The Black Cauldron (1985)

PG   |    |  Animation, Action, Adventure


The Black Cauldron (1985) Poster

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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6.5/10
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  • Susan Sheridan in The Black Cauldron (1985)
  • Grant Bardsley in The Black Cauldron (1985)

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27 May 2000 | gurgi4
8
| Ambitious and different!
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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Genres

Animation | Action | Adventure | Family | Fantasy | Horror

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