The movie of the Neverending Story has the exact opposite message of the book.
The book of the Neverending Story is actually about how imagination and losing yourself in fantasy worlds are actually really terrible because they make you forget the real world and what’s important. The movie ends at the halfway point of the book, but I suppose getting a happy ending is only a question of where you choose to stop telling the story.
In the book, our young hero discovers that his wishes and daydreams extract a horrible price: each wish causes him to lose memories of the real world and his real life. At one point, he discovers an island full of demented, lunatic wretches who don’t remember anything about their lives, and he is horrified to discover they were all former “Chosen Ones,” from the real world, just like him.
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.