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January 19, 2023 94 mins

This week, Jamie, Caitlin, and special guest Jana Schmieding journey to Fantasia and discuss The Neverending Story!

(This episode contains spoilers)

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
On the bell cast, the questions asked if movies have
women in them? Are all their discussions just boyfriends and husbands?
Do they have individualism? The patriarchy? Zef in best start
changing it with the beck del cast written on the
pages is the answer to the never ending podcast? That's

a lot of them. That's some of ours. I mean
episodes that never end, and then the podcast itself never ending.
I'd be lying if a few different titles didn't come
to name when you said the never ending podcast. And
there's care to share, No, of course, not okay, but

um but I that was beautiful singing. I kind of
miss and I really enjoy when a movie starts with
a whole entire song playing and you just know who
everyone's name is. For some reason, that's very satisfying. I
feel like I'm being like lowered into a warm baths. Well.
This was also the era when there would be a

like three or four minute credit sequence where it's just
the credits and maybe some like vague images from the world,
but really just people's names on the screen, like the
first Tim Burton Batman movie, similar vibe, it's just the
bat signal and four minutes of credits and music, and

you're like yes, for some reason, I think maybe I'm
just like my either my brain is just slowly shrinking,
and I'm like, wow, less stimulation. That was awesome. I
loved that. You're good. I'm so excited for today's episode.
Welcome to the Bactel Cast. My name is Jamie Loftus,

my name is Caitlin Darante, and this is our show
where we examine movies through an intersectional feminist lens, using
the back test simply as a jumping off point to
initiate a larger conversation. Sure, as, Jamie, what is the
Bechtel Test. Well, it's a media metric created by queer

cartoonist Alice and Bechdel, originally in her comic Dikes to
Watch Out For started kind of as a one off bit,
but has since become a commonly accepted media metric. Sometimes
it's called the Bechtel Wallace Test. A lot of versions
of the test. Oh, I'm like kind of feeling good
about how this ended. Sky, You're on a roll, Jamie.

A lot of versions of how this test go. Here's
the one we use. We require that there are two
characters of a marginalized gender with names who speak to
each other about something other than a man for two
lines of impactful dialogue. What does impactful mean? Well, like
it just open to interpretation, not nothing, you know. And

today we got a bit of a hit scratcher today. Um,
but we have an incredible movie, incredible returning guests, and
I'm very excited to get started. Yes, we are covering
the never ending story with our guests. Who is a
writer and performer. You know her from Rutherford Falls and

more famously our episode on the Vitch. It's Janish meeting.
Hello and welcome back. Thank you, thank you. I love
this podcast and I am so delighted an honor to
be a guest again. Oh my godness, We're so honored
to have you back, especially for one of my childhood hits. Yeah.
Quite honestly, I'm so excited to hear you. What what

what's your like history and experience with this movie? Um, deep,
it's deep history. I grew up. I was born in
eighty one, so I grew up in the eighties with
you know, I think I might start a podcast about
this because I am so fascinating. I'm still fascinated by
how maccobb and and dark and like sci fi fantasy ish.

The eighties were in terms of cinema, like especially for kids,
like for children's content, trusting that kids can deal with
serious content and and grand grandiose content like high concept
stuff high concept like and like the practical effects of
the eighties like I mean so like I was born

and raised in that era of just like throwing all
kinds of insane shit at kids, And this was one
of my favorites. It was sort of like always in
the Library, along with Willow and The Last Unicorn and
you know, Legend and other weird, freaky things from the era.

I was getting pretty strong Labyrinth vibes as well as
Princess Bride upon Rewatching This God. That is a lot
of weird eighties kids movies. I I feel cheated, Oh,
as a child of the nineties, you mean, yeah, I
just got a bunch of really loud cartoons. Not that
I do, but but I do love a really loud cartoon.

I do feel like the nineties sort of switched in
terms of like children's media. I feel like it made
a hard turn into like why a social drama. Like
I don't know, it just it wasn't as like fantastical
as the eighties were. And I'm so interested. This is

why I need to do a podcast about this, because
I'm so interested in why it was this way, and
it has to have something to do with you know,
Reagan era politics and you know the space wars and
you know all of that. What is it called not
Cold war? The same thing. But also I feel like

there was probably some space wars happening. There's like Sputnik,
there was certainly star wars happening, spaces space space right,
space wars. I kind of fem wondering. I'm like, I
wonder when that's going to come back around too, because
that does seem like the sort of thing that will
come back around if it hasn't already. And I just, um,
don't know any children right same? Um so so, Janna,

you just this is one of the movies. It was
just like in your rotation as a child, Yes, watched
it once a month probably Jamie, what about you? What's
your history? I had nothing. I knew the song, I
knew the kind of the basics of like it was
like a fantastical eighties kids movie. But I didn't grow

up with this one. Um. I don't know why, Like
I lived in a sci fi avoidant house. I resent
that UM and and have had to like sort of
do the sci fi um work on my own as
an adult. But yeah, I I just never came into
contact with this one. And you know, normally it takes
a couple of hours to prepare for a Bucktlecast episode,

but it took up like an entire day because I
watched it two times and then I wanted to know
about the writer, and the writer had this like kind
of really beautiful and inspiring marriage that was making me cry,
and I just like really went to another UM. I
went to Yeah, yeah, in a way I did, Caitlin,

in a way I did beautiful. But I just had
like the best time. UM. I journaled about it. It
was like a whole thing. I'm so excited to talk
about this movie. It really affected me. I'm a new
but enthusiastic convert. Caitlin, what about you. I did see
this movie as a child, but it wasn't in my rotation. Really.

I think I saw it like probably once or twice
as a kid, but if I'm remembering correctly, Falcore freaked
me out. I could not I do see that, and
I was reminded of this when I was rewatching it
to prep for this episode, and I was once again
freaked out by Falcore. So freaky. If it's not Falcore,

it's the rock Bighter. If it's not the rock Bighter,
it's the bad guy. If it's the Oracle who shoots
lasers out of her tips, like this movie is terrifying.
It is. I think it would have been the bad
guy for me if I was a kid. Falcor though
it sort of like I had a moment where I'm like,
they don't make him like this anymore, and maybe that's
for the best, where like they where a tray is

like really getting in there scratching falcoor and Falcor is
making these kind of like he's making he's enjoying it
too much, and it just kind of goes on for
a little while. And then later when he gets like
that like shot, that huge shot or whatever, I'm like, yeah,
and there's like a cracking noise. I was like, oh,

Falcore is in it. Yeah. I don't know, but I
did love Falcore, but he was a little too into
the scratches. Not my best agree, And I also did
not enjoy that they basically made no effort to have
his mouth movements match up with his dialogue, very like

opening and closing of his mouth, and but he's like
speaking in full complex sentences. And I was also like,
I don't like this. I was kind of very charmed
by that. That's like there's like a needlessly detailed piece
about that somewhere because I used to be I feel
like I've talked about it on the show before. I

feel like, like animal mouths and how they move in
like practical effects or CG stuff has has such because
it's like foul core, there's no sync, and that doesn't
scare me. In the nineties, it kind of changes and
there's like an era where it's like real looking animals
that never blink, but their mouths are going like ma,

and that really scared me. I remember telling my uncle
I needed to leave a screening of cats and Dogs.
He's just gonna say, I was like freaking me out.
I was so disturbed by that overly active mouth I felt.
And now you have CG mouths that are kind of
like people mouths, and that's also kind of like this movie.

