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The Black Cauldron (1985)

6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 18,179 users  
Reviews: 104 user | 54 critic

A young boy and a bunch of misfit friends embark on a quest to find a dark magic item of ultimate power before a diabolical tyrant can.

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,

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(novel), (story), 17 more credits »
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Title: The Black Cauldron (1985)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Grant Bardsley ...
Taran (voice)
Susan Sheridan ...
Eilonwy (voice)
...
Dallben (voice)
...
Fflewddur Fflam (voice)
...
King Eidilleg (voice)
...
Gurgi / Doli (voice)
Lindsay Rich ...
Fairfolk (voice)
...
Fairfolk (voice)
Gregory Levinson ...
Fairfolk (voice)
Eda Reiss Merin ...
Orddu (voice)
Adele Malis-Morey ...
Orwen (voice)
Billie Hayes ...
Orgoch (voice)
...
Creeper / Henchman (voice)
Peter Renaday ...
Henchman (voice)
James Almanzar ...
Henchman (voice)
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Storyline

Centuries ago, in the land of Prydain, a young man named Taran is given the task of protecting Hen Wen, a magical oracular pig, who knows the location of the mystical black cauldron. This is not an easy task, for The Evil Horned King will stop at nothing to get the cauldron. Written by Kelly

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

king | cauldron | pig | princess | magic | See All (104) »

Taglines:

Hidden by darkness. Guarded by witches. Discovered by a boy. Stolen by a king. Whoever owns it will rule the world. Or destroy it. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some scary images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 July 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Taran and the Magic Cauldron  »

Box Office

Budget:

$44,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$21,000,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Various members of Disney's "Nine Old Men" as well as Don Bluth took stabs at making this film during the 1970s. See more »

Goofs

When Fflewddur Fflam is locked up in the dungeon, the number of strings on his harp changes between shots from 5 strings in the wide shots and 8 strings in the close up shots as they start to snap off. Then later on, the harp is back to 5 strings straightened out. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: Legend has it, in the mystic land of Prydain, there was once a king so cruel and so evil, that even the Gods feared him. Since no prison could hold him, he was thrown alive into a crucible of molten iron. There his demonic spirit was captured in the form of a great, black cauldron. For uncounted centuries, the black cauldron lay hidden, waiting, while evil men searched for it, knowing whoever possessed it would have the power to resurrect an army of deathless warriors... and with ...
See more »

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User Reviews

worth seeing, not for children at all. Really fun.
14 December 2001 | by (Vancouver, BC) – See all my reviews

"The Black Cauldron" certainly doesn't fall into the genre of animated Disney family favorite, but instead feels much like the more grim and complicated fantasy films that were made in the eighties. Does it stack up to such films as "Return To Oz" and "The Dark Crystal"? Well, although not as complex as the aformentioned, this film is not without its charm.

The story of Taran, the pig-keeper's journey from gawky boy to gawky boy-hero apparently works better as told through the course of five books, and indeed it is the plot that feels put together, with a lot cut out of it for it's slim 1:20 running time. Also suffering because of the short time is any character development, or a reason why the charcter of Dallben (an old minstrel) are in the film at all. However, this film still has a lot going for it.

The film has a wonderful pacing to it with some fantastic action scenes. It is adventurous and fun. An engaing film for any fantasy fan. What really makes the film though is it's terrifying and dastardly villain, The Horned King. He is basically a Skeletor knock off with absolutely no sense of humor. He looks like he stepped right out of an Iron Maden album cover, and that is a monumental good thing. The true threat felt by the presence of this decidedly un-Disney character keeps the tension of the film high.

It is this contrast, between the unconventionally ghoulish villans (definatly enspirered by Bakshi's animated adaptation of "Lord of the Rings") and the stock Disney characters makes the audience care more-so for the cutesy characters than usual. This is especially true for the cutsey character of Gurgi, who is much more tollerable than almost all other Disney sidekicks and especially more tollerable than a certain J*r J*r B*nks that we have all been over exposed to lately.

So I would recommend "The Black Cauldron", it's a fun and well animated adventure film. Compleatly scary and strange for Disney to make, but still very very good for other reasons nonetheless.


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