The Neverending Story by Michael Ende (1979)
The Neverending Story follows Bastian Balthazar Bux, a lonely young boy who is definitely not your typical storybook hero. After escaping some bullies at school, Bastian stumbles into an antique bookshop, where he comes across an old book. Through its pages, Bastian is taken on a journey to a mysterious fantasy land known as Fantastica. Here he meets brave warrior Atreyu, fearsome wolf Gmork, the beautiful Empress, and a luckdragon called Falkor. But Fantastica is under threat from The Nothing, a darkness that destroys everything it encounters, and it needs the help of a human child to survive. Is Bastian up to the task? This story is so beloved by children that one big screen film was not enough – two sequels were also made. The first film was made in West Germany in 1984 and was the most expensive ever produced outside of Hollywood and the Soviet Union at the time and was a huge hit at the box office. For those watching The Neverending Story for the first time, be prepared with a box of tissues for when Atreyu and his horse Artax head into the Swamp of Sadness.