It's no one's quite gotten the whole mouth think correct.
No one can figure it out or then you have
like the live action remake of The Lion King, where
you have these like photo realistic animals who are just
also kind of like flapping their mouths open and closed

and just no one. The only talking animal in a
movie that looks awesome is Paddington. So and even then, sorry, Caitlin,
not always like now there sometimes, especially when he's wet.
So I feel like I'm like being on I'm just
being honest with you. I don't like how Paddington when

he's wet. I choose the best animal. I choose t
Rex from Jurassic Park. T Rex isn't speaking, and and
it's that's how it should be. Yeah, he's he's roaring
and it matches up and it looks good. Excuse me,
don't you mean she is roaring? Clever girl? Okay, you're

afraid of Falcore. And that's your history. That is my history.
And and I haven't seen there are two sequels which
we all kind of learned within the past ten minutes
before recording, and I haven't seen those. And there is
a novel that this movie is adapted from, which I

also have not read. So there's like source material. There's
a whole trilogy of movies, but I have pretty limited experience.
I would like to talk about the I mean I
did a little bit of research on the novel. AT
love to talk about it when you both once we've
recapped the movie, because it's it's really interesting. I can't
wait to hear it. Well, let's take a quick break

and then we'll come back for the recap. And we
are back. Okay. We meet Bastion. He's a little boy.
He tells his dad about another dream he has had
about his mother, who has died recently, and his dad

is like, Bastion, it's time to move on. Stop daydreaming,
stop thinking about unicorns, and start facing your problems. Meanwhile,
Bastion is like eight years old, and his dad like,
I know, I resent this term even though I've used
it so heavily, But like, his dad is a girl boss.

It's hard to explain because he gets your ass to work, Bastion,
Y do ye? Then his dad up and work. Then
his dad proceeds to drink a bunch of raw eggs
that he blended in the blender and then just drinks
as a drink. Now that is what scares me, the

dad and the raw eggs. That has always always gotten
my goat since I was a kid. I was like,
what the hell is he making? What is this? He
is into Jordan Peterson. Now wherever that dad is he
found Jordan Peterson and is eating raw meat somewhere. Yeah.
I was like I had to rewind to make sure

that is what in fact happened. There is like something
so I think, like again, just like, there's so many
elements of this movie that feel like rare of like oh,
you never see anything like that, Like a parent that
just like or just an adult who's like refusing to
grieve in a way that is like alarming, which is
so common. But you're like, oh, and this guy it's

manifesting in going to work and drinking eggs. Like all right,
potential homophobia I was getting. I had never read read
into this deeply, but when I was watching yesterday, I
was like, Bastia is showing some very clear signs of
being like a young gay boy who is really into fantasy.
And not to like position him as that, but like

the dad being like, come on, what about sports? Yeah,
you're not going to gym class anymore. It's like, oh God,
why aren't you drinking eggs? With your pops, Like, yeah,
I did feel like he was like really pushing like
a hyper masculine like I was trying to articulate in
that my notes, because I was just like, it's not
that like reading books or an interest in fantasy is feminine,

but that's the way that dad was framing it. So
it was bizarre. Yes, well it also seemed in my
sorry to harp on this, but to me, like when
I was watching it yesterday, I was like, oh, I
get it. Like the death of the mom is sort
of like the death of the imagination of the household,
like the death of dreams, the death of like self acceptance,

like all of these magical, sort of ethereal things like
I had I had even forgotten that Fashion's mom had
died and that that's what was going on in his life.
It's so quickly skimmed over in this movie that like
it is glossed over, but then it comes back hard. Yeah, right,
because he's like, my mom had a name, and that's

going to be the new name of the Empress. And
then it was like his mom's name was Moonchild. That's
so cool, that's awesome. Is that what it is? Yeah,
because that's what he yells out what he has he
has moonchilds I've never known what it is all my life.
I have never known what the name is. I can't
understand what he's saying, and the in the subtitles did
not say they just said yelling. I had to google it.

I feel like maybe they keep it intentionally low so
you can like project whatever you want onto it, because
I couldn't understand it either. And then I googled it
and it said Moonchild. And then it was like earlier
he was like, my mom had the most beautiful name.
I was like, damn, Bastian, you're right, Yeah, that's an
awesome name. Child Child. Yeah. I watched it twice, and
the first time I think it was on maybe HBO Max.

But since then, within the past week, it has been
taken off of that platform. But whatever platform I watched
it on initially, the subtitles are there and it says Moonchild.
So yeah, yeah, I think I watched it on I
rented it on Apple and that it almost seemed like
I was reading another dialects interpretation subtitles. Yeah. So anyway,

so the point is Bastion's mom has passed away. I
think we're to understand that, like his immersion in like
books and fantasy is like a way that he's coping
with his loss. I'm not totally sure, but anyway, he
reads a lot of books and his dad hates it.

Um he's like math and eggs and Jim class. So
on his way to school, some bullies chase Bastion and
he goes into this building to hide, where he meets
a man who is reading a particular book. It's his Santa. Basically,
it's how I was because it's like the role and

maybe it's just because we just did our like holiday
segment from like, oh, mysterious older man with white hair
who gives you a critical prop and then never shows
up again. It's his Santa, yes, exactly, and so Santa
is like, kid, the books you read are safe and yeah,

sure you can escape into the story, but you can
close the book and become a little boy again. But
the books I read aren't like that, and passions like
what And then the man gets up to answer the
phone and Bastion takes a closer look at this book
he's reading called The Never Ending Story. Hey, that's the
name of the movie. And then Bastion steals the book

and runs off. He heads to school, but he's late
for the math test, so he just skips it and
goes to the attic and starts reading The never Ending Story.
What a legend and iconic I wish I wouldn't. I
would never but it's because I'm not. I'm not as
brave as him. He's so brave. Once he starts reading,

we are transported into the world of Fantasia. We are
in this dense forest where a couple peculiar people and
creatures are gathered round a fire, and then this huge
guy made of stone comes crashing in, but he's friendly
and he wants to join them, and he eats rocks,

and he's describing how a nothingness is spreading across the
land where like a place used to exist, but now
there's nothing there. So he is going to the Ivory
Tower to talk to the Empress about it. And then
the other people are like, we are on that exact
same mission. Let's go right fucking now, So they get

on their racing snails and their bats and they set
off and arrive at the Ivory Tower, only to learn
that the Empress has fallen ill. So now they're only
hope of stopping this spreading of the nothingness. Is a
warrior named a tray You who lives among the plains.

People who hunt purple buffalo are arguably, you know, some
heavy cultural appropriation that as a Native person, I'm gonna
go ahead and just ignore it, right, I'm gonna I'm
gonna forgive it immediately, Okay, because as the characters are
describing a tray You, we cut back to Bastion and

he looks at his like book bag or something, and
then there's like a Native person hunting a buffalo and
he's like, it's the same, yeah, and it is. It's interesting.
It's I forgot I always there's so many things about
this movie that I forgot about or just truly it

just didn't ever ring any alarms growing up. But I also,
like have recently been having this like really annoying discussion
in my peer group and my native peer group about
like Avatar and the way that like Native Indigenous people
are like mythified and and sort of like romanticized in media.

And this is like a fucking direct exampit. Yes, for sure, Yeah,
it's but you know what a Trayo is, um, you know,
Lakota warrior, I whatever. I don't care who what Italian
country you hail from or your ancestors do you're in
as far as I'm concerned, I kept looking for, like,

any um like the author of the book, Michael Endy,
who is German making any like clear like and this
is where I was pulling from. But he didn't seem
to ever say anything specific, and so any critics like
any like reviews or in positive or negative of the book,
or just like Endy appears to be pulling from what

he may have once heard or possibly remembered about Indigenous Americans.
And you're like, yes, yeah, it sounds like a vague
remembering appropriative. I don't know, Well, this is something that
you might find very interesting, Jamie and um listeners is
especially the Lakota Nation, Like the Lakota Nation has so

much lower like pop like media lore around it, especially
because I think they're depicted in a lot of Westerns
and what have you. But in the seventies and eighties
German people like weird sort of hippie fringe groups started.
I don't know how the transference happened, whether it was

somebody who came over and was invited to Sundance or something.
But German people started putting on Powow's full regalia, uh,
singing in drum groups like completely and they started putting
on Sundance, which is like a very like sacred ceremony
that like a lot of Native people have never been
invited to Sundance, Like it's just like so exclusive and

it's exclusive to like the planes nations. And there's this
really big language Lakota language issue happening right now with
this organization that is founded by a German Man who
it basically took stories and language from Lacoda elders and
re like patented it and sold it back to the tribes.

