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The books by Micheal Ende

Malte279

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If I was to name a favorite author from my own country, it would almost certainly be Michael Ende.
I don't suppose the name will ring a bell to anyone here, but you may perhaps know the titles of some of his books which have been made into movies. Don't let yourself be turned away by mediocre movies made on the basis of marvelous books.
"The neverending story" is probably the best known work by him. It is written with a degree of fantasy that reminds of J.R.R. Tolkien (are you listening WR ;)), while his style is different. Michel Ende's stories, while being extremely exciting and ingenious by themselves also tend to include some messages which relate to our world. People may really end up not only enjoying the story but also thinking about what is told beyond the mere plot. Similar in a way to the way messages are told in Antoine de Saint-ExupÈry's "Little Prince" (another book we could talk about in this section), but with the messages not quite as direct.
Another really good book by Michael Ende is "Momo".
Did anyone of you read any book by him?


NewOrder

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I haven't read any books, but I saw the movie (who hasn't =p). I never thought the never ending story was his woah, it's one of the greatest "storys" ever told B)
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pokeplayer984

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Ah, The Never Ending Story.  I was quite the fan of that movie.  I have never read the book, but I hope to one day.

I wonder, was that story ever really put into a lawsuit because of its title?  I've heard rumors about that. :)


Malte279

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While I don't know about any lawsuits against the book or its title there were lawsuits against the movies by the author Michael Ende who felt that the movies distorted his story too much. If anyone thinks that much was cut from the lord of the rings or from Harry Potter (another series of books which should be made a topic here before long) in the movies should read the book "The Neverending story" and compare it to the movie. I sometimes wonder what the English version of the Neverending Story is like. The German version has 26 chapters each of which begins with a letter from the Alphabet in the A to Z order. The letter is included in a picture at the beginning of each chapter. I wonder if they made something like this in the English version. Also the story includes a character who can only talk in rhymes and only understands rhymes. I'm quite curious how the rhymes from the German version were translated.


Nick22

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I saw the first two films and I liked them. I've alkways loved fantasy, I grew up reading books like the Phantom Tollbooth,Where the Wild things are , and many others...
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Malte279

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If you liked the filmes, do read the book. There is so much, so much more to the book than to the film. I'm sure you'll like it.


WeirdRaptor

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I've read "The Neverending Story", and love it, but I grew up loving the films, which I actually prefer to the book. That is highly unusual for me.

Michael Ende sued because he thought that they cut too much? Heh, he should watch Ralph Bakshi's "Lord of the Rings", then he'll see just how little he has to complain about, if one compares the adaptations. Which film did he sue? I actually can understand if its just the second film he sued about, though, because its not the makers of the first film that are at fault. The first "Neverending Story" told the first part of the story accurately, and were going to finish it, but then the project was snatched away from them and didn't get completed until years and years down the line in which totally new filmmakers did it and completely new actors were cast.


Malte279

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It was the first film he sued and I think he had a good point in claiming that the story was distorted. In a way it can be compared very well to Ralph Bakshi's "Lord of the Rings", for it stopped in the middle of the story. There was only Atreju's search in the movie and even that one was cut down painfully (Where was Ygramul for instance?). There was nothing about what Bastian experienced in Phantasia while this is the better (the longer) part of the book. No mention at all of the inscription of Auryn (which to understand is perhaps the central theme of the book). No Graograman, no Xaide (in the first movie), no Hynrek, no Yor, no Ayola, no battle for the Ivory Tower, no Old man of the wandering mountain... I could go on like this for hours.
The movies were not only cut down too much from the story of the book, but some scenes where also altered just to put more "action" in. The neverending story shouldn't be an action movie.


WeirdRaptor

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It was the first film he sued and I think he had a good point in claiming that the story was distorted. In a way it can be compared very well to Ralph Bakshi's "Lord of the Rings", for it stopped in the middle of the story.
Yes, but the filmmakers were intending on making the rest of the story as its own film when the studio took the film out of their hands. It didn't make enough money right away, and that was why it wasn't finished.

 
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There was only Atreju's search in the movie and even that one was cut down painfully (Where was Ygramul for instance?). There was nothing about what Bastian experienced in Phantasia while this is the better (the longer) part of the book. No mention at all of the inscription of Auryn (which to understand is perhaps the central theme of the book). No Graograman, no Xaide (in the first movie), no Hynrek, no Yor, no Ayola, no battle for the Ivory Tower, no Old man of the wandering mountain... I could go on like this for hours.
Again, things that were the studios fault, not the filmmakers. In any case, name me one book-to-film adaptation without major cuts. I could go on and on for hours about the endless list of book adaptations with major cuts, and the very, very short list of faithful adaptations. I thought the first film kept in spirit with the original book well enough and while it was different in some places, was still plenty good for me. And I say this as someone who read the book.
The decision to focus on Atreju was a wise one, I think. Unlike books, which have the freedom to have their focus anywhere and everything, films require a much stronger anchoring point.
And while we're discussing painful cuts and changes, let's talk about Peter Jackson's adaptation of "The Two Towers" and some parts of "The Return of the King". I'd say that Peter Jackson butchered the middle volume of "The Lord of the Rings" far worse than Wolfgang Peterson harmed the first part of "The Neverending Story". The film version of "The Neverending Story" was mostly just guilty of cuts and the fact that it remained unfinished for a long time, but the mega popular LotR films that you and I both admit to liking quite a lot are actually guilty of figurative character raping.  

