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The Black Cauldron (1985)

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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.

Directors:

Ted Berman, Richard Rich

Writers:

Lloyd Alexander (novel), David Jonas (story) | 17 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Grant Bardsley Grant Bardsley ... Taran (voice)
Susan Sheridan Susan Sheridan ... Eilonwy (voice)
Freddie Jones ... Dallben (voice)
Nigel Hawthorne ... Fflewddur Fflam (voice)
Arthur Malet ... King Eidilleg (voice)
John Byner ... Gurgi / Doli (voice)
Lindsay Rich Lindsay Rich ... Fairfolk (voice)
Brandon Call ... Fairfolk (voice)
Gregory Levinson Gregory Levinson ... Fairfolk (voice)
Eda Reiss Merin Eda Reiss Merin ... Orddu (voice)
Adele Malis-Morey Adele Malis-Morey ... Orwen (voice)
Billie Hayes ... Orgoch (voice)
Phil Fondacaro ... Creeper / Henchman (voice)
Peter Renaday Peter Renaday ... Henchman (voice)
James Almanzar 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

Taglines:

Magic twelve years in the making. Magic that will live forever. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some scary images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 July 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Taran and the Magic Cauldron See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$44,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,180,110, 28 July 1985

Gross USA:

$21,288,692
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Even though Walt Disney Productions had purchased the movie rights to Lloyd Alexander's "The Chronicles of Prydain" book trilogy in 1971, it wouldn't be until 1980 when the movie would finally be put into production. The reasons why are as follows: (1) the studio, at the time, had a habit where they would allow only one animated movie to be made, once every three-to-four years. With the limited resources they also had, at the time, they could only produce one animated movie at a time. After an animated movie is completed and released in theaters, the studio would, then, put all of their resources in financing the production of another animated movie, which would have the best chances of being finished and ready for theatrical release, next; and (2) It was the studio's decision, right from the beginning, to only condense the first two "Prydain" books into one single movie and its title would have its name from the second novel in the trilogy: "The Black Cauldron". Because of the numerous storylines and with over thirty characters in the original five-novel "Chronicles of Prydain" series, several story artists and animators worked on the development of this movie throughout the 1970s, where it was actually originally slated for release in 1980. The release date was eventually pushed from 1980 to Christmas 1984, in order to focus more attention on the completion of The Fox and the Hound (1981), and also due to the animators' inability of animating realistic human characters for this movie. See more »

Goofs

As Creeper prepares the Horned King's drink, the goblet changes colors between shots. 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 »

Crazy Credits

There are no opening or cast and crew credits. See more »

Alternate Versions

The version of the film released to theaters omits numerous fully animated scenes that include shots of graphic violence as Taran fights his way out of the castle and shots of Eilonwy sporting ripped garments as she's hanging for her life with Taran and Fflewddur. The most well-known deleted scene, due to a clumsy jump that it left in the film's soundtrack and a cel of the infamous scene appearing online, is that of a man being mauled by one of the Cauldron-born. See more »

Connections

References Peter Pan (1953) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Ambitious and different!
27 May 2000 | by gurgi4See all my reviews

I must say first that my opinion on this film is slightly biased. I was one of the handful of people to have seen this film on its initial theatrical run. I was also 11 and a boy (a target audience of this film). I owned the Gurgi and Hen Wen plushes, got excited by the preview on the "Pinocchio" video, etc.,etc.

After seeing the movie, I remember being entertained (maybe not enthralled) by the film and was saddened by Gurgi's sacrifice at the end.

Years passed. And passed. And passed. And people seemed to have forgotten "Black Cauldron" in the wake of "Little Mermaid" and her successors.

I must admit that I became somewhat obsessed with finding out why Disney thought of the film so poorly and why everyone gave me "blank stares" when I mentioned it. To say the least, I longed for a video release of the film.

A year or two ago, I got my wish, and now that I'm older and "wiser" I'm able to make a better judgement of the film. Is it Disney's worst film ever? Absolutely not. "Black Cauldron" is probably the finest animated film of the 1980's ("Little Mermaid" not withstanding). It IS a scary film for young kids (hence the PG rating) but I think audiences today are able to deal with that more than they were back in 1985 (just look at "Dinosaur," "Road to El Dorado," and the upcoming "Titan AE" which are all rated PG). The story may not be up to Disney standards, but for a film of its genre (i.e fantasy) it has a very compelling and understandable story. The animation has its highs and lows. But this film was made by a large number of people over a long period of time, so it is inevitable that there should be some fluctuation in quality.

Lastly, I too have read Lloyd Alexander's books, and I too adore them. No, Disney's film does not even begin to compare to the books, but what movie does?

On its own terms, "Black Cauldron" stands as a remarkable achievement in animation, and a film for those people who don't just think cartoons are "babysitters for kids."


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