Sucking insidious. And you can find videos of German people
like on YouTube, like German people doing specifically Lakota practices
in their way of course, completely bastardized and they don't
have any you know. But there is this really weird link,
especially in the seventies and eighties, where Indigenous people have

been truly like romanticized by German folks especially. That's so
I didn't know any of that. That's really fucked and
like and would totally line up kind of with Michael.
I mean this the book was published in seventy nine,
so that makes total sense. Oh my god. Okay, well then,

and then I find it kind of even more baffling
than he that he never said anything specifically. That's oh
my god. Yeah, it just might have been in there,
in there zeitgeist a little bit, like it just was
something that they kind of cared about, maybe not predominantly,
but like it was there. Weirdly interesting because I know

that Endy was like a humanist, like he and his
wife were really into the heat like it it seems okay,
so like maybe it wasn't just like a vague like
it's possible that he actually had attempted to learn about
indigenous culture in an insidious, fucked up way maybe, or
it just might have been in his might have just

been around like osmosis kind of thing. That's so bizarre.
Why I want to know more about that? Interesting? Well,
so a tray you shows up to the Ivory Tower
and he is a child, and everyone's like, we weren't
expecting a child, but I guess we have no other options.
So hey, I try you go find a cure for

the Empress and save our world from the nothing. So
I try sets off on his quest and he searches
high and low and can't find any cure or solution,
so he decides to seek out more Law, a wise
being who lives on shell Mountain in the swamp of Sadness,

for help, and along the way his horse are attacks,
succumbs to the sadness of the swamp and sinks and
dies in a really devastating moment. Yeah, saddest eighties cinematic
moment short of et almost dying on the ship. And

that happened so early in the movie. It's like the
sad and and and it's like there's plenty of sad
moments later, but I was, um, I was not prepared
for it. I mean, I like, it's weird to be like,
I loved that, but like it's just so miraculous and
wild to me that they put that in the movie
at all, because it feels so clearly like an allegory

for like losing someone to depression and like to suicide.
And then you're just like, but it's a horse, and
I'm crying so much like it. That was a beautiful,
really dark, funked up up. Jenny, you should make this podcast.
I'm like, how did they do that how is that allowed?
I know, the ship that they were showing us kids

in the eighties was wild. But the horse gets too
I was, like I wrote down in mys like horse
gets so depressed it dies question mark Like uh, and
then you and then a tray You was like begging,
like please don't give into the sadness, like keep going,
you can do this. And then it doesn't work. You
expect in a kids movie, Sure there's gonna be tension.

You're you think, maybe, oh no, the horse might die,
but you know, in the back of your mind like
probably not though probably it's gonna be fine. Probably they're
not going to kill an animal in a children's movie,
but nope, are attacks. The horse dies in the first
acts or early in the second act. And it's also
like in talking in like opening it up to the

idea of you know, depression and suicide. Like the evil
force at play here is called the nothing and like
the fact that what they are fighting is this unstoppable
wave of nothingness, lack of meaning, Like lack of meaning
is going to overcome us and dislocate us and like

destroy everything in its wake. And and it is such
a huge allegory, you know, for I think like a
lot of different things. Like I think there's so many
interpretations my kind of like first and possibly the most
simple one that occurred to me was like a coming
of age allegory and this idea of you know, maintaining

your childlike imagination and curiosity being a good thing even
though society encourages you to lose those things as you
get older and more mature. There's like a shades of
like climate change and you know, like climate crisis and
these bigger concepts that I didn't read into when I
was a kid. I just accepted like The Nothing as like, oh, yeah,

the Nothing creepy a villain. Yeah, I mean it's and
it I liked how the movie I don't know, maybe
this is like why I like knocked me on my
ass was it was like, oh, the movie can kind
of like meet you where you're wherever you're at. And like, however,
like it's very open to interpretation. Where I was reading
it as like a grief story and like Fantasia as
like representing the memory of his mom, and so when

the Empress is calling out to him at the end,
it's like if he doesn't actively engage with her memory,
then it disappears, it goes away, and like you have
to rebuild it, and there's so many crying, crying, crying ship.
It's heavy, it's heavy. Okay, So a tray you finds
shell Mountain in the swamp, but more La doesn't live

on shell Mountain. More La is shell mountain because he's
a giant turtle. Also, we are periodically cutting back to
Bastion in the attic as he's reading this book, and
when Bastion learns about the giant turtle, he screams. He's
like startled and scared and he screams, and it seems

like a trey. You and more La can hear Bastion's scream.
What's all that about? Do you think? And then they
just kind of go back to what they were doing.
Morla is like, anyways, I'm allergic to young people, which
is sometimes how I feel. And more La is grumpy Auntie.

I love a fan of mor La. I I love her.
I mean, it's like she is a huge bitch and
it was clearly ruining her life to be such a
huge bitch all the time. But I also felt seen,
wait more okay, I I thought more Law was a

male turtle. I guess I misinterpreted that voice. No more
was definitely a gal a lady turtle gender non specific
in my opinion. Either way, Bitchy Energy was like, well,
I certainly can't help you, because even being near your
youthful optimism is making me basically ill. Morla is a man,

he's giving gay grandpa who never wanted to have kids.
It still doesn't good for Marla, but also you know
their loss in life. I guess, um, okay, So a
tray You is like, hey, Morla, can you help? But
more La is like no, But I guess you could

go to the Southern Oracle for help. But the Southern
Oracle is ten thousand miles away, so good luck with that.
But really you should just give up. But a tray
You is not about to give up. He sets off again,
and unbeknownst to him, this scary wolf creature Go Mork
is tracking him along the way. A tray You is struggling.

He's about to sink into the swamp of sadness. Go
Mark is about to eat him. But just then a
dragon dog thing that really upset me as a child,
named Falcore the luck dragon flies in and scoops a
tray you up, and then he wakes up a few

days later and Falcore is like, hey, what's up. I
will take you to the Southern Oracle slash where already
almost there, but first a tray you meets these small people,
a married couple who hate each other named Angie Wook
and Ergyle Get out of My Light Wench is kind

of like how he enters the story. Yes, he calls
his wife and his wife a wench so many times.
They hate each other. They hate each other, and they
eat worms. I think, which I'm more insupportive there. I

feel like it's very very possible that I was. Um.
I liked her so much that I was like overly
like trying to be like this is awesome, but I
liked that, Like okay, was it Angie Wook and who
Ergyle Ergyle? So like Angie Wook's whole thing is He's like,

I'm a scientist, Get out of my life, wen and
she is like, she makes home remedies, she's making medicine.
So they are doing the same thing. They're both doing science.
And she appears to know that her husband obviously doesn't,
and she's like, that's a waste of time. To explain
it to him whatever, And I was like, I wonder,

I don't know, I want to believe that that was
like pretty intentional of like they're doing the same job.
He just thinks his work is worthy of respect and
hers isn't. Yes, that's the vibe I get. He has
always in my mind, even as a child, I was
always like, why does this guy think he's such a
the fucking cockital walk Like she's the one who's holding

the ship down. All you did was make a telescope,
Like I mean, not that I could do that, but
also like she makes like she she heals falcor, she
gives him that big scary shot that cracked his spine
open or something. She heels a tray you, and and

also it seems like in the scene a tray you
is very much more like with her of like, yeah,
this guy, like angy book is kind of ridiculous, but
here him out. He's got this plot telescope that you need,
that he needs to spy on people who are trying
to cross the Southern Oracle, but not do nothing for them.

