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The Black Cauldron (1985)
As a huge Disney fan I decided to relive my childhood by watching all the animation films in sequence. I had never seen The Black Cauldron before and decided to watch. Initially, I felt it had a lot of similarities to The Sword In The Stone, a film I really enjoyed, however as I continued to watch, the plot and characters grew more and more ridiculous.
Knowing the story behind the film would lead me to believe that Disney's biggest mistake was condensing the plot line to an extent were it lost heart and depth, it unfolds too quickly so that character relationships aren't properly developed (especially between the Princess and Taran), I also felt no connection to the protagonist. There was no rich sense of legend or mythology just an oracle pig and a floating ball, cheap, ineffective efforts. The 'Horned King' also didn't live up to the usual terrifying standards of a Disney Villain, using a skull-faced, cloaked figure is a far too obvious move, other more successful figures such as Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty, evokes fear through her malevolent aura, and ability to charm others as opposed to the blatant attempt in this film to create an evil character by giving them the face of a skull, the most stereotypical imagery of fear and death.
I understand that this kind of animation was ground breaking at its time but I feel that this film was merely Disney testing the water, a blemish in a collection of timeless classics, completely lacking the fluidity of animations such as The Little Mermaid or Aristocats. This is the Disney that should never have been released, from the psychic pig to the irritating voice of the Princess and emotionless voice of Taran (the two did not blend), it does not possess the quality and depth of a Disney. This film had so much potential, they had a great story and could have created a dark, twisted tale that audiences connected with as much as the books, looking now at the success of the Lord Of The Rings movies, it just shows how badly Disney missed the mark in this poor attempt to reach out to teenage fantasy fanatics.