 
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The movies were not only cut down too much from the story of the book, but some scenes where also altered just to put more "action" in. The neverending story shouldn't be an action movie.
I beg to differ on that last remark. I find the first movie to be wonderful, and I do think it should have been made.
I will admit its not a great adaptation of the book, of course, neither was Don Bluth's film adaptation of "Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH", in fact, it bordered on book butchery, itself. In any case I still think its a great movie in and of itself.


Malte279

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Did you actually read a single thing I wrote up?
Did you have a reason to doubt I did?
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Yes, but the filmmakers were intending on making the rest of the story as its own film when the studio took the film out of their hands. It didn't make enough money right away, and that was why it wasn't finished.
And what difference does this make to the result = film?
Does it make Ralph Bakshi's version of "The Lord of the Rings" any better when you think that the original plan was NOT to stop in the middle of the story?
I don't think so.
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Again, things that were the studios fault, not the filmmakers. In any case, name me one book-to-film adaptation without major cuts.
Again it doesn't make any real difference to me if the studios or the filmmakers are to blame. I'm not trying to blame anybody. I'm just talking about the movie as it is. And as it is it falls short of my expectations of a good adaptation of the book. I'm happy for you that your expectations after reading the book were fulfilled or even surpased by the movie (which you like better than the book), but I regret I cannot share this high opinion of the movie.
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And while we're discussing painful cuts and changes, let's talk about Peter Jackson's adaptation of "The Two Towers" and some parts of "The Return of the King" while we're at it. I'd say that Peter Jackson butchered the middle book of "The Lord of the Rings" far worse than Wolfgang Peterson butchered the first part of "The Neverending Story", yet I see no threads concerning that.
Why don't you open a thread concerning this?


WeirdRaptor

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Did you have a reason to doubt I did?
Sorry about that, I was hoping to be rid of that remakr before you read when I decided it was too offensive.

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And what difference does this make to the result = film?
The fact that the filmmakers were actually going to do it but the studio wussed out.

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Does it make Ralph Bakshi's version of "The Lord of the Rings" any better when you think that the original plan was NOT to stop in the middle of the story?
I don't think so.
No, it doesn't, but "The Neverending Story" adaptation wasn't horrible to begin with.

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Again it doesn't make any real difference to me if the studios or the filmmakers are to blame. I'm not trying to blame anybody. I'm just talking about the movie as it is. And as it is it falls short of my expectations of a good adaptation of the book. I'm happy for you that your expectations after reading the book were fulfilled or even surpased by the movie (which you like better than the book), but I regret I cannot share this high opinion of the movie.
I respect that, but there are many other film adaptations that fall short of the book, but that still doesn't make them terrible, necessarily, as you, yourself, pointed out.

 
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Why don't you open a thread concerning this?
Perhaps I should. I've already opened one LotR thread.


Malte279

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No, it doesn't, but "The Neverending Story" adaptation wasn't horrible to begin with.
Horrible would be too negative, I admit that. You are definitely correct in pointing out that few movie adaptations live up to the books they are based on. Nonetheless I think the Neverending Story fell shorter than necessary, but that's just my opinion. I think they cut out some parts which were really essential to have the movie transfer the spirit of the book.


WeirdRaptor

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True enough, there were scenes that probably should have stayed and it would have helped the film transfer to the spirit, but I think it did quite alright, but I can where you disagree.


arboldin

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I read it, and its 10 times better than the movie
[The Neverending Story]


Dwalin

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I have read the book and seen the film, but I liked the book more. In this I agree with Malte279: too much important scenes have been let out. I was also upset because the horse which played Arthax, who drowned in the book, really drowned during the filming.
I also liked the book "Der satanarch‰ol¸genialkohˆllische Wunschpunsch”.


Malte279

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"Der satanarch‰ol¸genialkohˆllische Wunschpunsch”
Oh yes, that one was really fun to read, but in spite of being funny it also had some deeper messages same as almost all of Michael Ende's books. I heard that he was kind of crestfallen because he was always percieved primarily as an author of children's books while there is so much philosophy in his writings.
Do you know "Momo" too Dwalin?


Dwalin

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Quote from: Malte279,May 21 2007 on  07:46 AM
Do you know "Momo" too Dwalin?
I have not read it yet, but I am going to.


Nimrod

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I read the book and saw the movie. And I loved it. :^.^:


DarkHououmon

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I never seen The Never Ending Story, and never knew a book existed. I also never heard of Little Prince or Momo. I never even heard of Michael Ende.


Malte279

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One important thing to keep in mind is that "The Little Prince" is NOT by Michael Ende, but by Antoine de Saint-ExupÈry. I mentioned the book in a different context. As for "The neverending story", while the movies may be somewhat entertaining they can't stand the comparison with the awesome and much more substantial book.
I cannot say anything about the movie adaptation of Momo, but the book is certainly a good one. The great thing about Ende's books is that they are not just great stories, but also give you really something to think about.