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    15 Surprising Facts About Your Favorite Childhood Film, "The Neverending Story"


    1. Atreyu was originally supposed to have green skin, like in the book.

    Crystal Ro / BuzzFeed / Warner Bros.

    His character was a member of a tribe literally called the "Greenskins," who hunted purple buffalo.

    2. Noah Hathaway, the actor who played Atreyu, actually had a really bad horse-riding accident just before shooting began.
    Warner Bros.

    He had to spend two months in the hospital recovering from a crushed vertebra after a horse fell on top of him.

    3. There were two Falkor, the Luck Dragon, models built; one had a head weighing over 200 pounds.

    Warner Bros.

    There was also steel from an actual airplane involved in making him too.

    4. Also, it took about 25 people to puppeteer Falkor altogether.

    Warner Bros.

    The director, Wolfgang Peterson, commented, "One person was responsible for operating Falkor’s nose, one for eyebrows, one for the upper lip, and one for the lower lip."

    5. Tami Stronach, who played the Childlike Empress, lost two teeth before filming and had to wear fake teeth, aka flippers for the shoot.

    Warner Bros.

    In the beginning, the fake teeth made her speak with a slight lisp too.

    6. The scenes in the Swamps of Sadness took two months to film...

    Warner Bros.

    And that was only a fraction of the entire film shoot, which lasted a whole year.

    7. ...and at a cost of $130,000 a day!

    The swamp was made entirely inside a soundstage at Bavaria Film Studios.

    8. One person, actor Alan Oppenheimer, actually provided the voice of Falkor, Rockbiter, G'mork (the wolf), and the narrator.
    Warner Bros.
    Warner Bros.

    He's also known for providing the voice of He-Man's nemesis, Skeletor.

    9. The original, German theatrical release of the film has a much more serious-looking intro, with credits over black.

    Warner Bros.

    You can see a side-by-side comparison of screen shots from the original German release with the American release here.

    10. Although it's pretty questionable in the film, the name Bastian yells out, according to the book, is "Moonchild".

    Warner Bros.

    If you rewatch the scene it seems like he is indeed yelling "Moonchild". Probably, anyway. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    11. At the time, it was the most expensive film production made in German history.

    Crystal Ro / BuzzFeed / Warner Bros.

    It cost $25 million to make in 1984 or, according to my very scientific inflation calculations, probably like $100 million today (do NOT take my word for it though).

    12. Steven Spielberg was given Auryn (Atreyu's necklace) by director Wolfgang Peterson as a "thank you" gift for his help with the film.

    Warner Bros.

    Peterson credits Spielberg with the helping out during editing of the film in order to make it appeal more to American audiences.

    13. Turns out, Bastian totally lives in Vancouver, Canada.

    Warner Bros.

    Well, at least that is where a lot of the "real world" scenes were shot for the movie.

    14. The author of the book that the film was based on pretty much hated the movie.

    Warner Bros.

    Michael Ende was quoted at a press conference calling it, "that revolting movie" and demanded that his name be removed from the credits.

    15. And finally, if you can't get enough Neverending Story in your life today, you can actually ride on Falkor at Bavaria Filmstadt in Munich, Germany:

    Bavaria Films / Via

    Learn more about this magical flight here.