Fuchur, Falcor, The Luck Dragon and a Neverending Story

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]:

17 thoughts on “Fuchur, Falcor, The Luck Dragon and a Neverending Story

  1. It was a staple.
    It didn’t get played *quite* as much as The Princess Bride, or the first two Star Wars movies, but…

    My kids utterly refuse to watch it. It’s about time to make another run at it.
    (They vex me. They truly do.)

    • FWIW, it may be rejection of some of the things the shows rejecting– I really cannot watch the show. It just….tastes bad. I leave the room. Can’t rationally explain it.

    • The book is ALMOST always better… the only exceptions I’ve found so far are Forrest Gump and The Poseidon Aventure.

    • The book was…different. The thing about Fantastica in the book was that it was a much less “moral” land than the movie tried to make it, and it had its own terrors that, though they weren’t as bad as the Nothing, were even more likely to make you want to go hide under the bed. The Childlike Empress, far from being the sweet, benevolent ruler that the movie tried to show her as, was more like a force of nature: she’s necessary to both our world and Fanatastica, but she was not in any sense of the word good. Atreyu, as her representative, was protected from Fanastica’s more malevolent beasts–but only because those beasts knew that he could not interfere with any of the horrible things they did.

      And then there’s Bastian. In the movie, I would have given anything to be Bastian at the end, flying around on Falcor and seeing all the wonders of Fantasia. In the book, I would have given just about anything NOT to be Bastian and have to go through all the trials he does in Fantastica.

      That’s not to say that the book ISN’T better, necessarily. But it’s a lot deeper, defies conventional lessons in right and wrong, and is probably better for teenagers rather the kids who will enjoy the movie.

      • I didn’t want to “spoil” the book but yes Bastian gets into trouble when he enters Fantastica and for his well-being he has to leave Fantastica.

      • The opposite of Labyrinth, then. 🙂 I don’t think many directors/screenwriters/producers could get the mood et al of the book into a 90 or so minute movie. Plus it would have been very hard to market to older teens and their parents.

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