Bastian's father is a dental technician who works in his home laboratory.
When Bastian was younger, his father would tell him stories and play with him, although he is described as becoming distant when his wife (Bastian's mother) dies unexpectedly and an "invisible wall" appears around him. He buys Bastian whatever he wants and spends time in his presence though rarely speaks to him, making Bastian feel neglected.
"[Bastian] couldn’t talk to his father anymore. There was an invisible wall around his father, and no one could get through to him. He never found fault and he never praised. Even when Bastian was put back in school, his father hadn't said anything. He had only looked at him in his sad, absent way, and Bastian felt that as far as his father was concerned he wasn’t there at all. That was how his father usually made him feel."
In the final chapter, when Bastian returns home, he gives his father the Water of Life, which cures him of his depression. He reconciles with Bastian and listens to his adventures in the Neverending Story.
In the first film, Barney is portrayed by Gerald McRaney.
In this film, Barney's name is not mentioned.
He is dismissive of Bastian's feelings, telling him that his mother's death can't get in the way of getting things done, and berates him for having his head in the clouds.
In the second film, Barney is played by John Wesley Shipp.
When Bastian is in The Neverending Story, Barney notices his disappearance. He finds the Neverending Story in Bastian's room and sees a sticker on the front cover that lists the address of Mr. Koreander's bookstore's. Barney rushes to the bookstore where Mr. Koreander tells him that he will find the answers inside the book. Returning later with a police officer, Barney is shocked to see the bookstore abandoned.
Eventually, Barney reads the book, where he follows Bastian's journey and is reunited with him at the end of the film.
In the third film, Barney is played by Kevin McNulty.
- Bastian’s father is never given a name in the book nor the first film. He is given the name “Barney” for the second film.
- In the novel, Bastian's father is a dental technician; in the films, he is a technical sales engineer.