• Eric Presser

The Neverending Story Still Holds Up and Old Enough Makes its American Debut

Updated: Aug 10





The NeverEnding Story


In this two-for-one, the ladies review the 80s classic The NeverEnding Story and the long-running Japanese show Old Enough.


The chart-topping and infectious hit theme song from the NeverEnding story is caught in Kara and Laura’s heads as they enter the studio! Based on the German novel, The NeverEnding Story is about a boy who submerges himself into an incredible fantasy adventure inside a mysterious book where the protagonist must fight off an evil force called The Nothing.


Kara and Laura both loved this movie as children but admit the symbolism and overarching message of grief went right over their heads. Polling their family, they find out they aren’t alone. During the episode, they discuss the many metaphors throughout the movie and its application to the painful experience of grief and loss.


Nobody can talk about the NeverEnding Story, without mentioning the iconic scene where Atreyu’s horse dies a slow and emotional death in the Swamp of Sadness. Kara and Laura find themselves traumatized once again by this scene, especially with Kara having grown up around horses. If there’s one cinematic theme that makes Laura anxious, it’s animals in peril, so the ladies have a lot to unpack here! But in the words of Urgl, “It has to hurt for it to heal”, and this conversation was no different as the hosts find beauty through the painful moments of the scene.


To Kara’s dismay, Laura reveals that she has a huge issue with Falkor’s look which would make a coveted ride on the Luck Dragon a little bit complicated. Kara stumbles upon an alternative way of mounting Falkor in a moment that Laura had to pay Kara to keep in the episode.


Parenting sure has changed these days and Bastian’s dad is a prime example of how parents used to erroneously guide their children! Enter, the cringy “suck it up” talk. This is no way to comfort a grieving child who just lost his mother, but times were different then. As was their diet, as we are also forced to watch dad casually drink all those freaking’ raw eggs! The movie definitely dips into the 80s and 90s “us vs them” parents/kids dynamic. Laura isn’t looking forward to getting into middle age and finding that all the things she’s doing right now ended up being mistakes, but that seems to be the natural progression of history, right?


The hosts also discuss the three child stars of the show and notice they all have something in common. Here’s what the cast of The Neverending Story, including every girl’s first crush Atreyu, is up to now.


SHOULD THEY WATCH IT?

Kara: Yes! She loved watching it with her son. The story is not only engaging, but it opens up the door to have conversations about mental health and grief (if parents are interested in that).

Laura: Yes! She has a much greater appreciation for it than she did as a child.


POTENTIAL ISSUES:

There are scary moments and imagery that might be too much for young children. The sphinx statues show nudity. Bastian has some behavioral issues, including skipping school and staying out late. The grief theme is throughout the movie, though not always apparent. If your child is sensitive to the topic of grief and loss, you might want to consider the impact of these themes on their emotional well-being.


Old Enough

In Old Enough!, Japanese toddlers run errands, navigate subways and otherwise adult their way through life.


Laura and Kara observe a definite cultural divide here: Laura’s daughter requires company when she goes to the bathroom. Kara recalls getting a lot of flak from other parents when she posted pictures of her son helping her fry bacon and pressure wash her porch.


After watching this show, the ladies reflect on whether a little extra independence is in order for American toddlers. Laura puts on her therapist hat, discussing the importance of guiding children through challenges rather than solving problems for them. Listen to find out the benefits of using this approach. Kara is certain that social media contributes to her parenting anxiety as we often become overinformed about what can go wrong in parenting. She also worries that her mistakes could be digitally immortalized like the many parents before her (think Harambe). Overall, they like the show and feel it gives a nice perspective on an alternative way of parenting.


Should They Watch It?

Kara: Yes

Laura: Yes


Have you seen either of these shows? Let us know before we cover Carmen Sandiego next week!


If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe and leave a review on your favorite platform. Follow us on Instagram and check us out at shouldtheywatchit.com.


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