Bastian:

The Neverending Story Script Page 3 of 6

They had been traveling aimlessly for almost a week, but they could not find a cure for the Empress. Neither Atreyu or his horse, Artax, had the vaguest suspicion that the creature of darkness, the G'mork, was already tracking them down.

Artax crosses the small stream and wakes up Atreyu by nuzzling him.

Atreyu:
What ? What is it Artax. Is it time to go already?  Oh, I know what you want. It's time to eat, huh? Good idea.

Bastian:
No, it's a great idea!

Bastian looks up from the book with a smile and grabs his lunch from his back pack and begins to devour it.

VIEW of Bastian holding half the sandwich. He looks at it.

Bastian:
No, not too much. We still have a long way to go.

VIEW of Atreyu and Artax traveling again.

G'mork arrives were they had been and catches their scent, and takes off following their trail.

CUT TO: Swamps of Sadness

Bastian:
Atreyu and Artax had searched the Silver Mountains, the Desert of Shattered Hopes, and the Crystal Towers without success. And so, there was only one chance left. To find Morla, the ancient one, the wisest being in Fantasia whos home was the Shell Mountain somewhere in the deadly Swamps of Sadness.

Atreyu jumps off Artax and pulls him along through the swamp.

Bastian:
Everyone knew that whoever let the sadness overtake him would sink into the swamp.

Atreyu pulls his horse along saying reassuring things the whole time.

Atreyu:
That's it. You’re doing fine Artax.

Suddenly Artax stops and Atreyu pulls on the reigns. Artax doesn't budge

Atreyu:
Come on Artax, what's the matter? What's wrong? Come on boy!  I understand, it's too difficult for you. (He tries pulling him in a different direction and steps into a puddle up to his waist. Suddenly he notices that Artax is sinking)

Atreyu:
Artax you're sinking! Come on turn around, you have to! Now ! Come on! Artax !

He goes closer to him and hugs him.

Atreyu:
Fight against the sadness Artax. Artax, please. You're letting the sadness of the swamps get to you. You have to try, you have to care. For me, I'm your  friend, I love you.

(Artax doesn't move and Atreyu slaps the puddle sending water flying toward the horse. He yells at him again.)

Artax, you're sinking! Come on, turn around, you have to, now! Come on! Artax! Fight against the sadness, Artax. Artax, please, you're letting the sadness of the swamps get to you. You have  to try. You have to care, for me, you're my friend, and I love you.  Artax! Stupid horse! You've gotta move or you'll die! Move, please! I won't give up! Don't quit! Artax! Please!

(then he pleads with him.)

Move please. I won't give up! Jump quick! Artax please!

FADE OUT:

FADE IN:

SPLIT VIEW: of Atreyu sitting on a log crying as he looks at the spot where Artax had once been, and of Bastian looking up from the book. Both have tears streaming down their face, Bastian blows his nose on his handkerchief. Bastian turns the page.

VIEW: of Atreyu walking through the swamps crying. He stops suddenly and we see a mountain.

The Neverending Story Script Page 3 of 6

Atreyu:
The Shell Mountain.

VIEW: of Bastian as he looks up from the book.

Bastian:
Morla the ancient one.

WIDE VIEW:
Atreyu climbs up the muddy mountain and calls for Morla several times. The mountain starts moving and he grabs a tree branch. The branch breaks and he slides down the mountain, hurting his shoulder. He lands in the swamp ground below and turns and crawls away to a tree nearby that faces the mountain. He climbs it and sees a giant turtle head coming out of the mountain. Bastian screams and Atreyu and Morla look around.

Bastian sits up SURPRISED.

Bastian:
But that's impossible, they couldn't have heard me.

Atreyu:
Are you Morla, the ancient one?

Morla:
Not that it matters but yes.

Atreyu:
Please help me Morla. Do you recognize this?

Morla:
Well, we haven't seen the Auryn in a long time.

Atreyu:
We ? (he looks around) Is there someone else here too?

Morla:
We haven't spoken to anyone else for thousands of years, so we started talking to ourselves.

(she sneezes and blows Atreyu out of the tree.)

