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Today in Awesome

Illustrator Gives The Neverending Story A Modern Twist

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The Neverending Story was one of my very favorite movies growing up. I practically wore out the VHS and, later, the book. (If you haven’t read Michael Ende‘s original book, oh my God go now and read the book it is so much better!) One sunny day in my teens I decided to rewatch the film and was very disillusioned when I saw how poorly it had aged. I dunno, maybe the puberty hormones were messing with me that day. But as good as The Neverending Story is, some of the effects have not aged particularly well. Which is part of its charm, but I’m not going to say no to these slick character redesigns by Nicolas Francoeur. The fact that I never say no to anything The Neverending Story is beside the point.

(via: Kotaku)

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  • Philip Lopez

    Not a fan of the Falkor design or the Rock Biter. Flakor should be less scaly and more friendly looking and I think it’s important that the Rock Biter look more human. The rest are really cool though. I like Morla and Gmork especially

  • Suzanne Larsen

    whoa these are fantastic!

  • Why?

    Agreed, but there’s a lot of potential here.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve not read the book, but it’s possible this interpretation is closer than the film was.

  • Philip Lopez

    That’s a really good point. I haven’t read it either, though I have now added it to my Audible wish list.

  • winkingskunk

    I’ve read the book (granted, last time I did was over a decade ago), but I think I remember the Rock Biter being noted as having a gentle face. Not that sharks aren’t gentle, but, well…..

  • winkingskunk

    I’d like to second that everyone should go out and read the book. SO GOOD!

  • Anonymous

    “They look like big, good, strong hands. Don’t they? I always thought that’s what they were. My little friends. The little man with his racing snail, the Nighthob, even the stupid bat.”

  • Miss Cephalopod

    I’ve never seen the movies so I can’t compare. Grew up on the book though, Ende is a household name. Don’t know how I feel about Atréju being the wrong skin colour and Fuchur’s redesign, but I’m quite fond of Morla!

  • Anonymous

    Well let’s just go to my bookshelf, shall we? Iif we’re going by the books, my first gripe is Atreyu is WAY too white. He appears, “A few white designs were painted on this olive-green skin of his cheeks and forehead.” Which make sense, given that he is a Greenskin, the nomadic people that hunt the purple buffalo. As for Falkor…

    “Luckdragons are among the strangest animals in Fantastica. They bear no resemblance to ordinary dragons, which look like loathsome snakes and live in deep caves, diffusing a noxious stench and guarding some real or imaginary treasure. Such spawn of chaos are usually wicked or ill-tempered, they have batlike wings with which they can rise clumsily and noisily into the air, and they spew fire and smoke. Luckdragons are creatures of air, warmth, and pure joy. Despite their great size, they are as light as a summer cloud, and consequently need no wings for flying. They swim in the air of heaven as fish swim in water. Seen from the earth, they look like slow lightning flashes. The most amazing thing about them is their song. Their voice sounds like the golden note of a large bell, and when they speak softly the bell seems to be ringing in the distance. Anyone who has heard this sound will remember it as long as he lives and tell his grandchildren about it.”

    “His long, graceful body with its pearly, pink-and-white scales…His bristling fangs, his thick, luxuriant mane and the fringes on his tail…The eyeballs in his lionlike head glistened ruby-red.”

    WAY off the mark.

  • Anonymous

    Not a ton of a description, but the one shark-like feature he had was completely omitted from the above illustration:

    “A giant, who looked as if the whole of him were made of gray stone, lay stretched out on his belly. He was almost ten feet long…In his weather-beaten stone face, which seemed strangely small in comparison with his powerful shoulders, his teeth stood out like a row of steel chisels.”

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know…most of these feel way too much like a grimgritty version of the characters. The only ones I genuinely like are the childlike empress and Morla. Gmork I could take or leave, the rest leave me quite cold. Technically beautiful, but thematic clunkers for me.

  • winkingskunk

    AHHH! Like I said, I haven’t read the book in a REALLY long time. (Not at home to dig out my copy, either).

  • Anonymous

    Is it Gmork, or the Gmork?

  • Not So Young Democrat

    Funny, I thought the effects held up surprisingly well when I watched it several years ago.

    But these designs feel all wrong to me. Part of the movie is that the design always seems to me to be this preteen boys imagination of these characters. So they’re all fairly innocent and goofy. There’s a reason Atreyu is so young, he’s a stand in for Bastian the reader. He sees a boy just somewhat older than himself. The Rock Biter and all the other characters are kind of goofy because that’s how this kid sees them.

  • Charlie

    In my mind it’s illegal to make Falcor not look like a primordial serpent, out of Dark Souls, with fur on. They are totally the same universe to me now.

  • Anonymous

    *flails* Omg!! These are very cool! Love the Child-like Empress the best. Agree with other commentors regarding Falcor and Rock-biter. Aside from the shadow design for the Gmork, I must say I love the movie version better. That bastard will always terrify me…

  • Anonymous

    So then you’re not a fan of the guy’s art I take it? ;)

  • Anonymous

    Meh. Technically it’s fine, it’s got a few highlights, but stylistically it doesn’t do anything for me. I’m not a fan of this kind of hyper-real digital painting, or the color palette. The Neverending Story has a LOT of color; it incorporates a lot of cultures and ideas. This looks like Generic Fantasy Art. It could just as easily be for any other property.