Whew! Okay so here’s a little scene that’s meant to be part of a larger sequence where Atreyu and Artax are searching for a way to cure the Childlike Empress and stop the Nothing. (Before they enter the Swamps of Sadness and Artax dies.)

I’m going to cut about 90% of this from the final montage, but it was fun to explore the creepy snakes! Also, I think I’m falling in love with snakes and horses. That always seems to happen when I do visual research on a new topic…

Anyway, I cheated a lot of the spatial relationships in this… It felt like a justified sacrifice for visual drama, but I’m curious if anyone finds it jarring or bothersome. Let me know!

I’ll be posting more thumbnails and rough boards on my instagram

Chapter 3: Morla the Aged One

I’d like to take this moment to throw out my thoughts on children’s literature, here we go, I hope you’re ready: The best kind of children’s literature is the kind that doesn’t underestimate children. A lot of adults run around like, “This book has dark, complex subject matter and that just isn’t for children,” and you should never entrust a child to these people.

Can anyone explain this passage from The Neverending Story to me?

It runs like this:

“Falkor,” Atreyu asked, “do you suppose the Childlike Empress cares what becomes of Bastian?”

“Maybe not,” said Falkor. “She draws no distinctions.”

“Then,” said Atreyu, “she is really a …”

“Don’t say it,” Falkor broke in. “I know what you mean, but don’t say it.”

And I want to know what they’re talking about.  I’ve asked this question before and been told things like “Maybe we’re not supposed to know what they meant by that,” but I feel like there’s one really specific word or concept that must go there and I don’t know what it is.  And if I did know, it would make sense, but not knowing, it doesn’t.  And it’s been sort of lurking in the back of my mind making me think (but pretty futilely, because I can never come up with the answer to this riddle) ever since I first read the book as a teenager.

So does anyone know what was meant here?  Either the word, or the concept even?  Preferably a word, but even a concept would be better than nothing.