Atreyu:
Morla, I bring terrible news. Did you know that the Empress is very ill?

Morla:
Not that it matters, but yes. Actually we don't care.

Atreyu:
If I don't save her, she'll die! There's a terrible nothing sweeping over the land. Don't you care about that? !

Morla:
We don't even care whether on not we care.

Atreyu:
Do you have a cold?

Morla:
No, we're allergic to youth.

Atreyu:
You know how I can help the Empress don't you?

Morla:
Not that it matters, but yes.

Atreyu:
If you don't tell me and the nothing keeps coming, you'll die to! Both of you!

Morla:
Die ? That at least would be something.

She starts to sneeze again, but doesn't so Atreyu relaxes his grip on the tree. Unknowing that she can sneeze at any moment.

Atreyu:
Please tell me. You said you knew the answer.

She sneezes and blows him out of the tree. She becomes agitated.

Morla:
We're tired of sneezing, go away. Nothing matters.

Atreyu:
(He climbs back up the tree) That's not true. If it didn't really matter to you then you'd tell me.

Morla:
Hah hah, clever boy.

Atreyu:
Tell me please !

Morla:
We don't know, but you can ask the Southern Oracle.

Atreyu:
How can I get there?

Morla:
You can't . It's ten thousand miles away.

Atreyu:
But that's so far.

Morla:
That's right. Forget it. Good night.

The Neverending Story Script Page 3 of 6

CUT TO: School hallway

The school bell rings and Bastian sits up with a start. The school day has ended and everyone is leaving. Bastian walks out as the lights turn off. The attic is spooky, it is dark and stormy. Bastian grabs his stuff and runs out of the attic, but then comes back, shaking his head.

Bastian:
No. Atreyu wouldn't quit now.

He starts back towards the mat, but lightning followed by a loud clap of thunder Startles Bastian prompting him to leap backwards. A wolf head from an old school festival falls down in front of him and he screams in terror.

CUT TO: Swamps

View of Atreyu stumbling, exhausted through the swamp. He falls several times and has to stop for rest. His shoulder really hurts him. Atreyu stumbles into a puddle up to his neck and we see the wolf running after him. As Atreyu starts to faint he looks up and sees a dragon coming towards him from high in the sky. The wolf reaches him right as the dragon picks him up. The wolf howls in anger as he misses the boy.

END SCENE:

FADE IN: Attic- Bastian

Bastian flops down on his back and sighs. Relieved that Atreyu escaped the G’mork and the swamps, but what was that creature
 that saved him? Bastian sits back up and starts reading again.

Bastian:
After days and nights of unconsciousness, Atreyu slowly opened his eyes and found himself in strange surroundings. He was clean and his wounds were dressed.

VIEW: - Atreyu waking up. His is asleep behind the arm of the dog-like dragon. He lifts it's arm so he can get away. The dragon opens one eye, then closes it.

Atreyu:
Shew.

Falkor:
The dragon wakes up as Atreyu runs away. Leaving so soon, hmm?

Atreyu:
Uh, I was just going..... I have to ...... I was trying to ... (he stutters.)

Falkor:
Sneak away?

Atreyu:
Yes..... I mean no. No!

Falkor:
I like children.

Atreyu:
For breakfast?

Falkor:
Never ! I'm a luck dragon. My name is Falkor.

Atreyu:
And my name is..

Falkor:
Atreyu. And you're on a quest.

Atreyu:
How'd you know that?

Falkor:
You were unconscious and you talked in your sleep.

Atreyu:
What?

Falkor:
(Falkor starts straining to reach his ear, but his leg is to short.)Could you get round and scratch behind my right ear?

Falkor:
I can never quite reach it.

Atreyu:
(Atreyu starts scratching a spot.) Here?

Falkor:
Oh yea. Huh huh huh, oh. That's so good. Thank you.

Falkor:
So little fella, you're on you're way to the Southern Oracle?

Atreyu:
Yes, but it's hopeless. It's too far away!

Falkor:
Oh, I wouldn't necessarily say that.

 

The Neverending Story Script Page 3 of 6

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