Just just watch how is that science? I just was like,
just watches they get electrocuted and then gets excited about
it either way, right, and then he got mad because
he couldn't watch someone get electrocuted. I like, what is
your what is your life like? Relax wicky book or
whatever the funk? Your name is inky Dick Dick. Also

interesting that also in um Princess Bride there's like a
cromudgeny couple too, you know, played by Billy Crystal and um,
what's that comedian's name that I love? Um, I know
exactly never going to remember Carol Kane, Carol Kane Kane.
I was getting similar similar vibes there as well. Um, okay,

so we've got Andie wooking Urgle and Andy Wooke is
all like, okay, tray you, you're going to have to
pass through these gates to get to the Southern Oracle,
and to tray You was like, cool, I'm going to
try it, even though he just saw another guy get
zapped by the first gate, but he's like, I got this.
And he goes to the first gate and these two

like sphinx statues with huge boobs nipples. They're very sexy statues. Yeah,
and it was like, again, good for you eighties, those
are really sexy statues you put in the kids movie,
and as a kid, I was just like, oh my god,
the boobs big real one and tray You manages to

get through the first gate because he stays confident. Then
at the second gate, the magic mirror gate, a trey
You has to face his true self, and a trey
You seems to see Bastion in the reflection, which freaks
Bastion out and he throws the book across the room.
But then he's like, you know what, I'm going to

keep reading. Let's see what happens. It's already seven pm,
I've already missed dinner. I know my dad's care about me,
and I'm going to spend the night in this school
at it my dad chugging a dozen eggs at home,
like he's like not, that's how he's handling the grief somehow,
that means he's not sober um because I just think

it's like he doesn't drink, but he gets really fucked
up on the eggs. I that was one of my questions.
I was like, does Bastion stay there all night reading
this book? And if so, does his dad not care
where he is? That's the implication I feel like, and honestly,
based on how Bastion's dad was coming off at the beginning.

I wasn't like super bumped by that. I was like, yeah,
this is the kind of parent that um is not
really thinking about where their kid is. And also I
was like, oh, maybe that like it's a it's a
like late twentieth century thing where your kids could just
kind of be out and around and you're like, man,
I'll be back. I mean, I was a latchkey kid
kind of. So there's there's a heavy sort of latch

key vibes going on with Bastion. Sure, So he keeps
reading the book and tray You finds the Southern Oracle,
which are two more statues also with big boobs, who
tell a tray You that in order to save the Empress,
she simply needs to be given a new name. But

no one from Fantasia can do that. They need a
human boy from Earth to give her a new name.
Bastions like, they should ask me, my mom had an
awesome name. Then a tray You heads back to the
Ivory Tower on Falcore, but on the way the nothing
blows a tray You off Falcore's back and he ends

up in like the land of the rock biters, which
we saw one of the rock biters at the beginning.
He talks to one of them and then go Mork,
the scary wolf thing is there and he's about to
eat a tray you. And he's like, yeah, Fantasia is
this human fantasy and it's dying because humans started to

lose their hope and that's why the Nothing is erasing everything. Yeah,
he he states the themes of the movie. He's like,
this movie was in a way about authoritarianism. If you
didn't pick that up, I'm a wolf puppet. It was
about fascism and it's dangers. So like I love that

scene and and is like an agent of the Nothing.
So a tray you is like, well, fuck you. And
he stabs in another scene that I was surprised as
in a children's movie because it's violent. It's bloody, you see,
like lots of blood. Badass. It's badass. Have have I

not been saying for years now? Is like, we should
be allowed to kill the evil villain if they're truly,
truly profoundly evil in the way that Gomor is. It's
so satisfying. Yeah, it's like, we don't need a we
don't need a like a redemption arc for Gomork. No,
that's why I can't stand like Marvel movies and Ship.
I'm like, kill these motherfucker's sorry, it's fantasy. Also, I

just want to say, before the Mork slaughter, we can
call it a fight, it's not a slaughter. Um attacks
and then he just happens to be holding the knife. Um.
But when he has the conversation with the rock Biter,
it's also another tier jerky moment in the movie. I

found when the rock Bier, this big unstoppable beast of
made of stone, is like all of my friends are gone,
Like all of the people I love are gone, and
there's nothing left of us, like even the rocks have disappeared.
It's just like God, why, Yeah, that that scene really

sucked me up. It's it's so like it's so heavy
and it's and it's like a traio is fully engaging
with it, and it's just like there's no real solution
to the scene. They're both just like talking to each
other about like how they feel that they have failed
others and how the world has failed them. And that's

just like the whole scene. Yeah, it's really beautiful. I
really I love the rock eater. I mean, I think
because it's he really did everything he could. He did
his damn best, and I hated to see him down
at the end. I mean, he'll be spoilt, he'll be back,
He'll be fine riding his big stone wheelbarrow power wheel. Try.

It reminded me of like when you're like, if you're
ice skating as a kid, it's like the little penguin
that you hold so you don't fall over it like that.
I thought of it as you know, as an eighties kid.
A big wheel, like a rock big whale, and that
is way more likely than the very obscure ice skating
thing I was describing. Well again, that's the beauty of

this movie. There are so many ways to interpret it.
Think is possible? Yeah, okay, So a Trey You has
killed more. Falcore shows back up and a tray You
and Falcore returned to the Ivory Tower and a tray
You is like, hey, Empress, I'm so sorry, but I failed,
and she's like, no, you didn't. You brought the human

earth Boy with you, and he's like what I did?
And Bastions like what are they talking about? Me? And
the Ivory Tower is crumbling and there's chaos and to
try you was like, well, where the hell is this boy?
And Bastion finally realizes that he needs to do something.
He needs to give the Empress a new name, so

he like goes to the window. It's like lightning and storms,
and he screams something that's pretty indiscernible, but everyone's like,
my mom's name, Like I feel like that. I feel
like that's why you can't hear it. Well, is you're
supposed to be projecting something else onto it? Yeah, but
canonically he says moon Child, so he screams it out,

and then we cut to a scene with Bastion and
the Empress in darkness. Fantasia has disappeared, but it can
be reborn from Bastion's wishes and dreams and imagination, so
he uses that to rebuild Fantasia. And so then we
see all the characters that we've seen throughout the movie,

Tray You and his horse, the rock biter, deep Roy
and his snail, et cetera. And then we see Bastion
riding on Falcore and he's like, what else do you
wish for? And passions like I want to go and
funk up those bullies from the beginning of the movie.

So he does that. He has a realistic child in
paulse He's like, I want to ride a dragon and
murder everyone who's ever been mean to me. Like, yeah, yep,
and that's the movie. So let's take a quick break
and we will come back to discuss. And we're back.

Before we get into the discussion, can I tell you
what happens in the of the book? Would love to hear.
It was really really interesting to me. So I'm pulling
heavily from an article by a writer named Helen Decruz.
The article is called what we can learn from the
never Ending Story Authoritarianism, Fascism, and the Power of Imagination.

It's like, buckle up, wait what you said. The book
was written in the seventies and was a big hit
in Germany and then was like translated, and so the
kind of production history is that Michael Endy, the author,
was originally very very excited that they wanted to make

a movie of his work. He sold the rights to
the work for fifty tho dollars, which is not nothing
even in nine eighties money. That's nothing for the amount
of like times, I feel like that's just my viewing
that He's bath is my it's so and I feel

like we've covered I'm trying to think of a comparable example,
but it's like writers get screwed all the time in
ways like that, or people with life rights, or like
any sort of adaptation stuff like you hear so many
stories like that. But he was originally like, this is great,
like a German director wants to adapt my work. This
is amazing, not realizing I think what happens in a

lot of those cases, which is that once you have
sold the rights, you have very little control over what
they do with it. So he's assuming his whole book
is going to get adapted. He's thrilled, as is Um.
His wife. He has like this is like very ancillary,
but I enjoyed reading about it. He had this like long,

it seems like kind of very beautiful relationship with a
German actress named Ingeborg Hoffman, who Um was a pretty
successful German actress and had a had a huge hand
in in kickstarting his career. I feel like you often
hear the story in their verse, but she like used
a lot she thought he was a really talented writer

and used a lot of her connections to like kind
of get him his start writing, and they had a
very close collaborative relationships. So even though India is the
credited author, he would always say like, well, but like,
none of my work would exist if I wasn't in
this relationship with this amazing person, which I thought was
very nice. But anyways, he grows to really hate the

fact that this movie is being made because they're like, Okay,
it makes the most sense for the three acts structure
and for like the ethos of Hollywood in the eighties
to just adapt the first half. So the movie we
see is just the first half of the book, which
I think kind of leaves it ending on this very
optimistic note of like, you know, Bastion is going to

