neglectful father reads the book left behind and finds his son is a main character, who he cheers on. Nimbly spies on Bastian for the evil Xayide but switches allegiance and later helps Bastian overthrow her power.
Violence & Scariness
Scary giants run after Bastian and Atreyu. Atreyu is suspended high over a chasm by a chain and Bastian saves him. Bastian is struck by a lightning-like ray that convulses him as if he were being electrocuted. A young character dies tragically but is revived, and a central theme is the death of another character's beloved mother.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the 1990's The NeverEnding Story 2: The Next Chapter is a sequel to the 1984 The NeverEnding Story, and both are based on the Michael Ende novel of the same name. Book-loving Bastian is again called upon to save Fantasia, this time to make sure that all the fiction and dreams don't disappear along with that faltering magical place. Bravery, selflessness, and love are encouraged, but giant monsters and a destructive fire-breathing dragon with a nasty roar may scare young or sensitive kids. A young character dies tragically but is revived, and a central theme is the death of another character's beloved mother. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Special effects may seem dated to kids used to Harry Potter and more recent fare, but the cleverness of a story that keeps changing as characters and circumstances require will probably draw kids in. Brandis is an engaging Bastian. Morrison makes an intrepid Atreyu and Burt is deliciously villainous as Xayide. The NeverEnding Story 2: The Next Chapter echoes The Wizard of Oz in many ways -- a child unhappy at home is cast into a dangerous mission in a strange land -- but some may find it wanting in comparison. Sticklers may find occasional lapses in the movie's internal logic nagging, including when Bastian is able to revive a dead friend but never thinks to use wishes to revive his dead mother. But those lost in the story won't mind.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.