I didn’t see the film in the theater. I first saw it as a rented VHS movie, and I loved it. Yes, it has plot holes and the animatronics and effects have not aged well (1984) in places, but as a story about imagination, determination, and the need for creativity and love, it’s fantastic. When the world says that only reality matters, well, the world might be wrong.
The great white luck dragon with ruby eyes was one of the best characters in the film, in my opinion then. He was different from the sci-fi dragons (Anne McCaffrey) I’d read, or the nasty, mean traditional dragons of the European fairy tales. He was more like the Asian dragons of mist and cloud.
Fulcur is the character’s name in the original German novel (Die Unendlische Geschichte) that became The Neverending Story. The novel, in German or English, is different from the first movie. As far as I’m concerned there were no second or third films made. Apparently a lot of people feel the same way. The novel continues past the end of the film.
For those who are not familiar with the plot, I won’t spoil it other than to say that the story centers on the danger of The Nothing, an evil force destroying the world of Fantasia. The Nothing says there is no fantasy, no hope, no light or creativity, only chaos and darkness and hard reality. The Nothing threatens the world of Fantasia — and potentially our world as well — with extinction. Sound familiar? The minor bad of the Black Wolf was one of the scarier bad-creatures in a film that I’d seen to date, in part because he was a psychological manipulator as well as just being large and ferocious.
The white luck dragon, Falcor, plays a major role in the story. He’s wise, dignified, and always encouraging. It says a lot that when I glanced on Etsy, there were hundreds of people selling Falcor things – stuffed animals, knitting patterns, decals, statues, paintings, birthday cards, you name it. I think he speaks to something a lot of people want to hear, or need to hear. That the Nothing can be defeated if you believe and dream hard enough.
And of course the theme song [does contain spoilers]: