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The Black Cauldron (1985)

6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 17,982 users  
Reviews: 101 user | 53 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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(novel), (story), 17 more credits »
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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)
Edit

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:

Seven years in the making - In the celebrated Disney tradition comes our 25th animated motion picture. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some scary images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

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

When the Horned King activates the power of the Black Cauldron the sound of a space-shuttle launch was used. See more »

Goofs

Before the film was released, several scenes considered too "graphic" where cropped out of the film. One particular cut involving a Cauldron Born killing a person by slicing his neck and torso created a recognizable lapse due to the fact that the removal of the scene creates a jump in the film's soundtrack. 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 »

Connections

Featured in Troldspejlet: Episode #28.13 (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Doesn't deserve to be dismissed as harshly as it has been
27 June 2006 | by See all my reviews

Always curious about The Black Cauldron, I finally got around to it after seeing a DVD at the rental store. Despite a lot of grating elements, I ended up liking it overall.

The movie starts off on the wrong foot. The voices come across as recorded at low fidelity, and when combined with the sometimes hard-to-understand British accents, can be somewhat off-putting. Issues with voice and script become even more pronounced with characters such as Gurgi and his Gollum-esquire speech patterns. Indeed, the second time I watched the DVD I threw the English subtitles on, and not just for Gurgi.

Other problems with voicing include an exceedingly dull lead actor for Taran (he simply can't emote), and an overly chirpy female lead for Eilonwy.

Most other elements of the film proved passable if predictable in the Disney mold of plot, hero design, sidekicks, etc. Where it branches out for the better is in avoiding any and all musical interludes and along the way offering some scenarios and graphic effects that are more mature than most other Disney animated feature films (though later in the '90s the likes of The Lion King, Hunchback, and Tarzan would also tangle with mature themes).

Animation is also spectacularly mixed in quality, an odd distinction among Disney films but a distinction nonetheless. Usually solid, there are high points such as external shots of a dark castle or a visceral chase sequence. There are also low points such as unnatural shifts in hair color that overemphasize different environments, or obvious spots where animation was rushed (a rock slide sequence).

Yet for all these lows and highs, as an animation fan I ended up siding with the high points. Many sequences are inviting to re-watch, even if the entirety of the movie may not be. For all the talk of failure that continues to surround this movie, one can see in the film itself elements of a more mature Disney that could have been extremely promising with a more seasoned batch of animators and a world less hostile to PG animated fare.


16 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Disney need to get over themselves... molly_hartley
Don't you hate it when movies you loved as children... cadademon
If it wasn't based on a book.... SnowKittyLove
THE HORNED KING (may be the scariest person ever) alexschneider
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