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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

A technological breakthrough in this movie was the development of the APT (Animation Photo Transfer) process. The first major change in the studio's method of transferring the artist's drawings to a cel since Xerox copying replaced hand-inking over twenty years earlier, the APT greatly improved the quality of the animator's art. Dave Spencer was awarded an Academy Scientific and Technical Achievement Award for his development of the APT process. 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 »

Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

Appalled by the film's darkness and graphic nature, and also concerned with its long length, Jeffrey Katzenberg requested that the film's release be delayed from its scheduled Christmas 1984 release to July 1985 so that the whole film could be reworked. The Black Cauldron was ultimately cut by twelve to fifteen minutes, all of which were fully animated and scored. As a result, some existing scenes were rewritten, reanimated, and reedited for continuity. Many of the cut scenes involved the undead "Cauldron Born", who are used as the Horned King's army in the final act of the film. While most of the scenes were seamlessly removed from the film, one particular cut involving a Cauldron Born warrior killing a person by decapitating his neck and another one killing another person by decapitating his torso created a rather recognizable lapse because the removal of the scene clumsily creates a jump in the film's soundtrack. Other deleted scenes include: many scenes of graphic violence such as the ones where Taran fights his way out of The Horned King's palace with the magic sword Dyrnwyn; shots of Princess Eilonwy wearing ripped garments, as she's hanging for her life with Taran and Fflewddur Fflam; whole sequences involving the world of the Fairfolk; scenes of the Horned King with a flowing cloak; one scene featuring one of the King's henchmen being mauled by one of the Cauldron Born warriors, which causes him to form horrifically detailed lacerations and boils, before he rots away to become one of the Cauldron Born warriors himself (a couple of animated cels of that particular scene can actually now be found on the Internet); and a more action-oriented, dramatic, and intense climatic fight scene between Taran and the Horned King before the latter is sucked into the Cauldron. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

It ain't half bad (ain't half good, neither)
8 August 1998 | by nitemanSee all my reviews

There were many good things going on in the Black Cauldron. First, there were NO SONGS, which really helped move things along. Second, the villain was truly frightening, the supporting cast was a lot of fun, and the movie's breakneck pace held my interest and entertained me throughout. But, there were some bad things as well. Taran wasn't really a character at all. Every important thing that happened to him was by luck or accident. And at the end of the story he's right back where he started. Also, the plot was little more than a succession of action sequences, with little sense holding it together. The heroes simply fell out of one situation into the next, perhaps the result of squeezing two full-length novels into one movie. And don't get me started on the ending. Our hero stumbles through the picture so that -- his furball sidekick can become the true hero of the piece. Yech. Still, I was entertained, and I'd see it again. But for those looking for the REAL Black Cauldron, read "The Chronicles of Prydain" by Lloyd Alexander. You'll be glad you did.


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