VOICES OF: Grant Bardsley, Susan Sheridan, Freddie Jones, John Hurt, Nigel Hawthorne, Arthur Malet, John Byner

1985, 80 Minutes, Directed by: Ted Berman and Richard Rich

Description: Disney's 25th full-length animated movie. In the mystical land of Prydain, Taran, a young boy who dreams of a future as an invincible warrior, finds himself leading a real-life quest. In a race against the evil Horned King, Taran must be the first to find the mysterious Black Cauldron, or the Horned King wil unleash its power and take over the world. With the help of a magic sword, an enchanting princess, an adorable clairvoyant pig, and a furry little creature named Gurgi, Taran overcomes winged dragons, the King's monstrous henchmen, three batty witches, and more.

Easily digestible (and forgettable) Disney fantasy tale involving a young hero and his quest for a magical cauldron to thwart the plans of ultimate evil - or something like that.

The Black Cauldron is based on The Chronicles of Prydain series by Lloyd Alexander. No, I don’t know it either, but apparently the series consists of five books, namely The Book of Three, The Black Cauldron, The Castle of Llyr, Taran Wanderer, and The High King.

"Easily forgettable Disney fare . . ."

People who have read the series consider them to be quite excellent little books and, even though they can't be regarded as advanced reading, they are good books for the 8-16 age range. However, fans of the series have expressed disappointment with the movie maintaining that their storylines were horribly butchered by Disney.

My stock reply with movies like this is that they’re great to pop into the VCR to keep the little ‘uns entertained while you nurse your migraine or whatever, and it was only after a hiatus of almost thirteen years that The Black Cauldron was finally released on video and DVD by Disney.

Why so long? Some say that it is because the movie was too dark, and thus an embarrassment to Disney. (To which I would say bollocks! And so would anyone who has also seen The Hunchback of Notre Dame . . .) I think it has more to do with the fact that it was an enormously expensive animated feature that simply bombed at the box office.

Remember it was made before the genre was revived with the commercial success of The Little Mermaid in 1989 and along with Basil - The Great Mouse Detective (1986), The Black Cauldron has the dubious distinction of being one of the "recent" Disney animated movies forgotten by time . . .


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