WHEN: 5:09 pm EST, October 18th, 2013
WHERE: The living room of my apartment in Portland
FORMAT: Blu-Ray on a Vizio 32″ LED HDTV
PHYSICAL AND MENTAL STATE: Had a crazy day at work. Enjoying a relaxing dinner.
This will be my 42nd viewing of The NeverEnding Story this year. I live a sad, weird life. The well of inspiration and giving a fuck is running real dry. So, since I’ve seen this film from my own perspective 41 times this year, I decided it was time to look at it anew. In hopes of gaining greater insight into this film, I looked at the story as seen through the eyes of the Stupid Bat.
Let’s imagine the life of our friend, Stupid Bat, a few days before we are formally introduced. He is the main transport for the Night Hob on an important mission to the Ivory Tower. Along the way, the cantankerous and high-strung Night Hob meets a fellow traveler, Teeny Weeny. This comparably sized creature seems nice enough to join up with on their journey and there’s certainly safety in numbers for creatures so small. The snail seems nice, too, but probably isn’t much for small talk. The four companions find a nice place to settle and make camp. Stupid Bat then falls asleep because Night Hob has insisted on flying during the day even though bats are nocturnal mammals. In the midst of some glorious sleep, Stupid Bat is rudely awakened to see this:
Despite the fact that he hasn’t slept well and has been diligently flying during daytime hours, he dutifully, if a bit groggily, obliges the Night Hob’s request to hurry on to the Ivory Tower. It’s quite lovely to see from the air.
Once they arrive and find a suitable window to peep through, a prestigious looking man appears to explain all about the Nothing and the Childlike Empress’ illness.
Luckily, there’s a hero who appears. Apparently many creatures are shocked that he’s a child. But at least he’s bigger than a bat. Once the crowd is dispersed, the companions meet up again and decide to continue traveling together. Stupid Bat is not quite sure why because he’s still trying to catch up on sleep. This is why he misses the famed hero Atreyu riding past their camp.
As the weeks go by it seems less and less likely that this Atreyu fellow is going to save Fantasia from the Nothing. Unfortunately, the Nothing somehow sneaks into their camp one night, insidiously creeping with its roaring winds and rumbling thunder.
If only Stupid Bat had been on his natural sleep cycle, his excellent hearing would have alerted them all to the impending doom. Instead, everyone, including Stupid Bat, are ripped from the hands of the Rock Biter and annihilated in the oblivion that is the Nothing.
From here it’s only pure conjecture. What happens to Fantasians when they die? More specifically, what happens to Fantasians killed by the Nothing? I’d like to think that there’s some sort of purgatory or way station where all the creatures wait to see if Fantasia will be saved. If so, hooray! If not, they are shuffled on to whatever afterlife there is. Luckily, Fantasia manages to be saved by a mysterious human boy. Stupid Bat continues to chum around with Night Hob and his other companions, who still don’t understand what “nocturnal” means. Stupid Bat yet again misses the opportunity to see a hero because he needs some goddamned sleep.
Stupid Bat, being stupid due to years of inconsistent sleep, continues his life this way until he tragically falls asleep while flying, accidentally plunging himself and Night Hob into the wheel of Rock Biter’s stone bicycle. Death is swift and welcomed. The moral of Stupid Bat’s story? Don’t cave to peer pressure and get some sleep.