rebuild Fantasia, which is called Fantastica in the book. Who
knows why, But I just want to quote Helen dacruzz
recap of the second half of the book because it's
quick and it's good. So the differences in the book,
as far as as I can tell, it's very very similar,
except a big difference that it seems like Andy was

very intentional about was that Bastion was bullied because he
was fat and because he was like considered to not
be traditionally intelligent. So in the book, like it's constantly referenced,
especially that like Bastian has extreme issues with his own
body and how people talk about him, including his father

and including his bullies. That's like inherent to the character
in a way that is not adapted in the movie.
Um so here's the recap quote. In the second half
of the book, Bastian creates Fantastica, a new he can
do what he wishes. Oh. The other difference is that
when people in Fantasia or Fantastica die or are lost

to the Nothing, they turn into lies in the human world,
which is not It gets very like philosophical, and I'm like,
I'm not smart enough to understand what he's trying to
say here, but like, if you are a dragon that
is consumed by the nothing, you turn into a lie
that is told on earth. That is how you. So

there's like a direct consequence to the real world, Like
you become fake news, you become a Tucker Carlson episode
in the real world. It's really like it's clear that, like,
and he's trying to like do something, but anyway, Okay,
So Bastian creates fantastic A new he can do what
he wishes, protected by the ambulant r in, which gives

him amazing strength and ability. It also gives him the
physical shape he believes he wants. He is no longer
short or fat, but tall and athletic. Clearly, Bastian loathes
himself as he truly is, and this self loathing distorts
his relationship to fantastic Tka. His wishes are clear wish
fulfillment that slowly erode his sense of true identity. Each

wish he makes, he loses part of his memory. Soon,
Bastian falls under the spell of a cunning witch who
aims to use him for her own purposes. He loses
his friends, including a tray You in the luck dragon Falcore,
as he turns against them. Bastian's lack of memories and
proper self respect ultimately propel him to almost crown himself

the Emperor of Fantastica after the childlike Empress disappeared without warning,
has given him the orne and all of his wishes
came true. He believes this is a sign that he
is her successor um so it totally undoes the work
that happens in the first movie, and it becomes this,

Like I think that the way it's written about is
that this is an authoritarian kind of like cautionary tale.
The way that it's written and the moral as I've
read it, it goes on. It goes on for a while,
but like Bastion, by acquiring power and then like altering
himself to look the way that he believes he should

and like exerting power over others ends up ruining Fantastica
a second time. And it's not until he can accept
himself as he truly is and love himself as he
truly is physically, emotionally and everything else that he's able
to truly like engage with this fantastic world he's created responsibly.

So the it's a real Kardashian tale. It's wild, yeah,
and I I mean i read it, I was like,
that's really interesting. I'd be interested to read it. But
I get why that's not in the movie. That's so depressed,
Like it's really, um, I don't know. Yeah, the second
half of the book is wild. So Endy was really

angry that they only adapted the first half and he
believes that seeing the movie killed his wife, which is
another while his wife did see the movie and went
home and went to bed and never woke up. Are
you kidding me? No, it is so bizarre. Yeah, she

saw a screening of it and she was like, I
didn't like it, and then she died. First of all,
happen to not like it first, and most importantly ingrid
but yeah, fascinating, Um I too. And then to supplement

your research, Jamie, And I'm pulling this from scholarly journal Wikipedia. Yet,
the second half of the book was eventually used as
a rough basis for the second film, never ending story
to the next chapter released in n UM. I have
not read the book, nor have seen that movie, so

I and speak god how that adaptation goes. I have watched,
I have seen the second movie, and I have very
few memories of it. It certainly was not as impactful
as the first. I remember feeling like Jonathan Brandis is
trying to take the place of my bastion played by

uh Barrett Oliver, and I couldn't handle it. I hated it.
It's like when when the older sister in Roseanne comes
back as a different actor. I would just like rejected it,
feel like I refuse. Yeah, no, I I enjoyed reading
about Barrett Oliver because he was like one of the

kind of child stars that he was like in a
bunch of stuff in the eighties, and then he was like,
wait a second, highly recommend that everybody watches another movie
that Barrett Oliver. Barrett Oliver is like of my time,
Like the movie Darryl is another one of these eighties
mind fux. It's terrifying and strange. I've ever heard of it.

What is it about? I think it was like a
Disney made for TV movie. But it's about this kid
that he's found and abandoned in a mountain by a
family and they sort of like take him to scientists
because he has all these special abilities. And I can't
remember why he has special abilities. Perhaps he's like psychic
or just like he's just like a kid who is magical,

and it's just a very strange orphan fantasy. I don't know.
He's also in Cocoon. Yes, yeah, this kid, this kid
was little. I just love when a child stairs extremely
prolific and then they're like I'm out of here, because
then what he does is he then becomes a really
specific scholar. He's like a scholar on in like nineteen

century photography processes. Now that's yeah, that's he's he's just chilling,
yeah for him, I know, yeah, I I didn't know
any of that until like doing a little bit of
prep for this episode about all of that adaptation stuff
and how the author of the source material got screwed

over and then his wife died after he did kill
his wife that he loved so much, and then but
I would side. I mean, honestly, I think that like
the worst part of this is that he got so
financially sucked over, because it sounds like they continued to
use his work in future adaptations. I don't imagine he

was paid again. But as far as like the portion
of I feel like the story, the half of the
story they adapt is like it works. I don't know,
it's beautiful. What studio produced it? Like? Where did it? Good? Question?
It was like it was shot in a lot of
it was shot in Germany because it's German. It's a

German director of Germany. Peterson, Yeah, because he directed a
movie I've only heard set out loud. Does Boots Boot
is very famous German film. Yeah, it's like that's the
germanist film I could think of a war movie, I think, so. Yeah.
So I'm like, why did they give him the never
ending story? I don't really understand. But he did a job. Oh,

and then he went on to I didn't realize that
he's the director of Air Force one and Outbreak, and
so he like it seems transitioned at least partially into
like American cinema. He also directed The Perfect Storm. Oh
and Troy Okay Poseidon there was a time on the
action adventure. Yeah. The Perfect Storm goes down in history

for me as one of the worst movies I have
ever seen. It. It was so bad that I was
laughing aloud for the entire second half of the movie
in the fucking theater, like, oh my god, horrble. I'm
just fascinated by people with the first name Wolfgang. I
that's cool, how did you get here? Also, every time,

I confused Wolfgang Peterson and Wolfgang Puck all the time,
So I'm like, oh, yeah, Wolfgang Peterson. He has some restaurants.
He has a line of really heavy duty cook wear. Yes,
and I have some. I have it. I used to
have a boss named Wolfgang Hammer, and I was like,
that's not a real man. How was he standing before

me when that couldn't be true. But he's real, you know,
the real award and never ending story I think goes
to the production design and the costumes and the makeup.
My god, and I think that the beautiful the youth
performances are really good in this Like I thought, I
thought a Tray was really amazing, and as as was

Bastion I really, I mean, and the child like Empress,
she's pretty good for the four those gigantic, like those
plate sized eyes. I was like she I looked her
up as well. She's like a professor, and then she
later became like a lyrical dancer. Everyone in this movie
seems to have gone on to like live their truth.

