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The NeverEnding Story III: Escape from Fantasia (also known as: The NeverEnding Story III: Return to Fantasia) is a 1994 English-language film, the second sequel to the fantasy film The NeverEnding Story (following the first sequel, The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter).[2] It starred Jason James Richter as Bastian Balthazar Bux, and Jack Black in one of his early roles as the school bully, Slip. This film primarily used the characters from Michael Ende's novel The Neverending Story (1979), but introduced a new storyline. It is an international coproduction between the United States and Germany.

The NeverEnding Story III
Canadian video release poster
Directed byPeter MacDonald
Produced by
Screenplay byJeff Lieberman
Story byKarin Howard
Based onCharacters created
by Michael Ende
Music byPeter Wolf
CinematographyRobin Vidgeon
Edited by
  • Michael Bradsell
  • Jim Roddan
Distributed by
Release date
  • October 27, 1994 (1994-10-27) (Germany)
  • February 2, 1996 (1996-02-02) (United States (limited))
Running time
95 minutes
Box office$5 million (Germany)

The special creature effects were provided by Jim Henson's Creature Shop. The film has no connection to the source material of the book beyond the usage of characters from it.


In a prologue, the Old Man of Wandering Mountain reads from a large book, begins to record a prophecy of a day when "The Nasty" will arrive in Fantasia, and describes the savior of "Extraordinary Courage".

Bastian Balthazar Bux has grown older, and his father Barney has married a woman named Jane, whose daughter Nicole is displeased at having a new family. Bastian has also started high school, where he has become a victim of the Nasties, a quintet of bullies led by Slip. Bastian arranges for them to be expelled with the help of the janitor after the Nasties trap him in the boiler room.

He later flees to the library, where he is surprised to find Carl Conrad Coreander and the Neverending Story. The Nasties locate him, but he uses the book to escape to Fantasia, where he is reunited with Falkor, Engywook and Urgl. On Earth, the Nasties find the Neverending Story and use it to bombard Fantasia with fireballs and a storm. With wooden Bark Troll, Bastian and his friends head for the Wandering Mountains to speak with the Childlike Empress, who asks Bastian to find the Neverending Story using the Auryn. Falkor, Barky, the gnomes, and Rockbiter's son, Junior, help him, but a "wish overload" scatters across Earth, where Barky ends up in a conifer forest, Falkor saves Junior from falling to his death near Mount Rushmore, and the gnomes arrive in Nome, Alaska. Bastian locates Falkor and Junior, and Falkor flies off to find the others while Junior stays at Bastian's house. Rockbiter sadly informs his wife that Junior is gone, and the Nasties provoke them to quarrel.

Nicole takes the Auryn from Bastian's room, discovers its wishing abilities, and takes it on a shopping trip to the local mall. Bark Troll arrives at Bastian's house disguised as a garden plant, while the Gnomes are mailed to him in a box. The reunited group go in search of Nicole, but the Nasties find the Auryn first, whereupon giant crustacean creatures appear in Fantasia to kill the Empress and her advisors. Everyone in the mall turns evil, including Mr. Coreander and Bastian's parents. Bastian is struck by lightning, and begins to succumb to the wills of the Nasties, but Nicole saves him, and Bastian recovers the Auryn and the book in a fight. The Fantasians return to Fantasia, which is restored to its former magnificence. Bastian and Nicole manage to keep their parents from divorcing, and Junior is reunited with his parents. Nicole and Bastian return to school the next day and find that Bastian has changed Slip and the Nasties into friendly classmates, and Bastian returns the Neverending Story to Mr. Coreander.




Music From & Inspired By The Neverending Story III: Here Come The Fantasians
Soundtrack album by
Various Artists
The Neverending Story soundtrack chronology
The Neverending Story II - The Next Chapter: Original Soundtrack
Music From & Inspired By The Neverending Story III: Here Come The Fantasians
1."The Neverending Story"Giorgio Moroder , Keith ForseyReal Im-Pact3:36
2."Give Peace A Chance (Single Mix)"Attack II, Buzz Gardner, Tom Jaques G. Cain, T. Adler (Leon), Steve Pool, Tom Card, Eric TrinkausIntermission3:52
3."Games People Play"Joe SouthInner Circle3:26
4."Girly Girl"Luci Van Org, Goldkind, Ash WednesdayLucilectric3:13
5."Crash! Boom! Bang!"Per GessleRoxette4:25
6."Kiss From A Rose"SealSeal4:47
7."Mission Of Love (Radio Edit)"Toby Gad, Jacqueline NémorinNemorin3:33
8."Heart Of Stone"David A. Stewart, Shara Nelson Dave Stewart4:36
9."Shortcut To Forever"Peter Wolf, Ina WolfPhillip Ingram & Siedah Garrett3:31
10."Fantasian Homecoming"WolfThe Munich Symphony Orchestra2:50
11."I'm A Stoneman"Torsten Börger, Claudia A. WohlfrommThe Stoneman3:22
12."United (Radio Edit)"Alex Christensen, Frank Peterson, Mark Wahlberg, Joe PaquettePrince Ital Joe feat. Marky Mark4:02
13."Hand In Hand"Attack II, Tom Card, Steve Pool, Tom Jaques G. Cain, Th. Adler, Erik TrinkausOphelia4:07
14."Back & Forth (LP Version)"R. KellyAaliyah3:51
15."Fire"Alex Auer, Hans Mappes, Maik Hahn, Rod GammonsShyboy3:38
16."How, How (The Pre Mix)"Boris Blank, Dieter MeierYello5:54
17."Nasty World"Börger, Wohlfromm, Windsor RobinsonReal Im-Pact4:05
18."Dream On (The Neverending Story)"Gad, NémorinNemorin3:52
19."Born To Be Wild"BonfireThe Stoneman3:38
20."Shortcut To Forever"Peter Wolf, Ina WolfThe Munich Symphony Orchestra2:38
Total length:01:17:53


Variety stated: "The NeverEnding Story lives up to its title in the worst way possible with this third outing, a charmless, desperate reworking of the franchise that might just as well be subtitled 'Bastian Goes to High School'".[3]

Box officeEdit

By late December 1994, the film grossed $5 million in Germany.[3]


  1. ^ a b "The Neverending Story III (EN) [Original title]". LUMIERE. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  2. ^ "The Neverending Story III: Escape From Fantasia". The New York Times. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  3. ^ a b Elley, Derek (27 December 1994). "The Neverending Story III". Vairety. Retrieved 31 October 2017.

External linksEdit