The Neverending Story

Ongoing portfolio work to adapt bits of Michael Ende’s “The Neverending Story” for animation.

VisUAL Development & thumbnails

Atreyu’s Existential Crisis (November 2017)

This was a scene I thought about adding, that wasn’t in the original text, because I wanted to show Atreyu and Falkor trying to come to terms with being fictional characters.

While the main arc of the book is Bastian’s story about losing and then learning to accept his true self, I think it’d be interesting to push the B-plot of Atreyu trying to build his own identity within/or despite the context of being imaginary.

It was really neat to play with the physicality and scale of Atreyu and Falkor’s friendship, showing the ease with which they fly and climb around together. This is an aspect of the story where I think animation makes way more sense than live action.

Falkor Retrieves Auryn the Amulet (June 2017)

This is near the climax of the first act. Atreyu and Falkor have been separated in a storm while attempting to find the borders of Fantasia.

This was a short little scene where Falkor searches for Atreyu and winds up recovering Auryn, the amulet that has been guiding their quest. He nearly gets caught by the Nothing. I think I padded it way more than needed, but I suppose it was good practice with Falkor…

And I’ve been visualizing the Nothing as static, like the visual and auditory hallucinations you get when your senses are deprived of stimulus.

Atreyu and Artax Encounter Snakes
(April 2017)

So here’s a little scene that was 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.)

This was my first experiment with The Neverending Story way back when I first picked up storyboarding again. I’d scrap this whole idea now.