I appreciate it amazing interesting as far as what we
tend to focus on discussion wise, um, I couldn't help
but notice that almost all of the characters are male
or male coded. There's not that much in the way

of women or girls, and if they are present in
the story, they're like the Empress, who is not on
screen until the very end of the movie. There's she's dying,
and she's dying and she yeah, she like kind of
needs to be rescued, like that's something. Yeah, for sure,
that's yeah. That's the kind of like the thrust of

the narrow. If I keep saying thrust in recent episodes
and I've yeah, I can't explain it. Which of us
started it, but one of us needs to stop. Well,
it's not gonna be me thrusting. I said that out
loud yesterday and our Shrek three episode. I was like,

why are we saying thrust right now? This is not okay. Look,
what's not okay is that the term has been, you know,
really manipulated to mean something. You know it's inappropriate. I
saw it all. I don't know what I was watching,
but I saw like an old timey clip of something
of like a grown man talking to a child where

he's like where he said, I'm so thrilled I might bust.
You used to just be able to like say kind
of whatever. I don't think bust meant this, No, probably not.
I hope. I hope that it was like an adult
man talking to sure Tumble or something. I don't know
what the funk I was watching, but he's like, I

might bust and you're like, oh my god, she's seven.
Don't say bust gross anyway, so sorry for my vocabulary,
but the Yeah, the premise of the movie is that
a tray You needs to save you know, this young
girl who, for our purpose is literally a female character
that needs a man to give her a name. Yes, yes,

which I think does remove a lot of important context,
but on its face that is true. Yes, so there's her.
Then you've got the um what is her name? Argyle?
Who is his wife? Character of this science guy who
is given much more I wouldn't even say he's given

more narrative significance because like, all he really does is
show a tray you where the gates are to get
to the Southern Oracle. But he's given way more screen
time because there's just a few moments where this may
a couple are on screen together. They're horrible to each other.
They clearly hate each other. He is throwing very gendered

insults her way. He calls her a wench several times,
like we mentioned, and then she's not allowed to be
in the movie after that because the movie kind of
values his knowledge and skills more than hers. Yeah, he
just seems like more eager to be on screen than
she does when she is like slamming her out of

the way to be like my science, which I was
like kind of I was honestly kind of like a
little surprised that that happened because the way they're introduced,
he looks like the buffoon and she looks like like,
oh well, I actually keep ship running here. I'm just
not respected due to society also in Fantasia apparently still

a very patriarchal society there. But then it like kind
of changes, and then by the end she's the one
that is like, yeah, very odd a frame. And then
angle Wook is like stating themes of the movie in
a very profound way, and I'm like, I wish that
Urgell was saying this and not him, because it's like
she was positioned as the person who was like smarter.

And but then I was also was I not moved
when I heard you know, angle Wook described the like
mirror of like who you truly are, Like kind people
find they are cruel, like courageous people find their cowards. Um,
I just felt like he didn't earn it in the
way that she did. I wish she had had those lines.

I agree so like a white man's fantasy. To me,
like so much of what we know about fantasy, especially
in film and in cinema, is it is from a
white male, patriarchal point of view, so you really rarely
get you know. I feel like we see it as
recent as like Game of Thrones and Ship and it's like, oh,

you still cast the own people as wild and like
stupid and savage and enough like the black people as slaves,
like come on, yeah, it's pervasive. Yeah, And and also
like like you're saying Janet has not gone away in
a way that is like fucking infuriating that that goddamn

series sounds like. I will say that the movie had
more diversity than I would have expected, especially from a
movie from the eighties, at least for the first minutes
of the movie, because you've got Deep Roy playing the
guy with the snail, whose name, according to I am

dB is teeny weeny. Okay, that seems respectful. They never
refer to each other by their names on the movie.
I didn't think, so, okay. Deep Roy is extremely iconic, though,
I mean, like genderry, I love a character actor. I
salute him forever and ever. Though his voice is dubbed

over by another actor doing I think I couldn't remember
if it was an American accent or British accent, so
Deep Roy's voice was not used in the movie and
his voice got dubbed over. I wonder why. Yeah, I'm
not sure. And then you have the character of I
also don't know if this was this character's name was

spoken aloud. But Chiron Karen, I'm not sure, played by
Moses Gunn. He's the character who's like, we summoned to
tray you to the Ivory Tower, like the spokesperson for
the Empress. Yeah, exactly right, And I believe he does
not come back right like he No, I don't think so,

I don't know why, Like I don't usually do this
for beastl Class episodes, but like I went really deep
and because I just hadn't seen most of these actors before,
like I recognize deep Roy, but that might have been it.
And yeah, it's it's giving like Canadian TV movie, yeah, like,
And so I ended up kind of like doing some

some reading on on everyone and the actor who plays Kai.
I think it's like Chiron Karen whatever it is, he's
really fucking fascinating, like he was, like I think kind
of like a forgotten character actor who once I looked
at his filmography, I was like, oh yeah, Like for
some reason, I watched Little House on the Prairie when
I was home alone when I was a kid, and

he does have kind of a very memorable arc on
Little House on the Prairie. He plays like a boxer,
but now he's a farmer and he's hanging out with
the kids. And like his name is Moses Gunn. He
won like an Obie Award. He was like a very
famous theater actor and then he pops up in this
movie for not enough time. But like he just was

kind of a an overlooked character actor as many character
actors are, so shout Moses gun I think I remember
him from either Little House as well, or I don't
know the Cosby Show. I think he was also on
The Cosby Show, Yeah, which I mean I was like
I was a naked night kid. I watched I did

what I mean. It's like we don't talk about it now,
but I did watch The Cosby Show when I was
a kid. Yeah, he was in he was kind of
like a he was in everything. Um, he was in
you know Hawaii five, oh, the original one. He was
in Roots, he was in Little House, he was in Amityville,
Horror to the Possession. You know, he was in everything.

He was in Shaft. Yes, no, what a legend, So
like shout out to Moses gun Um. And I think
that he was like even more regarded on stage than
he was in movies and TV. Yeah, I mean it's
like and again it's like that's not a lot of
diversity at all, and those characters is could be removed

from the story, but I am happy that they're there.
I don't, like, I was I'm curious what you both
think because I was kind of like struggling with the
many different reads you can have of this story where
there's no need for it to be so driven by
young white boys and men, which it absolutely is. And

and so sometimes I'm like, Okay, Like the whole kind
of arc for Bastion is like he needs to become
confident enough in himself and like a stand in his
own sort of identity enough in order to be like
I am the protagonist, which is like not really a
problem that white men have historically had. However, I was

like with with the read of like this is a
grieving child who is not being given the support that
he needs from anyone in his support system and anyone
who's supposed to be looking out for him. There was
also a read of it where I was like, good
for that kid, you know, like he the way that
the movie is sort of laid out made me think
a lot about like, oh, this kid really needed to

like see himself somewhere as someone who could be empathetic
and impactful and navigate a difficult situation and survive it,
which is like what Bastid needs to do. And he
doesn't have that support from his dad or from his
math here. I think that's his entire support system, is Yeah,
his bully is his dad and his math test. And

so there's ways I don't know, like I was seeing
in all these different ways the puzzle. Yeah, I mean,
I think it would be far more impactful if it
had been a character who is largely under or unrepresented
in media and literature reading in this book and seeing

that or being able to plug themselves into the story
or seeing themselves in the story then like developing that confidence.
But yeah, like you said, Jamie, that has never been
a problem for cis hett white boys and men. So
it's it's not as impactful as it could have been.

Certainly and I feel like, ultimately this is a movie
about how reading is good and cool, and since we
famously don't read on this podcast, I don't support the
message of I have was this like I was like
a vague I have like very very vague memories of

like maybe some of the only imagery I saw of
The Never Ending Story as a kid, because I didn't
see the movie was like posters at the library about
how reading is awesome. Would that have happened? Yes, I
think that there was, like in the early eighties, I
remember being again, I'm so interested and fascinated by what

was happening in the eighties with sort of this. Uh
I think the Reagan's had a lot to do with it,
because you know, Barbara was or not Barbara Nancy Reagan
was such a pro like family person, so she was
really into like literacy and parenting kind of stuff, and

so there's a lot of like propaganda about how to
raise your kids correctly and um writ in like in
like a very like rigid family dynamic and very republican,
uh way. And I think that we see a lot
of media from this time that is about the loss

of imagination and like the like Princess Bride, For better
or worse, It is also the a similar sort of
set up and concept where it's a boy being told
a story by his grandpa and it's about this adventure
and and and he's he's in the beginning of Princess Bride.
He's playing a Nintendo. He's playing at any us and
like is and his grandpa comes and he's like, gosh,

you know, you don't you don't know what real stories
are about, you know, just like never ending stories. Santa
is like, my books beat me up, and you're like,
and that makes them awesome. You know. It's like, sir,
have you ever played Zelda Breath of the Wild, Because
that's truly some of the best storytelling is happening via

