One of the oddest movies of 1984 is this fantasy film from Wolfgang Peterson based on a book by Michael Ende. There were significant enough changes in the story that Ende refused a title credit and at one point sued to have production halted. Although the author of the book was not enamored of the film, worldwide audiences ended up making it a good sized hit. The story, the visualization of the characters and the odd tone of the film contribute to it’s uniqueness. Fantasy films often have such a distinct look to them that people may be put off from them. I personally have not delved deeply into the animation from Japan as much as I think I ought to have, because the characters always look so strange and the dialogue and story lines seem off kilter. This is not a criticism, merely an explanation of why I have been tentative in this area. Don’t ask me to explain why I am OK with “Legend”, Labyrinth” or “The Dark Crystal”. They are equally odd but never gave me the same vibe.