Compared are the German Theatrical Cut and the US Theatrical Cut, both available on the German DVD released by Universum Film.
The Neverending Story is based on the same-titled bestseller by Michael Ende who was really disappointed after having watched the film (directed by Wolfgang Petersen and produced by Bernd Eichinger). That's why his name doesn't pop up in the opening credits. Nevertheless the film, which was shot in English, became an international success and I consider it as one of the best fantasy films ever (and one if the best German films as well). Two sequels that don't have the quality of the first one, a cartoon series and a TV mini series followed.
The film was released uncut in Germany but the version for the US market was modified. A lot of shots were shortened for a couple of seconds but the differences aren't that huge. The only important one is that the splendid score, composed by Klaus Doldinger, was replaced by a synthesizer score, composed by Giorgio Moroder who's also in charge for the Scarface score for instance.
The first time index refers to the US Version, the one in brakes to the German Version. Due to the tremendous amount of cuts I can't assure that all cuts (even the pretty short ones) are noted.
German Version = 96:43 min
US Version = 90:01 min
00:00 Both versions have different Constantin logos and different opening credits. The credits in the German Version are shown with a black background while a more or less dark score by Klaus Doldinger is being played in the background. The credits in the US Version are shown with some cloud-like images (refering to the flight scenes with Falkor) and the song of LIMAHL is being played.
German Version = 107,6 sec
US Version = 118,2 sec.
02:18 [02:08] Bastian awakes from his dream. Only the German Version also shows him switching off the light. Then he sits on his bed, he looks sad. After that we see his father walking down the stairs. He grabs the newspaper and looks in a mirror.
03:52 [04:10] Shot of Bastian and his father.
04:05 [04:28] Beginning of a shot of the father.
05:07 [05:32] After the father's gotten up, the German Version shows Bastian for a longer period. He greases his bread with butter. The beginning of the following shot of the city starts earlier.
05:21 [06:04] Beginning of a shot before Bastian's chased by the boys.
05:34 [06:21] Shot of the boys chasing Bastian plus a shot of Bastian.
06:05 [06:54] Ending and beginning of a shot.
06:37 [07:27] When Bastian's looking around in Koreander's book shop, the German Version is longer.
06:45 [07:41] Bastian looks around a corner.
07:24 [08:23] Beginning of a shot.
07:33 [08:34] Another shot of a beginning.
07:46 [08:47] A shot of Coreander and a further one of Bastian.
09:05 [10:13] Bastian wants to know why the book's so important but Coreander's silent.
09:40 [10:56] The book title's shown in the particular language (no difference).
09:48 [11:01] Coreander's phone conversation is longer.
09:49 [11:09] Coreander hangs up and the US Version goes on with some cuts to Bastian who takes a book and runs away. The German Version shows Coreander without cuts to Bastian (no difference).
10:05 [11:24] A note's shown in its particular language (no difference).
10:08 [11:27] Beginning of a shot.
10:37 [11:58] Ending of a shot plus beginning of the following one.
11:04 [12:28] In the German Version Bastian checks the attic more precisely.
18:14 [19:59] When the Nothing appears, the US Version goes on with some shots of Rockbiter who starts driving with his scooter. The German Version goes on with a scary Bastian walking up the stairs to the attic. The groundskeeper enters with a lot of lumber and trips up on the pad Bastian put on the floor. He mumbles sth. into his beard and leaves. Bastian, who's hidden, waits till he's left and takes a seat on the pad to keep on reading.
German Version = 64,3 sec
US Version = 5,6 sec
19:04 [21:49] Extended shot of the Ivory Tower.
19:07 [21:53] The same shot again.
20:51 [23:38] The German Version shows the Nighthob, the US two shots of the residents of Fantasia.
German Version = 3,3 sec
US Version = 4,8 sec
21:01 [23:47] A longer shot of Cairon in the German Version, the US shows a shot of the Fantasians instead.
German Version = 2,5 sec
US Version = 3,3 sec
21:05 [23:49] Beginning of a shot.
21:25 [24:12] The German Version shows Cairon without interruption, the US Version is interrupted by a shot of the residents.
25:51 [28:39] Ending of a shot.
25:59 [28:49] The Rockbiter's shown for a longer period in the German Version. The following scenes where Atréju's riding in Fantasia, are arranged differently. The German Version shows two shots, the US some more. The missing ones will be shown later in the German Version.
German Version = 18,9 sec
US Version = 29,2 sec
27:01 [29:40] Now the German Version comes up with the scenes already shown in the US Version.
31:10 [34:11] When Atréju's horse Artax is sinking in the swamp, the US Version is shorter. Two shots are missing.
31:57 [35:00] In the US Version the image of Atréju's face screens off to a black screen and then to the next scene. In the German Version the black screen doesn't appear, it changes to Atréju directly (no difference).
32:21 [35:24] Beginning of the shot which shows the spot where Artax sank, the swamp bubbles.
33:47 [36:54] Beginning of a shot that shows Atréju climbing on the mountain.
34:20 [37:30] Ending of a shot where Atréju's shouting for Morla. The next shot is also shortened.
34:26 [37:43] Beginning of a shot before Morla moves.
35:36 [38:56] Ending of a shot of Atréju.
The following scene is shown from different angles.
German Version = 5,4 sec
US Version = 5,7 sec
35:42 [39:01] Beginning of a shot of Atréju.
36:08 [39:28] Ending of a shot of Morla.
36:20 [39:42] Beginning of a shot before Morla's got to sneeze.
36:24 [39:46] Shot of Morla and then Atréju who raises.