video games now. Jokes on you fuckers. But I also
do think that like I attached myself to that messaging
because I was raised with it. Like there's a part
of my brain that is like actually like ignited by
that kind of messaging. It's like I was indoctrinated with
that messaging that like video games are bad, they teach

you how to kill, they rip away your imagination. Books
are where the real answers are and and I believe
that it's so fucked up, but I like I bought
into it, and sure, yeah, of course I still playing
video games. But like I but it's like it's boom.
It's almost as if there's some great storytelling in video games,

in movies and television and books, I guess, but I'm kidding.
Books are cool, Um, I know how to read, okay,
but there's also like bad storytelling across all of these mediums.
So it's just like it depends on the quality of
the story. Yeah, book bookheads really kind of obscure how

many terrible books there are out there, much like there's
a million terrible movies and video games, Like there's if
there's an art form, there's a lot of bad versions
of that art form. If you've been to a stand
up show, you understand that. Um, but yeah, I mean
I was so while I do think it is like
very you know, it's hard to even say of the

era because it's still very much happens all the time
where it's like there is a you know, little white
boy who has put into like the role of pretend
agonist who needs to believe he's the protagonist when there's
so many people and groups who are never told their
the protagonists, and it's like reinforced over and over and
over and so on that end, you're like, well, there's

actually not very much being challenged. But I also do
like have a lot of love for and like really
felt I don't know, just like watching a kid find
a character that they're like, I, you know, if this
character can do it, then so can I. Because I
remember feeling that way a ton when I was a kid,

and like I was like going back to my Lemony
Snicket books where I always all roads lead back to
my Lemony Snicket books, where it's like, oh yeah, like
just a specific character or book or memory that you
know exactly where you were at and your kids squishy
brain life when you were going through it and it
was like a moment or whatever it was that helped

you push through it. And it's like those are some
of the most know, like intimate and like formative memories
you can have. And it's cool that there's a movie
that like tracks that exactly of like and tells Bastian
at the end like you are important to your favorite
character too, Like that's who makes me emotional. It's very nice.

I really love it On top of that, this is
a story where I mean it's kind of hard to
say who's the protagonist if well, it's like obviously like
it's bastions story, Matt Max Fury Road story, it's Bastian's story.
And then he's sort of like living vicariously through the
other protagonists, which is a tray you. Both characters are

little boys who are openly expressing emotion, openly crying. They
are struggling, they're being vulnerable, they're struggling. They don't feel
emasculated by their struggle. They're failed by people around them
who have the intentions constantly, which is always something that
I feel like is underrepresented in kids media. Is like

it's always like villain, the guy who's failing you intentionally
and maliciously, when I feel like it's far more common
for kids to be what happens with Bastion's dad, with
like someone that I'm sure that if his dad could
show up for him the way that he needed to,
he would want to, but he can't, and so like
Bastions totally isolate it. Yeah, and so and with Bastions specifically, again,

he's this little boy who is a gentle book loving
boy who gets very emotional with the art that he consumes.
And then it's the relationship that he had with his
mother and the grief that he's feeling, uh towards his
mother's death that like kind of saves the day where

he's like, oh my gosh, Like my mom's name was
moon Moonchild and that's your name. So like the kind
Moonchild and that man end up getting married, Like that's
what That's what I'm saying, Like when when Moonchild died,
that house went to ship. Yeah, why did Moonchild marry
this guy who guzzles raw eggs every morning? Like he's like, God,

I think Moonchild used to make this for me when
she was alive. But but how did she cook them?
I don't know. She probably scrambled them and didn't drink
them raw. Just a thought, but anyway, um, but um yeah.
So it's like his connection. And you know, we were
just talking Jamie about like we're always talking about so

many movies being about a relationship between father and son,
and while this is that to some degree, it's about
how Bastion's dad is failing him and he cannot look
to his dad for any type of support, where a
lot of movies about fathers and sons. The father is
failing the son, but the movie is saying like this

dad is teaching his boy how to be a man
and how to repress his feelings, and isn't that awesome
like celebrating the resilience of a child, because the child
has to be resilient, right, And this movie doesn't go
in that direction. Um, it shows like this father is
like failing his son in his like moment of most

dire need and and he has to turn to books
for comfort. So yeah, I just I liked that. I
think it's it's so rare to see a story where
the protagonist is a boy or a man and have
that character be vulnerable and crying on screen and like

things that you that are perceived by society to be
like emasculating and yeah, and have those qualities be like celebrated.
And I love that, like exactly. I mean, I love
that he gets to stab Mark a tray does, but
that this sort of like I felt like the underlying
message there. And I guess like I am like currently
kind of in like grief mood, so I was like

really leaning heavy into the grief reading of this movie.
But I really I really appreciated how it seemed like
Bastian was being encouraged by the book and a Trey
was as well to just like look it in the
face and confront it and as painful as it clearly is.
It's like, that's why I don't know. I was back

and forth because it's like I rarely want a male protagonist,
but I thought it was. It was rare to see
like a young boy encouraged to confront an extreme emotion
as a positive and that's just like not common. I
liked it. I think for me, as much as I
want women and girls at the center of stories that

I consume, I also want boys who are challenging masculinity.
I also I the desire like knows no gender. It's
sort of like the same for me, Like that journey
feels the same because perhaps it is the same that
like a woman is central is the anti masculine you know, Yeah,

I see what you mean, rust if you will, okay,
got another person on board, Yeah, I I totally agree. Like,
I don't know, And I feel like the central as
much as it's like the childlike Empress, which what a

character name, um, but the child like Empress she is
so not a part of the story until the very end,
but then she ends up being this embodiment of his
mom's memory, and that was something. Again I think it
was just because we covered a million holiday movies where
dead mom is so part and parcel to every holiday

movie that's ever come out. Oh my god, that we
thought about that, But like Disney Renaissance and every holiday
movie ever, Mommy's they're gone, they're gone, and it's vague
because Santa isn't a mommy. Santa is a daddy figure,
so we can't be having So I think I was

like that trope has been on my mind recently anyways,
and so at first I was like, oh, dead mom troupe,
Like what are what are we going to do with this?
But I think again, I'm just like it ended up
kind of working for me because so often, even though Moonchild,
the dead mom is extremely vague and we don't know
a lot about her, I thought it was like, really,

I don't know, like I just it really like hit
with me. I feel like so often when you see
a parent has passed on, and like specifically a mother,
it's always very like gentle and I'm thinking of I
think Casper where like the mom comes back as an
angel and she tells sexy Bill Palman and little Christina

Ricci like I just want you to be happy and
I want you to like move on, and it's still
a very like maternal like don't worry about it. Yeah,
I died at like thirty four. It's it's all good
like and it's very like unselfish in the way I
think that mothers are often kind of type cast as

like the unselfish mother, but with the childlike empress who
are like I think like symbolizes his mom. She is
like begging him to remember her, and I was like
that was I don't know as far as dead moms go.
That felt very very active of like no, don't just
fucking never speak my name again, because all your dad
can do is not have a feeling and drink eggs

like if you don't like it feels like coca where
you're like, if you don't talk about me, if you
don't remember me, I disappear, So fucking say my name
and talk about me and like rebuild this. I don't know.
I was really into that scene. Yeah, and then they
get to be together and it's like he's with his mom,

and she just is able to tell him like it's
not too late, just like you know, lovingly, get your
ship together, kid, like deal with your feelings and you
can rebuild everything. But then when he does in the
book and it turns him into a fascist, so it's
it's complicated a thin fashion. Yes, an athletic fascist. Scary.

Oh my god, Well, I just like just let that
movie be the movie author, like, you did something weird,
you did something weird that God does anyone have anything
else to say about the flim I feel like I
could go on and on about this movie, but I
want to spare my stupid thoughts and let people enjoy it.

Because also, like there is something about like breaking this
movie down and how hard it is that I'm like, yeah,
the the intentions were so simple. We're pulling, we're trying
to pull things from it that are like very much
clearly in the book, like something was lost in translation
between the book and the movie. They aren't matching up here. Um.

