Sep 17, 2012

Neverending Stories

During the 1960s and 1970s, teenage boys in movies were always portrayed as girl-crazy, but their younger brothers had no interest in girls.  But in 1990s, as producers became more aware of the existence of gay people, they realized that you could read "not interested in girls" as "interested in boys," so they began increasingly shrill, hysterical attempts to establish the heterosexual identity of 11, 12, and 13 year olds.  By the 2000s, boys as young as six and seven were leering, drooling, and making crass propositions to demonstrate that their girl-craziness began in the womb.

We can see the change in the various adaptions of The Neverending Story, based on the Michael Ende novel about a boy, Bastian Balthazar Bux, who reads a book about a fantasy world, and realizes that he can control the actions of his barbarian alter ego, Atreyu.

In The Neverending Story (1984), neither Bastian (Barret Oliver) nor the heroic Atreyu (Noah Hathaway) gaze longingly at the Childlike Empress who rules Fantasia.

The Neverending Story II (1990), similarly kept the new Bastian (Jonathan Brandis, left) and Atreyu (Kenny Morrison, above) from soliciting the Childlike Empress (or any other empress) as their prom dates. They even had a buddy-bonding romance with each other.

But four years later, The Neverending Story III (1994) omitted Atreyu and made the next Bastian (Jason James Richter) gaze longingly at girls.

And in the tv series Tales from the Neverending Story (2001-2002),  Bastian (Mark Rendall) has a girlfriend, and Atreyu (Tyler Hynes, left, recent photo) abandons a perfectly good wacky sidekick to kiss a girl of his own.