8 disturbing moments from The Neverending Story that our young minds completely missed.

When you think of the film The Neverending Story, does your heart fill with warmth and nostalgia, or are you left with a chill down your spine from the profoundly terrifying subject matter portrayed within it?

Maybe it just instantly inserts the theme song into your mind to be stuck for the rest of days.

(Honestly, we fear we might be humming it on our death beds).

Watch Dustin and Susie sing the Neverending Story theme song on Stranger Things Season 3. Post continues after video.

If you do have fond memories of the '80s German fantasy film, you may want to avert your eyes so not to taint these memories. Because it’s f*cked.

And we have strong feelings about it.

Here are eight extremely valid reasons why:

1. It’s deeply, deeply depressing.

Darkness looms within every scene of this cinematic classic.

It follows the story of a grief-stricken 10-year-old who attempts to save a crumbling fantasy world from disappearing into a void of pure nothingness.

So it basically revolves around an impending slaughter of hopes, dreams and imagination, which is cool.


In one scene that was almost certainly written by stoners, the Rockbiter is transfixed by his hands, staring obsessively and remarking that they are indeed big, strong hands.

Then, he recalls how they failed him the time he tried to save his friend from falling into The Nothing, as he slipped from his grasp.


‘The Nothing’ is the inevitable end every character knows is lurking, which casts a shadow over… all of them.

“The Nothing will be here any minute. I will just sit here and let it take me away too,” The Rockbiter says in one scene.

See you at the My Chemical Romance concert, buddy.

2. Bastian’s dad is… not very nice.

In the early scenes of the film, Bastian – who is also viciously bullied at school – attempts to discuss the nightmares he’s been experiencing since the loss of his mother, because he’s, you know, in mourning and also 10.

But instead of receiving a kind heart-to-heart from his dad, he is promptly shut down.

Instead, Bastian’s dad lectures him about his grades before telling him straight-up how disappointed he is in him.

Please, for the love of God, no one take parenting advice from Bastian’s dad. If you do, don’t be surprised if your child slips into a fantasy world on a giant, flying dragon-dog. You’ve been warned.

3. Falkor the luckdragon is exceedingly creepy.

On the surface, Falkor seems like a harmless, cuddly fella.


One that owners of fluffy white dogs can never escape the references to.

But aside from the creepy way in which his head/mouth/eyes move and his sheer… size, there was a very creepy side to Falkor.


After Atreyu wakes up in Falkor’s arms, the luckdragon says, “I like children!” Seemingly innocent, until he adds to the young boy: “You talked in your sleep,” then WINKS AT HIM, asks him to scratch behind his ear, and then moans, “Thaaaaaat’s soooo goooood.”


Be gone, seedy devil dog.

4. Artax the horse’s death.

Artax, Atreyu’s loyal steed, friend and guardian, gets swallowed alive by literal sadness. If that’s not the makings of some serious emotional scarring, we don’t know what is.

The ‘Swamp of Sadness’ represents pure sorrow, meaning whoever is plagued by depression is consumed by it.

Artax – overwhelmed by his feelings – sinks to his death while Atreyu pulls at his reins in a frenzy, sobbing uncontrollably.

The scene not only crushed our hearts and souls, but left us with some pretty disturbing thoughts for our young minds to grapple with.

Cheers for the emotional turmoil, The Neverending Story.

5. The ‘Swamp of Sadness’ should not exist in a children’s film. Full stop.

While we’re on the topic of the Swamp of Sadness – the cinematic embodiment of the darkest pits of misery – can we just point out that this probably shouldn’t have existed in a children’s film, ever?


Not only that, did we really need the visual representation of losing something to their mental health struggle?

We think not.

So dark. So, so dark.

6. Atreyu tried to end his life.

We can’t not mention the fact that after Artax is swallowed by the Swamp of Sadness, Atreyu – so devastated after witnessing the… suicide of his dear friend – almost follows.

Luckily, he’s saved by Falkor the luckdragon. Probably because he wants his ears rubbed again.

It’s all too much.

7. The sphinxes with the big boobs are… strange.

Of the two oracles Atreyu comes across, not only does one try to kill him with bolts of fire from its eyes, they’re a bit… sexy. Too sexy for a kids' movie.

These huge, imposing creatures were pretty scary as kids. But today, it’s impossible not to notice that they’re pretty damn naked, leaving their ample chests quite visible.

It’s all a bit odd, and we’re not the only ones who think so.

The author of The Neverending Story, the book on which the film was based, Michael Ende, once said: “The Sphinxes are quite one of the biggest embarrassments of the film. They are full-bossomed strippers who sit there in the desert.”

Full-bosomed strippers.

Oh... Image: Youtube.

8. No one seemed to notice Bastian was missing...

When Bastian returns from what could only be described as a deeply traumatic foray into the land of Fantasia/a pretty serious episode brought on by the trauma of his grief, it seems that no one... noticed he was gone.

He had skipped school to read The Neverending Story and everything, but did anyone care? Nope.

That poor, poor child.

(Spoiler alert: Bastian re-creates Fantasia, so all's well that ends well we guess ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.)

Feature image: Warner Bros.