Just before Bastian opens the window and screams out “Moonchild!” to save the land of Fantasia, I thought my chest was about to explode.
The NeverEnding Story brought the perfect amount of suspense. It was the kind you feel rumbling all the way through you – even down in your socks. Bastian and Atreyu saved their world. They were heroes. They were kids.
But they weren’t the only youngsters into heroics. There was the girl who chased that rabbit, the family who saved the lion and that boy with glasses and a thing for broomsticks.
(More on Techland: Burton’s Alice: First Victim of Hollywood’s VOD Furture?)
Sadly, it’s been a few years since we’ve had a new child hero worthy of the title. The latest to take a stab at it is Percy Jackson, who didn’t quite translate on screen like he ought to have. Percy is the star of author Rick Riordan’s five-part series about a boy who discovers his father is Poseidon, god of the sea. The film, based on the first book, Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightning Thief only inspired mediocre reviews (but did manage to yield decent box office results).
(More on Techland: Steve’s interview with Percy Jackson star Pierce Brosnan)
The Chicago Tribune‘s Michael Phillips says that “this could be the start of something adequate.” But is “adequate” really how we want the description of the next great hero to read?
I’m not so sure.
Instead, let’s look back at the children who did it right: Sure, they saved the world and got back for snack time. But they did it better.