In July 1986 the film version of Momo was premiered in countless German cinemas. Ende had sold the film rights to the novel shortly after it was published in 1972. The movie’s director, Johannes Schaaf, had decided to make the movie without any computer-generated effects. Instead he wanted to rely on the persuasive power of the acting, the message of the book and the magic of the story. The soundtrack was composed by Angelo Branduardi, whom Ende met in the course of filming and later worked with on various projects.
Michael Ende had no real complaints about the film - unlike the movie version of The Neverending Story, it had been made ‘along the right lines’. All the same, he wasn’t overjoyed with it. Although Ende had played an active role in the film (he played the part of the narrator in the train), he felt the movie version lacked the power and bite of the original book. Wearied from the struggle over The Neverending Story and still battling to come to terms with Ingeborg Hoffmann’s death, Ende decided not to release any public statement about Schaaf’s film.