But it was also so moving as a kid, truly
swept me away every time I watched it, and even
when I watched it yesterday. High as a kite just
only way shoveling popcorn into my mouth was transported by
this stupid costumes, makeup and practical effects. It's some of

which when you're talking about foul core scary to me.
Falcor was it was it the Falcourt did Felcore blink?
I was trying to fair. I was like, what about
foul core? Maybe it was the mouth. I was focused
on the eyes because they seemed really wet and they
weren't blinking, and I was like, buddy, but it was like,
it's not real. I feel if they were blinking, but
maybe not necessarily in unison. Maybe it was Maybe that

was another thing. Maybe what it was it was like
blinking like a chucky cheese animatronic woud where it's like
blinking really loudly, where it's like like you know yeah,
or there's like eyelashes that are like sort of like yes, yes,
you can hear it from ten feet away and you're like,
I shouldn't be able to hear someone blink like that.

I also do want to encourage you both to look
up foul core behind the scenes falcore on YouTube because
I believe that there is footage of Bastion writing or
a tray you writing Falcore against a green screen or
like a movie. It's kind of cool. Whoa, Oh that's amazing.
I would love to know how more because there it's

like there is some very like you know, dated green
green effects, but for some reason, like not to the
point where I was like taken out of it to
an absurd degree. I was just like, yeah, that's I guess.
It's like, who, who care? I don't know. It's still
the story was good enough that you're just like whatever.
And I did kind of laugh when Basting at the end,

He's like he just had this profound like breakthrough in
his life. And then they're like, what do you want
to do next? He's like, ride a dragon and kill
some kids, and you're like, yeah, I love that for him.
The Disney Channel had to show up somewhere exactly, Um, well,

does the movie pass the Bechtel test? Oh? No, I
really don't think it does. It doesn't. It doesn't, it doesn't,
But you know, we're in a pickle. If only Falcre
was a girl dog, That's what I'm saying, like a girl.
There was no reason that almost every character that a

tray you encountered needed to be male or male coded.
So The only one aside from like the Empress is
more La the Turtle, who, again I was not sure
the gender of the person who voiced more La, and
I do think was coded as a woman all the

all the summaries I found you she she I don't know,
got it? Okay, maybe it was just like a very
grumbly smoker's voice. That yeah, I was always sort of um.
I used to put her and Ursula the Sea Witch
in the same sort of smoking anti character, A celebrated

a celebrated character. I love the character. I just like, yeah,
you're wrong to hate children, but I like how you
do it, uh on their faith. It's kind of are
you mommy? Like great? Um? But yeah. And then so
there's more La, and then there's the Wench basically according

to her husband and yeah, I mean again, like I
I wonder how much more impactful this movie could have
been if, like the Bastion character and the Atrey You
character were like a little black or brown girl rather
than a little white boy, which is what so many

children family movies historically have been. So anyway, um No
does not pass the Bechtel test, but our Nipple scale,
in which we rate the movie on a scale of
zero to five nipples based on examining it through an
intersectional feminist lens um. It's hard because I've only said

nice things. But for I guess this is gonna be
I'm gonna use the backtel cast cheat code, which is
to split down the middle give it to it a
half because while I do appreciate that it's a story
about a boy who loves reading and he expresses his

emotions and he like wants to grieve or he's trying
to figure out how to grieve, and his like toxic
egg dad is like no soun focus on math class
and uh it's and it's it's like about like young
boyhood vulnerability to some degree, and I appreciate that, But

there also is no reason that more of the characters
couldn't be girls, women female coded also no reason more
characters couldn't be people of color. There also could have
been more body diversity, especially since in the source material,
Bastion is fat and you almost never get to see

a fat kid as the hero of a movie. I
think there just could have been more diversity across the board.
So I don't know, it's it's it's tricky. This is
a complicated one, but I'll stick with two and a
half and I will give one to deep Roy, I'll
give one to Deep Roy's racing Snail, and I'll give

my half my half nipple to Moonchild moon Child. I
I mean, I'm honestly like, for our medric, I'm tempted
to go more like two, which bums me out because
I do think that there. I mean, if I was
doing it on a personal enjoyment, how it made me

feel and how much I want to watch it again,
it would be like four to five, like it really
really hit for me. But I mean in terms of
like intersectionality, there's not a lot of it. I think
that like the strongest thing that this movie has going
for it was what you were describing so well a
couple of minutes ago, Jana, which is like encouraging young

boys to confront not just like traditional expectations of masculinity,
but like confront their own emotions and have that be
a positive way to move through your life and have
that become a heroic quality. Because I think that that
is like a really really powerful thing that and and

also it's like basition. I don't think we've talked, but
I think that Bastian, like more so than a lot
of like little white boy protagonists that I've encountered throughout
my life, feels very like plug in able of like
he's I don't know, like it's just like I found
it easy to like put myself in him because you

don't know that much about him until the very very end.
So he is kind of like like I can't think
of a better term than Avatar, which is poor cultural timing, um,
but like he is a good character to kind of
plug yourself into. UM. But I mean in terms of
like how much of this movie is pushing back, I
think it pushes back on masculinity, but kind of not

very much else. And like Grusenkuli and there there were
there was no reason this movie had to be as
white as it was and as male dominated as it was.
I do kind of in general think that Bastian as
a boy character really did work for me. But outside
of that character, like it would have been really cool

to see Bastian see himself in a character of another
gender or like there there were all these different ways
it could have gone. Um. And I really loved the
movie and I can't wait to watch it again and
I want to share it with people, so multitudes. For
this one, I'm going to go to I'm gonna give
one to Urgell, who was a woman in stuff and

you can't tell me different. And then I'm giving one
to the to the titty statue that could kill you
if you if you didn't believe in yourself about how
I like to feel like I am in really ation chips.
I do now recall that the lasers come out of
the eyes, but boy, do they seem like they come
out of the tits though, right, because that would have

been too far, that would have been too far. That
totally Oh god, Um, I give it one point five,
I think, and I for all the reasons that you've
already said, I don't even need to expand upon it. Um,
I'm taking a half a point for a tray you. Unfortunately,
I have to do that. Now. Do I love this movie? Yes,
but on that scale, um, you know, and a lot

of the eighties movies that I grew up with, boyl
Up really really celebrating young boys, young white boys in
a way that is unnecessary. Um, But that was the
I guess important thing to discuss at the time for
some fucking reason. Yeah, but also helped to develop what

I believe to be the act of imagination that I
have now. Was highly encouraged by the never Ending story
and movies of its in its genre and of the
time and of its caliber. Like I really felt like
I was raised by these movies and they were so
strange and bizarre and wild, but I love them. Yep.

I want this podcast, Janna. Yes, I know I'm gonna
make it. Want it, I know I'll do it. I'll
do it, And please come back anytime to our show.
Would love and thank you so much for being here.
Where can people find you? Check out your stuff, follow
you online, et cetera. Well, I have, for the most

part laid off Twitter because it's just under hard to
be there now. But I'm on Instagram still and you
can see me on Rutherford Falls. You can see me
on the TV show Reservation Dogs, which is on FX
on Hulu. And also you can um listen to my
podcast that I'm going to be making about the maccabre

media content of the eighties for children. Can't Wait. Um.
You can follow us on social media at Bechtel Cast.
You can subscribe to our Patreon a k A Matreon
where you will get to bonus episodes every month, plus

access to the back catalog of well over one hundred
bonus episodes, all at patreon dot com slash Spectel Cast
for five dollars a month, and if you can believe it,
we are covering nine thousand different adaptations of Pinocchio due
to um demand, yes, high demand from the true at once.

And you can also grab our merch if you should
so choose over at t public dot com slash the
Bechtel Cast. We've got some new designs that that Jamie designed,
such as Shrek I in as it, such as feminist
icon Paddington, such as Bye Danny Elfman, one of the
greatest compositions of our time. Absolutely and with that, should

we jump on our our horny puppet dragon and get
out of here. Let's go Bye Bye,

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