36:30 [39:56] The US Version shows Morla from the right side, the German Version shows the front.
German Version = 8,8 sec
US Version = 4,3 sec
36:50 [40:20] Beginning of a shot.
37:05 [40:36] Ending and beginning of a shot.
37:16 [40:48] Ending and beginning of a shot.
37:23 [40:55] Ending and beginning of a shot of Morla.
37:29 [41:04] Dito.
37:30 [41:06] Ending of a shot of Atréju and then Morla.
38:05 [41:41] Ending of a shot of Morla.
38:08 [41:47] Beginning of a shot of Morla.
38:24 [42:04] Ending of a shot of Atréju.
39:26 [43:09] The lights goes off and the hall is shown longer. The following shot of Bastian begins earlier in the German Version.
39:35 [43:20] Shot of Bastian at the attic.
39:38 [43:25] Bastian turns around panicly, takes his stuff and leaves.
40:46 [44:36] Beginning of a shot of Atréju walking in the swamps.
40:58 [44:51] Ending of a shot from the Gmork's point of view who's dashing in the swamps.
41:29 [45:23] Ending of a shot of Falkor going to heaven. The following shot is completely missing in the US Version.
41:51 [45:47] Beginning of a shot that shows Atréju awaking close to Falkor.
43:39 [47:42] Ending of a shot of Atréju and then Falkor.
45:04 [49:08] Beginning of a shot of Atréju.
46:04 [50:10] Urgl is shown for a longer period.
46:07 [50:15] Dito.
46:09 [50:18] Shot of Engywuck and Urgl.
46:27 [50:37] Urgl is shown for a longer period again.
46:34 [50:45] Ending of a shot.
46:49 [51:01] Ending of a shot of Atréju and beginning of the next one.
46:54 [51:07] Dito.
46:57 [51:11] Ending of a shot of Urgl, then Atréju.
47:02 [51:19] Beginning of a shot of Urgl.
47:09 [51:28] Beginning of a shot of Atréju.
47:16 [51:36] Urgl talks to Atréju about the ingredients of the soup. The German Version is longer here.
47:19 [51:44] Longer shot of Atréju.
47:28 [51:53] Urgl makes fun of her husband.
47:44 [52:12] Ending of a shot of Urgl.
47:44 [52:14] Beginning of a shot of Urgl.
48:47 [53:19] Engywuck longer in the basket.
48:50 [53:27] Ending of a shot.
55:05 [59:43] Ending of a shot of Engywuck.
55:35 [60:13] Beginning of a shot, it's snowy.
61:29-62:30 [66:16-67:36] Atréjus' flight with Falkor is extended in the German Version. Additional to some further shots, the scenes in the German Version dissolve. In opposite to that the US Version works with simple cuts.
German Version = 80,2 sec
US Version = 61,2 sec
63:11 [68:18] Shot of the Nothing.
63:17 [68:26] Dito.
63:39 [68:50] Ending of a shot of the Nothing.
64:21 [69:35] Ending of a shot of Atréju at the beach.
64:26 [69:41] Ending of a shot.
64:43 [69:59] Dito (see above).
65:19 [70:39] Ending of a distance shot of Atréju.
67:43 [73:06] Ending of a shot.
69:19 [74:42] Shot of Gmork talking to Atréju who wants to be left alone. Atréju offers to help him.
72:16 [77:47] Due to an earthquake Atréju tumbles but he raises again and listens to the Gmork who says that he'd been hunting him for a long time, that he's almost too weak to kill him and that he's gonna get his strength back.
72:20 [78:12] Ending of a shot of Atréju challenging the Gmork.
72:34 [78:28] Ending of a shot when the Gmork's jumped out of the cave.
72:51 [78:46] Before Falkor dives in the lake, the US comes up with a shot of the reflecting surface of the lake. Not shown in the German Version.
+ 4 sec
72:56 [78:47] Falkor jumps into the water, the following shot's extended in the German Version.
76:39 [82:32] Extended shot of the Ivory Tower.
76:56 [82:53] Beginning of a shot of the Ivory Tower.
80:36 [86:37] Bastian runs back to the book.
80:40 [86:47] Beginning of a shot of the Childlike Empress.
81:05 [87:14] Ending of a shot of Bastian. He asks himself he's the one the empress was talking about.
81:13 [87:26] Shot of the Childlike Empress and then Atréju who wants to know what happened if she'd been given the wrong name.
81:22 [87:37] Atréju wants to know where he was and why he wasn't there. The Childlike Empress replies that he couldn't troust himself.
81:26 [87:47] The Childlike Empress looks worried.
81:30 [87:55] Beginning of a shot of the empress.
81:33 [87:59] Ending of a shot of the empress.
81:43 [88:12] When Bastian has hidden under the ceiling, some shots of him, the attic, the Ivory Tower and the Childlike Empress are missing in the US Version. She wants to know if he didn't have the guts to save them and orders him to help.
81:56 [88:37] Bastian says that he wished he could. Then a shot of the collapsing Ivory Tower.
82:03 [88:48] Another shot of the Ivory Tower and one of the empress asking Bastian to say her name.
82:11 [89:04] Ending of a shot of the Childlike Empress. Tears are running down her face.
82:12 [89:10] The US Version shows the empress from the front. Instead the German Version contains a longer shot of Bastian.
German Version = 1,8 sec
US Version = 3,4 sec
87:21 [94:17] The credits are presented in the particular language. Furthermore the German Version contains Klaus Doldinger's score, the US the song of LIMAHL (the same as at the beginning).
German Version = 146,2 sec
US Version = 159,5 sec