Grant Bardsley, Susan Sheridan, Freddie Jones, John Hurt, Nigel Hawthorne, Arthur Malet,
1985, 80 Minutes, Directed by: Ted Berman and Richard Rich
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 dont
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 theyre 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 . . .