On this day in 1979, a new book by Michael Ende hit bookstores in Germany: Die unendliche Geschichte. The novel was translated into English in 1983 under the title The Neverending Story, and has since become a fantasy classic.
Google’s doodle honors the book’s original publication with a series of illustrations inspired by the novel. The images, which are illustrated by Sophie Diao, uses parallax scrolling for the first time. The background of the image moves slower than the foreground, which gives viewers the illusion of depth as they cycle through the story.
The Neverending Story is a story within a story that follows a young boy named Bastian Balthazar Bux, who escapes from some bullies by hiding in an antique store. There, he finds a book called The Neverending Story, which he steals and begins to read. He finds himself transported to a fantastic land called Fantastica, where he must save the world’s Childlike Empress by giving her a new name. While there, he’s trapped in a narrative that begins to repeat over and over.
In 1984, the novel was adapted into a film by the same title, directed by Wolfgang Petersen. The movie only covered the first half of the novel, which angered the book’s author, who had his name removed from the credits. A sequel to the film, The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter followed in 1990, roughly covering the second half of the novel. A third movie, The NeverEnding Story III: Escape from Fantasia, was released in 1994, and featured an entirely new storyline.
The novel has also been adapted for television, with an animated show airing in 1995 called The Neverending Story: The Animated Adventures of Bastian Balthazar Bux and another in 2002 titled Tales from the Neverending Story, which aired on HBO.